I would not have a blog without social media.
Well, that’s not quite true. I would HAVE a blog but I doubt whether I’d have that many readers.
I learned early on in this blogging game that we have numerous social media networks at our disposal to help us market our blogs and let others know what we’re putting on them. You know, in case someone might be actually interested in reading what we have to say.
Deciding which social media channels to embrace for your blog can be tricky. Especially as new ones pop up quicker than it takes to download an app to run it.
Do you jump on anything and everything new? Or do you sit back and wait and see how these new channels unfold?
Me, I’m guilty of the former. If it’s new and shiny, I’ll sign up, take a look-see, play around for a little bit, see if it excites me and watch my Google Analytic stats.
Stats aren’t just useful for tracking the NUMBER of visitors to your site and what they’re reading but they’re useful to see where they’re coming from.
Which sites are your top 5 referrers? And which of these are social media channels?
Facebook is number one for me. Followed by Twitter and StumbleUpon.
Which is really funny as I don’t really even know what I’m doing there … and if you Stumble should you Tumble?!
And I have more followers on Twitter than Facebook, yet Facebook sends more people to my blog. Twitter has been and continues to be a great national networker, bringing me blog connections I would not otherwise have made.
Read on for the networks to watch and use in 2012.
Facebook is a very strange beast. Mostly because it changes so frequently and people way smarter than me try to out-smart Facebook’s news feed in an attempt to get their page’s updates flowing into more people’s news feeds.
I was a reluctant Facebook user but the stats don’t lie. So last year I decided to give my page a bit more love. I took off all automations and I started TALKING to my Facebook “likers”. And you know what? They talked back. I know, crazy stuff.
And for the past three months I’ve been hanging out with very rad and ace Pip Lincolne (Meet Me at Mikes) on the Facebook page for Justb. I’ve really noticed here how you can create a community with your Facebook page, a place where people love to come and hang out because they LIKE that they liked the page and they like that they like the other likers (still with me?).
If you’re still sceptical about the power of Facebook, then have a read of this post on a US blog I follow – J’s Everyday Fashion. J has built her blog entirely on Facebook.
I approach Facebook in a totally different way than any other blogger out there (that I’ve seen). I don’t treat Facebook as a follow-up to my blog, or a supporting material, I consider it to be a totally separate blogging platform. Some people use Blogger as a platform. Some people use WordPress. Others use Tumblr. I blog on Facebook.
Two weeks ago I flagged Instagram as the social media channel to watch but I should have also mentioned Pinterest. Pinterest is a visual feast. I liken it to being able to create virtual, ever-changing vision boards. The thing we want to buy, the dream houses we want to live in and the holidays we want to take. It’s certainly going to make it easy for me to spend that Lotto win, should it happen. But – and it’s a big but – an increasing number of blogs are getting more and more traffic heading their way via Pinterest. It’s a slower burner for me – coming in at number 39th in my blog referral list but I know of others who can cite Pinterest as their number one referrer.
BlogHer’s latest email newsletter is even dedicated to Pinterest. Here’s just one snippet:
Oddly enough, I find that I am getting almost as many hits on The Well-Read Wife from pinning my posts to Pinterest as I do from posting them to Twitter. At first I found this weird because I have over 2700 Twitter followers and only 57 Pinterest followers.
I’m a little bit addicted to this one. It’s fun, it’s micro-blogging, it’s visual, it’s not as “noisy” as Twitter or Facebook. I use it on my phone and iPad but also my desktop using Instadesk. And I have my Instagram photos feeding into the sidebar of my blog using the WordPress Instapress plug-in. I haven’t been able to track any direct traffic to my blog from Instagram but at the moment I see this as a branding thing and I use it that way, to share photos from my life that my readers may be interested in. Participating in photo challenges also helps to keep that content varied.
If you’re a fashion blogger, have a read of Danimezza’s post this week. She’s got great tips on how to take outfit photos for Instagram:
The photos I posted when I started using Instagram were quite crude, kind of boring and lacked a bit of imagination. It’s only after a few months of watching, engaging and learning about instagram and outfit photos in general that I’ve picked up a few tricks to make your outfit photos as awesome as they should be and gain new followers and countless ‘likes’.
I asked a young fashion blogger if I needed to be on Tumblr (I joined last year but haven’t done anything with it) and she asked if I had young readers, I said, not so many, and she said I could leave Tumblr alone. This made me very happy because Stumbling and Tumblring confuse me. But they may not confuse you. They may be perfect for your blog.
Brands are certainly aware of Tumblr and this month sportswear giant Puma thought outside the box with Tumblr and Instagram in a recent online PR push:
In 2012 we will see an increase in this form of outreach, if only because blogs and apps continue to grow in popularity. By partnering with an influential voice on a platform like Instagram, a brand can drive more traffic to their account on that same platform, which otherwise might take weeks or even months to grow.
How are you going with Google+? Have you got a page for your blog? I have? I’m almost too embarrassed to give you the link but there it is. I jumped on board the Google+ Express Train when it first launched in a mad, look-see moment but it just hasn’t grabbed me. I’m sticking with it for a lot of reasons but mostly because it’s Google. Google kinda own the interwebs and you never know what might happen.
Last week, Google announced Search, plus Your World, which is the merger of personalized search with social search, including the addition of relevant Google+ results. In other words, Google search results now more than ever send you to … Google.
So, did I lose you back at Facebook? Where do you hang out most on social media? Where are your readers hanging out? Work this out and you’ll be on the path to finding the happy medium between time spent on social networks and building your blog’s readership.
Let me know how it works for you.