A Little Backstory
I spent the majority of 2014 building a social media department for an established SEO firm. During that time, I learned a TON about the business side of using social media. As the manager of the department, it was my job to keep up with the ever-changing aspects of social media and adapt my staff to them. It was actually amazing and fun.
If you’re reading this article, then you probably already know how important social media is to business. Running a blog is no different.
Being able to syndicate your posts through numerous channels is one of those things that you wonder how you lived without it before it existed. It’s even bigger than that though. Your social networks play a HUGE role in branding.
So you know social media is a must-have, but it’s also a huge commitment. Creating engaging posts for your social profiles is work. There’s no other way to cut it. Depending upon how many and which networks you choose to use, it can get intimidating pretty quickly.
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A Social Media Crash Course
Before you get trigger-happy with the usernames and passwords, there’s a few things you need to know about creating your profiles and pages. Yes, pages. With Facebook and Google+, it’s not necessary to create a new profile. You just simply need to create a Page.
Check out these differences between Profiles and Pages on these two platforms:
- No email and password required – If you’re currently logged into your personal Facebook or Google+ Profile, you don’t need to create new credentials
- A Page cannot stand alone – A Page must be owned by a personal Profile. You cannot log in to manage a Page without a personal profile
- Pages work a little differently – The interface for managing Pages is a little different from Profiles. It tends to be pretty self-explanatory
There’s a ton of little tips and quirks pertaining to building your social profiles and pages. I could never cover them all in one blog post, but you’re in luck! I have put everything I know in a concise course and you can grab it here =>>
Which Networks Should You Use
This part can be a little complicated. A business analysis should be a part of any good social media service to help you decide which networks will play well with your business. It really boils down to common sense and knowing how each social site works and how they can benefit your business. By business here, I’m talking about blogging and Internet Marketing. Luckily, it’s not too complicated.
A Not-So-Quick Overview of the Major Networks and How They Can Benefit Your Business
Facebook – This one works with pretty much any business. You have a couple options with Facebook: Pages or Groups. A Page is your blog’s profile on Facebook. You create this from your personal profile while logged in by clicking Pages in the left navigation of your Facebook Home. Select Create Page from the fly out menu and you’re off!
- Local Business or Place – This is for local small businesses such as plumbers, printers, flower shops, etc.
- Company, Organization or Institution – For companies, non-profits, schools, colleges, etc.
- Brand or Product – This is the one for your blog. This category allows you to select Website as your purpose
- Artist, Band or Public Figure – This one is pretty self-explanatory: celebrities, politicians, musicians, etc.
- Entertainment – This would be great for YouTubers, comedians, TV shows, movies, etc.
- Cause or Community – For cities, communities, activism, etc.
Perhaps a Group would serve you well. They are pretty much booming. The difference in short between a Page and a Group is that Groups promote conversation, engagement, and encourage interaction between the customer and brand while Pages promote the brand with informational posts which readers may or may not engage. Groups can work really well for blogs and businesses in general because of that conversation aspect. You can do both if it suits you! Check out this article that breaks down the comparison of the two.
To create a Facebook Group, click Groups on the left navigation of your Facebook Home. Select Create Group from the fly out menu.
Twitter – Works for any business as well. Twitter is a whole different animal and a lot of people don’t understand what it’s for or how it works. I like to think of it like this: Imagine being able to send your audience a text message anytime you want. That could potentially be really powerful for your business, right? With its 140-character limit, Twitter is basically that. Technically though, it’s microblogging.
If you don’t know how Twitter works, I’d suggest reading up on it. It’s actually a nifty way to network, but not that great at converting traffic into much except maybe an opt-in for your list. In recent years, it has expanded to support both images and video natively. To create a profile for your blog, there’s no specific difference from creating a personal profile.
Google+ – This is Google’s answer to Facebook, and actually works somewhat similarly. With Google+ you have two options again: you can create a Page or a Community. I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you that Google+ Communities are the equivalent to Facebook Groups. Google+ is pretty much a must-have for your blog simply because it’s Google’s social network and it can contribute heavily to your Google Search rankings…those darn Google gods.
To create a Google+ Page, type business.google.com into the address bar of your favorite browser while logged into your Google/Gmail account. You can then create a new Google+ Page for your blog/business by clicking the blue + button in the lower right corner of your screen.
Google+ will present you with 4 options:
- Product or brand – This is the one you want for your blog. Otherwise, same rules apply here as with Facebook Pages.
I would suggest having Pages for your blog on both Google+ and Facebook, but choose one or the other to host your discussions if you’re going that route. It’s a lot easier to just maintain a Page on both and keep the discussion on your blog, so it’s really just up to what you want to do and what will work best for your market.
To create a Community on Google+: From your profile, click Communities in the left navigation. Click the Yours tab at the top, and then you can click the Create a community button.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is basically your online resume, and you only need to use this if your blog or business focuses heavily on business to business products, services, and sales. For example, Microsoft absolutely needs to publish and promote via LinkedIn because one of their main markets is supplying software to other businesses. Otherwise, you can probably get away with using your own profile and sharing your articles from your blog. You can find more information in my course if you’re interested. =>>
More Networks – These are the main 4 social networks, but there are some other big players out there like Instagram and Pinterest. At this point, social media goes from significant commitment to daunting task. However, these two players just can’t be ignored. Unless your business creates a ton of digital content like a blog, these two are kind of unnecessary since they rely so heavily on the visual and images. Since you’re probably creating images for your blog anyway, you might as well post them up with a link to your posts! Instagram is driving big sales for some right now and Pinterest is a big time traffic generator.
I don’t want to ignore YouTube. I’ll be honest, my videos pretty much suck. Video definitely isn’t my strong point when it comes to content creation. Even so, YouTube is super powerful. Not only will it drive traffic to your blog, it will help you establish credibility. When you become more than an unknown behind a keyboard, people tend to trust you more.
Once you figure out which networks to start with, concentrate on creating the profiles and graphics. Don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t pick more than 4 to begin. You can always create more later. Don’t worry about content right now.
Creating Graphics for Your Profiles and Pages
Every social network has a place to upload an avatar at the very least. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ also have large areas for a header or what Facebook calls a Cover. To make this simple and quick, grab a screen shot of your blog header and the main element of your logo. If you have copies of the images on your computer, even better. If you don’t have a screen shot tool, Jing is awesome and free. We will use these images to create matching and recognizable branding for your social profiles.
For example, let’s say I’m using StackingBenjis.com to create matching branding for my social media. Here are the two images I need to brand my profiles and pages:
You can’t just upload your header as-is. Each social network has it’s own size requirements. The easy, quick, and free way to handle this is with Canva.com. Canva is a web-based designing software that helps you handle all aspects of webmaster graphics in one place.
Here are just a few of the things you can design with Canva besides social media graphics:
- Ebook covers
- Business cards
That is not even close to everything you can make with Canva. In addition, Canva saves your designs to the cloud and they have an extensive stock image library for just $1 per image. You can also us it to create visually stunning social media posts once you’re ready to create content. They have been an absolute asset to my freelance endeavors over the last year, and things would be much more difficult and time-consuming without them.
TIP: Even if you prefer Photoshop or some other designing software, you can at least go in and download a blank template in PNG or PDF format from Canva that will be the correct size for what you’re trying to accomplish.
Holy cow this post is crazy long.
So, What Are We Going to Do With the Blog Graphics?
Upload them to Canva. Then choose what you want to create. Select your logos, resize, add any elements you desire. Download. Upload to the corresponding social network. Done. Rinse and repeat for:
If you’re the type who needs to see it to do it, scroll to the bottom of this post for a video I did on Canva. It focuses on creating a Kindle ebook cover, but it outlines the basics on how to use Canva. Upload the square picture of your logo as your profile picture to:
Optimizing Your Profiles and Pages
Your bios and descriptions are important because not only do they tell people who you are and what you do, but it can also be the hub of referrals for each network. Most, if not all, social media networks provide a space for you to input the URL to your website/blog.
How about a few more general ideas to turn your social media bios into powerful marketing tools:
- Include an email address and URL to your blog in your bios
- Cross-promote between social networks by adding info to your bios. For example, add you Twitter handle to your Google+ and Facebook descriptions. This can help you grow your following across all platforms
- Cater your bio to the platform it’s on. Include hashtags in your Twitter bio. Don’t be afraid to be informal and fun on most platforms, but keep it all business on LinkedIn.
- Use the same handle on every platform. This should correspond with the name of your blog. To check across multiple platforms and see if your brand is available, use this.
- Want to see how your profiles and pages are performing? Google yourself. If you see some profiles near the top and others at the bottom of even deeper in the search engine results, then those need optimization work.
So you’re all set up. What now? It’s time to make a plan for sharing content via your social media networks. If you’re writing on the regular for your blog, then it’s not difficult at all to automate the process. Check out this post.
I’ll be writing more on that in the future. In the meantime, I really recommend grabbing my social media course. It will take you from point A to Z on how to manage your social media like it’s your job because it was my job when I put that course together. As always, leave a comment below if you have additional questions. I’m happy to help you out.