As a new blogger, you may not realize just how important Social Media can be in growing and keeping up with your blog following and readers. Not only is it a great way to market yourself and show off your posts, but it's also a wonderful way to connect with your readers, and with other bloggers who can always offer friendship and advice!
Facebook: Pretty much everyone has a Facebook these days (except a rare few), so it remains one of the greatest ways to reach people and share your stuff. What makes it even better is that you can create a separate Page for your blog so that you don't have to add everyone who reads your blog to your personal Facebook profile. You can create as many pages as you need to, and you can share admin responsibilities on those pages if you'd like.
I personally manage a page for my main blog My So-Called Chaos, my shop Chaotic Creations by My So-Called Chaos, my other blog Health NOT to Health NUT, but I also co-manage the Chaotic Goddess Swaps page, and am one of many admins on the CFPU Rescue Army (the rescue I volunteer with) page.
Twitter: Twitter is probably one of my personal favorites for sharing, and for finding things on. You can tweet at someone simply by putting an @ in front of their twitter handle. It's really simple and the feed flows really well so there is almost always something new to read and find out, and your tweets can be seen pretty well.
While you can't keep different Twitter handles separate as easily as Facebook, you can have different Twitter log ins. I personally use my @MySoCalledChaos handle for all of my personal blogs, but also use the @CGSwaps for the co-managed blog I have with Beth.
Instagram: If you have a smart phone, Instagram is an incredible app to have. I personally love it better than Facebook and Twitter due to the fact that I'm a picture junkie. Not only can you improve cell-phone photos (which are so/so even with good megapixels) with fun filters, but you can instantly share it with your Facebook and Twitter profiles, email, Tumblr, or more!
As an Instagram Junkie I take tons of photos with it, and use them to share on my blog. The best way I get them is by using Webstagram, where I can pull up a feed with my photos and right-click to select "Copy Image URL" and then use that URL when putting photos in my blog posts.
Bloglovin: Bloglovin is quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to follow blogs. If a blogger uses bloglovin you can follow them there, and it provides a feed of all the bloggers you've followed and even lets you organize them into categories. Since this is quickly becoming the way people follow-it's a really good idea to get your blog set up on Bloglovin.
HelloCotton: Another product similar to Bloglovin. It doesn't seem quite as popular, but I really like it-and why not have both? The more places people can follow you the better!
Pinterest: If you're unaware of what Pinterest is-you must be living in a cage. It's like crack on the internet... You can just get sucked in and spend hours finding new things! It's safe to say if you pin something of yours to Pinterest, it will be repinned and get more attention.
StumbleUpon: This is another time-suck. Basically any pages that have been submitted or "stumbled" are added to their huge database and people can just go through and click to find a new website that's interesting. Stumbling your blog posts ads them to that big database so people can find them!
Google+: We all know Google is taking over everything, and most blogger blogs are using Google+ as profiles now. Having a G+ account is starting to be more and more important.
There are so many more great social media sites out there now, and so many things you can do with them. this list is just the main ones I use or interact with on a typical day.
Facebook Linking: Facebook is in the business of making money-they want you to give them money to promote your links and posts, so if you post your blog as a direct link on your page it's not going to reach as many people (they purposefully hide it from some in order to get you to pay to promote it.) However, if you post a regular status, and then post the link in the comments-it reaches a LOT more people.
As you can see in the above image, the post on the left has been up for a lot longer than the one on the right (posted 3/11/13), but has had FAR less views than the one that shows as a status with the link in comments.
Third party applications who auto-post for you: In the past I've used Networked Blogs to automatically post my blog posts to Facebook and Twitter the minute I publish them here on the blog. However I have had a lot of issues with that product, so I was pleased to hear from Life Unpublished that you can do it through Bloglovin! She's even posted a really fantastic tutorial on how to add a social feed to your blog!
Scheduled Tweets: There is an awesome site called HootSuite, which I'd heard about before but hadn't checked it out until Carrie over at The Carrie Gland told me she uses it to schedule tweets so even when she's not at her computer-her presence is still out there on the internet! I've signed up for it, and will be figuring it out and using it more now.
Pin It Buttons: Pinterest allows you to add a Pin It button directly to your post, so all they have to do is click the button and it automatically pins the photo you want them to with the description you've pre-written. See my tutorial on How to Add a Pin It Button with Pin Count. Set up your Pin It Button HERE.
There are a lot of ways to gain social media followers. I would highly recommend making your social media sites available to your blog readers by adding either links or social media icons to your blog sidebars. This makes it easy for people who want to keep up with you to follow.
Other great ways are linking to them in posts, making sure when you do giveaways they can get bonus entries by following your social media sites, etc. The best way? Follow and interact with other people. If you follow them and start interactive with them often, they'll be more likely to follow you back and interact with you! For the best results make it personal one-to-one interraction, when people feel special and appreciated they respond better than when they're being grouped. There is so much give and take in the blogging world, and the effort you put out is going to be what you get back.
I cannot emphasize this enough. Don't be annoying.
There is nothing more annoying than someone who spams you. If you are constantly posting the same thing on repeat all the time, people are going to get bored and stop following. Make your posts unique. Even if you are sharing the same link-reword it. Bring new attention to it with your creativity.
If you are forcing your posts on them (i.e. force emailing them from Google +) multiple times a day, they're going to block you. I recently experienced an issue with this where a blogger who wanted to connect with other bloggers following another blog gathered all the info and started sending mass emails to people who had no idea who she was-and were very frustrated with the spam (since they were coming multiple times a day, at 3am, and sometimes seemed a little rude because she was frustrated with the lack of response...) I'm sure her intentions were good, but the results were just a lot of people blocking her posts since they were being flooded with them.
If you are constantly whining for attention "Follow me! Follow me! Follow me!" they're going to get tired of it like a mother gets tired of her small child poking her over and over again saying "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" and you'll lose them.
If you try to guilt them into sharing your stuff "Share this or your a bad person" or "I'll bet 60% of my readers wont repost this, but those with a heart will!" you're going to lose them. I never post anything because I'm guilted into it, in fact I make it a rule to hide those posts because I'm only going to post what I WANT to post.
No one wants to be guilted or annoyed-that hide/block button is my friend and I'm not afraid to use it.
So do you have a a favorite Social Media site not mentioned here?
How about a tip or trick you'd like to share? I'd love to hear it!
Other Lessons in the New Blogger Series:
Other Lessons in the New Blogger Series: