I’ve been running a blog for over a year and have worked in social media in my professional career for almost 5 years. So I like to think I have some experience as to the dos and don’t of social media.
Social media for bloggers can be make-or-break. It’s all well and good having a great blog that you put many hours into and is well written, but if you never share it for it t be seen, it’s going to be very difficult for it to have any real value.
Why is social media important for a blogger?
There are many reasons you’d want to get your social media feeds going for a blog. The first and foremost is simply to promote your blog to an external audience. Other than social media, there aren’t many ways to get your blog in front of people’s eyes. Therefore, getting it right is very important.
As well as increasing the exposure of your blog – social media can give you another outlet for whichever passion your blog is based on. For example, mine is about books so I have a lot of chances now to speak with people on social media about my love of many different genres of books.
Another great reason to get your social media up and running is that – unsurprisingly and you may have heard – people love to give their opinions on social. Therefore, if you’re looking for blog post ideas or which book to review next or even collating answers for a blog post, there’s no better place to get quick answers.
So what’s the first rule of social media for bloggers?
The first rule is to be consistent. I can’t say this enough. When trying to build a following, something that people who come to your profile look for is the amount of activity you’re posting.
If you’re only posting once a week or post loads in one day and then don’t post for days, it not only gives off an odd vibe for those coming to your account but also goes against the social media algorithms more often than not.
I would recommend trying to post at least once a day – especially on Instagram where the algorithm and getting it right is crucial. Unfortunately, Instagram seems to be favouring Reels these days though there are rumours they’re swaying back to pictures again as Reels are getting less and less interaction. Either way, consistency is key.
When should I post?
This is nearly always the first question people ask me at work when looking for social media advice. There are two really simple answers here: you either post at the exact same time every day to get the algorithm and your users used to your content being on their feeds at the same time every day or you go ahead and do some trials to see when your posts get the most amount of interaction.
There’s a certain level of logic and research here. Are your followers from your country or elsewhere, would it make sense to post your content when it would best suit them for example? Also, consider what people might be doing – is it best to try and get on their feeds before they go to work, when they’re on their journey home from work, straight after work or later in the evening?
These are all things to consider when choosing a time to post. I say all this and you may find yourself having success with social media at any damn time you post!
How should I post?
This is quite a broad category so I’ve broken it down it’s a few subsections.
The actual wording
Let’s start with writing a post about your latest blog article. Here you need to consider the platform you’re on. IE, Facebook allows the longest amount of text, then Instagram with 2,200, then Twitter obviously with 240 and Pinterest allows for 500. Knowing these amounts, you can make bespoke content for each platform. I’m not saying writing very different things for each platform as this would take up a lot of time. What I usually do is write out my best summary of my blog post, and use this on Facebook. Then I amend it to a 240-word version including just the buzz words or an introduction to the piece. Then for Instagram, because you can’t include links in the post, I tell people to visit the link in my bio where there’ll find my LinkTree. (Check out my LinkTree here.)
That transitions us on nicely to linking within posts. My first recommendation is to get the link higher up in the tweet. Don’t post it as the first thing because people will scroll straight past, try grabbing people’s eye with the first line, then providing the link and then giving more information. This works especially well on Twitter and Instagram. Here’s an example of what I mean:
I’d also avoid using any link-shortening tools – there’s evidence to suggest that these can sometimes cause some distrust from users scrolling through. All the good social media channels automatically shorten links and only allow links to take up a certain amount of characters anyway, so there’s no need to worry there.
And once again, with that wonderful segway of my enlarged face, let’s talk about imagery.
Imagery is key to grabbing your audience on social media. Sticking with my genre, if you go on Bookstagram (search #Bookstagram on Instagram) you’ll find a combination of very professional-looking photography, some bang average photography and a lot of faces.
All three of these techniques are absolutely fine and will bring in likes and an audience. Yes, if you can manage to capture your content with a sunset or some great lighting, of course, choose these options. But if you’re working with far less, don’t worry too much. Think more about the subject and what it is you’re trying to get across.
It is common knowledge that if you can draw someone in with the image, they’re more likely to read your content. Two things draw people into posts, the number of likes and the imagery. The former helps decide if it is something worth wasting their 15 seconds on and the latter will give them an instant impression as to whether it’s something they want to like or not.
I’d always choose to use big imagery and grab people’s attention with that than rely on your words. Sometimes people will just like the post for the image which will help it reach others who may like it for the actual content.
So in summary
Social media can be great fun when supporting your blog if you use it wisely. Don’t let yourself get ground down by it too much – owning a blog is a long-term game and one that may forever feel not quite enough. However, if you allow yourself to engage with like-minded people and use social media to actually produce content then you can go a long way to making it a fun addition to your blog.
Of course, don’t forget to follow me across ALL of my social media platforms. I post a lot about my blog, about books and pose some interesting questions. You can find the links below!