When you’re starting out as a blogger, it can seem impossible to grow your social media profiles – there are so many platforms, and it takes a ridiculous amount of time to generate fresh content for each platform, and invest in building relationships and followers.
Today, we’re teaming up with the amazing John Stirzaker from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk to share 10 top tips for growing your social media accounts. John has worked on a number of large video and social campaigns, reaching millions of views and follows – so we were interested to get his expert view on top tips for newer bloggers.
Over to John:
Having a strong social media presence should be an essential part of any serious bloggers digital marketing activities. Having a strong social following allows you to seed your new blog posts to your followers which helps with post engagement metrics and can in-turn help your search engine rankings.
Create strong social profiles & pages
The best place to start growing your audience on any of your social networks and pages is to make sure you fill out all of your details. Sounds obvious, but it’s easily overlooked. So when you set up a Facebook page, be sure you add branded cover photos, professional looking profile images. Add in your website and other social media links. These are all helpful in ensuring your page seems legitimate, and shows up in relevant searches on each platform.
Use friend finding features!
Most of the social networks have ways to connect you with people you know. Twitter lets you search email contacts, Instagram shows you who you are connected with on Facebook, whilst Facebook allows you to also search email contacts and by use it’s advanced people search.
A great feature of LinkedIn suggests current and former classmates and colleagues based on your public info, again you can also search your email contacts. These are all good ways to find people who might be interested in connecting with you, and reading your blog!
Add your blog and social media to your email signature
Make sure that everyone you chat with by email knows about your blog, by simply adding links to it and your top social accounts right in your email signature. This can be done by using small icons or text links. You can use tools like WiseStamp to create professional email signature with links to all your social media accounts. You never know where your next new reader will come from!
Cross-promote your social media accounts
It’s important to have unique content on each social media platform, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use Twitter to grow other channels. Have you already built an audience on one social media platform? You can use simple ideas like a simple like & follow competition to encourage those followers to join your other channels. It may sound simple but by asking your Twitter followers if they are on Pinterest, and if they are, you should find that they will follow you there too if you provide them with a link. Also look for opportunities to link your social accounts together. Woobox allows you to add tabs to your Facebook page for Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for free.
Twitter: follow potential readers and engage with them
When you follow people on Twitter they receive a notification that you are following them. But that’s not enough! By chatting with them, replying to their Tweets and sharing their content, you’ll increase the likelihood that they will follow you back. When you see a tweet from someone that you can reply to, just do it. If they like your reply again you stand a good chance of a follow. Be nice, share great content and be a good egg. Just don’t forget to use Twitter search to find people that match your target audience. Twitter searches their tweets and bios so have a good nosey, see who they follow and add anyone who you think fits the bill.
Facebook: participate in groups and communities
Another way to grow your social media profile on Facebook is by engaging in groups that are related to your niche or target audience. Simply join them and start engaging in the discussions. Don’t be shy! But make sure you’re chatting with people, and not simply dropping self-promotional blog links every day.
Leave helpful comments on other blogs
This is best done on blogs where the owner responds to comments and is a sure-fire way of getting noticed providing you leave anything self promotional out of your comments and focus on being helpful.
Join blog linkups and leave comments on the other blogs taking part
Remember, successful blogging is about building relationships. You could certainly just link up your blog and be done with it, but you’re missing out on the community building aspect of link-ups. If you comment on other people’s blogs, then they are bound to come say hi on yours, too. Also, don’t underestimate smaller blog linkups, these are often the best because it’s much easier to meet real people who will stick around long after the initial link up.
Respond to comments on your blog
Once your blog starts to gain some traction you need to start acknowledging your readers. Don’t just say “thank you” try to be thoughtful and build a conversation, even friendship. Look for similar names and try to visit their own blog and leave a comment. If you can try to build a community in your comments section your readers will continue to come back and say hi and the best way to build that community is to engage with your readers.
Limit the number of share buttons
The more options you give someone the less likely they are to take any action at all. By limiting the number of buttons to the social networks your audience is most active on you’ll increase the number of shares. So by all means use one of those “share this post” buttons on your site, but don’t feel you need to display EVERY options. If you don’t get many shares, hide the share count. This is due to a concept called social proof – when a lot of people have taken a certain action, it gives the impression that this is the correct thing to do. The problem is that social proof can also have a negative effect if there’s a big fat zero next to all of your share buttons. When your social shares start to increase (and they will) then that’s the time to add the social counts back.