Social media can offer wonderful ways to build buzz for your blog, book, or brand. And that’s why See Jane Write hosted a social media workshop for writers and bloggers on Saturday, March 21.
The workshop kicked off with Bertha Hidalgo of the fashion blog Chic In Academia sharing her tips on how to grow your Instagram following. Bertha has over 14,000 followers on Instagram and has been very successful at using this platform to build her brand. In fact, she was recently invited to speak at a conference in Los Angeles because of her Instagram popularity. Visit Bertha’s blog for a recap of the tips she shared Saturday.
Next, Heather Brown of the popular lifestyle blog My Life Well Loved shared tips on how to use Pinterest and Facebook to build your blog’s readership. Heather has over 13,000 Facebook fans and nearly 27,000 followers on Pinterest. Yesterday, Heather started at series on social media tips on her blog. Visit My Life Well Loved today to check out her tips on how bloggers can get the most out of Facebook.
I ended the workshop by offering attendees four lessons I’ve learned about social media as a writer, blogger, and entrepreneur.
- You don’t have to be everywhere all the time.
Pinterest is not my jam. Twitter might not be yours and that’s OK. Instead of trying to be everywhere all the time, choose two or three social media platforms and crush ‘em! How do you choose? Pick the platforms your ideal reader frequents and the platforms you actually enjoy. It’s OK to have an account on all platforms, but you only need to focus on a few and you can use the other platforms to direct people to where you spend most of your time. For example, Hilary Rushford, the style and business coach behind DeanStreetSociety.com is an Instagram guru. And so her Twitter bio includes this statement: “My party is on Instagram @HilaryRushford.” And her Twitter feed has a pinned tweet that reads: “Twitter, you’re nice. But I go steady with Instagram. Come join the daily party: Instagram.com/hilaryrushford.”
That said, I do urge writers to not be afraid of image-focused platforms. You can easily turn your favorite quotes or even words of wisdom from your own writing into an image for Instagram or Pinterest. Use tools like Canva, Pinterest, or Word Swag to create beautiful backdrops for your words.
Take for example BossBabe Inc., an online network for millennial businesswomen. BossBabe’s Instagram account only shares snarky, witty and inspiring sayings for girlbosses and has a over 81,000 followers.
- Get into the group thing.
Participating in Facebook groups is a great way to network with potential readers and even find friends who understand the creative work that you do. The Southern Girl Blog Building Group is a good one to join as is, of course, the See Jane Write Birmingham Facebook group. Starting a group of your own could be a great way to build your brand. Interest in See Jane Write grew exponentially after I started the Facebook group. One way to cultivate community is by offering the group a challenge. When I launched the annual #bloglikecrazy challenge group members were eager to share their daily posts in the group and read the posts of others. And they used the Facebook forum as a space to cheer on their fellow Janes and even form friendships.
- You can tweet your way to your next writing gig.
I landed a paid freelance gig with one of my favorite online publications through Twitter. Twitter is a great place to build relationships with editors or agents you want to work with. But be genuine. The first communication you have with them shouldn’t be asking for information or a favor. Chat about common interests and build a rapport. When the time is right for you to bring up business, you’ll know.
- Writers need to get “LinkedIn.”
I’ve been fortunate enough to have many editors approach me about freelance writing opportunities and, believe it or not, most of those editors have found me through LinkedIn. The first time this happened I was shocked. Back then I posted updates on LinkedIn so infrequently I’d forgotten I had an account! But once an editor said she had learned of my work through that platform I began to wonder how many editors had stumbled upon my LinkedIn account and decided – due to my lame profile – that I wasn’t the right woman for the job. I then decided to make sure that my profile was current, complete, and fresh. I also try to post updates more. All users can now post articles to the LinkedIn network as well. For more on LinkedIn check out the post You Need to Get “LinkedIn.”
Do you need one-on-one help with social media, blogging, freelance writing or building a brand? Then you need Java with Javacia — a one hour session with me, See Jane Write founder Javacia Harris Bowser. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.