*Update* Check out the latest Blogging 101 posts here:
Welcome back to another Blogging 101 post! Today's post is all about getting started in the huge world of social media.
First of all, why do you need social media as a blogger? Even if you view your blog as only a creative outlet, other readers, bloggers, and even brands will want to connect with you. If you plan on running it as a small business, you will definitely need social media.
Once you are visible through social media, people will get to know your blog, your brand, and it can drive traffic back to your site. All good things!
You may already be a whiz at social media with your personal accounts, but I have picked up a few tips that are specifically helpful for bloggers. I also link to lots of tutorials below that will be beneficial to setting up your social media, so stick around even if you are already a hashtag expert/ power Instagrammer/ Facebook fiend!
Let's get started!
General Tips for Setting Up Your Accounts
1. Create Social Media accounts separate from your personal accounts*
- There are so many reasons that you need to do this! Your in-real-life friends might not be interested in your crocheting posts, your blog readers might only want to see your food posts and skip the photos from your family Disneyland trip, and so on. Keep it simple! Also, for people who blog as a team, it makes sense to have an account that multiple people can access.
- Also, your social media will be public, so if you want a bit of privacy, keep them separate!
* Facebook & Google+ do not need a separate accounts, but you will need to set up new pages. Tutorial links below!
2. Create all the social media accounts you can!
- You don't need to go crazy, but the main accounts to set up are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+
- You might not post on all of them right away, but it is a good idea to at set them up and bookmark them for later. For example, I was not interested in Instagram at first. Later when I got into it, I was so glad that I already had my account set up and ready to go. Now it is one of my favorites!
3. Choose the same username across all accounts, if possible.
- It is SO much easier to remember one name, versus 5 different ones. If someone uses a Also, it makes business cards so much simpler!
- Choose a username that is either your blog name or blog address, if possible (like #4 from my previous post).
- A Twitter handle of @randomwordsstrungtogether for Vintage Zest would not make sense!
- Alternatively, you can use your name, but make sure it is prominent on your blog so readers can connect the two together. I don't know how many times I have seen a Twitter handle of someone's full name and realized that I have no idea which blog they belong to!
- Already have different usernames set up? See below for links to step-by-step instructions on how to change them!
4. Change your page to redirect to a customized URL.
- Now that you chose a fancy new username, make sure that your page is easy to get to!
- You only need this for Facebook and Google+, but it is definitely worth doing:
- At first, your Facebook url is facebook.com/pages/111111111111111/vintagezest but you can shorten it to facebook.com/vintagezest. Tutorial link below!
- Google + looks like https://plus.google.com/111111111111111111111/about but you can change it https://plus.google.com/+yourname. Tutorial link also below!
5. Open a new e-mail account for your blog.
- I should have mentioned it in the Starting Tips post, but it is a smart idea to open a new e-mail account to handle all blog traffic and social media. It can get messy to sort out all of the blog-related from the personal e-mails. Trust me!
- Besides, the e-mail address you picked at the height of your crush on Jake Gyllenhaal probably won't make sense to readers interested in your travel blog or sound very professional. I won't be using firstname.lastname@example.org then...
- If you are using a free e-mail service, use the same blog name, blog address, or social media username for simplicity's sake. Mine is vintagezest (at) gmail (dot) com. Surprise, surprise!
Social Media-Specific Tutorials
(relevant as of May 30, 2014)
- How to set-up: http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Facebook-Page or http://www.nutsandboltsmedia.com/how-to-create-a-facebook-fan-page-for-your-blog/
- Change Facebook URL: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2012/06/27/admins-can-now-change-their-page-url-without-having-to-submit-a-request/
- How to set-up: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Twitter-Account or http://www.deannazandt.com/2011/01/31/walkthrough-how-to-sign-up-for-twitter/
- Change Twitter username: http://www.wikihow.com/Change-Your-Twitter-Username
- How to set-up (only via mobile): http://www.wikihow.com/Set-Up-Instagram
- Change Instagram username: https://help.instagram.com/583107688369069
- How to set-up: http://www.wikihow.com/Join-Pinterest
- Change Pinterest username: http://help.pinterest.com/en/articles/edit-your-profile-or-settings#Web (Scroll down to Username)
- How to set-up a page: http://www.thewonderforest.com/2013/03/how-to-create-google-plus-page-for-your.html or http://www.thesitsgirls.com/social-media/set-up-google-plus-brand-page/
- Change Google+ url: https://support.google.com/plus/answer/2676340
More Helpful Tips!
In a later post, I will explain in detail how I use social media to promote posts, connect with people, and some effective strategies for doing so. In the meantime, here are the few last steps for setting up your social media!
6. Place your social media account buttons somewhere easily visible at the top of your blog.
- You want visitors to be able to follow you easily. Just do it!
- To find some cute (and free) social media icons, click on this page, this page, or take a spin around the web. There are lots of fun designs out there!
7. Download the mobile apps
- Since it is a good idea to post frequently, download the apps for all of your social media for quick posting on the go!
Note: You can post using web pages for everything except Instagram.
8. Start following people and engage with them!
- Follow your favorite bloggers (maybe me?) and comment on their posts. Say hello if you become a new follower, and lots of people will follow you back!
Now that you are all set up for your social media, you are all probably excited to get started. As I said, in a later post, I will talk about strategies for effective social media, but in the meantime definitely start posting and connecting with other people. Get out there and have fun!
Are you a social media newbie or are you already hooked? :)