By: Natalie Vereen-Davis
When you’re first starting your blog, your number one concern is how to find an audience. Social media is an effective and (mostly) free option to help you build backlinks, connect with others in your field, and reach those potential readers.
Here are the social media accounts that will help you accomplish your blogging goals, make those important connections, and help grow your blog into a business.
1) Facebook. With over a million users, Facebook is the social media powerhouse. Most everyone you know is on Facebook, which means that your audience is likely on there, as well. Although organic reach for business pages can be discouraging, Facebook ads are relatively inexpensive and allow you to hone in on your audience with specific promoted posts.
2) Twitter. While you might not get lots of traffic from Twitter, it is an excellent social media channel on which to promote your brand and connect with others. Spend time each day retweeting, liking, and commenting on tweets from others in your niche, and you’re sure to find a helpful tribe in no time.
3) Pinterest. Think of this as a visual version of Google. Pinterest allows users to share and curate their favorite posts from across the web, which makes this a great resource for getting your posts out to the right kind of customers and readers. Use long, vertical pins to catch users’ attention, and live pin for 20 minutes a day for the best results.
4) Instagram. People love photos, and this is most apparent in Instagram. One of the simplest social media channels, Instagram is composed of a single running feed that showcases the photos of everyone you follow. This is a particularly great source for new followers if you’re in the travel, fashion, home interiors, or food genres since you can let your photographs do the talking.
5) Flipboard. A combination of Pinterest and an RSS feed, Flipboard is a social media channel that is resourceful but doesn’t seem to get the credit it deserves. You can curate your own news magazines, flip others’ stories into your magazines, and contribute to group magazines. Although the traffic from Flipboard tends to be less engaged on your blog or website than those from Pinterest or Facebook, it can be an excellent referral source if used properly.
6) Stumbleupon. This channel takes a grab bag approach to social media sharing. When set up your account, you select groups according to your interests, then discover pages across the web with those interests when you hit the stumble button. You can add your own blog pages to your account to have them discovered by others.
Don’t get discouraged if these channels seem overwhelming. If you’re just starting out, start with one or two, and get the hang of those first. As you get more confident in your sharing abilities, add one or two more. Only have as many social media channels as you can effectively handle, and don’t forget to interact with your new readers and followers!
Natalie, a former college literature professor, decided to combine her passions for travel and writing into Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown, a travel blog, in 2014. Since then, she and her family have explored King Ludwig’s castles in Bavaria; flown in a World War II era plane over St. Simons Island, Georgia; explored an Iron Age fort on Ireland’s Aran Islands; and touched fossils in the Grand Canyon. Her travels focus on the intersection of history, literature, culture, and family-friendly adventures. When she’s not traveling, Natalie can be found exploring her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and two young children.