Social media marketing. What words come to mind when you hear social media? As a blogger, brand, business, and author, we all know the implications of social media. It seems to be a necessary evil in the world. I enjoy discussing the topic of social media because it’s one way I’ve grown my business, connected with readers, writers, bloggers and have had the ability to increase my book sales. I often debate that people don’t enjoy social media as much as they should because they are using it the wrong way.
Social media isn’t a popularity contest. You don’t need to have the most likes and comments on everything. Social media is about building relationships with others who will help propel you to your goals. Whether it’s getting encouragement, finding like-minded connects, chatting with readers, planning promotions with authors or other collaborations opportunities. Social media is all about connection, not selling.
Recently, I had to realign my stance on social media and where I stand. I knew it was time to make some changes, which I why I started using the tool Viraltag. When Viraltag first appeared on the scene, it was the place to be for Pinterest Management, however, I like the tool for a variety of reasons.
Viraltag is an all-in-one marketing platform. You can use Viraltag to find quality visual content to share, improve your own photos and create original graphics, and then schedule it all to post at the best times on social media.
When it comes to blogging, I use usually create and upload my own graphics (using Canva). From there I schedule my posts using Viraltag and add them to the evergreen queue (more on that in a minute!)
When it comes to promoting my books, Viraltag has been a massive time saver. Many of the book promotions I participate in happen within a specific time window, which means my posts need to be scheduled on social media during those 5-7 days. I love the ability to schedule posts ahead of time instead of adding them to an automated queue, like Buffer. Don’t get me wrong, I love Buffer, but I was having trouble getting scheduled posts to stay where they belonged!
Who uses Viraltag?
As an author and blogger, I find the ease of scheduling an excellent way to stay consistent on social media. Independent bloggers and big consumer brands use Viraltag to execute their marketing and build their brands. Conde Nast, Hearst Publications, H&M, Lacoste, and AOL’s Style Me Pretty are just a few of the 10,000 brands using Viraltag.
Here’s a fun stat for you: Viraltag users see four times the amount of engagement on everything they share through Viraltag. They also see their followers increase by 25% every month for each social account that they use with Viraltag.
How it works
Viraltag supports scheduling to Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. You can connect multiple accounts on any social channel depending on your plan.
Create and Curate content
Viraltag gives you several options for finding your own content to share.
Add RSS feeds from your favorite blogs or websites with content your audience will value. A feed of the most recent photos and visuals will automatically appear in your dashboard and you can schedule directly from there.
Search popular images to find photos being sharing by Viraltag users. Browse for content to share by category or search by keyword.
Simply click to schedule something you would like share. The link is automatically included to direct traffic to the original source.
Viraltag also makes it simple for you to share your own content. You can upload photos directly from your computer or from Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Drive, and Instagram with the Upload tool.
Viraltag offers editing features, so you can edit and enhance any photo you share. You can also create graphics from scratch with our Canva integration. You can choose to create a graphic for a specific social network, follow easy instructions, and schedule directly. All the graphics you make will be stored in your dashboard and can always be scheduled again in the future. (This is the coolest thing EVER and saves so much time! P.S. Did you know Canva Print is coming soon?)
Schedule and Recycle content
Schedule content from anywhere on the web with the Viraltag Browser Extension.
Just like using the Pinterest ‘Pin It’ Button, the Viraltag button allows you to bring up all the photos on any web page and simply click to schedule one or multiple to your social networks. You can even use this button to schedule your repins.
After you’re happy with the selections, the next step is to schedule the images to your social channels. Edit the caption, type in the source URL, select the social profiles you want the post to go out to and Schedule it to go out at a particular time or Add it to your posting queue.
With the ‘Post Recycling’ feature, you can add in content in the Evergreen content Library, and Viraltag will automatically recycle these posts for you. Scheduling social media is time-consuming and I enjoy reposting content to keep my feeds consistent. Since some of my older blog posts are some of my most popular content, it makes sense to re-schedule posts at least monthly. Another reason to reschedule content is that my social media accounts are always growing, this allows newer followers to find content which helps them stay creative.
Use the ‘Collaboration’ feature for effective Social media planning
While I don’t have any team members, this section is useful for collaborators, giving you the ability to have real-time conversations with your team members, comment on posts, edit them and approve them when they’re good to go. Use the Drafts section to collaborate with your team members and make sure your social media posts are of the highest quality before they get published.
Grow your reach on social media and collaborate with fellow bloggers
Viraltag Circles is a feature that lets you collaborate with your friends and peers, and share and exchange content collectively. This way you can network with people and grow your reach.
– You can connect with people in your niche, including marketers and influencers.
– Grow your presence and reach on Social Media
– Have a constant stream of new content flowing in that you can share.
I don’t have any Circles on Viraltag yet, but as soon as you join, we can swap content together. Join here.
Analytics are highly important to me…yes I’m a bit of a data nerd. I want to see what posts are most engaging, what visuals worked best and the recommended timeframe for posting. Viraltag reports give you actionable analytics about your traffic and social accounts. Connect your Google Analytics to see the number of visitors reaching your website from each social channel. Learn the best times to post to get the most engagement for everything you share. Learn how your specific content performs with Pinterest analytics
Viraltag has several features to help you save time and automate your social sharing. Set up a posting schedule for each social network. Then simply add content to your queue and know it will be published automatically at your preset times!
Use bulk scheduling to schedule multiple things at the same time. Bulk edit and tailor content specific to each social profile with ease.
See what Viraltag can do for your business! Sign up for a free 14 day trial. Viraltag offers a variety of plans depending on your needs. Your turn, what are your goals when it comes to social media? What tools help you save time and energy?
2006 I was a bright-eyed college student, leaving the country to go to school in the big city. Back in that day, there was a new social media platform for college students called Facebook, so naturally, I joined to interact with my peers.
Today I still use Facebook, but instead of procrastinating while studying, I actually use it grow my business. Many online entrepreneurs highly recommending creating a Facebook Group for several reasons.
#1 – You can a create a community for your followers so they can get to know you better
This is a win-win. You get to spend time with your tribe answering questions, getting to know them and encouraging them to collaborate and work together. Community builds strength and working with others is one of the best ways to grow your business.
Read more about the power of community.
# 2 – You can present yourself as the thought leader in your industry
As the leader in your niche, some questions you may be asking is are:
- What do people in my niche need?
- What should my next blog post be?
- What kind of course should I create?
Having a Facebook group allows you to do one of the most important things: Listen. Listening is key so you can hear what your audience is saying and provide solutions to solve their problems and make their lives better.
#3 – You have a way to sell your products and services without people having to join your email list
If you’re anything like me – you don’t want to sell to your email list all the time. Nor do you want your Facebook Group to be bombarded by promos. However, often times a lot of people join a Facebook group without worrying about whether they are on your email list. This allows you to prove your value and offerings and eventually sell to them. This gives you a much wider audience aside from your email list which is fantastic, especially for those with smaller lists.
Check yourself, are you making these mistakes in Facebook Groups?
While those three points appealed to me, I stalled and toyed with the idea of creating a Facebook Group for my tribe to connect in. Finally, in early 2016 I gave into the hype and create the Indie Marketer Hub – the place for creative entrepreneurs to connect with each other and learn about marketing.
Sounds fantastic, right?
Honestly, it wasn’t.
My group members were amazing but the engagement was flat, I was stressed about it, and I began to wonder if it was worth it. As time went on I toyed with deleting it but I hate disappointing people and letting them down. Then it came to me, if there’s something you hate doing, you don’t have to do it. It’s time to try a new strategy.
Here’s why I deleted my Facebook Group:
The daily and weekly themes felt repetitive
While I love daily themes, they got redundant after a bit because people weren’t engaging or starting conversations. Having two or three people in a group of 40 participating wasn’t what I was hoping for. At the end of the day, it’s not numbers that matter but engagement.
Think numbers are important? Think again!
Coming up with marketing tips ended up taking too much of my time
Each day I provided marketing tips for members to help them grow. While there are general marketing tips that work across the board for every industry, ultimately you have to focus on what works. Instead of providing generic tips, I’d rather focus on the unique pain points of my readers and students. This allows me to craft customized solutions for where they are right now and what will help them achieve their goals.
There wasn’t a return on it on my time investment
Growing a community takes time and energy. Unlike my email list, I can’t simply create a one-time sequence with welcoming and nurturing emails and let it run automatically. I have to be in the group engaging every single day, even if the daily prompts are automatically scheduled. Actually, I’m in quite a few Facebook Groups where the Admin doesn’t even show up or post in the group, except when they are selling something. Showing up only when you want to make money takes away from the value of having a group and waters down your authority as an Admin.
The engagement was poor
Engagement in the Facebook Group was sad – it felt like one of those ghost towns from the gold rush that everyone forgot to leave.
(In case you’re asking yourself, what gold rush? Back in the early 1900s there was a major gold rush across the United States. Everyone was packing their bags to head west and strike it big. As soon as someone found gold, a tiny town would spring up and everyone would go work and live there until gold was found somewhere else. Then they would pack up and move on to the next location. The buildings would still be standing there empty, no one living there at all. Coming across one of those ghost towns must have been quite creepy.)
The group felt dead, there was just no life in it and I couldn’t even bring myself to stir up the energy I needed in order to make it happen. Which brings me to my next point:
Growing the Group wasn’t what I wanted to do
Growing a Facebook Group reminded me of Customer Service. I’ve been a Customer Service Agent and a Community Manager for a business mastermind. Those things aren’t my passionate and aren’t what I enjoy doing. Frankly, I take frequent social media breaks just to get away from the constant noise. Having to be on my least favorite social media platform all the time was making me grumpy.
My target audience is in most of the Facebook Groups I’m already in
I realized I didn’t have to create my own Facebook Group to show value to my target audience. They are in the 26 Facebook Groups I’m already in, there’s no need to funnel people out of those groups into my own group when I can meet them right where they are and have a bigger impact on them.
The #1 reason I deleted my Facebook Group…
Is because I disliked my business model and the direction my business was going. Instead of providing digital marketing services, I now focus on course creation and help authors, writers, and bloggers get visible online.
Sometimes, I’m a little slow to catch up when it comes to my business model. But I realized a few things about myself.
Following the trend is not my thing, just because everyone recommends creating a Facebook Group, doesn’t mean you have to.
Evaluate your tribe and business goals, and determine whether it’s right for you.
That being said, I may return to leading a Facebook Group in the future, but there’s no shame in stepping back to refocus and ensure next steps align with my goals.
Do you have a Facebook Group? Do you believe it’s a priority for business growth?
Today’s guest blog is by Melissa Hebbe. She is a social media strategist for boutiques, shops and product sellers and blogs all about social media marketing over at melissahebbe.com
As small business owners, we know the importance of social media.
It’s the modern day’s way of word of mouth. Have you ever seen old movies where they show a telephone chain reaction — when one person calls someone and that someone calls someone else to spread the latest news? The phone calls just keep going on and on.
That’s exactly what social media does! Just a little differently.
Now with social media, small business owners more than ever are focusing on having platforms that their followers engage with as oppose to just having a large but quiet amount of followers.
If you’re thinking that it’s important to have a large social media following, you’re not entirely wrong. Having a decent amount of followers shows good social proof — basically, it shows that people are interested in what you do and want to see more.
But more importantly, to keep your social media accounts moving forward for your business, it’s more important than ever to have accounts that your followers engage with. And that’s all because of algorithms.
What is engagement?
Engagement means that your customers respond to your social media posts. For Facebook, engagement means some liked, commented or shared your post. On Twitter, someone can either retweet or like your Tweet whereas with Pinterest, followers can save (also know as pinning) and like your pins. Of course on Instagram, people can either like your post or comment on it.
Why do you want engagement?
With recent algorithm changes on many different social media platforms, it’s better to have a highly engaged audience as opposed to a large social media following that doesn’t engage with your content.
Social media platforms, especially Instagram and Facebook, believe that if people are engaging with your content then they want to see more of it.
You want engagement on your social media accounts now more than ever to please the platforms you are on. For example, earlier in 2016, Instagram updated their algorithm so that the accounts you are more engaged with will show up first in your feed every time you check Instagram. This replaced the chronological feed. If each social media platform you are on sees you as a highly engaged account with an audience who wants to see your content, they are more likely to give your content a higher reach, meaning even more people are more likely to see your content.
When more people see your content, there is a higher chance of them reading your blog post or watching your YouTube video. Once people get interested in your content, you’re even more likely to gain a client or a collaboration opportunity with another business owner.
It’s all about gaining that trust factor with your audience. If you’re posting content your audience is interested in, they will respond to it more with likes and comments and see you as an authority figure in their field.
If that’s not reason enough to want higher engagement, then I don’t know what is!
How to get more engagement?
There’s no size fits all answer to this one. If there was, it would be a no brainer and every business would have accounts buzzing with likes, comments and shares.
But there are a few tricks to receive more engagement.
1. Post consistently
If you post on all your social media accounts one day and then are silent for another five until you post something again, that’s not going to cut it. At minimum, you should be posting once a day. Ideally, you should be posting a lot more, especially with Twitter because the feed can move really fast.
You should follow a schedule that fit your business the best, but here’s my recommendation for how many times you should post on each social media account per day:
Facebook: 2-4 times per day
Twitter: 10-15 times per day
Instagram: 1-3 times per day
Pinterest: minimum of 30 times per day
If that seems like a lot to handle, check out how I’m able to plan and schedule out a week’s worth of Facebook and Twitter in just an hour, plan a minimum of 1 week’s worth of Instagram (though I’ve actually been able to plan a month) and automate my Pinterest with my Super Simple Social Media Scheduling template and step-by-step cheatsheet.
2. Post what your audience wants to see
You will get more engagement if you post what your social media followers want you to see. How do you know what they want to see? Well you don’t necessarily do unless you check out your analytics.
Each social media platform now comes with their own analytic program. Facebook has insights. Twitter and Pinterest have analytics and if you have an Instagram business account, you’ll also be able to see your analytics. If you don’t have an Instagram business account, you can use Squarelovin’ to check out your analytics (it’s free and my absolute favorite)!
By checking your analytics, you can see what posts have received more likes, comments or shares compared to other posts. The posts that receive more engagement should either be shared more frequently or you should create additional similar posts to share out.
3. Post at the right time
In my opinion, posting at the right time can really make or break your engagement. Yes, it’s important to be posting content your audience is interested in, but you also want post when your audience is on social media as well.
You could be posting the greatest content ever, but if you’re audience isn’t on their accounts to see, you won’t be getting any engagement.
You can figure out what time is the best time for you to post on each platform by looking at your analytics again. Each platform’s analytic or insights program differs slightly, but you want to look for an optimization section or a section that tells you when your audience is more likely online.
Take a good hard look at your account. Is it receiving a reaction from your followers or potential followers? Or do you think you could do better?
Melissa Hebbe is a social media strategist for boutiques, shops and product sellers and blogs all about social media marketing over at melissahebbe.com. Since Melissa likes to keep the social in social media, she believes all platforms are a great way for boutiques, shops, and small businesses to stay connected with their customers and audience.
Social Media Links
I was at Starbucks the other day, talking to one of my business besties about tactics we use to increase traffic on our blogs. “I use Pinterest,” she told me, “pin about 200 pins a day, and I have thousands of views on my blog.”
Ugh! I thought inwardly. Not another person on the latest Pinterest craze!
But then, I thought again. I had some free time in my day and could spend 1-2 hours learning all about Pinterest, and I had exactly nothing to lose. Except time but that’s okay. Right?
First off, I wanted a quick overview on Pinterest. So I opted in to a free 7 day course to get the low down. I took the Pinterest Power Course by Summer Tannhauser and, although she had some kick-ass tips, I didn’t do too much to get started.
She recommended using Tailwind to schedule out your Pinterest Pins. So I got a free account and got started. By the way, Tailwind actually isn’t free. If you’d like to get it for free, use my link here. A free month for you plus a free month for me. It’s a win-win!
Click here it start using Tailwind for Pinterest
Secondly, since I’m a member of Melyssa Griffin’s Facebook Group I joined her email list and took one of her webinars. This time, I was ready to take action. While I listened to the webinar I implemented every single strategy she suggested on the spot. And when I say every single strategy. I mean Every. Single. Strategy.
Well, the next day I noticed ALL the referral traffic from my website was from Pinterest. And it continued for the next week until my free Tailwind trial ended. Obviously, it was working, so I purchased a membership, started using BoardBooster and sat back to wait and watch.
Here’s the most annoying thing about this whole process. In the 3-5 hours I spent learning about Pinterest and putting what I learned into practice, it actually worked! Now, I know I shouldn’t be mad about it, but sometimes the Pinterest craze seems overrated. Here’s the truth. It’s not. It works. Here’s proof.
Below is the 30 day view of impressions my Pins got. As you can see, there was a spike in the beginning. It dropped because I stopped using Tailwind, but once I started again, the impressions rose again.
My Pins weren’t being seen on Pinterest at all. Once I started implementing the tactics you can see how views went from 5,000 to over 15,000.
Changed my header and bio
It turns out Pinterest is actually a search engine. If I’m using the keywords people are searching for in my header and bio, my account is more likely to be found.
Separated out the number of boards I use
I only had one serious business board, the others were completely random. I made those secret, excepting for my “Tasty Bites” board, and created some additional business specific boards. At first, I didn’t think I had enough content for them. However, once I started creating boards it was easy to separate them out.
Started using Tailwind to Pin other Content
No, I don’t pin 200 times a day – but I do pin 10 times a day. What does it take? Well, I simply use the Tailwind Chrome extension to add Pins to my schedule and move on with life. Seriously, it takes maybe 10 minutes.
Joined Group Boards
I’ve heard this one over and over again but I wasn’t sure how to get onto a Group Board. Turns out, asking in Facebook Groups is effective, as well as using Pin Groupie.
Created a Pinterest Pin for each Blog Post
Each of my blog posts already had a graphic that went with them, however, they weren’t vertical, pinnable graphics. I created a template in Canva and added those graphics to my blog posts – from there I pinned the graphics to each board it was relevant to. See below for the graphic I use.
Created a board simply for my blog posts
Typically I pin several pins to each board, and most of them are from other blogs. I created an exclusive Pin Board for my blog and make it the first board you see when you pull up my account. Seriously, you can just drag your Pin boards around, it’s easy!
Joined BoardBooster and used it to start repinning and looping boards
BoardBooster is $5 a month and takes care of 2 things for me, repinning and looping. I know you’re thinking: “why are you using BoardBooster if you have Tailwind?” Well, once I’m done posting my pins, it’s a good idea to re-pin them so they get more visibility. I hate the thought of wasting time manually doing it, which is why I pay BoardBooster to do it for me. Let’s be real, $5 is much cheaper than paying a virtual assistant.
That’s it! I’ve been able to do so much spending 3-5 hours learning how to use Pinterest. What more could I do if I actually took a course and learned all of the secret tactics?
Here’s the recap:
- Spend no more than 30 minutes scheduling my pins for the week
- Only pin 10 pins a day or 70 pins a week using Tailwind
- Use the set it and forget it mindset using BoardBooster
Want more? Learn how to use Pinterest from my business bestie! Here’s the link.
Read this guest post by Alex Lyman: Using Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Your Blog and Business
What tips do you use to make the most out of Pinterest?
Today’s guest blog is by Sandra Christie, a writer for iDigic.
Brands who have embraced Instagram are a testament to the fact sales and marketing can multiply when you’re on social media. Instagram has become a driving force behind the self-proclaimed ‘home for visual storytelling’. In simple words, Instagram is one of the most important marketing tools of your brand.
Instagram – Brand-Creating Power Tool
How is Instagram a brand-creating power tool? Just think about it. Instagram is an awesome tool which publicizes your brand and creates demand for your products and services. However, this is only possible if you use employ the right strategy.
Irrespective of the success, size or popularity of your business, you need an Instagram account. And it is not too late to have one, as currently, Instagram is getting all the required attention. As a friendly nudge, the tips below can bring the necessary brand promotion for dominating sales:
• Use An Interesting And Apt Image
The major enticing feature of Instagram is that it has a visual appeal. Various filtered posts attract the brain and are enjoyable. So, when users tap on the Instagram handle of the brand, they get directed to the account’s main page.
Filled with rows of square images, it builds an impressive impression for the user. Now if the profile is filled with disharmonious snaps, then the true identity of the brand will struggle to create an impact and sometimes users might turn away. But if the brand‘s identity is inviting, relatable and pleasing, then you are bound to get more followers.
Here you need to keep in mind that it is all about consistency. For example, check out MailChimp. It is a firm that provides email marketing service; however, their Instagram profile is all about light-hearted goofy and fun workers, bright colors, and more.
They have maintained a complimentary, and bright color for their posts and this unique aspect with regard to Instagram design and layout pushes the users to click the ‘Follow’ button.
• Get Customers To Feature For Your Products
One of the best methods to encourage the brand engagement is to appeal to the vanity of people. Just look at Benefit Cosmetics. Their Instagram profile is filled with real images of real people (customers) using their products.
Recently, fans posted more than 11,900 selfies through Instagram. Using the hashtag #realsies, they posted snaps of them using the mascara of Benefit Cosmetic. Based on these snaps, Benefit Cosmetics created an impressive mosaic view on the responsive design microsite. This was linked to the ‘they are real’ product page.
• Engaging With Followers
Frankly, at the end of the day, the major driving force for increasing the visibility of the brand and developing sales on Instagram comes from the engagement with the audience. Now this might seem small, but it will simply pay off in a great way. The best thing about this method is that it can benefit businesses of all sizes and help them to have the required follower engagement.
Take the example of Coca-Cola. This soft drink giant proves one is never too huge when pushing a brand through social media, especially Instagram. It regularly shares and tags the cola themed posts of followers and even promotes the personable side of the ‘Share A Coke’ campaign.
• Display Behind The Scenes
One of the best methods to enhance the intimacy of your fans with your brand is by showing the behind the scenes views of your brand. A shining example of this is Alice and Olivia’s designer Stacey Bendet. She showcases how one must connect with customers in an unparallel manner through Instagram.
As per Instagram, Bendet shares the videos and photos that display what she feels, sees and thinks at the moment. It provides her followers the genuine glimpse of her fashion and design life and what inspires her brand and success. Bendet feels that developing and creating a brand impact involves not just displaying the product but the entire story around it.
• Imitating The Fans
Somewhat in early 2011, Chobani found that before their brand joined the platform Instagram, their fans posted various photos of their artful and exciting concoctions through the Greek yogurt. And as per Instagram, the fans of Chobani employed hashtags like #chobani and #creationaday to display yogurt as the major ingredient and not just a simple breakfast item through the snaps of the imaginative usage of the product.
Somewhat it seemed fitting for Chobani to have and develop followings by piggybacking off the creativity of their fans. Hilary DuPont who is the content manager of Chobani’s Brand Communication team feels that to get close to their followers, they need to continue to do what consumers are doing. So, if consumers are posting snaps of various smoothies, then they need to do the same.
Tapping Into Sales And Brand Potential of Instagram
No doubt, Instagram is going to be one of the largest players in the world of e-commerce. So, you brand will surely benefit from the strategies presented in this article. So, go ahead and try them.
Sandra Christie, a writer for iDigic, has several published articles about social media that talk about general improvement of your social feed, and get more brand presence using it.
Does Twitter make you groan in frustration? Or do your eyes light up with joy when you think about tweeting to your followers? Whether you love it or hate it, Twitter is an exciting way to build a brand, make new friends, and sell more books.
My first brush with Twitter was back in 2009. I was a college student, following the trends and setting up profiles on every social media platform as soon as I heard about them. Twitter was no different. In fact, here’s my world-stopping first tweet that started my journey to over 8,000 followers and high engagement.
Since I didn’t know what I was doing on Twitter, most of my tweets were random facts. You may think because I’ve been on the platform for seven years, that has a lot to do with my growth on it. However, after 2009, I took a long break from Twitter, only tweeting sporadic posts when I felt like it. The key turning point that started the growth and engagement on Twitter was being true to myself.
Since I was unaware of the rules of Twitter growth and engagement, I used trial and error to find what worked. While my #1 Rule is: “You can never tweet too much,” here are the three things I did initially that started my platform growth.
1. Live Tweet Events
One of my first positive experience was live-tweeting events like The Oscars or The Golden Globes on Twitter. Thousands of people are online during those shows, all sharing their thoughts and reactions. Joining those conversations using the trending hashtag ended up being a fun way to boost my profile. While this did not lead to more followers, it certainly increased the reactions to my Tweets.
2. Share Content You Love
The second way I started gaining followers was reading and sharing articles. When I was bored at my day job, I’d read Huffington Post articles, tweet them, find the writer on Twitter, and send them a comment. Most of the time they would reply, follow me, or add me to a Twitter List. (Aren’t sure what Twitter Lists are? We’ll get to them in a moment.)
I also started curating blogs and subscribing to them. Each time there was a new post, I’d tweet it out. In the early days, those blogs were by Natalie Sisson of Suitcase Entrepreneur and Maryanne Pope of The Pink Gazelle. Once those individuals noticed I was a frequent part of their community and shared their content, they started doing the same thing.
3. Write a Blog
The third way I saw an increase in followers and shares was from my blog posts. When I started out, my blog was a journal, random ramblings from yours truly on WordPress.com. Surprisingly, I had followers who shared my content. I knew this because any blog posts shared from my site on Twitter had my handle @aford21 attached. I could see those notifications pop up on Twitter, which allowed me to thank those people and see what they were up to. Writing a blog gave me my own voice on Twitter and a link for people to follow back to my website.
Once I saw the engagement on Twitter, I started tweeting all the time about everything. This included my college graduation, what I ate for breakfast, how long I ran, clothes I purchased, and new shoes. I even tweeted about what wine I was drinking, books I was reading, my new iPhone case, and where I was traveling to next. If it happened in my life, it went on Twitter.
Of course, that kind of Twitter vomit isn’t necessary, but it helped my followers see I’m a real person, with varying passions, thoughts, and ideas. I’m not a one-topic robot! Once I reached my first 1,000 followers, I started getting more strategic in what I was talking about on Twitter. While I still have those random, off-the-curb tweets, here’s what I’m doing now that you can do to grow your Twitter account.
Download the App and Be Present
Twitter is one of the only social media apps on my iPhone that has notifications turned on (the other one is Instagram). I want to know when someone follows me so I can follow them back (if I want to), and like and retweet a few of their tweets. When someone mentions me in a tweet, I can respond back fairly quickly. Why? The lifetime of a Tweet is about 8 seconds, so if you’re going to be there, be present.
One of my favorite case studies on Twitter is Scott Stratten. He spent time organically posting and engaging on Twitter and blocking all tweets sent using a third-party scheduler. 50,000 tweets later, all he had to show for it was 50,000 highly engaged followers. Why? It might just be because he actually started a conversation with those people and was present. But who knows. You can check out his work on Twitter @unmarketing.
Use Trending Hashtags
If you’re on a laptop, you’ll see Trending Hashtags and topics on the left-hand side of your screen. If you’re on the Twitter app, click on the Search icon to see what’s currently trending. Go ahead and add your voice to the conversation. Here are a few that are typically trending depending on what day it is.
- #SundayBlogShare – use this hashtag when sharing a blog post
- #MondayBlogs – share your blog post using this hashtag
- #MondayMotivation – share a quote that inspires you
- #MusicMonday – listening to music while you write? Use this hashtag when sharing it or promote your favorite indie artist
- #TravelTuesday – if you’re traveling or reminiscing on your favorite trip or place to write, share it!
- #TuesdayMotivation – same as #MondayMotivation
- #WednesdayWisdom – share your wisdom or a favorite quote
- #ThursdayThoughts – thinking deep? Share with the Twitter community
- #FridayReads – whether it’s a book or article, share what you’re reading and what you recommend
- #FollowFriday aka #FF – shout out your followers, people use this hashtag to welcome new followers or shout out their most engaged followers
- #SaturdayNight – this one is a bit obvious—share what you’re doing on Saturday night.
Follow Other Accounts
It goes without saying, you should probably follow people on Twitter. Right now I’m following over 8,500 accounts. How do I keep up with them? Uh…I don’t. But how did I find them? There’s an app for that.
Whenever you follow someone, Twitter will give you a list of additional accounts to follow. But if there’s a particular influencer whose following you want to replicate, I recommend using Crowdfire App. Crowdfire is free to use, however, there are only two uses I suggest:
- Follow other accounts. Go to Copy Followers and type in the Twitter handle of the account you’d like to follow. Crowdfire allows you to follow 50–100 of those people for free.
- Unfollow accounts. While I don’t recommend playing the “follow/unfollow” game, what Crowdfire does allow you to view are inactive accounts. If someone hasn’t posted in the past 30 days, I unfollow them so I only have a list of active followers.
Word to the wise, some accounts have been banned from overusing Crowdfire to follow and unfollow accounts. Personally, I only use it once or twice a month.
Another app others have raved about is Commun.it. I’ve found it to be incredibly spammy, but the statistics are fun to see.
Speaking of statistics, if you want to know how you’re doing on Twitter, check out Twitter Analytics.
Create Twitter Lists and Engage with Them Daily
Since I follow thousands of people, there’s no way I can keep up with them all. That’s where Twitter Lists come in. What is it? A Twitter List is a collection of accounts you place into a group or category, much like folders for your email inbox. You can choose to have as many lists as you’d like. Some people put their lists into different categories, like Authors, Book Bloggers, Promoters, Friends, etc.
Lists can be public or private. For example, I have a private list of less than 100 people I keep up with on Twitter. These are the people I make sure I share and retweet their content or engage with their blogs. Once you have your list created, head over to Twitter, ignore the news stream, and go straight to your list.
Participate in Tweet Chats
Want to gain 50–100 followers in one day because of a conversation? Yep, it’s totally possible with Tweet Chats. What is it? A moderated conversation about a specific topic. Tweet Chats are 1 hour long and use a hashtag for the chat. All conversations about the chat must use the hashtag. The moderator will ask questions using Q1, Q2, Q3, and participants will answer using A1 plus their answer to answer Q1 and so forth. I try to participate in 1–2 Tweet Chats weekly. Here are some of my favorites:
- #blogchat on Sundays at 8pm CT — this is a chat about blogging and is pretty open. Sometimes the moderator isn’t as organized as I’d like—however, there are some big names that join this chat.
- #MillennialTalk on Tuesdays at 7pm CT — a conversation around millennials and issues they face entering the workforce and living a life worth living. It is moderated by Chelsea Krost.
- #BufferChat on Wednesdays at 11am CT — Buffer leads this chat and keeps the conversation centered on social media and growth tactics.
- #JustHaves on Wednesdays at 7pm CT — this is a fun lifestyle chat, typically with a special guest who is an expert on their topic. This is one of my favorites and I’ve joined it so much, I was a special guest back in May!
Notice that although these aren’t specifically focused on authors and writing, they are great chats to join. Why? Well, we are all multi-passionate, and it’s great to simply have a conversation with other people without an agenda. Additionally, it’s key to connect with people who use Twitter on a daily basis in order to grow your need to connect with people who are fans of using the platform.
If you’re new to Tweet Chats, you can participate directly on Twitter, but it’s much easier to go to TweetChat.com and type in the hashtag. They buffer the stream for you so the chat doesn’t get too overwhelming. That being said, #BufferChat is one of the faster Tweet Chats I’ve participated in, everyone there is quite hyped up, and the average life of a tweet for that chat is half a second!
If you’re searching for a Tweet Chat to join, start here: Tweet Reports
Mention People in Your Tweets
Twitter is about the conversation. Let people know you’re talking about them and their work by mentioning them. You can also introduce yourself, ask a question, or recommend a blog post. I had a conversation with a writer on Twitter shortly after my novel The Five Warriors was published. She was excited about reading it and bought my book instantly, simply from having that brief conversation!
Let People Know What You’re Working On
When you’re working on your novel, use Twitter to stay motivated to meet your word count. Use the hashtag #amwriting to let others know where you are and what your goals are. During NaNoWriMo, I used #NaNoWriMo2015 to connect with other writers. NaNoWriMo typically has monthly challenges you can use to keep yourself accountable.
#MyWana is another popular hashtag for writers, meaning, we are not alone. This is a fun way to tap into the writer community.
Use Buffer to Schedule Your Posts
Although I’m not a fan of scheduling out my posts, it’s become a requirement to save time. I use Buffer to schedule out my Twitter posts for the week, and often 2 weeks ahead. While I post 15–20 times on Twitter, daily, 5 of those posts are always scheduled, the rest are retweeting and engaging with others.
Join a Tribe of people who will share and promote your work
If you’ve ever been a guest blogger on my site, you’ll notice a ton of people sharing your post and tagging you in it. Why? Well, that’s where my tribe comes in. I’m part of a Facebook Group for freelancers, and Tweet Tuesday comes once a week. We all post our “click to tweet” links and share each other’s content. This helps my posts go even further. Are you part of a tribe that does this? Maybe you should consider it.
Reshare Your Content
Earlier, I mentioned the lifetime of a tweet is 8 seconds. Which is why I repost my tweets all the time. Don’t be afraid to share your content over and over again. Every successful tweeter does this, because, let’s face it, not everyone sees your tweet the first, second, or even third time!
Add GIFs to Your Tweets
One of the newer features on Twitter and one I’m obsessed with is the ability to post or respond with a GIF. Right next to the camera button, you should see a GIF button. Use it to search for a GIF and add some life to your tweets!
Use a Brand Hashtag to Spread Your Message
Finally, does your brand have a hashtag? If you’re searching for a way to build your brand, expand your tribe, and keep tabs on it, create a hashtag for your brand. The one for my book is #TheFiveWarriors, which is an easy way to find readers talking about the book series, especially on Instagram. Plus if you build a tribe and get them to share your message, you’ll be on your way to building your brand, making friends, and, of course, selling more books.
What tactic will you use to increase your growth and engagement on Twitter?