I know I’m not the only one who is pretty much insanely busy like 99.9% of the time, right? I’m always looking for the best ways to get more done, improve efficiency and just generally create organization out of chaos. This is why I wanted to share my own system for simple social media promotion for busy bloggers and business owners like me.
As you know, I also work a full time job. And have a husband, friends, family, two pugs and a bunch of hobbies. So I need a system that works for me but also that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. I’m sure you know that there are tons of great systems out there that will basically recycle your social media posts for you. However, I don’t have the budget to be shelling out tons of cash to promote my blog and business. (And I’m sure you don’t either!)
Since I’m sure many of you feel the same way, I wanted to share my favorite ways to promote my work easily and cheaply. I’m going to break down my simple social media promotion strategy by platform.
Pinterest is the biggest traffic driver for my site. I was an early adopter of Pinterest so I had a decent following before I even started with my blog. But then I was seeing that I was getting the most traffic from Pinterest, so then I spent more time improving my Pinterest page. I’ve taken some courses, but the main thing for Pinterest (that’s worked for me at least) is to constantly be pinning, pinning, pinning.
I used to spend tons of time scrolling on Pinterest and manually pinning. But whew – who has time for that!? I initially used BoardBooster for several years and it helped me to grow my Pinterest account a ton. However BoardBooster recently was shut down in 2018 since they are no longer a Pinterest approved partner. Therefore, I switched over to Tailwind (that’s my affiliate link) in order to continue to grow my Pinterest. I am still learning how to best utilize Tailwind, but so far I am using the SmartLoop, scheduling and Tribes features. This basically helps me to always have new content pinned to my account, which helps to grow my engagement.
The Pinterest algorithm is always changing (just like all social media platforms) so I’m no expert and can’t tell you how they are doing things at this moment. But overall, posting consistently, sharing your own pins as well as other quality pins, having good descriptions and using tall eye-catching images are the best ways to get the most from your Pinterest account. And as you have better pins, you get repinned more which grows your account and shows Pinterest that you are valuable pinner. Meaning your pins will show up more in other people’s feeds.
So what do I post on Pinterest? I actually post mostly other people’s content. I know this seems counterintuitive, but it actually helps to grow me as a great resource on Pinterest. People can see what I’m pinning generally and then are more likely to follow me. So when I repin my own pins, I have this larger audience to see them. I also am only a member of a few group boards, including my own group board Blogging for Bloggers which itself has over 12,000 followers (sorry, no longer accepting new contributors). I know some people recommend lots of group boards, but for me, I think just posting for a few has worked best for me.
Pinterest is the only social media platform where I use a paid for program, but I definitely see the most bang for my buck here. If you want to grow and concentrate on your Pinterest, I’d highly suggest using a program like Tailwind or one of the other options out there. There are also free options so you can try things out before you commit.
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We all know that anything you post on Twitter can quickly be old news / not seen by many of your followers. I used to spend lots of time only promoting myself on Twitter but wasn’t seeing a huge return. However, I still know/think it’s important to have a Twitter presence so I wanted to find an easy way to have automated tweets go out without wasting tons of time. I also didn’t want to invest in a pricey program like Edgar that would recycle my tweets, since I didn’t think I’d see a big return on that investment.
Instead I use the free version of Buffer (which I’ve actually been using for years). The downside with the free version is that you can only schedule out 10 posts at a time. I post 6 times a day on Twitter on average, so this means I need to upload my queue every other day. This can be a little bit of a pain but it doesn’t take me too much time – I can usually just do this in a few minutes.
When I’m on my laptop, I load my Buffer queue with a mix of my own content (blog posts, courses, upcoming promos, etc) and other people’s content (more below on how I find this), so that I’m more than just a self-promo machine. I have a bunch of tweets saved in Evernote and I just copy and paste the language right into Buffer.
Like I said, Twitter isn’t a huge part of my social media strategy but having saved tweets ready to go helps me to still have a presence on there without spending too much time. Then of course I take time to respond to any comments or retweets.
Next let’s talk about Facebook. This is a platform I used to really not pay much attention to. I used to post a few times a week and that’s about it. However recently, I did a one on one social media strategy session with Ashley from Dash of Social and she reminded me of the importance of Facebook!
Currently I post twice a day on Facebook and share a mix of my own content, other people’s content and some general fun things. I used the Insights section for my Facebook page to find the best times to post on my page. I’ve been taking about an hour or two once a month to schedule out everything for Facebook for the entire month. I can always change out posts or add posts if I have some new things come up. I just use the native scheduler in Facebook to schedule my posts out.
In order to save time, I will actually just go into my Buffer queue for Twitter and use the exact language and links I posted over there and schedule out for Facebook. It’s a huge time saver so I don’t have to find new content constantly for both platforms. It’s my little cheat – shh!
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Just like lots of others, I struggle with cracking that constantly changing Instagram algorithm. I’ve seen a big dip in engagement and who is actually seeing my posts. Plus am sick of seeing other people’s posts like 5 days late ugh – what happened to the “insta”? Anyways. It’s just what we have to deal with.
For Instagram, I’ve now been posting everyday, which is working for me. I used to only post on the weekdays but I see better engagement when I post daily. I used to get so stressed about what to post on Instagram and would waste tons of time to think something up each day and then type out something on my phone. Super annoying.
I recently started using Later to schedule out my Instagram posts ahead of time. Instagram doesn’t allow outside apps to actually schedule your posts but Later (and similar programs or apps) allow you to pre-plan what you’re going to post. I use my laptop to upload the photo, create the caption, include a group of hashtags and schedule when the post will go out, then Later posts it automatically.
It takes some time to create the posts in Later, but overall my content is better quality (since it’s planned out), I’m able to more easily type out my captions and things are much more organized. I currently use a mix of quotes (which I create using Canva), photos that I’ve taken myself and some stock photos. I don’t have the most “curated” feed but it’s a good mix of my life and works for me. I’ve definitely seen an increase in engagement on Instagram since I’ve started using Later so I’m excited to continue to grow my account there.
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How do I find other people’s content to post?
Of course I always try to promote great content from my friends that I’ve made online. But I also use Pinterest to find articles or blog posts by other people that I think will be helpful for my readers. I usually do this maybe once a week or every other week, when I have time. I then create language for the post (mainly thinking about Twitter) and use Evernote to create a post with the title of the post or something about the post, the link and the person’s username if I know it. I basically just create a huge running list of things to post in Evernote.
Then whenever my Buffer is empty for Twitter, I go over here and just plug in the posts. I also use this for posts for Facebook. Easy peasy. If I’m out of new content to promote and don’t have time to find new content, I just recycle and repost content I’ve already posted. Lots of my followers probably never saw the initial post and the blogger of course won’t mind repeat promotion. Win/win!
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Tips for you
So this is how I’ve set up my own basic promo schedule and it works pretty well for me. So figure out what works for you. Maybe first start out small to make sure you aren’t doing too much and overwhelming yourself. It’s better to start slow and be consistent than to put too much on your plate up front. Once you are in a good groove with your schedule, you can always start posting more if you find the time.
Overall I believe that consistency is key. Pinterest is my biggest traffic driver, so I am always working to improve my account. Also, I’m really working now to improve my Instagram since I see more and more people using it (and the algorithm is making it tougher to crack). Having a strategy and sticking to a consistent schedule has been the most helpful thing that I’ve done with Instagram and with my other platforms as well.
Want to learn more?
I recently updated my first course Blog While You 9-5 which I created with busy bloggers in mind. There is obviously TONS to know when it comes to blogging, including things like social media promotion discussed here. I have loaded the course with everything I’ve learned in my 6+ years of blogging (and my million+ years of being a working professional!) I recently updated the course, added two new bonuses (worth $60) AND dropped the price by $30. Because I know blogging is hard and learning how to blog better shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg, so check the course out now!