Today on the blog I am talking about social media. I have been working really hard to re-work my social media networks so that you get value out of following my accounts. Each social media network you have should give your readers something a little different. Today I want to share with you all some tips on giving your social media networks a spin.
First I want to talk about social media in general. The tips below work better if you have already established a social platform or three for your blog. If you haven't it is important to know which networks would work best for your blog. Throughout this blogs tips about giving your social media a spin I will also share some really great images featuring some words about each of the social network options most often used by bloggers.
It is important to realize what works for your brand and what doesn't because you need to constantly grow your blog. We don't want to become stagnant. We want to be astounded daily by how amazing our growth is. Today I am sharing with you some tips you can use to really evaluate your blog and then use that evaluation to make each of your networks stand out.
Know Your Audience Now
If you have a group of people following your social media networks, know who they are.
- Identify the people who engage the most.
- What do they post about?
- What are their genders, ages, and any other basic information you think is relevant to your brand?
- What do they respond to the most of what you post now? What don't they like?
You can do this in multiple ways. Don't be afraid to just ask your readers/followers. You can reach out personally or you can do a reader survey and let everyone take that survey. It all depends on what you would like to do. Don't underestimate the community power of telling someone, "I notice how engaged you are with me. Can I ask you a few questions about your thoughts on my social media/blog?" They follow you for a reason, and I am sure they'd love to help you determine more about the audience you are attracting.
There are also several analytical tools you can use to accomplish this. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest (if you upgrade your account to a free Business account), have built in analytics platforms. You can learn a TON about your audience just by analyzing the data given there. If you want to see more information about your audience for Instagram I highly recommend using Iconosquare. You can learn so much about your Instagram audience by using that platform. Also don't forget to install Google Analytics to your blog so you can find out data from there too. People visiting and engaging with your social media networks can provide a wealth of information about your website. Use these tools to capitalize on that, identify your brand enthusiasts, and get the best of your audience even more engaged.
Know Your Target Audience
Something that happens all too often is that our target audience doesn't match our true audience. This might be because of tactics that we have used in the past to get likes on our Facebook pages, or Instagram follows. Your true audience won't engage with your posts if it doesn't truly work for them. This might also cause your engagement numbers to go down. Now that you have whatever following you might have you need to make your audience bigger and filled with people that matter the most to you. In order to do that you need to know your target audience.
When you think of your blog what does your audience ideally look like. When you write your posts who are you writing to? Here are some suggestions to think about when you are defining your target audience.
- What is their age? You will talk to someone who is 22 in a different way than someone who is 55. The way you write, the details you go into, will be completely different. This will tailor all the content that you make because age is such an important part of someone's life.
- What is their gender? This is obvious, but a lot of your blog will change depending on if you want an audience made largely of women, men, or a mix of both. This will change the design of your blog, the design of your photos, the writing and topics you talk about. It is a game changer.
- Where do they live? This is another big thing to discuss. There are things to consider such as language barriers, shipping barriers (say if your target market was the United States but you lived in Canada--all things available in Canada won't be available in the United States), and even barriers to getting your content seen by people in your target market.
Combining Your Real Audience and Your Target Audience
Combining these audiences can be difficult. My best tip is just to do what you have to do to make your blog and social media the place you want it to be. If your true audience doesn't want to follow you once your make changes that is going to be tough. Your page views might go down, you might lose a few likes or follows. Things change. If you keep up the good work and use social media to your advantage, you can create content that really matters and an audience that believes in the work you do. Numbers are important in blogging, but they aren't the only thing that matters.
Figure Out Your Inspiration
Who inspires you? Pick out your favorite social media accounts to follow on the social media networks you are trying to engage. What does that person do that makes you love them so much? How can you use what they do and work to spin it for you? For example. I followed my sisters posting on her Facebook page and I really loved that she shared quotes and I'd seen a lot of people share quotes and inspirations on Facebook before. I wanted to use that as one of my content pieces, but I wanted to put a spin on it. I didn't want to just share a post here or there with a quote.
Write/Post Things You Want To See
One cool thing about working on your own social media is that you can share things you want to see. Passion drives engagement. If you are passionate about what you are posting, you get it out there more, and you drive more traffic to your social media networks. When you post, you should think about how your audience will relate to what you are posting, but you should also post about things you are passionate about. You should post about things that you want to see discussed, seen by more people, et cetera.
Set Goals You Can Analyze
Often when we are setting up our plans for our social media, blogs, etc we become very general. We say things like, "I want to post more content to my blog." This won't work You need a goal you can hold yourself accountable to. A goal that you can tell when you reach. If you never know when you reach a goal, it is just a wish. Instead of saying I want to post more, give your posts a number. "My goal is to post 4 times a week." Then set up a way to track that. You can set up a spreadsheet with all your goals so that you can check them off as you go. This is important to really DWYSYWD (Do What You Say You Will Do.)
I have had a lot of goals for my blog, but it is so easy to do nothing. It is so easy to say, "I'm working on my blog." while browsing Pinterest, watching Scandal, and eating popcorn. It's easy to slack off. Always having an assignment, something small you can do to get your blog to the next level. Having these small goals will help you so much. Here are some goals that might work for you:
- Comment on 5 blog posts a day.
- Like Instagram photos for 5 minutes in the morning, 5 minutes in the afternoon, and 5 minutes at night.
- Send out 5 blog sponsorship related emails a week.
- Pin 10 items in the morning, 10 items in the afternoon, and 10 items at night.
- Schedule all 5 of your blogs by Sunday night at midnight.
These are just a few goals you might have. Be aware of how long it takes to accomplsih goals. Don't set yourself up for failure by having too many goals. If you find that you have too many goals settle a little. You could possibly cut back the number of goals, or keep all of your goals and reason that you will get 75% of those goals done each day.
Spin Each Social Media Network
If you are using your platforms just to post about your blog and nothing else you are not using your social media to the best of its ability. Yes, you always want to post about your blog updates. Don't let your social media outlets become stagnant because you have a dry feed. Post, and post a lot. Post at different times, get your stuff out there. Make each platform different. The important thing to understand about social media is that there has to be a point to it. If all you post about is your blog, why would anyone follow your social media accounts? Couldn't they just log on to your blog each day. Essentially that's not really true because by posting on your social media you are reminding your readers about your blog. Your readers and most people won't see the value in following your networks though. The reality of the importance of sharing your blogs doesn't matter. I am telling you that in addition to posts about your blog, give each network a spin.
Why should someone follow you on all 5+ networks your blog is a part of. Will I get something different if I follow you on Twitter versus Facebook? I should. By sharing the same content across networks you are devaluing the importance of following all your different networks. Why would I clutter both Instagram and Facebook with your posts if I get the same content no matter where I follow you? Most people would probably chose to follow you on Facebook because it's the least pervasive, but that is not what you want.
I have a similar target audience for each network, but I want them to have a little bit of a different feel. My YouTube and Periscope don't share the same topics: they are both video platforms. Periscope is less rehearsed, I can share longer videos on Periscope, I can talk about issues as they arise on Periscope versus my YouTube which is very rehearsed, I worry about how long it will take to upload so my videos are shorter, and I don't usually talk about more current things there. Each of my networks reveal a part of me that is different than the next--in a way. It all depends on what posts my audience responds to better on each network.
I sincerely hope that you were able to get something out of this blog today. I hope that you are able to understand your audience, who you want your audience to be, and how you can use that information to create social media that better reflects yourself and your blog.