On Saturday I had the distinct pleasure of hosting a roundtable speed mentoring class on social media for bloggers. (Did I mention that it was also EngageOKC‘s inaugural event? Yup!) Each time there’s a blogger get-together, the circle keeps growing and growing. And that, my friends, thrills me to pieces. I love getting to meet other people who are as excited about blogging as I am. I was so humbled when EngageOKC asked me to talk about my perspective on social media and facilitate a discussion on what’s working, and maybe more importantly, what’s not.
So here’s a little rundown on what we talked about Saturday.
– If you don’t have a FB page for your blog/business, do it. Go there right now and do it. Check your Google Analytics – if Facebook is in the top 5 of your traffic referrals, then you need to be catering to that demographic.
– Make sure the design is consistent with your online presence: the same profile image as you have on your blog, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Keep it consistent across all social media.
-FB functions best with a clever caption and a photo. People want to see what they’re clicking on. Make sure that when you post a link to your blog from your FB page, you’ve got an engaging photo and a good description. People on Facebook want to have an idea of what they’re getting into, so to say.
– Time those posts! Get more shares by posting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and weekends.
– Speaking of timing, catch those readers at the time of day that they’re most likely to be reading. That’s Monday-Friday, first thing in the morning.
– Don’t forget your East Coast readers. Time your posts to coincide with them as well.
– Ask open-ended questions (when/where/why/would you…) to engage readership and start the conversation.
– Get to talking! Don’t just be a lurker who follows 8000+ people but never tweets. That, my friends, is what is known as creepy.
– Get beyond the “I’m having coffee” update. What makes you interesting? What’s interesting about what you have to say?
– Twitter functions on surprise. Want people to click that link? Intrigue them as to why they should click on it. Use your 140 characters wisely because you don’t get the luxury of a photo the same way you do on FB.
– Unless you’re a blog that is about snark/pessimism/complaining/ranting, etc., don’t use any social media to express this on a consistent basis. Nobody wants to read your downer tweets. Use your influence wisely. That said, there is a time & a place to rant – use it to get people moving. Again, proceed with caution.
– Blogging about someone? Send tweets/FB mentions to the people you feature. Everybody likes good news.
– Don’t tweet multiple times in a row. Readers tend to skip right on over what you have to say.
– I use Pinterest to organize my inspiration. I have boards for interiors, style, specific rooms in my house, specific interests such as lighting, pillows, etc. I also use it to keep track of sources for things. Finally, I also use it to promote my own items without being sleazy.
– Don’t post your pins to your FB or Twitter feed. That’s how you get unfriended/unfollowed immediately.
– If you’re an image-heavy blogger, use Pinterest to promote your blog. Have a board just for your blog.
– When creating posts, make sure you have a good image that’s a perfect pinnable image. Use a descriptive caption. Make your images truly pin-worthy.
– Be sure you’re linking back to the original POST, NOT the blog in general. Sources, sources, sources.
– Unless you have something really great to offer the conversation, avoid commenting.
– Pin things that are truly PIN-WORTHY!
– Have creative ways to categorize things. Come up with interesting names. What’s going to persuade me to follow you?
4. Commenting on blogs
– Do make sure you’re commenting on other bloggers’ blogs. However, be sure you don’t make it all about you you you and promoting traffic to your blog. We’ve all seen those comments “Come check out my blog! http://barbierules.com!” People – and other bloggers – see through that right away and it comes across as slightly, well, lame. Make a point to make a meaningful comment and start a dialogue.
– Likewise, comment back to those who take the time to comment on your blog.
– Concerned about not having enough comments on your blog? Comment back to those who do take the time to comment; you’ll automatically double your comment count.
– Lose the captcha codes. You don’t get that much spam. You want to make it as easy as humanly possible for those readers to comment.
– Again, timing is everything. Get those posts timed and up when you get the most traffic. Post consistently. Monday-Friday, early in the AM.
– Use Instagram to give readers an insider’s view on your life. Are you a food blogger? Photograph some really great find at the farmers’ market. A fashion blogger? Give a sneak peek of your gorgeous jewelry in tomorrow’s style post.
– Don’t hound other users to “come like my profile! Follow me! Follow me! Follow me!” It doesn’t come across as confident.
– Post things that are meaningful and interesting. Overposting dilutes your brand.
– Make meaningful comments on other users’ photos.
In the end, the place where the conversation happens will be different for you depending on your readership, and that’s OK. Whatever it is, figure it out and work it, sister!