In order to step up my blogging game even further, I’m also learning that I need to turn A LOT of my focus to my various social media platforms – and I need to make sure that everything I’m putting out there into the world looks and feels like my brand. It needs to say Belle Meets World, carry my fonts and colors, be the right shapes and sizes, and go out at the right times on the right days. I am in awe of the bloggers who figured all of this out and now have it running like a well-oiled machine with all content and posts mechanized. I’ve basically had my head in the sand for the last year, not realizing that in this saturated market of bloggers, a beautiful website and regular posts simply isn’t going to drive new traffic. BUT, strategically placing your blog’s content on other platforms IS going to bring people to you, and then hopefully you’ve written something snappy enough with pretty enough pictures to get them to stay awhile and then return for more on another day.
Here’s the short of what I’ve learned about social media: The first thing to do is make sure you’re accounts across all platforms look the same. I’ve read so many recommendations that strongly suggest you use the same profile photo for all accounts, the same username if you can, same taglines and descriptions, and same cover photos where applicable. This way users looking for you will make no mistake in seeing that it is in fact you when they arrive from one platform to the next.
The second most important thing is to make sure you’ve got templates with the right sizes for each of the social media platforms. I recommend purchasing a pre-made set that you can change colors, fonts and images according to your brand and content without having to reinvent the wheel every time. I purchased this set from White Oak Creative out of California. For $10, these templates are mine to use and customize for my blog, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Now that I’ve got a beautiful brand from Bivins Brothers, I can take those parameters and plug them into these social media templates for use everyday (YES, I SAID EVERYDAY).
Now, I’m supposed to come up with a strategy for each type of platform, which I’ve generally had a loose one but that’s not enough anymore.
Pinterest – This is the NUMBER ONE DRIVER of traffic to your blog. WHAT?!?!?!? I didn’t even know anyone CARED about Pinterest anymore. Seriously. Had no clue and have therefore been missing out on two years’ worth of potential traffic. There is A LOT of work that goes into maintaining Pinterest and I am just now revamping my account in a number of different ways. Apparently we bloggers need to be doing the following:
- Set up Pinterest for Business and Rich Pins so that you can review analytics on your pins and put out pins that link directly to your blog and give the viewer more info on it (picture of rich pins below)
- Get Invited to a Group Board so you can bask in the glory of the popular bloggers’ who are also in that group. People want to see what they are pinning and then may also see your pins and be curious about you. Or the fancy bloggers may repin your items so their followers could see you that way.
- Make really beautiful collages of your post photos that link back to your actual blog post with a pretty font.
- Only have boards that have to do with what you blog about
- Pin a million pins a day so that you are active and getting repinned left and right so that you can beat the Pinterest algorithm.
- Consider a scheduling app like Tailwind where you can load your pins in advance and have it release them at the best times for you.
- Scream OH MY GOD, HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?! and then get over it and just do it.
Instagram – This is the carefully-curated side of your brand where the number of followers is key and the look and feel of your grid is nothing short of beautiful. These days, many brands won’t even approach you unless you have 10K followers. The threshold used to be lower and soon enough, it will be even higher than that! I’m only at 3.3K, so I’ve got a very long way to go. On IG you try to keep the photos in the same color scheme with the same filters and also try your best to demonstrate some rhyme or reason to the layout. For example, every other photo could be an outfit photo so that your grid looks well-organized and intentional. People land on your page and see your top 9 squares and decide within a millisecond whether they’ll follow so you want to make sure it looks pretty and cohesive at all times. I’m still figuring this all out, and it requires a tremendous amount of photos to choose from and to post at any time of the day. I get some traffic directly from IG but mostly, what my followers get out of it is the spectacle of seeing how I want them to see my life. Then you can drop a few Instagram Stories in there to allow little glimpses into what’s really going on behind all the photos. It’s life, curated. Crazy!! Here’s a link to my profile (follow me!), and a current pic below of ‘my 9’.
Facebook – Apparently the younger generations don’t use Facebook, but I’m old (a whopping 34!!) so I do, and so do a lot of my readers (I’m sorry I’m calling you old readers, don’t hate me!!). Therefore, I push all my blog posts to my blog’s FB page, as well as some of my Instagram content as long as it pertains to my blog topics. I also make sure to have a FB cover photo that is colorful and shows what my blog is about (see most recent one below, made through beFunky photo editor using their FB collage template). Facebook has its own algorithm which sometimes works in your favor and sometimes doesn’t when you have a special page for your business or blog. Some days I get tons of hits off of FB and others I don’t, but my secret weapon is actually Evan! I’ve noticed that whenever he posts my content on his FB, I get a boost in visits – he’s got a ton of followers that love him and therefore want to love what he is into. I think it’s just wonderful that those of you have come to me through him have given me a chance, and I thank you and hope you’ll come back often!
Twitter – I simply don’t spend a lot of time here, and I can’t quite figure out if I should. I’ve personally never liked to engage in content and news on Twitter myself, so I don’t actively use it to get people engaged in my content. The 140 character limitation drives me bananas. That said, I will push my IG content and my Pinterest activity to it, so it remains alive. I will be considering posting one article on style, beauty or travel topics daily, in addition to what I already do, and I always credit a brand on Twitter if I am discussing one.
Snapchat – I am too old to figure this out, yet I am quite certain it is important. But hey, you have to draw the line somewhere and I simply cannot learn another platform at this time or I will literally go crazy and need to be locked up in a mental institution.
To sum it up, a blogger needs to know what these each do and then have a strategy for how to keep them all alive. Getting templates and apps that can help mechanize the process will be critical to managing an active blog and an engaged community, so I’m focusing on this going forward in a huge way.
You’ve made it this far, dear Reader!! Just one more blogging rebrand post to go highlighting those women whose blogs I love and who inspire me everyday! At that point, I’ll be fully rebranded, launched and operating at full steam ahead, y’all. Thanks for the love, support and for reading!