Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest & YouTube are just as important as your blog traffic and pretty much every successful blogger will also have a large audience on social media.
Just how valuable can social media be? We’ve been paid upwards of $500 for a post on social media, we’ve made thousands of dollars from Instagram Takeovers and Twitter Chats and we’ve even been paid by companies and given all-expenses paid trips just to cover an event or destination on social media.
There’s no doubt about it, it’s extremely important to have a good social media following if you want to be a successful blogger and it can actually end up being a very lucrative business to get into.
In this article, I’m not just going to list all of the important methods we’ve used to grow our social following to over 120,000 people, but I’m also going to break down exactly what you can do, day in and day out, in order to explode your social media audience.
First I’ll list all of the social media basics and explain what each important task is that you will have in the schedule, and then I’ll share with you the 6-Day Success Schedule that will show you exactly what to do Monday through Saturday.
Social Media Basics
Just as with the blog basics, here is a breakdown of the most important things you should be doing on social media. Social media basics are relatively easy once you get the hang of them, but they do take time. Every single day you should be doing all of the following.
Create Pinterest Images
Head over to Canva.com, join for free and learn how to create Pinterest images there. These images are long and narrow (Canva has a template with exact dimensions) and have been proven to be the most clicked.
Design your Pinterest image by adding text and some stylish elements. Then download it as a JPEG file. Now go in to edit the post that you want to add the Pinterest image to in WordPress, scroll to the bottom of the post in the edit screen and upload the image to the bottom. It’s always nice to add some big font (h2) that says something like “Like This Post? Pin it!” just above the image.
Now copy the URL of the newly uploaded Pinterest image and Click Here to create a fancy Pinterest button.
From the button builder screen, select the following:
- Button type = one image
- Appearance = Large/Rectangular/Red/English
- Show Pin Count = Above the button
Insert URL of the blog post where it says “URL”, then paste the Image URL that you copied earlier in the box next to “Image URL” and change the description to something similar to the post name, but with lots of extra keywords that you think people may search for to find your post.
Then click “Build it”. Now copy all of the code that appears and go back to your WordPress post edit screen, click the “Text” tab to show the HTML for your post and then scroll all the way down to the bottom and paste that code there. Now click the “Visual” tab, scroll down again and make sure everything looks good. You should end up with something like this:
Pinterest is likely to be one of your top traffic earners down the road, so spend a lot of time on it. Create a Pinterest image for every article you do and upload it to the bottom of your posts and you’ll find that your readers will be more likely to pin your articles and help them go viral.
Apply For Pinterest Group Boards
In order to have your Pins seen and to grow your Pinterest traffic, you’ll have to get your account accepted in group boards. Search around Pinterest for popular group boards in your niche and apply for them. Once you have joined a few, you can start posting in them.
To apply for group boards, head over to Pin Groupie. This site categorized thousands of group boards on Pinterest and you can even search by which ones have the most followers, repins etc. Once there, change the category to “travel” and then change the order to “Most Repins”.
Now you’ll see a huge list of group boards on Pinterest. You can narrow the results further by adding keywords into the “Title” or “Description” boxes. Once you find a board you like, click on it’s title in the list to open it in Pinterest. First follow the board, then click on the first avatar image to the right of the board title.
Open the creator of the board’s profile and follow them. Then click the little paper airplane at the top left of your screen, search for their name, click it and then send them a message on Pinterest. Explain to them why you would be a great asset to the board and request to be added.
Pin and Repin in Group Boards
Now that you have access to some group boards, you should pin (and repin) your articles inside of the boards.
This is pretty self explanitory as well, but there are different types of social shares like live videos, photos posts, one liners and article shares. I’m going to break them all down separately so that you understand what each one means when you see it in the schedule.
FB Text Share: This is a pretty simple share that doesn’t take much time, but it can be very effective. Simply ask your audience a question or have them fill in the blanks (ie: “What’s your favourite beach in the world” or “My favourite meal abroad is _____.” or “Where in the world are you from?”)
FB Image Share: Post up on of your favourite photos with a brief 2 or 3 paragraph description below. Always make sure to use appropriate hash tags and mention others who are likely to share the post.
FB Live Video: Probably the most important Facebook Share you can do (and one that we under-utilize) a Facebook Live Video is exactly what it sounds like. You type a description, add a location and go live to your followers. It can be strange at first, but make sure you engage with your audience while they comment on your live video. Facebook will give you the best reach for these types of shares.
FB Video: This is simply a video that you create or edit yourself and then upload to Facebook afterwards, much like you would on YouTube.
TW Text Tweet: Just like with Facebook, this simple text tweet can be a question, a fill in the blank or just an interesting fact you have to share.
TW Image Tweet: These are just as important as they are on Facebook. Share your best photo and explain it in 140 characters or less. Always include hashtags.
TW Live Video: Twitter hasn’t grown their Live Video interface like Facebook has, but it’s still worth going live on Twitter every once in a while.
INSTA Image Share: Instagram was built on photos so it’s no surprise that sharing images on the platform is important. Choose a theme and style that you will use on your Instagram account and stick with it. Write a long description for the image, publish it and then post the first comment that includes as many relevant hashtags as you can think of.
INSTA Live Video: Although video is new to Instagram, it’s exploded quickly. You can post Live Videos to Instagram to boost engagement.
INSTA Story: Instagram fully knocked off SnapChat and is now pretty much running the web when it comes to the “Story” platform. Post brief, 10 second clips 5 – 15 times throughought your day and your followers will love you for it.
INSTA VIDEO: Just like on Facebook & Twitter, edit a nice 1 minute long video and upload it to Instagram. This will show up in your feed.
YouTube Video: Edit a great travel video, create a beautiful thumbnail for it, title it something that makes people want to click it and upload it to YouTube. I personally use Final Cut Pro to edit videos and I love it. A great tool to manage and optimize your YouTube Videos & Channel is TubeBuddy.
YouTube Live: Let your subscribers know that you’ll be having a YouTube Live session and have a conversation with them while publishing the live feed for others to watch later.
At first, it’ll seem like a lot, but when you’re first starting out you really need your followers to get to know you, so live videos, uploaded videos and daily shares (with or without photos) are all important.
Signup for HootSuite and start viewing your social shares in a calendar. You should always have shares going out, even when you’re too busy to remember! Every time you see “Schedule Shares” in the 6 Day Social Success Calendar, you should schedule at least 6 shares. Generally 5 Tweets and 1 Facebook share is a good place to start.
Reply To Comments
Just like on your blog, it’s important that you keep communication with your followers on social media.
Follow / Unfollow
This is a controversial tactic for growing your social media following, but for new bloggers who don’t have money to pay for advertising, it’s the absolute best way. Basically what you do is head to your Instagram & Twitter account, find people in your niche and follow them. I’m not going to get too into it here, but I think Neil Patel puts it best:
“Here’s the rationale. If these 69.6k people chose to follow @successfield, then they might choose to follow me, too. I’m in the same niche, same industry, and am providing just as much value (if not more!).”
Neil has an incredible blog & social media following so he must be doing something right. He explains how to properly utilize Follow / Unfollow on Instagram in this post, and this one explains how to do it on Twitter effectively.
By when you follow people on Twitter or Instagram, they’ll get a notification to follow you back. If they like your account, you’ll likely get a follow back.
This is a great way to blow up your Instagram and Twitter by thousands of people each week, but their are limitations. Don’t follow more than 50 people per hour on either platform and when you’re starting out, you should limit yourself to 300 follows per day, and make sure you go back a week later and unfollow any people who didn’t follow you back so that your follow to unfollow ration isn’t too high.
Never follow spammy looking accounts and only follow those who speak the language of your account. Some people use automation to follow / unfollow but this is a very spammy way of doing it. You should personally be following people who are in your niche so that you can choose them yourself, based on their profile photo, bio and interests. Never follow eggs, XXX profiles or obviously abusive looking accounts.
For Twitter: Use ManageFlitter for free to unfollow people who aren’t following you back and keep track of your account. ManageFlitter also helps you weed out potential spam followers and keep a healthy Twitter account.
For Instagram: Use the Followers App to similarly unfollow people on Instagram and keep your account healthy.
Just like when you’re trying to boost your blog’s traffic, when you’re trying to grow your social following it’s important that you do a lot of research. Check which hashtags are doing well, go on BuzzSumo and see what topics are trending in your niche and learn different ways to grow and engage your audience.
There are quite a few tasks that I’ve listed above and that will show up in the 6 Day Social Success Calendar, so I’ve listed them below so for your memory:
- Create Pinterest Images
- Apply For Pinterest Group Boards
- Pin & Re-pin in Group Boards
- Add Pin Into Re-pin Group
- Social Shares:
- Facebook Text Share (FB Text Share)
- Facebook Image Share (FB Image Share)
- Facebook Live Video (FB Live Video)
- Facebook Video Upload (FB Video)
- Twitter Text Tweet (TW Text Tweet)
- Twitter Image Tweet (TW Image Tweet)
- Twitter Live Video (TW Live Video)
- Instagram Image Share (INSTA Image Share)
- Instagram Live Video (INSTA Live Video)
- Instagram Story (INSTA Story)
- Instagram Video Upload (INSTA Video)
- YouTube Video Upload (YouTube Video)
- YouTube Live (YouTube Live)
- Schedule Shares
- Comment On Social
- Comment On YouTube
- Reply To Social Comments
- Follow / Unfollow
6-Day Social Success Schedule
Popularity Isn’t Easy!
If you want to explode your numbers on social media, you’ll likely have to work at it every day. Some people get lucky and have a big media site embed their posts or they show up on the “Trending” section of the social platform’s home page and their numbers blow up overnight, but for most of us, it is going to take a long time.
If you stick to this schedule every single day, week after week, the effects will begin to snowball and you’ll start to see your numbers grow very quickly. There is more to social media than what I’ve listed in this post, but using this calendar as a basic guideline for your social media strategy will help you gain a loyal following.
Are you a social guru? What strategies have you used to grow your social following? Please share with us in the comments below.
Like it? Pin it! 🙂