I would like to start by saying that I am not a social media expert. I could be using all of the following social networks more usefully with my blog, but I’ve never really seen one of these posts aimed at beginners – they’re all usually written by people who have thousands of followers on every platform, and to me that just isn’t relatable. This post is for anyone who wants to know what their options are with social media, and how you can use these platforms to your advantage.
Why should you use social media?
If you are a complete beginner to social media, you might be wondering what the point is. Whilst I’m not massively hung up on how many people follow me on whichever platform, social media is a great way of growing your following and spreading the word about your blog. It’s also a way of meeting likeminded people to discuss all things blogging, and finding tips and tricks on a variety of blog-related topics. You don’t by any means have to use social media with your blog, but I’d really recommend it to anyone who is looking to grow their following and become a part of the blogging community.
Twitter is by far my favourite platform to use when it comes to my blog. You can promote your new posts by tweeting the link, interact with other bloggers and find tons of inspiration. If you’re really into promotion you can schedule tweets using platforms like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck to reach your audience even whilst you sleep. When I first started blogging I had no idea that Twitter would become such an integral part of building my following, but it really is what’s helped my blog grow over these past two years. The lovely Jemma from Dorkface recently wrote a post about using your Twitter analytics (here) which is really useful for seeing who is reading your tweets and how far they are spreading.
My Instagram is pretty under-used when it comes to my blog, but simple things like having your blog link in your bio will help your followers find you and grow your audience. Using hashtags is a really nice way of finding other bloggers on the platform and letting them find you – simple hashtags like #lbloggers (lifestyle bloggers), #bbloggers (beauty bloggers) and #fbloggers (fashion bloggers) can work really well if you are posting relevant content. Instagram can also be used to create an entirely new following for your blog – if you already post around a particular theme on your Instagram, use this new audience to your advantage and every so often post about your blog so that your followers know where to find you. My Instagram is my personal account also, but I know some bloggers like to keep personal and blog accounts separate, so it’s completely up to you how you do it.
*Update: I have since created a separate account and have definitely seen benefits as I am able to have a business account. However, you may find that combining your blog content onto your personal Instagram account will work better for you.
Probably the most widely blogged about form of social media, Pinterest is a great platform for sharing your posts. There are loads of posts out there on properly utilising this platform to the best of its ability (I have one of my own, see how to use Pinterest with your blog), but using catchy titles for your blog posts and ‘Pinterest-worthy’ photos alongside your content will really help you get noticed.
How to get started
I would definitely start with a Twitter account before any of the others, as there are so many bloggers out there to start interacting with. As your following grows, you can add other platforms into the mix and promote them on Twitter so that people know where to find you. Cross-platform promotion continues to work later down the line, where you can point followers on any of your accounts to your other platforms, thus growing your following across all your social networks. One thing I would suggest is keeping your username the same/similar on all your accounts if you can.
These are my top three forms of social media that I use on a regular basis. I know many people also use Facebook among other platforms, but these are the three that work for me. Let me know what your favourite platforms are below!