Weekly Challenge: Social Media

Hi everyone!

This week we will be revisiting the beast that is social media. It is something I really struggle with myself and I know that I don’t use social media to its best so making it this week’s challenge with give me a kick up the bum to put some more work in it.

Here I’ve just listed some points you might want to think about to get you going, feel free to take them or leave them or add in your own points for discussion.

1) Which platforms are right for you?

I feel like there is escalating pressure with blogs that you also have to be present on every social media platform. Some times this is just not feasible and other times some of the platforms are just not compatible with our brand. So my first suggestion to you is to serious think about what you are trying to get out of social media and how each platform helps you to achieve your blogging goals.

2) Tackle one at a time

One of the best pieces of advice that I have heard repeated is to break ‘social media’ down and focus on one platform at a time. Actually you may decide that your blog could benefit from you having a Facebook page, twitter, instagram, Pinterest, Tumbler, this, that and the other but if you don’t know how to each use each one individually for its own advantages you will end up with lots of profiles which all look impersonal and spammy where you’ve copied content over and not adapted it to be suitable for that platform.

Choose one to start with and put some serious effort into it. If you’re choosing:

Twitter learn the hashtags that are most used in your subject, follow some leaders in the field and start interacting with other active users. Join in Twitter Chats and get experiment with the kinds of tweets you publish. Go exploring, what tweets grab your interest and why? See if you can mirror these style of tweets in your own style. You can even look into using a scheduler like Buffer to help keep you posting regularly.

Instagram see if any of your favourite bloggers have an account and what they post pictures of. Pay attention to the ratio of posts that relate to their blog as apposed to random photos, do you think they have a good balance? Try finding an alternative photo editing app like Photo Grid to make your photos more original than sticking with the options on Instagram. Try and think of some innovative ways to visually represent your blog topics.

Facebook. Do you already have a Facebook page for your blog? Would it benefit from having one? What would/do you use it for? Visit other blogger’s Facebook pages and make a list of what you like and what you don’t like about it. Think about what other content you can share on there alongside your own blog posts to keep it interesting. Think about whether paying for Facebook promotion is something you would be interested in trying to attract a higher amount of traffic.

Pinterest. Explore and identify the topics that you are interested in. Make a list of topics you could create a ‘board’ around, some that reflect your blog and others that you just fancy for extra fun. Create a selection of new boards with relevant titles and start ‘pinning’ pictures that others have posted which are relevant. If any users repeatedly show up follow them, as they clearly are interested in similar topics to you! Now start thinking about creating some original pins of your own. Try and create at least one in for each new post your right. Get into the habit of pinning random interesting things you find whilst searching the wider internet. Pinterest, so I can tell works best when you have a good library of boards for people to browse, but again, interaction with other users is the key to gaining a good following.

3) Ensure they all work together

Think about creating a social media strategy. Like we did right at the beginning of Blogging 201, this should include at least 3 social media specific goals. You may also find it useful to try writing a mission statement. If you’re not sure where to start with this, think about questions such as: What do you aim to get out of using social media? What are you going to post and how often? What are you going to offer your followers? How will you keep your messages and branding consistent between platforms?

Do you have any tips for the platforms I have mentioned above or any others? Which is your favourite and why?

What are your social media aims and mission statements?

What do you struggle with in social media that others here may be able to provide some advice on?