A Newbie Guide To Branding Social Media


If you are using social media for your blog, business or website, give yourself a pat on the back - you are already ahead of the game. However, if you are using just one or two platforms, you have some catching up to do. For you to reach the maximum amount of people, you must grow your network. Using multiple social media platforms may seem daunting at first, but if your goal is to increase your social media presence, or brand your image/business then it is absolutely necessary that you take advantage of the services that the following websites offer. 

There are other benefits to increasing your social media presence. One of the best benefits is advertising revenue. This is the main revenue for most blogs and businesses around the web. If your website/blog is kept up-to-date with relevant (and good) content, you will attract readers. Companies want to reach your readers and will pay to have their products reviewed or featured on your site! There is also a little revenue to be found in offering featured placements on your front page or sidebar.  

What’s the secret to getting these kinds of offers? 
Good content and social media.

Where To Start?

With over 200 social media networks, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. The key is figuring out which ones you need to use. I’m not going to list all of the social media networks available but I am going to give you my favorites. Using these platforms in conjunction with one another will grow your blog/business in vast ways. You’ll be on your way to monetizing your blog and building an active community in no time.

First Thing’s First

Create a folder in the file where you keep your site/blog documents. 
Name it, ‘Social Media Networks’ or something similar. Start the following accounts. Save your log-on information to a file in your SMN folder. Again, this is not a full list of networks, just the ones that work well for me.

Xeeme
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Google +
StumbleUpon
Instagram
Klout
Empire Avenue



I’m sure you have one or more of the following accounts already – that’s great! Those other accounts will be used in conjunction with your new ones.

Once you have started all of your accounts, go to XeeMe.com and start an account and fill out your profile information. 

Now that you have linked your accounts in your Xeeme profile, you will have one link that you can give out to potential clients of your complete social profile.   {Business cards with one link are a fabo idea! Moo has the most creative, imo.}

It’s a good idea to have a folder created in your ‘favorites’ so that you can bookmark the log-on page of each network for easy retrieval (and no forgetting!). 

Now that you have all of your accounts set up, we’re going to go over a few of them and let you know how to use that platform effectively. This is a slight overview of these networks. For a more in-depth how-to, please subscribe to this blog or follow on Bloglovin'. We will be featuring each social media network in an in-depth series that will begin on July 22.

{For the purposes of this post, I will not go over Facebook}.  ;)

Twitter

Twitter is used by more people on a daily basis than Facebook. Twitter also makes things very easy to be seen by people that are not your followers by maximizing the use of hashtags (#). 
When you use hashtags, they will be seen by anyone who searches your hashtag. For example, if I use #bodywraps in a twitter post, then anyone who is looking for information on body wraps by searching ‘#bodywraps’ will see your post. (You can also use hashtags on FB but that’s another post).

This is why it’s important to use clear, concise, searchable (and hopefully trending) hashtags. It pays to be thoughtful; picking key words to get your point across.

Example tweets:

#GetHealthy with #ItWorks! #Wraps on sale $20 #thisweekonly!

#Homeschooling is fun with #freeworksheets! Get our #free #math sheet. #Instantdownload!

Enter our #Giveaway! Win $50 with #Froogality!

Everything with a # in front of it is a key word. The more # you have, the more your tweet will be seen. A word of caution: you can use too many hashtags. A tweet is only 140 characters so if your tweet is mostly #’s, it looks more like spam than an actual tweet. 
My suggestion: Use at least one but no more than four.

*Trending hashtags can be quite exciting! You have the ability to think of anything you want and put a hashtag symbol in front of it. There may come a time that one of tweets goes viral and produces a hashtag that is listed in the trending section of twitter. This is an awesome opportunity and could bring you thousands of new followers, mentions, retweets or favorites. 
{Imagines the day when #ParsiSwank is trending…}

Pinterest

If it isn’t already, Pinterest is going to become one of your favorite networks. Not just because it’s an endless supply of creative inspiration and constant motivation, but it opens the door of getting the sort of readers you want for your blog. That is if you want primarily females, ages 18-55. 

A pin can be pinned from any website. Downloading the pin app on your toolbar is very helpful for pinning from any website/blog you happen to be on. When you pin from a website or blog, that pin will pin to your wall but link back to the website you pinned it from. When a person repins your pin, they can click on the pin and be taken to the original website.

I always suggest pinning from your website once you’ve posted a new post or added a new picture. It’s a good idea to read up on some photography tips and tricks so that you can take the best pictures possible. An even better idea would be to start you a pin board called ‘Photography Tips’.

Be careful, you will find that some businesses post text based graphics that feature their new sale, or a new product – these aren’t highly received and have a hard time being repined by your average pinner. (If your objective is to just get something seen, then it’s not a bad idea.)

Make sure your pins are relevant and of good quality. According to Pinterest, food and fashion are the most repinned categories, so sticking to one of those is always a great idea. 

 Google +

Ahhh, google +. A little lesser known than Facebook and Twitter but it’s quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Google is great because, well, it’s Google.  You can click here and read up on the advantages of Google +. Suffice it to say, it’s very useful and I am learning to use it well. The best thing about Google + is you can + anyone! For example, If I’m writing a blog post (I use blogger which is google based), I can mention someone by typing a plus sign in front of their name. +HeatherWilsonSmith. If you have a google account, you have been tagged.  ;)


StumbleUpon

This is one of my secret sites. 

Imagine this; you’re sitting home bored and tired, longing for some inspiration to get you motivated. You think, ‘if I could just find one great idea I can do for my blog – something new and fresh that hasn’t been seen on every other frugal site’.  You know, that something that can inspire you to get up and get moving? Then, StumbleUpon is for you.

Stumblers favorite unique pages and classify it by category. When you set up your profile, you will be asked to select your interests. When you click the ‘Stumble’ button at the top of the page, a new website will load in the category that you have selected. If you like the page and want to save it to your favorites, you can click the thumbs up button. If this page is not what you were looking for and you don’t want to see it again, you should click the thumbs down button.

Alternatively, you can install the sumbleupon toolbar to thumbs up or suggest a page while browsing the internet. If you find a page you like, just click the button and add it.

I really like Stumbleupon and have been using it since the beginning. They’ve changed it some through the years and it sort of reminds me of Pinterest; but it is very useful and my go-to site for new ideas that I can try at home (and it’s great for drawing inspiration to create your own projects, or blog posts).

Instagram

Being completely truthful, I am not the Instagram expert. 
If you want an Instagram expert, ask your teenage daughter. 

Instagram is the fastest growing network among tweens & teens (even though you aren’t technically allowed on Instagram until you are 13). I read recently that among teens, Facebook was described as ‘old’. It can be reasoned that this is because all the parents are logged on every morning, scrolling through newsfeeds like the Sunday paper, tagging them, sharing photos and embarrassing them. Also, if mom and dad are on Facebook and you happen to be friends with them, then it’s likely you will see everything they post. If they have something they don’t want you to see, they will use another network.

Moral: Join Instagram – use it for your business/blog or brand…and, to keep up-to-date with the kids.  It’s a win/win.  

There are a lot of different tricks that can be used when using Instagram. Using it on your PC and automatically posting pictures are the two main ones you’ll need to know. Believe me when I tell you that Instagram is a hot commodity – especially if reaching a younger demographic fits into your brand.

Klout

Depending on who you talk to, Klout is either good or bad. Whatever the case may be, I love it.

Klout measures your influence through your networks. The more interactions you have, the more your Klout score is affected.  Klout makes the assumption that having more interactions means you have more influence. Whether it’s true or not, the more interactions you have on your social networks, the higher your klout score will increase. Klout also allows other people to give you K+ (klout influence points) in the topics you wish to be influential in. These topics are chosen by you and can include everything you are about.

Did I mention the perks? The higher your score, the better chance you have of being selected for a Klout Perk. Usually, it’s from a company giving you one of their products so that you can review them on your blog and social media networks. They want to reach the people you influence through you! It doesn’t get better than that!

EmpireAvenue

It’s not a coincidence that I saved this one for last. Frankly, it’s daunting and difficult to learn quickly. But, it’s not impossible. 

Empire Avenue is a social stock market networking game where the object is to amass virtual wealth by investing in individuals that are creating content and engagement online. Empire Avenue connects all of your social media networks and assigns you a stock price according to your influence and interactions. As your social media influence grows, so does your share price.


You earn virtual currency in the form of eaves (e). You can then use these eaves to create missions. It’s these missions that will give you the exposure you’re seeking. You can start missions that include additional FB likes, re-tweets and new followers on just about every social media network on the web.

Whew, That’s A Lot!


Yes, I know!  But, the sooner you get this part done, the quicker you can be on your way to increasing your influence across social media! This will bring great connections, increased viewership and hopefully advertisers with deep pockets!  ;)

Next week, I will go over these social networks in more detail so bookmark or fill in the follow box with your email. You can also follow me on Bloglovin’, Google+, Facebook or Twitter. I’d love it if you come over and say hey! Also, I’d love it if you’d join our Blogger Buddy NetworkGroup on Facebook. It’s a fabulous place filled with other bloggers, Mom’s and business professionals networking and helping one another daily.

Okay…ready, set, get social!

Just so we're clear, I have not been paid for any content in this post. In the 'example tweet' section, I have used my best friend (an It Works Distributor & Frugal Blogger) as the inspiration.