Original post here
For this episode of my 'Blogger's Guide' series I wanted to look a little more in depth at a couple of things that I've found integral as part of my blogging routine. I wouldn't say I came of age in the social media years; I joined Facebook in 2007 after several Myspace years and definitely used MSN Messenger over texting; I never had any credit anyway and I still remember the buzz I used to get when something glitched in the network and suddenly you got free texts! So for me, social media came later, after I'd got my head around the idea of blogging onto a web platform, in any case.
I didn't really grasp the importance of social media until later, and perhaps that is why my blog didn't garner the follower levels that some of my peers enjoyed; not until a little further down the track at least. I didn't really 'get' Twitter. I wasn't bothered about Facebook or Tumblr, and I had no idea what a Pinterest was. It wasn't until I realised how intrinsically all these platforms were linked together in terms of content sharing and really how impactful they could be on blog traffic, that I really got behind them.
Conversely, I dislike having my photograph taken, and I am a very private person, a definite contradiction in terms as a blogger, but because of this I really didn't feel the need to share all the minutiae of my day with my (limited) social following. I didn't use social media as a tool to improve my website, either; I just started using it and discovered that it was actually rather fun. And once I'd got on board with that, making it part of my armory in terms of promoting and sharing my website became much more second nature.
Here's the thing. Love it or loathe it, having interaction, and content, spread across several platforms automatically makes your website more accessible. I struggled with followers on my blog platform for a long time, as I used the old 'Google Friend Connect' option for people to follow, which many readers didn't realise they could use if they weren't on a Googlemail web address. Even now, I have really very few followers on that platform; but if you do use it, you can scroll right down to the page footer and click the button!
Bloglovin was probably the platform that got me the most followers, and if you are a blogger, I would thoroughly recommend registering your blog there. It collates all the blogs you choose to follow across all platforms, and you can read them at leisure via computer or iPad, or even through an app on your smartphone. It is so useful as a blogger and as a blog reader; Credit Crunch Chic is listed here if you'd like to follow through there!
I am also active over Twitter and Instagram, which allow you to post bite-sized chunks of information but can be highly shared. Over on Twitter I post links to my blog and also my other social media channels, and I also post blog links to posts I've written. Tinyurl is a great website for shrinking long blog url's so they don't take up too much space in your tweet! You can also share images and I often do this either through Twitter, or I will screenshot a blog picture on my phone and share it to Instagram. My Instagram is linked to Twitter, too, so it will also post the picture there, reaching a much larger audience.
Building a Facebook page came also as almost an afterthought and it's still fairly new. I automatically post to this page after I publish a post, meaning my Facebook readership will get a heads up as to what I am writing about. I'll also use other images and write snippets of information over on the FB page to keep it interesting and updated for my readers there. There are also plenty of blogging Facebook groups that you can join for inspiration or to share content or make new contacts, and it's great also for personally interacting with brands, as is Twitter, of course.
Pinterest and Tumblr are sites that I use for my own interest, image sharing on Tumblr and creating, er, pinboards on Pinterest (really?!) but they have their value. Followers on these sites will be able to see your website if you provide a link, and chances are, if they enjoy your content there, they might click over to see your full site. It's all about getting your website out there, and the more that you can do that, and meet and make new contacts you can interact with, the better for your site.
A recent discovery that has helped my blog hugely has been Hootsuite. If you are a blogger you need to check this out; it's a one-stop social media platform that allows you to schedule posts through connected sites. I use it for my Twitter account, as I work full time so I would only be able to tweet before 9am and after 6pm otherwise. This way, I can schedule tweets to go live throughout the day; perfect for refreshing interest in a post, directing followers to other social media sites like Instagram or Pinterest, and basically ensuring there are no lapses in activity as this is an important element in keeping a readership engaged.
A final note I would make is that if you are starting a new blog and you want to create social media channels to run alongside it, it's so useful to keep them at the same handle. My Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest handles are all @amieisdancing, which is great, but completely irrelevant to my blog! I made them long before I actually considered linking them to my actual website, and if I'd thought about it I would have called them all @creditcrunchchic, so perhaps bare that in mind when thinking up your social media personas!
I hope some of this information has been useful and please make sure you share anything else that you might have found worked for you! If you'd like to, you can follow CCC over all of the social media below: