If you haven’t noticed, several of my recent blogs have been focused on social media. I’ve been working on my masters degree and thought a social media class would be great to not only help me with the Allergy Friendly site and blog, but also as a marketing professional. After several weeks of reading, discussion, and research I wanted to share what’s stood out the most for me in my social media class and what’s helped the Allergy Friendly site the most:
- Voice – It’s really important to use a consistent voice throughout your blog. When I decided I wanted to blog I looked at a lot of my favorites blogs and the style they wrote in. Most were easy to read because of the writers laid back, friendly style. This was the voice I wanted to use in my blog so I try to treat it like I’m talking to my friends, but still have a serious tone at times when subject requires it.
- Focus – Pick a topic you’re passionate about and have a lot to share. My husband’s allergies have changed our life in many ways. I keep a list of all the little allergy related issues that come up in our life or that might make a good blog post and scroll through the list when I’m struggling on what to talk about in a new blog post. Other times there is something that has affected our life in that particular week that has really stood out in my mind, like when his coworkers moved their lunch meeting to an allergy friendly restaurant so he could join them.
- Frequency – I’ve already failed on this one, but am trying to make amends to my loyal followers. Consistency is key or you’ll start losing followers and relevancy on whatever topic you’re focused on. I was pretty consistent with posts on my blog until my husband got sick during the holidays in 2013. Honestly I should have been blogging about this experience and the many tests that were run to rule out more allergies and other possibilities, but I was so worried about what they would or wouldn’t find I couldn’t even think about anything else and I didn’t blog for months as a result. He’s fine now by the way. No new allergies, but more changes in his diet.
- Choose your followers wisely – Follow other experts and bloggers talking about the same or similar subjects, or even your competitors. The more active they are the better; more relevant information to share with your followers.
- Sharing on Social Media – Being active on social media doesn’t take much. Share, like, Tweet, Retweet, and favorite anything that you find interesting or relevant to your blogs focus. Those you follow like to see their links Retweeted and shared and will return the favor, and your followers will enjoy seeing different perspectives as well. If you need some help getting up and running on Twitter, pick up Mark Schaefer’s Tao of Twitter.
- Opportunity awaits on Google+ – There are more people using Google+ than you think and the positives of sharing your blog posts on Google+ are plenty. More discussion happens here and Google+ posts show up in Google searches higher than any other social media. If you want your blog to be found by more new followers you must, at a minimum, be sharing your blog posts on Google+. If you need some direction on Google+ get your hands on a copy of Chris Brogan’s Google+ for Business or Guy Kawasaki’s What the Plus.
Managing Social Media
- 20 minute management – Don’t be afraid of management tools like HootSuite, TweetDeck, or Seesmic. These tools can save you so much time getting your blogs and other content out there consistently and across all of your social media platforms. Twenty minutes and you can schedule tweets and posts of your current blog posts, past posts, and other valuable content for an entire week like these amazing allergy friendly sugar cookies, perfect for Halloween treats. This frees up the rest of your week to share other content you’re reading, or thoughts on your blogs focus in general.
As I share more about my husbands food allergies and our challenges as a family I get more feedback from followers that makes it all feel worthwhile. I know at least someone is getting value out of what I’m sharing, which was the whole point of starting Allergy Friendly. If I’ve shared something you loved, please let me know. If there’s something specific you’d like me to talk about, please share that as well. Any other advice you’d give for someone new to blogging or social media?