Mads Maybe Ultimate Guide to Social Media

Tuesday, May 23, 2017





Social media is everything to me - it's in my work, it's in my blog, it's in my personal life. I know the value of social media and I'm not the type of person who views it as a joke or a waste of time. Social media is the best way to connect and communicate and get your voice out there. It allows me to be creative, make new friends, and share my posts with hundreds of people. 

I've been on social media since middle school when I was using it to follow the lives of my favorite college basketball players and the Jonas Brothers. With all of my years and years of experience, I've learned some different strategies and techniques that work well on each platform so, today, I'm sharing those with you!



Twitter

Twitter is my absolute favorite social media platform! I spend hours on Twitter each day and I just can't express my love for it enough. I find the website to be so personal - I genuinely feel like I know the people I follow and it's amazing.

1. At least 75% of your tweets should NOT include hashtags or links. I don't follow accounts that only tweet links because if I wanted to see that content, I would just follow the site you're linking. Twitter is all about those 140 character messages and they're the best way to share your thoughts.

2. Tweet things that are relatable, don't focus on yourself. While Twitter is a great place to share information about yourself, you need to phrase it in a way that your followers can understand and feel on a personal level. Make sure you're reaching out to your followers in some way.

3. Positivity should radiate from your profile. I honestly love complaining on Twitter but I make sure that most of my tweets are positive and encouraging. At any given time, when someone visits your profile, they should find more positivity than negativity. 

4. Retweet other accounts. I make sure to retweet something I love and truly support about every 5-10 tweets so that I'm sharing my interests and likes in a different way with my followers. This is a great way to interact with other accounts and break up your personal tweets, but don't retweet just to retweet. Be selective with what you share. 


Instagram

I'm not crazy about Instagram like most bloggers are, but I'm definitely trying to improve mine and learn the ins and outs a little better. It's a fun platform for expressing your creativity and sharing your life through rose colored glasses.

1. Only post high quality images. This one might seem obvious, but it's often overlooked. People are more likely to follow accounts that are sharing amazing images. Don't share your snapchat pictures, poorly cropped screenshots and reposts, or images that aren't well lit or blurry. Never post just to post.

2. Consider a theme but don't obsess over it. I think a theme can be similarly edited photos, similar color schemes, or similar content. Maybe you only share photos of food or maybe you edit all of your pictures with the same preset. Cohesiveness is always a plus on Instagram but don't be so stuck on it that you're afraid to share pictures you love.

3. Comment, comment, comment. Nobody sits and looks through who liked a photo, but a lot of people read the comments. Commenting relevant and thoughtful responses on other photos can bring people to your profile and could encourage the user posting the photo you're commenting on to visit your page and comment on your photos. Comments create better engagement than likes and can build your Instagram community.

4. Before you post, think about what you would comment. I just stressed the importance of comments so you'll want to make sure your posts are attracting comments. Take a minute and make sure there's something people can comment about. If the picture itself doesn't offer much room for commenting, make sure the caption does - don't be afraid to ask questions in your caption and create that call to action.


Instagram Stories

After much debate, I decided Instagram Stories need their own section because they've really changed the game and created so many more opportunities, especially for bloggers. With so many new features since their recent launch, they're worth learning about.

1. Tag relevant accounts in your story. Since people get a notification when they're mentioned in a story, tagging them can bring important eyes to your content. You can tag brands that you're wearing or using, bloggers who have inspired you on a project, or accounts related to destinations and events that you're attending. 

2. Incorporate screenshots of your other channels. When you publish a blog post, upload to YouTube, or even post a new picture on your Instagram profile, use your story to let people know. You can use pictures from your camera roll from the past 24 hours and write on those to keep your followers updated.

3. Take photos or videos on your DSLR or GoPro. I've noticed that when I take a photo directly in Instagram stories, it isn't great quality. You can take photos and videos with your favorite camera and then upload those directly to stories and there's no indication that the photo wasn't taken with the app besides the amazing quality. Even taking them with your phone's camera and then uploading them into stories makes a difference. 

4. Use locations and their multiple text box features. I love Instagram stories because you can type something in one place and then type something else in another over the same picture. Locations are also a lot of fun because you can let followers know exactly where you've been throughout the day.

5. Share a behind-the-scenes look. I love seeing stories from other bloggers of the things they're doing - going to events, opening packages from brands, or eating at cute spots. Use your stories to let your followers see into your life a little more than typical posts allow. People are honestly interested and will look forward to seeing these posts.


Pinterest

Pinterest is such a valuable tool for bloggers - a place to find anything you could ever possibly want to know AND a place to share links to your posts. You can find anything on Pinterest, even things you didn't know you wanted to find. 

1. Consider visual appearance. Put some time into deciding on the cover photo for each of your boards, the order your boards appear in, and the visual appeal of photos on your blog that will be shown on Pinterest. Vertical images are favored by Pinterest.

2. Join group boards. There are a lot of group boards specifically designed for bloggers to share their posts and these boards will expose your pins to more than just the people following your account. The IHC Collective with Her Campus, #SwirlSocial, and #BloggingCollege all have great blogger group boards.

3. Add your blog link to your profile. I saw a significant increase in followers after adding the link to my blog in my Pinterest bio. I haven't yet figured out rich pins for my site, but I think having your link visible right away gives your profile a more professional appearance and encourages people to follow.

4. Utilize secret boards. If you're working really hard to create consistency in your pins and boards, pin anything that you want to save but doesn't fit in a secret board. If you're pinning for your blog or business, it's different than having a personal account and you have to consider the quality, content, and relevance of pins in your public posts.

5. Hide Pinterest images in blog posts. If you want to use Pinterest to promote blog posts but don't love the idea of having tons of "Pinterest-friendly" images on your blog, hide your Pinterest perfect image in the post. I use these instructions from Bloguettes each time I use this trick! 



Snapchat

Snapchat is most definitely the no-rules, anything-goes platform when it comes to social media and most people keep theirs private, disconnected from their blog, business, or professional life. Personally, I share my snapchat with everyone and will use it for business.

1. Set your stories to "anyone can view" and your contact to "friends only." Thinking about the logistics of Snapchat, it can be scary knowing anyone can access those posts. Fortunately, Snapchat has settings that give you complete control over who sees what and who can contact you so you're completely protected and you can decide what you want the world to see and what you only want to send to friends.

2. Utilize the video feature. I think video quality is one of the few things Snapchat still has over Instagram and I prefer seeing videos on this app. Use videos at events, for giving location tours, and for 10 second chats with your followers. 

3. Share your new blog posts. Shameless self promotion can always be tough but my posts get more traffic when I've "advertised" them on my social media channels. A quick video of your laptop screen scrolling through your post or even a snap of the post title can let people know that there's something new and interesting on your blog.

4. Cross promote your snapchat on other social media. It's so much harder to find people on Snapchat than it is on Twitter or Instagram. Make sure your snapchat name or link/code is visible on your blog and occasionally remind people to follow you through a tweet or your Instagram bio. You'll gain a lot more followers this way.


Facebook

I've had a personal Facebook for years (and have recently cut down on my friends so I have one platform that's a little more private) but I'm strongly considering creating a Facebook page for my blog. Overall, Facebook has become something I use less and less.

1. Join blogging groups. The best thing about Facebook for bloggers is the wide variety of groups you can join for advice, interaction, and encouragement. I have a blogging Facebook group you can join (just send me a message!) and there are countless other groups for all sorts of niches, like the IHC and Blogging College. It's nice knowing you have a community for anything you need.

2. Share links to everything. I love that Facebook links have previews of pretty much anything you share so it's a great place to share all of your content - your YouTube videos, blog posts, and social media links so that your followers can find everything in one place.

3. Make your blog post links public. Even if you have a personal profile and not a blog page, you can still share your links with your friends. If you feel comfortable, make sure you change the privacy settings on those specific posts so that anyone can see them. Your friends are then able to share these posts and they'll come up in searches.

4. Share lots of photos. Facebook is the best place for sharing large amounts of photos so I would recommend sharing your best on other social media and your best + more on Facebook. People engage more with photos in my experience so if you're sharing a written message, add a photo in the post to catch their eye in the newsfeed.


tumblr

Tumblr is one of my less-used platforms because I simply don't see as much interaction from it and it can take forever to load in my opinion. I've heard that it's dying out and while that's likely true, you could still spend some time working on it to draw attention to your blog or make connections.

1. Find your niche. I hate to sound like a broken record constantly telling you to create a theme on all of your accounts, but it's what the people want! There are studyblrs, interior decorating blogs, and pages devoted to sharing content for writers. Most tumblr users focus on consistency and keep their general theme or topic the same - whether it's preppy, tropical, Disney, etc. 

2. Follow lots of other users. tumblr can be strange in that there are thousands of accounts that you will literally never encounter. There are millions of posts that you will never see. Make sure you're following tons of people in your niche sharing things you enjoy so that you're exposed to lots of content you want to reblog. Most of your content is probably reblogged and following people is the best way to find it.

3. Open up your asks and ask other users questions. You always want to make sure you're reachable on every platform because you never know what opportunities might come along so let people ask you questions on your tumblr profile. Also, asking relevant questions on other people's profiles can be a good way to be exposed to their followers if they answer publicly. 

4. Routinely review your blog and delete any content that doesn't flow. Here we go again with the theme but it's useful to see your page through someone else's eyes. Since tumblr is mostly a curation of photos, deleting pictures isn't really a big deal, especially if you see something that stands out and doesn't create a visual flow.


YouTube

I'm such a YouTube newbie, I literally only have six subscribers so don't look to me as an expert or anything, but I've done a few videos this year and spent some time working on my channel and preparing to dive into YouTube more if that's something I ever decide to do. 

1. Use Canva or another source to create thumbnails. Your thumbnail is what helps people decide whether or not they want to view your video. Utilize a photo editing service (Canva is my favorite!) to create an attractive thumbnail with words, emojis, etc. that draws viewers' attention and makes your video unique.

2. Set up a header for your channel and add all of your links. Your YouTube header is the perfect place to bring viewers back to your blog. Reuse your blog header or create a special one for YouTube. Driving traffic to your other platforms is always a plus so be sure your Twitter, Instagram, and blog are linked. 

3. Views over subscribers. Focus on really sharing your videos and getting them out there, especially on embedding them where you can. I like to embed my videos on Facebook and on my blog so that viewers don't have to change sites or apps to watch. Personally, I'm more concerned with views than subscribers because YouTube isn't my primary platform and I know not all subscribers watch videos, and views are a bigger priority for me. 

4. Check copyright policies for any music you use. If you're experienced with YouTube, you know the gravity of copyrights. In the Creator Studio, search the song you're using and make sure it's viewable worldwide so that you don't run the risk of getting a strike or having your video removed. Copyrights can always change so be sure to keep that in mind when selecting your music.


What's your favorite social media platform? Feel free to share your tips + tricks in the comments below!

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