Hello all and welcome to the Bloggiesta Social Media mini-challenge! There are many mini-challenges about the details of how to use specific social media sites, but this isn’t one of them. Today, I’d like to focus on the big picture: what kind of content to share on each type of social media and how to use different social media platforms in a complementary way. Basically, this post is for people who start out like me, more uncertain about what to do with these sites than about how to use them. At the end of the post I’ve got a fun giveaway of a $15 gift card to Amazon or TBD, starting at midnight tonight when Bloggiesta officially begins. All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment telling me one thing you’re going to do to improve your social media presence and/or share something you think people should know about using social media. So, here we go!
What to use it for: casual conversation with other bloggers, interacting with authors, promoting authors you love, sharing your posts, sharing other bloggers’ posts, sharing anything you post on any other social media site,
How to use it:
- Don’t be scared to just talk to random bloggers and authors. I’m always thrilled when someone responds to one my tweets and I’m sure most other people feel the same way.
- If you read a post you love, think about tweeting it. Include the blogger’s twitter handle in your tweet.
- If you write a positive book review, think about tweeting it to the author and the publisher. They almost certainly have more followers than you and they might retweet your link.
- Don’t tweet an author a negative review. Obviously 🙂
- Consider making a list of authors you want to support and periodically checking if they’ve tweeted anything you want to retweet.
- Many social media sites let you tweet things automatically when you post them. Take advantage of this to make your twitter feed somewhere people can find everything you do online.
- If you host a link-up, think about promoting the links people add by tweeting them. (As others have pointed out in the comments, some people prefer to use this feature judiciously or not at all. It can get very annoying to have the exact same content tweeted over and over through multiple sites. It can also be annoying to have too many impersonal tweets or to share content that doesn’t work well as a tweet – for instance, something with a lot of text.)
- Use a scheduler, such as Hootsuite, so that you can schedule posts in advance. This is especially great if you’re going through a link-up of your own or reading through someone else’s and want to share a bunch of links without overwhelming your feed all at once.
What to use it for: share collections of posts with a common theme, make “list posts” but with pictures, advertise your posts, meet new bloggers
How to use it:
- If you have a great idea for a list but it needs pictures, they’re probably going to show up better on Pinterest than in my feed reader. If you have a list that needs lots of pictures, consider Pinterest.
- Pinterest is also nice because you can build a collection of posts over time. This makes it perfect for sharing your posts, since you can add them as you post, or for a list that you don’t have many ideas for yet but will build on later.
- Consider creating boards for different categories of your posts, so people can find them easily. For example, I do a board called “Five-Star Non-Fiction” with just my top non-fiction reads.
- Find a group of bloggers to promote and who will promoter you by joining group boards. Be sure to check with the admin that you’re allowed to add your own posts and don’t spam the board. Do visit the posts shared by other users.
- Be sure to make your posts pinnable by others. As a book reviewer, I have an obvious, go-to image for my reviews – the book cover. But other posts, like discussions and giveaways, need pictures too or they won’t get pinned. Check out picmonkey.com for an easy, free photo editor where you can start making simple images like the title of your post over a suitable background. (As you might be able to tell, the figure at the top of my post is one of my first attempts!)
What to use it for: to share your posts, to share images, to share other content from around the web
How to use it:
- At a minimum, there’s no reason not to have your blog posts automatically post to Facebook, especially if you’re using WordPress. On blogger, it sounds like you can do this using an account with Networked Blogs (Thanks for the info Melissa!). Either way, this makes Facebook another option for people who want to subscribe to your blog.
- Personally, I’m part of the reason for the statistic about posts with photos being clicked on most often. I almost exclusively end up on a blog’s Facebook page when the blogger tweets a picture they just posted to Facebook. This also goes back to my point about automatically cross-posting to Twitter.
- If you find a link or a blog post you want to share that doesn’t belong in a collection (in which case you’d put it on Pinterest), Facebook is a good way to share a one-off item.
- I don’t heavily invest time in my Facebook page yet, but if you’re going to, I’d recommend reading some of the posts about who Facebook share your content with. I’m sure there plenty of tips out there for maximizing that number.
Bonus! Other Social Media and Random Tips
- Other sites I use include:
- Goodreads for direct interaction with bloggers and friends about what they’re reading while they’re reading it
- Tumblr which is automatically linked to my WordPress account, like with Facebook, and is also great for finding gifs
- Instagram for sharing photos instantly. I just started using Instagram but anticipate using it mostly to share pictures of books and of me doing blog related activities.
- Google+, also automatically linked, and while this is another one I’m new too, I plan to discover more ways of using it since apparently greater activity will increase your search ranking
- In general, when beginning to use social media, I’d suggest focusing on one new sort of social media at a time. Once you feel like you’ve mastered something, move on to adding another platform as you have the time and inclination.
- Don’t ever hesitate to ask other people for help and be sure to google for answers, because there are lots of great tutorials out there.
And Now… The Challenge!