The idea of having different audiences across different social media platforms (and my blog) was not something that had ever occurred to me until about six months ago. Until earlier this year I had merrily been posting content on my blog, then simply repeating it on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. in order to reach all my followers in all the different places.
In theory this worked perfectly fine. Not every reader follows you on every platform. Therefore repeating my content in order to reach everyone, everywhere seemed perfectly logical...
...Until I questioned why certain posts were incredibly popular on the blog, but failed dismally on one or more of my social media platforms. So the concept of reaching my audience on each platform wasn't actually working as well as I'd hoped.
I QUESTIONED WHY CERTAIN POSTS WERE INCREDIBLY POPULAR ON THE BLOG, BUT FAILED DISMALLY ON ONE OR MORE OF MY SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS
I'm not sure when I had this eureka moment, but I didn't read about it on another post or see it on Pinterest. (I'm sure someone somewhere has written this exact same thing in a post, but I've not come across it.)
One day it occurred to me that the people I was interacting with on Twitter were mostly bloggers. Not exclusively, of course, but a large percentage. I know myself that if I want to contact a blogger quickly, I'll tweet them.
ONE DAY IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT THE PEOPLE I WAS INTERACTING WITH ON TWITTER WERE MOSTLY BLOGGERS. I THEN REALISED THAT EVERY NEW "LIKE" ON FACEBOOK GENERALLY WASN'T FROM A BLOGGER.
I then realised that every new "like" on Facebook generally wasn't from a blogger. And Facebook is starting to get a bit old hat for teenagers, who are using platforms like Snapchat much more. So I knew my audience on Facebook weren't bloggers, and I knew that they were almost exclusively female (which figures, considering the type of blog I have), and I knew that the highest proportion of followers (77% in fact) were in the 25-54 age range:
So the eureka moment was simple but blindingly obvious: Different people follow you on different platforms. But I was dishing out the same information to everyone, everywhere. The reason why my latest blogging tips post failed to get much interest on Facebook was because my followers on Facebook weren't bloggers. However, tweeting a link to that post at the right time (with the right hashtags and an image) was a success, receiving lots of favourites and retweets.
THE EUREKA MOMENT WAS SIMPLE BUT BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS: DIFFERENT PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU ON DIFFERENT PLATFORMS. BUT I WAS DISHING OUT THE SAME INFORMATION TO EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE.
You may be reading this and thinking: Of course it's obvious! Why wouldn't you know that? But to me it wasn't obvious, so maybe there are other (seasoned) bloggers out there who haven't realised it either. Secondly, there may be bloggers out there who do know this (at the backs of their minds maybe?) but aren't addressing the fact by not filling each platform with information that's relevant to that platform's audience.
So in order to up your game on all your social media platforms as well as your blog, you need to treat each one entirely differently. Don't publish a post on your blog and then simply post it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. as if you're simply ticking off a check list.
Give the readers on each platform what they want. And then give them something more.
GIVE THE READERS ON EACH PLATFORM WHAT THEY WANT. AND THEN GIVE THEM SOMETHING MORE.
I've broken down each of my social media platforms here so you can see the differences between them all, and what I do for each one. I won't say that I'm doing all of them perfectly - far from it! - but I recognise how each one is different and where I need to make changes.
(Please note this is purely how I came to understand my followers - this is not meant to be how you should understand - and therefore treat - yours! Everyone's audiences will be different, these are just some examples for you.)
1. FacebookFacebook is the easiest platform to see who is following you. This was the biggest revelation for me, and I'd always hated Facebook... until I understood who my audience were. As you can see from the screenshot above (go to Insights > People > Your Fans to see who is following you), my audience is mostly made up of British, Irish and American women in the 30-50 age bracket. Therefore I started to publish more articles and posts that would appeal to these women, not just regurgitated blog posts.
As a result, my likes, comments and shares started to go up much more quickly than ever before. I now I actually enjoy conversing with my followers on Facebook because I now understand them, and what they want, much better.
2. TwitterAs mentioned above, Twitter is my go-to for having a quick chat with other bloggers. Apart from replying to others and tweeting little titbits and thoughts, I make sure I schedule regular links to my social media platforms, new and old blog posts, and join in Twitter chats. Whilst not exclusively for bloggers, of course, I find it's the best way to reach out to the blogging community.
3. InstagramOh, wonderful Instagram! It has, of course, totally changed since it was launched in 2010, going from somewhere to post instant snaps (hence the name) with all the filters and borders (remember them?) to a platform that's as much about the aesthetics of the whole feed of an account as it is about the aesthetics of each image. Many Instagram followers do not follow your blog in any way at all, and as you can't add linked URLs to your posts then you IG feed is the only way they'll get to know your brand.
By becoming much stricter about what I post on Instagram, I noticed my follower numbers increased rapidly. I no longer add every image from every post on my blog; if it doesn't fit my aesthetic, I won't post it. Instagram doesn't send much traffic to your blog because you can't add a linked URL to the post, only in your profile.
Instagram is now generally all about pretty pictures. If it ain't pretty and/or work with my aesthetic and colour scheme, I won't post it.
4. PinterestLike Instagram, Pinterest is all about the aesthetic, but unlike Instagram you get the benefit of working links. There are two types of pin that are always the most popular on my feed: The pretty outfit/nails/make up/hairstyle, and the "how to" pins. I still use Pinterest as a platform for my own personal use - the classic "pin now, read later" or simply because I like the colours of something - but I'll address my audience by pinning plenty of the "how to" posts and outfits.
5. Youtube, Newsletter, Google Plus, Bloglovin - and the blogI've put these altogether because not everyone uses these (with the exception of the blog, of course).
Youtube: I've yet to master. One technical/logistical problem after another has meant my video-making stalled big time, but I'll get there. Studying what my blogging peers are doing on Youtube has given me lots of ideas on what to post once I'm ready to vlog regularly.
Newsletter: I've steadily built up my mailing list over a year to just over 1,000 subscribers, and it seems a fairly even mix of bloggers and non-bloggers. So I'll look at the stats for each newsletter to see what people are clicking on most, and stick with that. A mailing list is the one way to "own" your followers outright without having to rely on an App or a social media platform. I use (and highly recommend) Mailchimp as a reliable and user-friendly email marketing service.
Google Plus: Isn't particularly popular but remember this: Anything you post on G+ will go near the top of Google searches of those people who follow you on this platform. Get followers > Use keywords > Enjoy more traffic. My followers on G+ are a strange and mixed bunch (a lot of men and all sorts of countries, not just my usual UK/US/Canada/Australia), so it's hard to know what to post on G+. I add my posts to relevant community groups as well as my own feed in order to reach more people.
Bloglovin: This is essential as a key platform for readers to follow you. I think it's the bloggers' follow-method of choice, so ensure you've claimed your blog and give a link to your blog on Bloglovin, not your personal profile. If the Bloglovin link on your blog goes to a page showing all the posts you've saved and liked, you've got the wrong page. It should list all your blog's posts, nothing else.
Your blog: This is the most obvious as of course this is the "hub" of all your content! Use Google Analytics to understand who your audience are, where they're from, what they read your blog on, what keywords they're using to find you, what posts are the most popular, and so on. Here's a great post about the basics of Google Analytics for bloggers - it's tricky, but absolutely worth the effort.
What about you: Have you come to understand the difference between your followers on all your platforms - and do you treat them accordingly? Tell me if this post has helped you "see the light" (like my eureka moment!) in the comments below, or if it's easier tweet me @notlamb!
P.S. Like this post? You might also want to read 11 Ways to Use Twitter to Drive More Traffic to Your Blog!
Linking up to: Let It Shine, Brilliant Blog Posts, Friday's Fab Favourites
Main image credit: Free-to-use image not filtered by licence.