Social media is something we all know needs our attention if we want to take our online presence seriously, but it can be quite an overwhelming and confusing world to explore and embrace. For the second post of Take Your Content To The Next Level Week, I'm taking a look at the off-the-blog content we can create and share on our social media channels and how we can bring some life and purpose back into them this week.
You may be wondering: do I really need to give so much of my time, energy, and focus to social media when really I just want to blog and connect with my ideal readers?
The answer is a big YES. For a long time I thought blogging alone would help me to establish my website, connect with my ideal readers, and build my business from scratch. Social media is one of the best places we can connect with our audience, embrace our community, and increase our impact, growth, and reach. For so many bloggers, their social media platforms are their biggest traffic referrals and in this connected world we live in we either have to jump on board or let ourselves be left behind.
Buy Regina’s book Seriously, this one's a must read. I've had my eye on this since Regina launched it last year but I finally clicked the purchase button the other week and it's hands down one of the best blogging/business eBooks I've ever invested in. Grow Your Blog Traffic With Social Media is an awesome read for any bloggers, especially anyone who is running a business/shop alongside their blog. It takes you through each platform, strategy for each, and includes awesome worksheets and checklists to help you reach your social media goals. If you really want to take your social media presence seriously and step things up with your blog, this is perfect for the job.
Know your priorities There are so many ways to utilise your social media platforms, but first and foremost you need to really know your priorities and intentions. Do you want to connect with your readers? Attract new ones? Build creative connections? Sell and market your products? Increase your traffic? The possibilities are endless but getting specific on what it is exactly that you want from your social media channels means you can really hone in on the best areas and strategies for you.
Know your audience Knowing your audience, both your current and ideal readers, is essential to really making the most out of social media. Where do they hang out? Where are they looking for content and connections? Not all social media platforms are made the same and certain demographics are more likely to be found on certain platforms. Get to know your audience, figure out where they like to connect with you the most and how they themselves are using social media.
Know your platforms Like I said, not all social media platforms are made the same and getting to know the intricacies of each will give you an extra helping hand when deciding on your social media strategy. For example, Twitter is an awesome place to share updates in 140 characters or less, personal anecdotes, useful links, and your blog content. On the other hand, Instagram is an awesome place to share behind-the-scenes insights, your portfolio work, and personal photos. Really explore each platform and the options they have for you and your blog. As an example, if you want to connect and engage, Instagram will be perfect for you, whereas if you really want to drive traffic and share your content then Pinterest may be better suited for the job.
Are you following Jennypurr on Pinterest yet?
Audit your profiles Your social media profiles are an extension of your brand and keeping them looking professional and up to date is key to really putting your best foot forward online. Open up all of your social media profiles in tabs and see if your visuals and bios are all aligned and in unison with each other. Sharing your blog/brand message across all platforms means that you'll stay consistent and on brand at all times. Really take the time to craft a bio that shares who you are and what you do in the simplest way possible, because we all know that if we confuse people, we lose people. Delete from each profile anything you don't want associated with your brand anymore, and even consider leaving some platforms behind if they're no longer productive for your blog.
Chose three main platforms to focus on None of us have access to unlimited time to Tweet, Pin, and Instagram to our hearts content so being intentional with our social media channels and honing in on specific platforms is a great way to really utilise our social presence. Having 2-3 main platforms that you give you attention to means that you won't spread yourself too thin and you can focus on quality over quantity. Really consider your niche, your goals, and your big picture intentions when deciding which platforms are best for you. If you know that you really want to develop a community and connect in-depth with your audience, then Google + or a Facebook group may be perfect for you. On the other hand, if you want to just shoot back and forth with your readers and connect with creatives who excite you then Twitter will probably be your focus. Having platforms that have different strengths is a great way to balance out your social media strategy. For example, I love using Twitter and Pinterest as they both have completely different uses and ways of connecting with my community.
Social media links on your blog Social shares are a great way to increase your traffic and engagement and the best thing you can do is make it easy for your readers to share. Whether you include social share links at the end of each post, a Pin It button and click-to-tweet options and other prompts throughout your posts, these are all great ways to increase social engagement. Including links to your social media profiles, Pinterest widgets, and exclusive off-the-blog content on your channels can be great ways to bring some life back into your social presence.
Get social This one may sound a little obvious but it's a step so many of us can overlook. Social media isn't just a place for self promotion, at its heart it's a place to be social and connect so the most important thing we can do is engage, engage, engage. Reply to tweets, thank people for pinning your content, start a conversation, get involved in interesting discussions, and share valuable, engaging, and interesting ideas and links across your channels. Only commit to a platform if you know you have the motivation and time to give it 100%. Take the time to really engage with your audience and think of exciting ways you can bring life into your social media channels. Some awesome things to share are:
- Links to useful, insightful, and inspirational content from around the web
- Behind-the-scenes insights and updates
- Quotes & motivational ideas
- Personal anecdotes and insights
- Jumping off points: start a conversation or discussion
- Quick tips & ideas
Get strategic Having some strategy behind you is how you can really be intentional and focused with your social media channels. Invest your time into really getting to know the platforms you're focused on and build social media strategy that will work towards your long term goals and aims. Not only will this help to kick start your own motivation towards your approach to social media, but it will also help to keep you focused in the long run. Experiment, stay flexible to adapting over time, and stick at it as results rarely happen over night.
Make time for social media maintenance All the strategy and good intentions in the world can't do the hard work for you, so building in time for regular social media maintenance is a must. Even if just for half an hour a day you reply to tweets, schedule updates via Buffer, and pin useful content to your Pinterest boards, you'll then at least be active and engaged on a daily basis. If you're super serious about your online presence, build your social media maintenance into your editorial calendar, which I spoke about in more depth yesterday here.
Bonus tip: Do something fun. Start a challenge, host a Twitter chat or a webinar via Google + and think big with your social media platforms. If you really want to take things to the next level, establish yourself in your niche, and get yourself and your work out there then there's no point hiding in the background. Collaborate with others, don't be afraid to try something a little different, and embrace stepping out of your comfort zone from time to time.
Now over to you. How do you add life and purpose to your social media channels? What are the biggest lessons you've learned so far?
Remember to keep tomorrow evening 9-10pm GMT free for the first ever #jennypurrchat over on Twitter. I'm really excited to connect with you and the Jennypurr community!
To celebrate Take Your Content To The Next Level Week I have a super limited special discount on my content coaching package for bloggers & creatives. Book now at just £63 before the discount ends this weekend.
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