Blogging tips

You gotta be social - Why and How

10:19 AM

Be Social: Love it or loathe it, Social Medias are part of our lives and are pretty much here to stay. If you are a blogger, this means you really really CAN'T ignore them if you want to get your content out there.

Love it or loathe it, Social Medias are part of our lives and are pretty much here to stay. If you are a blogger, this means you really really CAN'T ignore them if you want to get your content out there.
And it is confusing, and daunting and some of you might think it is stupid, I totally get it. I was like that at first.
But guess what? You could be writing the best content ever, and have the most stunning pictures there will ever be and no one would find out about it simply because you failed to promote it. A classic case of "If a tree falls in the forest and nobody heard it, how can we know it did fall?" To get people's attention, you got to make some noise (the right kind of noise)

The problem is that social medias are a plenty, and all work differently and it is hard to figure out where to start.
Home Cyn Home is on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Google + and Instagram. Each have their specific challenges, and strengths, and I will walk you through them below.


Facebook

This was the first social media I got into to promote my page when it became clear that I could no longer avoid doing it. If you have a Facebook account, you can create a page (in fact as many as you want) for your blog, website or business. Your personal account will not be displayed on said page and you can start building a community from there.
That said, things have changed a lot with Facebook, and people who took the time to like your page might not see your content in their feed as easily as they would have a few years ago. Blame it on Facebook being too dense a network. You should not neglect it though, and the good new is that it isn't a very demanding media.
You can still get exposure if you post at least once a day. The best way is to share contents from other source. The big strength of Facebook pages is that it allows you to interact with your readers outside the blog and they get notifications if someone replied to their comment on Facebook. It keeps the discussion going.



Twitter

Many consider this social media as frivolous and silly. I did that for years and that was a BIG mistake. Twitter is the platform where all bloggers and brands have a handle and presence. You can't afford not to be part of it.
Due to the 160 characters limitation, you need to go straight to the point and learn the art of catchy tweets. Bear in mind that these days, adding pictures is a must if you want people to notice you as well.
Of all the social medias, Twitter is probably the most demanding. The feeds are faced paced and you will need to promote your content several times to get it seen. Aim at posting at least 5-6 tweets a day and avoid too frequent repetitions. The good new is that you don't have to be glued to Twitter 24/7. It is fairly easy to schedule your posts in advance using a scheduling service app. I myself use Hootsuite and I spend about 15-20 minutes in the morning scheduling my tweets for the day. I then will check twitter on occasion and re-tweet and interact with those I follow myself. Favourite what you like, re-tweet what you really really love and think your followers will love too.



Google+

I'm going to be frank, this one is my least favourite social media. BUT, it is one that gets me a lot of traffic, with minimal effort. The reason being that Google loves Google. And things that get shared on Google+ will be appearing higher in search engines results. Things that get a lot of +1s even more so.
I really just post my links to the blog on my profile for all to see and am part of a few select communities in which I share the same links. This takes about 2-3 minutes of my time each time I publish a blog post. I know some people that are for more active than I on Google and get good results from it. It is worth giving it a try, and check it on occasion. Bloggers that have a presence there usually also have a presence on Twitter, so I find it easier to keep up with them elsewhere.



Instagram

If you write a lifestyle blog, chances are you have lots of pictures to share. And Instagram is the absolute BEST place for that. I only started keeping an account specifically for the blog recently, and this is one of those things I should have done long ago (follow me there if you haven't already, just click the link above). A lot of the pictures I post there aren't on my blog but reflect the theme of the blog : colours, good food and DIY. It sets the tone for who I am and what Home Cyn Home stands for. The best way to get people noticing you there is the use of hash tags. Some are more popular than other and lots of people tend to follow a few that are dear to their hearts.
My favourites are #ABMlifeiscolorful #abmcrafty and #vscocam, whenever one of my picture fits one of these category I add the appropriate hash tag.
A Beautiful Mess also tend to re-gram what they like from their hash tags, so if you post quality pictures and they like it, they will share it giving you even more exposure. This happened to me recently after they re-grammed my dragon fruit picture (#ABMlifeiscolorful).



Pinterest

Confession : I am not as active as I should be on this one. But as a lifestyle blogger it makes a lot of sense to have a presence there. I will get to master it one day, that moment isn't just now. What I do however is make a point to pin all my DIY and Recipe posts to appropriate folders in my account. I have a Home Cyn Home Arts and Craft, a Home Cyn Home recipe and recently started a Home Cyn Home Blog tips folder as well.
And of course, I still pin recipes, home decors and ideas to my other non blog related boards, because we all need a source of inspiration



Still feeling a bit confused? Start small. You don't have to be on ALL social media platforms out there. In fact, many might not even be the right fit for you and your blog. And guess what? That is ok, completely ok. If you don't have crafts projects or pictures on your blog, then Pinterest and Instagram might not be your priorities. You first need to start hanging out where your audience is hanging out. And if you don't fully know your audience just yet, Twitter is probably the best place to start these days (my personal opinion,do what you must with it).
My advice is to be very active on at least two social media and do your promoting work correctly on them.

Have you given social medias a chance? Which ones are you favourite?


10 comments

  1. Pleazzzzzzz tell me I do not have to be a part of twitter for my simple cooking blog! I HATE tweeting!

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    1. That depends if you want the word to spread fast about your blog or not. I schedule my tweets in one painless 15 minutes session per day. I select what I want to be shared from my blog and then schedule everything in Hootsuite. That said Twitter does work better if you favourite and re-tweet stuff as well. There are a lot of cooking blogs and cooking websites on Twitter that spend their days finding new people to follow, so it is a fertile ground for promotion.

      The problem is that Twitter is saturated with stupid tweets like "I went to the bathroom this morning and did a big poop" it has given Twitter a bad name :-(

      Delete
    2. Anonymous4:53 PM

      Facebook and whatsapp have been wonderful for connecting people of all age groups. Old school friends, cousins, relatives many of them met after ages on facebook. What is most important that even the old people have been using this frequently. There is something for everyone on the internet. A liberating experience.

      The Indian election of 2015 was the biggest use of social media. It was called one the most techo savvy elections in the history of India. Hundreds of people were engaged spreading political slogans and messages all over the country in a coordinated way. Many of the young voters who swayed the elections were wooed through social media.

      The December 2013 gang rape protests were also the work of social media. Thousands of people were contacted through social media.

      Social media helps to create awareness but most of the time it is all sound and fury about nothing. Mostly trivial issues are blown out of proportion. Lately social media has been used for spreading hatred leading to riots and violence. Various terrorist groups have used it to radicalise youth and draw them towards them. People from far off countries are getting indoctrinated by these groups and join their ranks. The spread of fundamentalism through internet is the biggest threat facing the world today. Bad information spreads fast and far off and there is nothing to prevent it. By the time it is countered, the damage is already done.

      All in all, it is a double edged weapon like all technologies.

      Apple

      Delete
  2. Social medias are nothing but tools, some know how to use them, some don't. If someone break their fingers using a hammer, that is not the hammer's fault.

    The big problem with social medias, are not what get posted on them, but how people interpret and process the information. Frankly I think it should be a course taught in school.

    Growing up, we were taught early to analyse informations and condense them into a research paper. No kidding that kind of teaching starts in grade 2 in Switzerland. When I reached the "middle school" level, which would be about 7th Standard in India, we had 45 minutes a week of a class called "Information critics" which was dedicated to teach us how to decipher medias, their purpose, targets and what was the difference between a subjective report and an objective one. It was at a time when Internet wasn't even in the picture yet it was TV, Magazines and Newspapers.

    I remember being the typical teenager back then, and it was fashionable to hate that class, because you know, it was not graded and it was mandatory and the teacher was obviously like all teachers "Soooooo ooooooold and soooooooo stupid".
    Years later, once really out of school and in the real world, I realise that out of all the crap I was forced to learn in school this "stupid teacher class" was the ONLY one that truely mattered.
    Screw all the pytagorrus crap, square roots, Newtons, Fibonacci, dead Kings and Greek Gods, they just elevated my cultural quotient.

    That silly non graded class that was still mandatory taught me how to take everything with a pinch of salt, how to not fall for stupid marketing gimmicks and to go beyond what was just written for me to believe. It was a class on critical thinking at its absolute finest level. One that actually still help me today while navigating this giant jungle that are Twitter, Facebook and online newspaper. Without critical thinking, it would be easy to mistake the tree for the forest.

    Fundamentalism has spread before twitter existed, nothing new, Hitler didn't need a Twitter handle to get a whole nation to think there was nothing wrong with the Holocaust. It's fairly easy to exploit people when they are desperate and leave precarious lives. If you are unemployed struggling to recover from a war you lost and your current governement is doing nothing for you, you will listen to the first strong charismatic speaker that propose concrete ideas for a change, who cares if those ideas sound crazy?

    That is where the danger is, this is where it always have been, all through history, social medias have been really booming for less than a decade, but atrocities and extremism have been going on since the begining of time. Bad information is not a recent phenomenon either and those ready to spread crap will do it through every means, conventional or not, more often than not on less mainstream and socially acceptable ones. So yeah while the old generation think Twitter is stupid and not worth learning about the young generation embrace it without enough knowledge to differentiate between what is a worthy source or a shady source.

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  3. Anonymous4:06 PM

    Hitler was very media savvy and he said "if a lie is spoken again and again through official sources, by the time truth catches up with it, the lie has already taken eight rounds of the world and then truth and lie does not really matter"

    What the social media has done is that everybody is aware for the all the right or wrong reasons and information has reached the remotest corners of the world. There also something else, in my childhood there was only one media the Government media. There was nothing else and it was easy to cover something like a riot or corruption because the print and the state television/radio were the only things available. Now, there are multiple mediums of communication and you cannot suppress the wrong doings. Then it was a one way media, people could not give back their feed back.

    Recently, our Prime Minister went to the Facebook headquarters in America. In a question answer session he pointed out something very important. He said that the social media is very important in gauging the public mood to a particular policy. As soon as an event takes place, within five minutes there is a reaction. More like a expression of public opinion on the Government. Earlier, you had to wait for five years for elections to know what the people actually thought about the Government, through elections. Social media is an important tool for governance also.

    There is talk about "Digital India" whereby all the villages and districts of India would be connected through a digital network so that information is accessed in real time. We do get SMSs from the passport and other offices on the status of our application from time. Banks have been pioneer in this field. This empowers the common man because he does not have to be on the mercy of establishment for his work and it also makes the Government more accountable. Corruption flourishes because rules are opaque and the common man can neither navigate this system on his own nor extract the right information.

    Apple

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  4. I don't think the "wrong doings" have ever been supressed, if it had been, history would not have been full of revolutions, wars, battles and reform. I think the social medias are just now teaching people that it was never so. It is more loud in your face than previous medias were.

    Back to Hitler, he lived with his time, he was technology and media savvy in his days, this is what made him a dangerous and powerful man. He didn't just start by exterminating jews, he started by pointing flaws in an exiting government, made promise to change them once in power and actually DID change things around, he promised jobs to people, he delivered, he promised to make cars more accessible to the common man, he delivered. He got people's trust and approval first, knowing that it was the only way they would get on board with his much crazier and seriously disturbing agenda. So when the man that put your country's economy back on track, put food back on your plate and gave you job say "It was all Jews fault, lets get rid of them" what can one do but believe it?
    WW2 happened when his garbage and supremacy agenda was no longer flying with other nations around, governement media control be damned. There are always things that leak through, always have.

    The problem nowadays is that the media progress is going fast, much faster than the older generation can grasp and because they can't grasp it they can't teach it to kids. There is a big need of the hour to teach people how to filter information that comes to them.

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    1. Anonymous12:14 AM

      other nations were not exactly disturbed by hitler's agenda. They thought that hitler was going to finish communist Russia. It was only when he invaded France and bombed England, he became a problem. ironically, Russia's help proved crucial in stopping Germany. It was the indifference of world powers towards hitler's military adventure in the initial stages that caused the second world war.

      We in India are eternally indebted to the second world war for our independence. It was the threat of invasion by the azad hind fauj netaji subash chandra bose with the help of the Japanese army which caused the British to pack their bags and leave India in a hurry. The war was devastating for Europe but proved a boon for India.

      about hitler I sometimes think if it is possible for a single person to sway public opinion of a diverse country like India??

      apple

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    2. Fascism became a problem in Italy, and Spain, Hitler's ideologies were furiously attractive in a dysfunctional Europe at its time.

      I am not sure we can really see a one man influence like Hitler's in India. BUT at the moment we have no shortage of politicians that make the most outrageous claims and statement to disrupt communal peace. I am very disturbed by the media attention the Hindutva groups are getting and their disturbing statements about meat and beef and how far they will go to push their ideology on others. No man is worth killing over beef (which wasn't even beef) and these extremist seems to think there is no problem to retort to extreme violence to avenge the death of a cow...how they even figured out it was in line with the spirit of Ahisma is beyond me, if that is the kind of Hinduism they want to force on people, I'd rather stay a spiritual agnostic who enjoys a variety of food groups on her plate.
      Now would be a good idea to remind people that the Indian constitution is against the kind of crap these groups pull.

      That said, thankfully, because of social medias, the ludicrousness of these politians is also exposed more quickly.

      Delete
  5. Pinterest is still ones of those social media tools that I can't seem to wrap my brain around. Don't get me wrong, I can certainly spend/waste hours of my time looking at things on pinterest. However, translating this time into how it can help my blog grow is still something I have yet to figure out.....

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    1. I am in the same boat, I just don't see it. Maybe I am not in the know. I think Pinterest is great to get some inspiration, for me it doesn't translate in massive blog traffic though.

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