Helpful tips are everywhere on the internet. You just have to type in the phrase, ‘Social Media tips for bloggers’ and Google will hit you with a ton of responses quicker than you can blink an eye and say ‘Wow’.
So, why write another post on the subject?
A. Because you can
B. Because you may bring something valuable to the table: your perspective
As some of you may know, I’ve been blogging for 9 years. This blog, however, is barely 2 and a half years old. In fact, it went self-hosted only last December, so that makes it less than a year old technically.
One thing I know for certain is that blogging without social media is like writing without readers.
Here are 4 social media tips I have learnt in the time since blogging became an integral part of my life and routine.
To make it easy for you to remember, I’ve come up with an acronym: LENS
These, to me, are the four pillars of social media and how they can help bloggers. Let’s break them down one by one.
The crucial driving factor in any field is the willingness to stay open to experiences. Nowhere have I found this more true than in the creative space. I’ll refer to this both in terms of blogging and social media.
Blogging is an extremely evolutionary concept. I began my journey on Google’s Blogger platform in 2007. In 2014, I tentatively tried my hand at WordPress. In April 2015, I moved one blog to a custom domain. The end of 2015 saw me purchase my first-ever self-hosted website. In August this year, I moved my other blog to self-hosted as well.
All through these months, I’ve been fortunate enough to have some of the most helpful people on my side. Whether it was to do with technical know-how or tips and tricks to manage social media, they were there to share their knowledge.
If blogging evolves quickly, social media moves at light speed. Now, if you have your fingers in too many pies, you’re going to suffer- either from sticky fingers or overeating. So what helps a blogger?
Pick a social media platform and spend some time learning how it works. This will take anything from a few days to a few weeks. Be patient. The returns will be rich and bountiful.
I began my social media journey with Facebook, followed it up with Twitter, moved to Instagram and occasionally dabble in Google Plus and Linkedin. So, how do I do it?
This is crucial for any social media platform including your own blog. You must engage with your audience. This doesn’t mean dropping a link and hoping it will be seen by your friends, fans and followers.
Each platform has a different reason and thus requires a different approach. Facebook, for instance, is built on personal connections between friends and family. It is why more people identify with posts that have an emotional or humorous quotient, something which connects the writer to the reader. To date, Facebook drives the most traffic to both my blogs.
Twitter is like snippets of data moving very fast through the social media funnel. It runs on the principle of hash tags, curated chat sessions and building effective bonds between brands and bloggers. I talk to friends, ask questions and find excellent articles via Twitter. It ranks second in referral traffic to my blog.
Instagram is stories told through pictures. Have a picture that you just love? Share it but remember to share your experience with it. People love experiences. They will then connect with you.
One simple rule I follow for all my social media platforms is this: Spend some time on each of them during the weekdays. It’s not enough to share links to your blog. You must show people the human side. Evoke a sense of belonging and being human. That’s what people love.
Social media is important for the very visible bonds of networking that it enables between professionals in the same field.
A lot of my content work as a blogger has come through Twitter. It even gave me my first-ever session as a speaker at an event for bloggers- something I’d never envisioned!
How? I attend events that I find interesting which someone may have shared on this platform. While attending the event, I tweet out live commentary and highlight what I loved about the sessions. I share pictures on Instagram and Facebook.
Thumb rule: I thank people.
I make sure that I try and find the Twitter handles or Facebook pages of businesses/ bloggers that I’ve networked with and either mention them in my blog or shout out to them on social media. This builds more trust than you know. It also establishes your credibility and authenticity in a world that is driven almost completely by digital footprints.
I’d be nowhere today and practically invisible on social media if it weren’t for my incredible, awesome and super supportive network of bloggers, friends and family.
Blogging thrives on the principle of community. Without each other, we may as well be writing into the void. There’s a special sense of satisfaction when you see your post shared, liked, retweeted and appreciated.
How do you find this community? By joining blogging groups, staying open to sharing other people’s content and genuinely reaching out to both ask for and offer help. Knowledge is valuable when you have it and invaluable when you share it.
I’ve seen bloggers who only share their own content. While I understand the need to promote oneself, it’s equally necessary to appreciate the work of others.
Remember, what goes around comes around. You can decide how you want to share and how much you want to share. But do share!
In fact, depending on whether you’re still reading this piece how about sharing it with other folks who may want to read it?
After all, as bloggers, readers, friends and family will affirm:
We’re all in this together.
Liked this post? Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via WordPress Reader. Let’s connect. I blog on blogging and social media as well as writing creative non-fiction, flash fiction and poetry. Blogging and networking are things I enjoy immensely, much like a well-made cup of tea.