Social Media Strategies to Rock Your Blog and Business
Raise your hand if social media STRESSES YOU OUT?! Don’t worry you aren’t alone! My hand was once raised SO high! Although I will admit, I have always been a social media addict (I know many frown upon that) but I am secretly thankful because social media is a HUGE part of my full time job as a blogger! Do I think social media is bad? To an extent yes it has it’s down sides, but I also think it’s great too! If it weren’t for social media I wouldn’t be working from home, creating my own schedule and working on my own terms! I also wouldn’t be able to connect with people all around the world, LIKE YOU!
If you are a business owner/blogger/entrepreneur, then social media probably plays a BIG role in your everyday life… OR maybe it doesn’t but you want to learn how to use it to grow your blog and/or business!
I know many out there will tell you not to stress social media BUT I have grown my own business and blog so much thanks to social media! I feel as if it allows me to connect with my audience on a more personal level which helps to build trust and make those sales!!!!
So maybe social media scares you? Maybe you just don’t have the time and don’t want to put in the effort… but from my own personal experience, I am so thankful I took the time to build all of my social media platforms because it’s helped me take my blog and biz to the NEXT level!
Today I want to share all of my tips for each social media platform and give you ideas on how to grow engaged social accounts! Because in the end it’s not the numbers that matter as much as the engagement!
Is it a lot of work to build your social media platforms? ABSOLUTELY! But it can be fun! If you are stressed out, focus on one at a time. I personally started with one platform and then once it got momentum I started working on the next! Now I focus on all of them at the same time by using timers!
I’ll set the timer and work on one platform (engaging, creating, etc) then once the timer is up, move onto the next!
Disclaimer: Before I get onto the tips I want to mention that affiliate links are used as it helps to support my blog. I receive a small percentage of the sale if you purchase via my link. It’s no additional cost to you! So I thank you for the support. You can read my disclosure here. I also want to mention that these tips come from my own personal experience. What works for one person may not work for another! I just like to share what works for me in hopes that it might work for you as well!
Social Media #1: Instagram Engagement Tips
Let’s start off with everyone’s love to hate platform, Instagram!
I say “love to hate” because it really is a love/hate relationship for bloggers/business owners. Sadly, throughout the years Instagram has become VERY frustrating to grow on.
There are a TON of spam accounts on Instagram… have you ever clicked on a blogger’s Instagram and looked to see who is following them? Sometimes you can see TONS of spam accounts. (especially if they participate in secret giveaways, which I will talk about in a bit, or if they trust in “grow companies” to “grow” their account for them) Maybe you even received an email saying “let us grow your IG for you! Get this many followers for _x amount$$_” Things like this will fill your following with SPAM and idle accounts which then leads to poor engagement!!
Besides the spam and fake followers epidemic on Instagram, you also have accounts that are using bots to grow their following. These bots go through and follow a specific amount of users each day and then after a little bit of time the bots will go through and unfollow the users they just followed in hopes that these users won’t notice and will just stay following! BUT – many have caught on to this tactic and HATE when people do this… my opinion, don’t play the follow/unfollow game! If you follow someone, do so because you LIKE their content and want to see their content in your feed.
I also notice many feeling obligated to follow every account that follows them. You shouldn’t feel guilty if you don’t follow someone back. If their content doesn’t align with what inspires you, it’s okay to not follow back. I know many get offended when the love isn’t returned. Many take followers TOO SERIOUSLY which turns the platform toxic (in my opinion) it’s supposed to be a fun platform where you follow those who inspire you and you share content that inspires you! The less you stress your numbers the more fun and easier it becomes!
If you shift the way you think about the platform, you will see a shift in your engagement.
GUESS WHAT! Follower count is important when working with brands BUT, brands are catching onto the fakeness of what is out there on Instagram AND micro influencers are become just as valuable (if not more) as the big influencers! A micro influencer may not have hundred thousands of followers BUT they have a following that is engaged and REALLY VALUES the micro influencer’s opinion.
If your engagement is poppin’ on instagram, you can succeed on the platform!!
Think about it this way…If you have 15,000 followers who barely ever engage and could care less about the product you are talking about, then what’s the point?????
Instead of focusing on the amount of followers you have, focus on the QUALITY of the followers you do have! I’d rather have 100 solid ride or die followers who love what I say and value my opinion, they will be the ones to buy what I am talking about! You could easily make more $$$ than someone with 15,000 idle followers.
Just like anything in life – QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!
So rather than trying to UP your numbers, put time and effort into getting to know the followers you do have. Build connections with them and grow their trust! That’s what is truly going to matter most!!!
I could continue to ramble on but instead I am going to share my favorite tips for growing that Instagram engagement!
On average instagram users receive an engagement rate of 3% which isn’t very high but with the way the algorithm is.. it’s average! So anything above that is really good!
If you have a good engagement rate it means your audience is seeing your content and are probably enjoying what you are sharing!
Instagram Engagement Tips
Instagram has hashtags which help to increase the reach of your post and even show it to a new audience! Currently (12.27.18) you are allowed to use up to 30 hashtags per post! I can’t say if it’s best to use all 30 or not, BUT I usually use around 20 on each post.
There has been a lot of discussion as to whether or not it’s better to use hashtags in captions or comments. I put my hashtags in the caption and I feel like that’s always worked best for me personally!
This is how my caption will look:
write out my caption (then use dots to “hide” the hashtags)
Put hashtags here.
That’s just what I do! I used to feel “embarrassed” using tons of hashtags and having it be seen in my caption but guess what, I STOPPED CARING! Who cares? It’s a hashtag and if someone is really offended over seeing a hashtag in a caption.. OH WELL! It’s my instagram, not theirs!
How to choose the right hashtag…
When it comes to using hashtags you should be very picky!!! There are tons of hashtags out there and a lot of people using them. If you want to increase your chances of showing up under the “TOP” section of the hashtag, then try using hashtags that aren’t as popular.
Some hashtags will have millions of uses where as others will only have maybe 70,000.
I try to use hashtags that are between 45,000 – 700,000 uses!
Before you use the hashtag, do some hashtag research!
- how often is the hashtag used?
- What content is being shared under the hashtag?
- how many uses does the hashtag have?
You want to make sure the hashtag isn’t being used by a ton of spam accounts! Spammy hashtags are no good because it will bring you spammy followers which is NO GOOD!
Make a list of hashtags that seem like a god fit for your niche! Then refer back to that list for each new post!
If you are a brand or you have a catch phrase for your products/blog, create a hashtag for your audience to share and engage with you through!
For example… back when I started my community BossGirlBloggers I researched the hashtag on IG #BossGirlBloggers and it hadn’t been used yet! So I created an Instagram for my community and then let my members know about our hashtag! It now has over 60,000 uses a year later and has helped me to grow my BossGirlBloggers Instagram AND allows my community to engage with one another via the hashtag!!!
So come up with your own hashtag and share it with your audience and encourage them to use it!
AND ALWAYS REMEMBER
When using hashtags make sure the hashtag is RELEVANT to the photo and your target audience!
Hashtags like #follow #followforfollow #like #likeforlike will get you spam followers so don’t do it!
The 30/30 Rule:
I have this 30/30 rule that I swear by! It seems like a lot of work/time but it really has made a difference!
30 mins before I upload a new post I will go through those who are following me and/or my followers list and I will engage with their recent post! If they don’t have a post that was shared within 24hrs I will skip over.
THEN I will share my new post and continue to do the same thing for 30 mins after I share my post too!
I find it VERY important to engage with my followers content because it will make them feel noticed and I have been noticing a lot of bloggers will unfollow accounts that don’t interact with their content. (A tactic a lot of bloggers use to grow their engagement rate)
PLUS – I know Instagram doesn’t always show me new content from those I follow, so I make sure to go catch up on all who I am following! Really helps!
Doing all of this helps me to stay engaged with my followers and those who follow me! Again, trying my best to build personal connections by leaving comments too!
If someone comments on your post, SHARE THE LOVE. Reply to their comment and then return the favor by commenting on their newest post! AND PLEASE FOR THE LOVE, DO NOT USE COMMENT BOTS! These bots are ruining Instagram! They will leave ridiculous comments on users’ images that don’t even relate to the image half the time. It’s not genuine.
A huge question that I get asked is, how do you get people who aren’t bloggers/businesses to find your content and follow you?
Well… good question! Accounts that are personal are less likely to play the follow/unfollow game because they could care less about how many followers they have!
Something to keep in mind is: a personal Instagram account user is also less likely to be using hashtags! In fact, I know a lot of personal Instagram users find hashtags to be tacky. (I get it)
But what are they using instead? Well, when they are traveling they are probably using Geotags! (Tagging their location, like big cities, beaches, theme parks, hotels and more!)
I always try to tag the major city that’s near me in my photos, as well as big major cities or places I am visiting! I would never recommend geotagging your exact location (like your address, people can be creeps) BUT you know your limits.
You can also look through the geotags to find personal account users! Sometimes I’ll click into their profile and like their first 3 photos. (seems creepy but it can spark their attention! They check to see who I am and if they are interested they will follow.)
I don’t use that tactic on other bloggers/business owners because I know it could potentially “piss them off” even though it’s bringing them more engagement!
How’s your image quality?
I wish I could say that the quality of your images on Instagram didn’t matter… BUT IT KINDA DOES…
Instagram is a visual platform which means image quality is SO important! People love REAL content but you want it to be of high quality! This will definitely help your account grow faster and receive more engagement.
You could have a VERY curated Instagram feed like these for example:
These feeds are curated (edited the same way with pretty filters) or you could have a feed of high quality images that isn’t as curated!
Both approaches are great as long as you have high quality images that aren’t grainy and hard to see! (You get I’m saying?)
If you are looking to create a high image quality feed here are some of my tips:
- Use natural lighting as it will help increase the brightness of your photo.
- Invest in a camera my favorite is my Cannon G7x , you really can’t go wrong! BUT my iPhone 7plus works good too!
- Invest in lighting! I love my studio box lights for indoor photography and since I do a lot of beauty “selfies” I use a ring light too which I’m obsessed with!
- Use Lightroom to edit your images and purchase some presets (pre-made filters that you can apply directly to your images so they create the same “look” … a “curated” Instagram feed) here are some of my favorites: One, Two, Three, or simply search creative market for some!
- Use some of my favorite photo editing apps! Lightroom, VSCO, Snapseed, ColorStory
- Try planning out your feed before posting the image to Instagram! If you want to see how an image will look on your feed you can use the app “UNUM” to get a good idea of what the image will look like on your feed before you actually upload it!
I also notice that stock images don’t do as well when trying to grow an engaged audience! Many users are drawn to more personal images that are your own since Instagram is a visual platform! Brands are more likely to work with you if your feed is your own content as opposed to stock images as well!
Do You Have Engaging Captions?
You may not think that captions are important on Instagram BUT, I notice a lot more engagement when my caption is longer and includes a question for my audience to answer!
If you follow me then you know I am a huge believer in the law of attraction, keeping a positive mindset and being an overall motivator! When I share images with motivating captions, my audience loves it!
I also try to include questions in my captions to try and get my audience to engage and leave comments by answering the question I ask!
Give it a try!
Make Use of Your Instagram Stories
ThIs is a scary concept for many… even I was feeling skeptical in the beginning (I’m still trying) BUT – many users LOVE Instagram stories and are watching them more than they are scrolling through their newsfeeds!
I even see an increase in my engagement when I have an Instagram story going!
I know it can be hard to come up of ways to use your Instagram stories to pull in your audience and build connections, which is why I put together an Instagram story guide! You can read here!!
I share 10 ways to grow your engagement through Instagram stories!
Also trying going live once a week with your followers! A scary but great way to connect with your followers!
If someone engages with your Instagram story, they are more likely to see your posts in their newsfeed! Which means – higher reach and probably more engagement! WINNING!
If you’ve been following me for a while now then you know that Pinterest is my absolute favorite! I use Pinterest marketing to grow my blog traffic and it is my number one source of blog traffic! BUT – did you know you can also use Pinterest to grow your Instagram!?
I have Pinterest strategies that bring my blog traffic and sales up and if you use these same strategies to market your Instagram posts, you can grow your Instagram reach as well!
You can even claim your Instagram on Pinterest the same way you claim your blog so you can see analytics to help you market your Instagram on Pinterest better!
I use Tailwind as a pin scheduler and it’s made such a difference! Many users will also use Tailwind to do Hashtag research and more for Instagram! Worth checking out!
If you want to learn my Pinterest strategies you can check out my course here!
Related: 10 Pinterest Tips
THE GOOD & THE BAD WITH GIVEAWAYS
A faster way to grow on Instagram would be giveaways… HOWEVER! In my opinion, not all giveaways are worth it and not all giveaways are authentic!
I have participated in a few giveaways (probably 6-8 I think) and I have mixed emotions about them!
I think giveaways are beneficial when you participate with a few bloggers in your niche! If it becomes more than a few, that’s when it gets a bit iffy!
You may have heard of loop giveaways? Although you may receive a great amount of followers, most of these followers end up being “giveaway spam accounts” or accounts from people who aren’t related to your niche.
You may be gaining followers but most of the time these followers won’t engage with your content which defeats the purpose in my opinion! Plus there are so many participants in loop giveaways that it can become frustrating for those entering.
This tactic to me is a little shady and reminds me a lot of “buying followers”…
How a secret giveaway works is you pay usually a lot of money, over $100 usually to participate in a giveaway that you don’t even post about…
The sponsor is usually someone with hundred thousands of followers so you are supposed to gain at least 1,000 followers or so, sometimes more.
BUT YOU AREN’T SHARING ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY? Only the sponsor posts about it! Odd. So, randomly your following number is going up by over a thousand in the matter of a week or less. That raises a red flag to me. That seems inauthentic.
So essentially you wouldn’t be sharing with your current followers that you are in a giveaway but you paid all of this money to be in a secret giveaway because you are hopefully receive 1,000 + followers in the matter of a week or less.
I notice when bloggers following count goes up by that much within a matter of a week or less I look at their followers and it’s all spam accounts or random, sketchy accounts of users in countries that I can tell aren’t their targeted audience! I then either assume they did a secret giveaway or bought their followers!
Disclaimer: I can’t say all secret giveaways are like this but it’s something I’ve noticed in the blogging community and it’s my opinion on them! I don’t think it’s a good way to grow your following and it brings your engagement rate down most of the time.
I have started my Instagram account at the same time as other bloggers who are now at 20,000 + even 50,000 + followers in just ONE year. Growing that quick on Instagram is usually a result of participating in secret giveaways or other tactics that bring you the wrong audience.
BUT AGAIN: Just my opinion and I might have people come at me for saying this. Not trying to make those who use this tactic mad. But I see the following it brings a lot of bloggers and it’s just not your ideal audience! There are better ways!
If you want to participate in a giveaway make it known to your followers by offering them a giveaway gift to win for being a follower, and partner up with a few of your favorite bloggers in your niche!
Once it gets to over 10 people participating, it gets to be too much. AND if you are paying over $50-$75 for a giveaway it can be a waste and sketchy! I once was going to participate in a pricey giveaway and sent in $150 and they took my money and didn’t even have the giveaway. Very upsetting experience!
So be careful and make sure you know the kind of audience you can expect! You want an audience that cares not an audience filled with spam, bots and idle accounts!
These secret giveaways and sketchy growing tactics are ruining Instagram and filling Instagram with spam.
REMOVE SPAM FROM YOUR FOLLOWING LIST
If you want to see your engagement rate go up, it’s time to clear out your followers! If you have participated in a giveaway in the past that brought you spam, you CAN get rid of those followers so that your engagement rate increases and you don’t have to worry about a spammy followers list! Plus, sometimes it’s inevitable and you can’t escape the bots that are out there on Instagram, they follow anyways!
I learned recently in my group from another member that you can go into your followers list and hit the three dots and click “remove follower”
I used to just block spammy accounts but now you can easily remove them from your followers list to help your engagement rate increase and make sure spammy accounts aren’t following you!
They won’t even know that you removed them either!!!
Like I said, QUALITY OVER QUANTITY… are spammy/idle followers really worth it if brands can see who’s following you? They are becoming more and more wise these days! They know the secrets and tricks. For the most part they will probably check out who’s following you to make sure they are REAL and an audience that will align with their brand!
Just don’t get caught up in the numbers game and remember quality is worth more.
Social Media #2: Twitter Engagement Tips
Okay, I think that’s everything I wanted to share about Instagram!!! Now I want to switch over to my favorite platform… TWITTER!!! I love twitter so much! I recently got highly involved and actively growing my twitter this past summer 2018!
Within 6-7 months of really focusing on it, I grew to over 5,500 followers who are engaged! It may not seem like a lot, but to me it is!
A look into my Twitter analytics:
My tweets receive over 1 million impressions monthly according to my analytics! I am assuming that’s pretty great, to me it seems like a lot! And just like anything else, stats will constantly go up and down depending on the day!
They say the average engagement rate twitter users receive is between 0.09% – 0.33% because tweets don’t last very long in the Twitter timeline. On average, my engagement rate is 4.6% !
And overall I have grown by over 1,000 followers in a 28 day period! I have been putting a lot of focus into my twitter and I am so glad I did!
I know twitter drives people crazy and a lot of people wonder how to best utilize the platform to grow!
So here are some of my favorite tips for increasing your twitter engagement!
1.Follow people who inspire and spark your interest!
I think as bloggers we need to stop caring about our followers/following ratio! Don’t be afraid to follow people on twitter! That’s what it’s used for! I’m not saying follow everyone but if you follow others whom you vibe with, you will grow and constantly feel inspired to tweet!
Tweet things that are relatable. If you are relatable, you will get the engagement! You can share quotes, a witty thought, positivity! I find the more positive and motivating I am, the more love I receive!
I know sometimes we want to get negative but a lot of people enjoy positive vibes! Try to veer away from negativity, especially twitter drama!!!!
3.Don’t just share your links!
I know a lot of bloggers will use twitter to just share their blog posts and articles but this will hurt your engagement! You want to try and put some personality behind your twitter account! Don’t be afraid to tweet your thoughts! You can check out my twitter to get a sense of how I tweet!
But, I get a ton of engagements on my blog post articles shared to twitter when I’m not constantly throwing my articles at my followers!
Here are two recent examples! My engagement rate for these two tweets were over 5% which is really good for twitter!
Tweeting my thoughts, opinions and motivation helps me to connect with my followers on a personal level which makes them engage with my account more! (If that makes sense) So don’t be afraid to show your personality on twitter!
4.Don’t go overboard with hashtags!
Hashtags can help on twitter but sometimes they can be TOO much. I’ll use 1-2 hashtags on my blog post shares but otherwise I’m not using them often. SOMETIMES I’ll throw one in. But not often.
5.Interact with other tweeters in your niche!
I love connecting with the blogging community on twitter! Most are very loving and supportive! I love my twitter fam! Don’t be shy! Reach out to others.
6.Tweet when you can!
I try to tweet once every 2hours or so! Tweets don’t last very long so it’s okay to tweet more often! Don’t go over board but you know what I mean!
7.Host a twitter chat!
I actually did one for the first time a few months back and it was a lot of fun! Basically for an hour I would ask questions and my followers would chime in and answer! We would discuss different topics! We all interacted with our answers and my questions using #bgbloggerschat
Here’s an example of my tweets so you can get a better idea!
Then people would answer this way:
A10: (their answer #bgbloggerschat)
The topics revolved around blogging, social media, and finding happiness!
It was a lot of fun and I got to connect with my followers on a more personal level! I even gained new followers!
I asked a question every 15 minutes! You have to be careful though because if you engage too much on twitter in a short amount of time, Twitter may restrict your account!
8.Share the love!
Be sure to interact with other tweeters! Like, retweet and reply to their tweets too! You have to engage in order to get the engagement! Build personal connections, be a friend and you will start to LOVE twitter! I promise!
Social Media #3: Facebook Strategies
Let’s talk Facebook!!!
What about facebook business pages? In my opinion Facebook business pages are really hard to grow without ads (although I have a few tips) I find that having a Facebook group brings me better engagement than a Facebook business page!
When I first started my blog in April 2017, a month later I created a community called BossGirlBloggers. I created this community on Facebook because I was originally a part of a group for bloggers but felt VERY judged and the members weren’t that nice.
I wanted to create a community for like minded women to come together and ask questions and connect with one another without feeling judged! Since creating my community in May 2017 it has grown to almost 32,000 members!!
I am so so thankful for my community because they are my audience and they are a huge reason as to why I am able to do this full time!
Running a successful Facebook group that brings engagement can be a lot of work! (Well for me it was a lot of work but I had fun so it didn’t feel like work!)
I remember when I used to work doubles waitressing every night and I would come home late and just engage in my community! I was always connecting with my audience in my community! If I had a free moment at my job I would tune into the BossGirlBloggers group and approve posts and interact with others!
There was one day when I opened up my phone at work and popped open my group… I had hundreds and hundreds of member requests and a ton of posts that were waiting for my approval! I couldn’t believe it!
Many ask me how I grew my group so quickly and I still remember being so surprised myself when I saw it grow!
I think one of the main reasons why it grew so quickly was because I was such an active admin! A lot of big groups don’t have active admins. They don’t go out of their way to engage with their own members. They will pop in a share thread here and there but they don’t try to build personal connections with their members!
I do have 3 questions that each member answers before I approve their request to join, just to help prevent spam!
One of the questions I ask is, how did you hear about the group?
The answers vary but the number one answer is Pinterest! That’s mostly because people would stumble upon my blog while on Pinterest since Pinterest is my number source of blog traffic! So that answer didn’t surprise me much!
They also would mention FB ads. This was weird because I have never done a FB ad for my group! I think FB suggests groups to people while they are in other groups or just scrolling through FB. I guess mine has been suggested many times before.
Another popular answer is word of mouth! It seems people hear about my group through other members which I am so grateful and thankful that my members enjoy the group so much that they are spreading the word!!
I put together a guide for growing a successful Facebook group which you can read here!
I also share why I think it’s important to have a Facebook group for your audience, that post can be found here!
How can you increase engagement on your Facebook Biz page?
A question that many want to know! I believe it used to be a lot easier to grow your business page on Facebook back when Facebook didn’t become money hungry. NOW, they want you to promote your content via ADs which can be pricey. I have only done an ad once and found it to be a waste. (probably didn’t do it right but oh well)
Some tips to help with engagement that don’t include ads:
- Go live on your Facebook business page! Video helps a ton to grow your engagement on Facebook. It’s a scary concept but it works!
- Ask questions! If you post, add a question to try and get your audience to engage with your post! The more engagement your post receives, usually the more reach it gets.
- Ask your audience to comment, share, and click to read! If you ask you shall receive right?
- Participate in Facebook group threads where bloggers like each other’s Facebook business pages!
- Connect your Facebook business page to your Facebook group and use your Facebook business page to share and engage in your group.
- Try to post everyday or every other day!
These are just a few of my favorite social media strategies and tips! I hope you found this post helpful! Would love to hear from you in the comments!
If you are wanting to start your own blog – START HERE
Thank you for taking the time to read and please share if it helped!
Until next time,