23 Nov 2014

BLOGGING TIPS: Using Facebook and Pinterest for your blog


When it comes to blogging Facebook & Pinterest aren't always seen as a valuable tool for networking. They're fun to waste a few hours on - but how can you make it work for you? There are lots of things you can do to try and boost your outreach on these platforms as well as meeting other like-minded bloggers. It's not all pretty living rooms and vaguely agricultural Facebook games...

IS HAVING A FACEBOOK PAGE WORTH YOUR WHILE?
The "page" feature on Facebook seems to be pretty hit and miss within the blogging world, some people swear by it as a method of promotion and helping readers keep up with your post however I personally don't find it all that useful. I have a Facebook page for my blog where my posts are shared as soon as they're live thanks to Bloglovin automatically pushing them and I also share random little snippets from time to time. I find that my page requires a lot of effort to be put in with little reward to really be seen. Despite having nearly 400 likes at the moment it's a bit of a rarity for any of my content to reach any more than 25 people - I blame Facebook's shoddy algorithms and determination to suck every last penny out of page users!

For other people it is a different story and I would encourage you to give it a go before you give up on it altogether. Facebook allows you to schedule posts which is a really useful feature and something that I make the most of on other pages that I manage. Be sure that your posts include photos as these seem to have a much higher reach than posts without. It's good practice to try and engage the reader by asking questions and encouraging interaction, it's all about virality (shares) these days!

Something I like the most about having a page is having the ability for readers who don't use platforms such as Bloglovin or GFC to keep up with my posts, in particular my family and friends "IRL" who I know like to have a nosey because they text me about my posts sometimes! If you're comfortable sharing your blog with your personal network then be sure to invite your friends to like your page - who knows what opportunities & contacts that may provide!

NETWORKING ON THE SOCIAL NETWORK
Another amazing feature on Facebook is the group function. Groups are pretty similar to pages (in fact I think they used to be the same thing) however they allow a large number people to share their content in a slightly more private, or even secret setting. Every time I publish a new post I share it in a variety of Facebook groups such as UK Fashion & Beauty Bloggers, FBL: Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Bloggers and the group that I set up for Scottish Bloggers too. This ensures that my posts reach hundreds of bloggers across the globe and is one of the biggest drivers of traffic aside from Twitter. A quick search of the site brings up hundreds of similar groups for you to get involved with and it's worthwhile checking for a local group in order to hear about meet-ups & events that may otherwise go unnoticed!

GET PINNING
I waste many an hour on Pinterest (follow me here!) and whilst it is a fantastic source of inspiration it's also a pretty decent tool for promotion. Much like Facebook, Pinterest is also home to hundreds of group boards where bloggers can share their content. I love these boards as I think I'm quite a visual person so the photographic aspect of Pinterest really appeals to me. Examples of great group boards include the Scottish Bloggers Board and this Blogger Group Board.

As well as pinning to group boards be sure to set up your own board just for your blog and keep it up to date with all of your latest blog posts. I have the Pinterest extension for Chrome so in just one quick click my posts are pinned, however not everyone uses this so it could be a good idea to install a "Pin It" button on your blog - this tutorial is very helpful!

If you use Pinterest then you will notice that it is predominantly portrait photos that are the most popular on the site, so be sure to have one that's bright and shows off what your post is about. When I remember I like to make a separate image for Pinterest that has the title of the post and my blog url written on it so that my post doesn't get lost in a sea of repins. In order to build your following it's important to pin regularly and split your content up in to a number of categorised boards to make it easy to find. You can see some examples of my boards on my profile here.

I hope this post was helpful for you - please let me know if you think I've missed something out!

Next week: The final dedicated social media post will be all about my personal favourite - Instagram. From apps, to hashtags and people to follow be sure stay tuned if you want to up your Insta-game.
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