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As a rookie blogger, many of us make the mistake of not creating a strong social media presence.
Don’t be that rookie blogger.
A year after casual blogging on a free non-self-hosted platform (another rookie mistake), I realised I needed to have another channel to communicate with my blog’s readers. (Read here how I fixed that mistake)
This made me finally launch my official facebook page, which has in less than a year grown to 2000+ followers. I also changed my personal Instagram account to a business one and now have over 4000 followers, along with my Pinterest (2250), Twitter (80) and LinkedIn (2200+) account leading to a combined social reach of about 10,000 followers.
Social now accounts for about 60% of my blog’s traffic and I’m going to tell you how you can build the same strategy for your blog as well.
1. Create an official Facebook Page
Facebook is not only the world’s largest social media platform, it is also a very effective advertising tool. Depending on your blog niche, you will at some point need to have a dedicated audience on Facebook to help you either grow your traffic or sell your products or services.
At some point, you have to start thinking of your blog as a business. And which business in today’s world and age, does not have a page on Facebook? Let alone an online blog that may directly or indirectly one day sell content, products or services.
Here’s what an official Facebook page can do for you-
- Show social proof– If 100 people like the same post, chances are it will show up in a lot of these people’s posts, thus spreading your page and subsequently blog around people you may not necessarily know.
- Get your content to go viral– Every blogger’s dream. How will you content go viral, if it’s not visible? And how will it go viral if it’s visible but not shareable? Think about it, how many times will you open a blog, copy the URL and then share it on your wall on Facebook. Instead, you’ll share something that’s already present on Facebook. Why? Cause it’s easy. And we all love easy shit.
- Help you to regularly engage in your audience– It’s much easier to make announcements, updates or share latest posts with people who already have shown an interest in liking your content. Not to mention, it keeps you fresh in the minds of your most loyal readers and followers.
2. Create a Facebook Group
I started this social media tip more as an experiment to see what creating this group may or may not do for my blog. I have roughly 110 members in this six-month-old group which started as an all-female support group but then I made it open to all travelers and bloggers that wanted to stay in touch and promote their content.
At first, I saw relatively no action, but as the members shot up, I started to see more interactions and referrals driven by this channel. A few things that creating a facebook group is excellent for are:
- Having a DIRECT outlet to talk to people who want to stay in touch- This is a bit like having your private email list but on facebook, where the reach of your content is limitless.
- Testing out new ideas, products or even blog pivots– Having my own like minded audience is also great for getting direct feedback from other like minded followers. I have also become virtual friends with so many like minded bloggers, that this has truly been a small but terrific benefit.
- Building your email list– You are probably wondering how can you do that with a Facebook group? The same way you have a pop up on your blog, you can have a few questions that you can ask members who’d like to join and if they’d also like to hear from you on a newsletter or a freebie. You’d be surprised how many people say YES. Some people make this a compulsory or mandatory question, I don’t. This tip alone has helped me gain at least 50 email subscribers over the course of just a few months.
3. Use Pinterest Like a Pro
I have spoken about how to use Pinterest to boost your followers and reach more often on this blog than I can remember. A few key takeaways that I have discovered are-
- Pinterest is the best platform to get your content to go viral. I had one post that went viral and generated about 3000 views for me in less than two weeks. Yep, THAT.
- It is the only platform where you can see and learn directly from other bloggers. It’s not that hard to understand what is working for other bloggers in your niche and then replicate that based on your idea of your blog’s audience.
- The level of A/B Testing or experimenting you can do on Pinterest is endless. Just make sure not to create spam and follow the rules of group boards. But other than that, the sky is your limit!
Be sure to read my tutorial on Pinterest growth strategy to get step by step information on growing this channel.
4. Experiment With Small Platforms
Big social media platforms aside, there are SO many relevant platforms where you can either create new content or submit old content to also generate views, traffic and followers for your blog.
One of my favourite such platforms is Quora, which is a community driven Q&A forum, which really has a lot of audience from US and India, two of my target countries, and thus has been highly beneficial for me to have a presence on.
You can read my step by step Quora Guide here.
Other interesting platforms which may or may not be relevant for you are Mix, Bloglovin, Medium, Hacker News, Reddit, etc.
5. Convert Followers to Subscribers
No social media tips would be complete without this element.
Followers are not the same as subscribers.
While it’s great to have 10,000 followers easily accessible to me by these various social media platforms, how many of those really love my content and religiously follow what I do online?
If I had to take a guess I’d say less than 10%. This is the amount that is either subscribed to my newsletter, or actively emails, messages, comments or engages with my content.
As a new blogger, your priority may be to quickly grow your social media followers, but don’t forget you do NOT own this audience for yourself.
As a blogger, social media goes hand in hand with your main platform, aka your blog or website. You want to make sure that as many as possible social media followers are either subscribers or have access to regular updates and direct communication.
Putting it simply, they need to be on your email list so if one day all of these social media platforms were to go away, you’d still have a direct way of communicating with your audience.
A few ways you can do this is:
- Creating content upgrades or freebies- This means in the course of one blog post or many you create an extended post that acts as an “upgrade” to your blog’s content but is only accessible to those who subscribe by email. For this to work, you need to take some time to analyse what is the pain point of most of your audience and what is the urgency with which they want an answer. Make that into a long email course, a ebook or even simply a worksheet and offer it in exchange of an email address.
- Running promotions or giveaways- Another handy technique that I’m yet to experiment with, but works really well for both social media followers and subscribers is to run a targeted and relevant giveaway. You can also use FB or Google advertising to boost your post so you can have the best conversion.
- Using Pop-ups – Sometimes, simply asking, “hey do you wanna hear from me?”, also works. Create at least one such pop up on your blog especially as a new blogger and try to time it with a delay so only those people who really want to hear from you end up signing up and those who accidentally landed on your blog don’t get annoyed. One such excellent tool for doing this is Sumo. I have managed to double my email subscribers after incorporating them on my website.
I hope these social media tips will be as useful for you as they were for me. In the world of blogging, remember experimenting and finding what works best for you is critical to maximising growth!