Growing a Strong Social Media Presence. I’m sharing my best tips for growing social and also telling you what I think the goal of social media should be. Spoiler: It’s not traffic!
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This is Lesson Eight of my Free Blogging as a Business Course
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Growing a Strong Social Media Presence
I’ve shared this graphic. which shows my typical month’s traffic breakdown by source, several times throughout this course because it’s relative to so many of the lessons.
For this lesson, I want to show you the graphic once again because we all stress so much about social media. But look at what a small percentage of my blog traffic comes from social! And that’s all social combined. 😮 That’s not a very good ROTI (return on time investment).
Focus on What You Can Control
I’m an advocate of focusing on what you can control. Social media is too wishy-washy for me to justify devoting too much of my time there!
With that being said, a strong social media presence is a part of your brand. Here’s how to use it without it taking up too much of your valuable time.
Key Lesson Takeaways
- With only so many hours in a day, you have to focus on what brings the best ROTI.
- I challenge you to look at social media as a place to create community, not to drive traffic. That’s what SEO, email, and Pinterest are for.
- High social numbers do help when it comes to obtaining and pricing sponsored work, but that’s not what I’d focus on until later down the road in your business. One thing at a time!
- Focus on using established social media. The trendy often come and go and don’t last, so I never invest my time in the latest platform.
Main Social Platforms
These are what I consider the most major platforms. (Remember, Pinterest isn’t social media but has a high ROTI, so be sure to read that lesson here).
- Facebook Groups
Social Media Q & A
For this lesson, I asked you what you want to know. The following are the questions you asked, along with my input.
How many social media platforms should I focus on?
One person cannot possibly try to run 18 kinds of social media and do it well. Pick the one, two, or even three that you feel are most valuable to your business and focus on those.
For me, I invest most of my time in Facebook Groups and Instagram, because those are what build the most community for my niche and readers.
I feel like Twitter is doesn’t lend as well to the creative niche. I have it solely because brands often request you to post to it. I’d be a-ok with deleting it tomorrow. I’m not good with it, so I won’t be teaching anything about it beyond saying I don’t think you really need it.
What scheduling apps do you use?
I use a VA (virtual assistant) to help me with social media and Facebook group scheduling.
- Facebook / Facebook Groups: I use a combo of Co-Schedule and the built-in Facebook scheduling tool.
- Google+: I use this mainly for SEO purposes and solely use Co-Schedule to publish posts to G+.
- Twitter: Again, I solely use Co-Schedule to schedule my Tweets.
I talked about Co-Schedule at length in the lesson on Blog Planning: Creating Your Editorial Calendar.
Are Facebook/Instagram ads worth the cost?
They can be, but I wouldn’t start out relying on them. They’re tricky and you need to be really knowledgeable about them to make them worth it. I use the Facebook “boost” option with good results but haven’t been thrilled with the results of promoted Instagram posts. If I really wanted to use Facebook ads to grow or promote a product, I’d hire an expert to help me make sure it’s worth my investment.
How do I make sure my followers are seeing my posts?
Social reach is competitive and it isn’t easy these days. Unless you want to pay to be sure people are seeing your posts, your time is far better spent focusing on SEO, email, and Pinterest.
What types of things should I be posting to social media without coming across too sales-y?
- Stay in your niche.
- Don’t post content just because it’s viral. I’ve unfollowed every page that uses this tactic because I find it spammy. It might help you grow but it’s probably not going to get you the kinds of followers you want. Profitability is better than popularity. A highly engaged readership is far better than a big number.
- Share a mix of your own content and other people’s content, especially on Facebook. Many of my most shared Facebook posts feature the content of other bloggers. It’s a win-win situation!
- Pay attention to what resonates most with your reader’s and continue to post similar content.
- Focus on sharing content that teaches your readers something valuable and/or builds community and you can’t go wrong!
- While I rely largely on my blog, email, and Pinterest to promote my shop, I do throw in occasional links to promote my shop items on Facebook. I largely use the Facebook Shop Section to list and promote my goodies.
Can I use affiliate links on social media?
It depends on the social media and it’s ever-changing. The latest FB Branded Content rules do not allow for affiliate links on FB or IG (IG stories are excluded as I understand it). This is again yet another example of why SEO, Pinterest, and email are more worth your time than social media. Here’s a great article to read about the latest Facebook branded content rules and how to handle them.
I don’t use my social much for affiliate income for this reason with the exception of Instagram stories (with proper disclosure of course).
The best way to grow your affiliate income is to write a blog post and then link to that! You can see examples of how I’ve done this in blog posts here, here, and here. Plus, then you get a lot more mileage out of that affiliate link in the post anyhow, especially if you use SEO to get that post to rank in Google.
How do I engage with my readers on my Facebook page and group?
On my Facebook page, I just try to be sure to respond to comments. For true engagement, I focus on my groups.
Growing a Facebook group probably deserves its own post. My lettering Facebook group is bigger than my Facebook page! You can join my lettering group here if you want to poke around and see how I do things. Be sure to answer the questions to get approved!
Should I separate my personal and business social media accounts?
YES!!! I don’t use my personal accounts to promote my blog. It’s a massive pet peeve of mine when my friends use their personal accounts to sell me things, so I “hide” their posts, which defeats the purpose of what they’re trying to achieve.
Set up business accounts so people can choose to follow you and see all your content. You don’t want to annoy people or force them to see your content. You want to build a following that WANTS to see what you’re creating and sharing!
Note: I do use my Pinterest account for both business and personal pins. I’m not sure that separating it would make a difference with the Pinterest smart feed.
Do you have additional questions about Growing a Strong Social Media Presence?
Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them to this post!
Up Next: Instagram!
When I started to focus on Instagram, I was able to grow my IG by over 500% in One Year. Instagram is my favorite place to hang out. I’ll share the exact methods I used to grow my Instagram to nearly 90K followers.
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