Developing Your Social Media Presence
When most people who use social media connect to their accounts, they’re probably not going to be overwhelmingly concerned with developing their social media presence. Honestly, it wasn’t even a thought in my mind to be concerned with how many followers I had or who shared what from my page. The only reason I joined Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram was to share things about my life and stay connected to friends & family. I am a fairly private person so I even had those dudes locked up like Fort Knox. (“Dudes” is a Southern phrase for” things”. We’ve taken a shine to using words where they don’t make sense.)
Then God gave me a dream. A big dream. To be a writer and speaker. To use my voice to change lives. And you know what I did with that dream? I sat on it for a while. And I lost myself for a while too. But God… He brought me back to myself & my passion. He gave me my dream again and told me to actually do something with it this time. So I started writing my first blog (without much success). I grew frustrated and I put my dream back on the shelf for several months. Bad idea. You would think I would learn. Anyway, after 8 months of not putting any work into my writing or blog, I decided that “one day” was actually right now.
I knew I couldn’t figure it all out on my own so I did some research. The first thing that stood out to me was consistency. My favorite authors were always consistent with their material. They never once forgot about their readers. Thanks to social media being what it is they made sure their readers never forgot about them, also.
Social media is a huge piece of the “Success in the 21st Century” puzzle.
Step 1: I switched my blog from Blogger to WordPress because WordPress gives you so many options when it comes to sharing your content via social media. And sharing via social media gives you a greater opportunity for success.
-You can schedule when you want your blog to be posted to your various social sites by connecting your accounts to WordPress. This has been a huge advantage for me when it comes to churning out content at an inconvenient time for my readers. I would advise you to refrain from sharing your posts during quiet hours. If no one is posting on social media, it’s because they’re too busy to post and definitely too busy to read your content (no matter how good it may be). I’m still ironing out the details on when the best time to post is based on when my followers seem to be the most active.
-You can put a subscription button on your blog. If people like your content then they can enter their email address so they will always be updated about new posts. People are busy and often don’t have the time or patience to go to each blog they love to search for new work. You want to make your blog as easily accessible as possible. Remember, your followers are reading during whatever leisure time they have available to them.
-WordPress allows you to put multiple “Share This!” buttons on your blog. Whatever social media site you can think of, they’ve got a button for it. This is like free promotion. Which is good! This is what I have on mine:
Step 2: A few months ago I dedicated myself to building my social media presence. Like I said, I’m a fairly private person and wasn’t interested in sharing more than what I was already sharing. Really, I wasn’t interested in the work that it would take to be consistent. However, I knew that I needed to create a following. In order to create a following, I had to create content that was separate from my blog yet still cohesive with the work I do here. If there’s no content to follow then there will be no desire to follow. You see what I’m saying?
To take it to the next level, I share different things on different sites. Allow me to explain. What I share on my Twitter, I don’t always share on my Facebook or Instagram and vice versa. The reasoning behind this stems from the fact that the famous people I follow tend to say the same thing on every media outlet they use. There is nothing wrong with this method so if you want to do it this way, go for it. I crave variety so it’s nice to see different things in different places. Again, that’s just me. It may be easier for you to streamline everything.
Step 3: Promote, promote, promote! Promoting is always a little awkward for me because I’m not a pitch person by any means. However, the reason I write is so that people will read and (Lord willing) be helped by the content I create. And people can’t read what you write if they don’t know you’ve written anything in the first place.
Not only do I schedule for my posts to be shared, I also share them again a few days after the original publish date. I’m still playing around with times and days to figure out when the best times to share are so this is helpful in that quest. I try to create a different tagline each time I share a specific post so that it is always appealing and fresh. (I learned that from author and Start Experiment creator, Jon Acuff. His marketing skills are crazy good.) I don’t ever want to sound like a broken record either. Pick the top 3 phrases from your post and use them as your taglines.
Important tip: If you feel comfortable, link your website(s) into every place you have a presence including your e-mail signature.
Step 4: Network, network, network! Follow people on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram even if you aren’t that interested in what they post. Connect with them for the express purpose of sharing who you are and potentially gaining a new follower. You never know who knows who and what connections can do for you so don’t take this for granted.
If you have access to a writing community like I do, request that they help you network with others. Guest post for one another!
Step 5: Tag everything you can in your post. This helps search engines to pick up your content. This whole process can get pretty complicated and I’m not entirely familiar with making SEO work for you. I do know that you should definitely start here though.
I hope these tips have been helpful. If you have any insights or further questions, drop them in the comment box below!