Happy Saturday, friends! I’m so excited to share my new friend Ashley with you today! She’s a rockstar fashionista and a foodie, so naturally I identify with her quite a bit. She’s got some awesome insight on using social media with your blog, so stick around and learn! :)
Hi, I’m Ashley and I blog over at The Nashvillian where I write about my experiences with food, fashion, and fun in Nashville and occasionally other parts of the world. I’m happy to be here today to share a little about how I use social media to promote my blog.
Instagram. This is my favorite form of social media. Even though it’s hard to tell how much traffic you receive from posting to Instagram, it is one of the most important social media tools you can use as a blogger. I, personally, receive far more engagement on Instagram than I do any other platform. So, whenever a post goes live on my blog, I usually grab a photo from the post and share it to Instagram with a caption that prompts my followers to visit my blog. I’ll then use as many hashtags as I possibly can that relate to the subject of the photograph and post it in the comments section. I do this in the comments section so that a) it looks cleaner and b) the message to visit my blog is less likely to be overlooked. It’s important to post your hashtags immediately so your photo has a chance of being seen before getting lost in the shuffle. For this reason, I keep a list of hashtags in the notes section of my iPhone that are just waiting for me to copy and paste! I’ve noticed there are a couple times per day that my Instagram photos do really well – that’s in the morning (before people go to work) and in the evening (when people get home from work). Aside from promoting blog posts, I like to use Instagram to showcase my favorite things (food, mostly) in an aesthetically pleasing and creative way.
Twitter. Twitter is a tricky beast, but a very important one. You don’t want to tweet too much or you risk losing followers, and you don’t want to tweet too little or you risk no one seeing your content. Since Twitter users are all online at different times, it’s important to tweet the link to your post more than once per day. At first, I was tweeting my link about 5 times per day…but I was seeing a dip in followers. I’ve since scaled back to tweeting my link only 2-3 times per day – at the same times as Instagram, usually. It makes sense, right? If people are checking Instagram during those times, then they are probably checking Twitter too. I usually always include a photo when tweeting out a link to my blog because tweets with photos, on average, receive more clicks. And I never use the same wording more than once when I’m tweeting a link. Variety is important to draw people’s attention. When I’m not tweeting a link to my post, I use Twitter to tweet something that I think might be funny, ask questions (almost always blog related), or re-tweet things I find interesting.
Facebook. I’m not the greatest Facebooker around, but for some reason I receive more social referrals from Facebook (via Google Analytics) than any other social media channel. I think this is because not only do I post my links to my blog Facebook page, but I post them to my personal one too. And rather than writing “check out the new blog post,” I try to be as fun as possible with my captions. However, that’s pretty much the extent of my Facebook promotion. I sometimes share Instagram photos to Facebook, but only very occasionally.
Google+. I treat Google+ very similarly to Facebook in the sense that I really only use it to share the links to my posts. However, I think it is important to at least use it for that, if nothing else. This is because anything affiliated with Google is a powerful tool and increases SEO capabilities. Every time I receive a +1 I jump up and down for joy! That’s why I make an effort to at least sign into Google+ every once in a while to give +1’s to other bloggers.
Pinterest. Pinterest is a bloggers best friend. We spend countless hours repinning recipes, fashion, home decor, etc. It’s where creativity goes to thrive! So, embrace it! I’ve read numerous articles that say large vertical pictures do better than horizontal photos on Pinterest. So, whenever I take photos for my blog, I try to remember to take just as many vertical as I do horizontal. I’ve even stopped pinning my horizontal photos all together and have noticed a major difference in my repins. I also believe it’s important to join group boards and share your pins there. This puts your images in front of a crazy amount of people who would never have seen them before. Do it, and watch your repins skyrocket. ;)
StumbleUpon. If you’re unfamiliar, StumbleUpon is a site where endless content lives. Users choose their favorite categories and StumbleUpon feeds you websites they think you might like. You can either give the website a thumbs up or thumbs down based on whether or not you like it, which helps build the accuracy of what they suggest to you. A great solution for boredom! Well, StumbleUpon doesn’t just show you any ol’ website – the website actually has to live on it’s database. So what does that mean for bloggers? Well, if you upload your posts to their database, there is a chance that they might be stumbled by users and increase your page views! However, you can’t just upload your posts, or StumbleUpon will think you are spam. In order to get the most out of StumbleUpon, you have to actually use the service by stumbling websites and rating them. You also can’t only upload posts from your own website, or you could also be flagged as spam. That’s why whenever I add one of my posts to the database, I add around fifteen posts by other bloggers. Not only am I helping myself, but I’m helping other bloggers get noticed, and I love that!
Snapchat. Snapchat is currently making waves in the blogosphere, and I think it’s because people like seeing unfiltered versions of people’s lives. As bloggers, we take so much time making our Instagram account so aesthetically pleasing that it often isn’t completely representative of our every day lives. While Snapchat does offer a couple filters, the camera is mostly, well…terrible. So, what you end up getting is very average, very normal-looking pictures. I use this throughout the day to snap behind the scenes moments of my every day life. And not only can you share photos, but you can share video as well! Basically, any behind-the-scenes moments of blog posts or just life in general live on my Snapchat account.
Periscope. This is the newest form of social media to enter the blogosphere. It works kinda like Snapchat where you can record video and viewers can only see it for 24 hours before it disappears. However, what sets it apart from Snapchat is that the second you begin your video, it’s broadcasting live. Your followers will receive a ping notification on your phone that you are live and they can watch you in real time and up to 24 hours after. I haven’t used this much yet for blog promotion, but an idea I have is to broadcast little snippets of behind the scenes moments, such as trying a new restaurant and telling my viewers they can read about the full experience on the blog in the next week or so. Another idea would be to host a Q&A. Users can send questions that appear on the screen and you can answer them in real time!
That’s a general overview of how I use social media to promote my blog. Just because these tactics work for me doesn’t necessarily mean they will work for you. Everyone is different, so play around with different tactics, find what you’re comfortable with, and most importantly…HAVE FUN! :)
Ashley and I would love to know what your social media promotion looks like for your blog! What has been successful for you? And while you’re here, go ahead and enter Ashley’s giveaway for $25 PayPal cash!
The Nashvillian is a lifestyle blog focusing on food, fashion, and fun taking place mostly in Nashville and occasionally other parts of the world. Other topics include travel and movies. Ashley moved to Nashville in 2007 and currently works in the music industry while maintaining her blog on the side.
Snapchat and Periscope username: ashnashvillian