Ticking off one of my goals for 2017, I’m bringing back my blog tips – I’m sloooooowly but surely getting through my list!! If you’ve been a long time reader of LC’s Closet you may remember the blog tips series I launched back in May 2015. It was going strong and consistent for a little while and then life, work and all the things in between some how got in the way (not to make excuses!). So for the last year or so, I’ve been sharing my blog tips posts here and there without any real form of consistency. I want to change that and bring them back as part of either a monthly or bi-monthly series (I’ve yet to decide what’s realistic). To start back in I thought I’d focus on something that is such a huge part of my everyday – social media!
I love social media, but I also hate it.
I love social media because without it I wouldn’t have either of my jobs (my day job and my side hustle). I love how it has connected the world. I love how easy it is for me to stay in touch with my family and friends no matter where we are. I love how it has become an amazing source for inspiration. I love how it keeps us informed. I love how I know what my friends are up to even when I’m not with them. But…
I hate how fake it is. I hate how it can make me feel. I hate how people judge me and my worth based on the number of followers I have and not on the things that matter, like the type person I am or based on all of things I have achieved in my life. I hate how I doubt myself and question why I blog when a picture doesn’t get as many likes as I had hoped. I hate how easy it is to compare myself to other people. I hate how so many people cheat their way to the top (buy followers, buy engagement, are part of commenting groups on whatsapp). I hate how it’s all about the numbers now and quality or substance don’t seem to matter. I hate how negative news is always picked up way quicker than all of the amazing things that happen everyday. I hate how easy it is for us to compare ourselves to others and feel like crap!
WOAH!!!! It sounds like the hates outweigh the loves there, and yet here I am, just as guilty as the next person of spending way too much time on it every single day. And I know I’m not gonna be leaving it anytime soon, so I’m just gonna keep tipping along and hope that one day it’ll all pay off.
For my first blog tips post in the longest time, I wanted to share the golden rules for winning at social media in 2017. Now I’m well aware that I don’t have the biggest social media following in the world, but I have been doing this for years. I also spend Monday to Friday working on the social media accounts of the brand with the biggest social media presence in the world (after Facebook), so I’m more than qualified for this one! So here goes, to win at social media in 2017 you need to…
Rule 1: Offer Value
Why should people follow you? What are you offering them?
People are only going to follow you if you add something to their life. You may think this sounds a little dramatic but it’s true. Think about it – There are so many people and pages to follow on social media nowadays. Then outside of social media, there are so many other things fighting to break through the clutter and grab peoples attention. If you aren’t offering something unique, adding value to people’s lives and giving them a reason to follow, well then they either aren’t going to follow you or if do follow they’ll be hitting unfollow pretty quickly. Remember, content is king and you need to make sure your content is offering value!
Rule 2: Have a Personality
Content may be king, but personality is queen.
People will follow you if you offer value, but they’ll only stick around if they like you. So what’s the key to getting people to stay following you? Personality!!
Your personality is what makes you you and it is going to help you stand out from the thousands of other people trying to make it on social media. Personally, I think this is so important. You need to be you and don’t try to force or adopt a voice and personality that just isn’t you. People will see through it.
When I started blogging I had been following some of my favourite bloggers (and some of the biggest in the world) for so long. They were super successful and to make it in the blogging world I thought emulating what they were doing is what had to be done. Boy was I wrong.
The Lovely Pepa’s and Sincerely Jules of the world have their own personalities. They have their own voice that they share on social media and it’s not the same as mine. I love what they do but when I tried to be what I thought I should be starting off all those years ago (just like the big guns and not at all like me) it was so forced and I actually ended up sounding like the biggest bore in the world. I was (and maybe I still am???) SO BLAND!! Now I think you can see my personality shine through a little more, right? Or is that just me thinking that and I actually am still a bland bore???…..???!!
Rule 3: Ignore Vanity Metrics…
…and focus on what will help you get to where you want to be.
Let’s face it, social media is a numbers game. More followers + more engagements = success!! Or so people think. For brands, the problem with using social media to decide who you want to work with is that there are very few success metrics available for them to make an informed decision. Instagram’s API is super restrictive, so they end up relying on publicly available metrics.
I mean when don’t have access to deep information you would think it makes sense, right? Wrong!
I spend my days at work trying to push people from focusing on volume of engagements to actual quality of engagements.
The sad reality is that too many bloggers (especially bloggers in New York) are buying both their followers and their engagements. Then they are packaging themselves as have X amount of followers and engagement when in reality it’s all fake!!! These bloggers are essentially committing fraud. You might think I’m being dramatic here, but it is fraud. They are lying to brands and charging them extortionate amounts of money for collaborations when they know it’s all fake.
As a smaller blogger and someone who has been doing this for years, this is SO DISHEARTENING! The worst part is that some brands don’t seem to care that they are throwing their money away paying for some man in Asia to like a bloggers picture! All they want are higher numbers in every possible way, it’s crazy! But I do firmly believe the bubble will burst (it has to!) and soon the vanity metrics won’t be the most important thing. Brand will focus on the quality of the comments you get on your posts, on whether they see you have a community rather than just having followers and whether you have a following across platforms, and not just on Instagram!
I think I’m getting a little derailed with my point here. I think the point I want to make is that not everything you post is going to perform well. When you look at the biggest bloggers with millions of followers, sometimes their posts get 40k engagements and sometimes they get 15k. That’s a HUGE gap and it’s also real! When you’re up against bloggers who are buying followers and engagement, it is hard to compete with the consistency of their number and it’s too easy to get disheartened. BUT, what I try to do is focus on what I want, where I want to be and concentrate on sharing the types of posts that are gonna get me there. Sure a flatlay of my fav beauty products mightn’t perform as well as an #ootd, but I like it, I want to post it and who knows what potential collab that one pic may bring my way.
Rule 4: Stay in Your Own Lane
Following on from my last point, this is the perfect leeway to talk about staying my own lane. In this crazy world of social media it has become WAY too easy to compare ourselves to other people. But remember…
Comparison is the thief of joy.
You also need to remember that you don’t know what people are doing to grow faster than you or get more engagements. Like I just said, they could be buying all around them. So I’m just gonna stay in my own lane and do my own thing. As disheartening and hard as it can be, I am really making a conscious effort to not look at what other people are doing. Instead I try focus on what I want and why I do this in the first place. Ultimately it’s making me SO MUCH happier!
Rule 5: Understand One Size Does Not Fit All
This is just as true for Facebook and Twitter, as it is for Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Every social media platform has it’s own nuances. They are all different, and…
You should be creating different content to suit different platforms.
Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is! On Twitter the copy needs to be 140 characters and of course there’s hashtags. On Instagram you can do boomerangs, those new slide post thingys, video, Insta stories, and let’s not forget about the hashtags here too (up to 30 per post). Facebook – who even knows what’s going on with Facebook’s algorithm these days? And then we have Snapchat and YouTube that are 2 totally different beasts.
One thing I’ve been noticing a lot lately is that people are sharing the exact same posts on Snapchat and Instagram Stories. As in they are downloading from Snapchat and uploading to Insta Stories. Now I totally get that different people follow you on different platforms, but when you do this the quality of the posts (especially videos) suffer. So while it is time consuming to do the same thing on two different platforms, taking the extra 5 minutes to create different content for every platform is so much better. Believe it or not it does matter to your followers.
Photos by Claire
Rule 6: Adapt and Evolve
Social media is always changing. One second Snapchat is about to take over the world, then the next thing we have Instagram Stories and all of a sudden Snapchat’s growth is in rapid decline. Then we have Facebook and Instagram’s constant algorithm updates. Just when you think you’ve cracked them, they go and change it all over again. Aye, aye, aye… It’s a full time job just trying to keep up! So what’s a gal (/blogger) to do?
You need to be open to adapting and evolving with the different platforms.
I myself am guilteeeeee of being a bit slow to try out new features on social media platforms. Social media is already so time consuming and then when you throw even more features into the mix, well you may as well just have your phone surgically attached to your hand! Seriously though, you need to adapt with the platforms. Embrace Insta stories, use the new Snapchat filters, post a video to Twitter, host a Facebook live. Don’t be scared to embrace all that these platforms are giving you, because the people who do, will be the ones the platforms ultimately favour.
So there you have it, my 6 golden rules for winning at social media in 2017.
Let me know if there’s any points you guys would add,