Grow Your Blog: Steal Tips From My Social Media Marketing Experiment

business man pressing computer laptop and social networkHave you wondered if getting serious about social media could help you grow your blog audience?

Today, I’ve got proof for you that it can.

Hiring a social media manager has been on my to-do list for a long time, but I was reluctant to commit big bucks to it.

I finally saw my opportunity a few months ago, when my son, Evan, wanted a flexible job he could do alongside his college coursework. He lives on Facebook, his smartphone is never off, he needs to earn his way, and it was money I would have to spend anyway to support him.

It seemed like a good opportunity to try training someone I could trust to take over social-media tasks, where I could closely monitor how it worked.

After a few bumps and lumps, we came up with a goof-proof plan that’s grown my audience, subscribers, and sales.

Real results in a few minutes a week

The best part? The plan we developed is super-simple, and doesn’t require any sophisticated social-media knowledge. You can do it without hiring a social media manager, and many of the techniques are free. You could also hire an affordable teen and get this done for a song.

These steps take only a few minutes a week — and I believe this social media marketing has played a major role in growing my blog traffic over the past year.

I’ll share my takeaways in three parts — the plan, the problems, and the results.

 

1. A simple plan

After setting up Evan on Hootsuite so he could schedule posts ahead of time, we worked out a basic set of activities that could be easily delegated. Our plan:

Have goals. Instead of just hopping on and spitting out some message off the top of my head, retweet the first few things you see, and hope that helped you, I became intentional about what I was doing in social media. We came up with concrete goals and stuck to them. This helps avoid wasting time ‘hanging out’ in social media. You do your goals, and then you’re done.

Cover the whole tweetcycle. I consider Twitter the premiere platform for promoting blog posts — it always seems to get the most use for me, wherever I post. One disadvantage of being a West Coast blogger is that by the time I get into the office at 9 a.m. or so, it’s already noon back East, and half the Twitter day is gone for a key time zone for my audience, which is about 75 percent in the U.S.

So Evan would schedule posts for 9 Eastern (6 a.m. Pacific) to get me rolling with that crowd — and we could repeat those messages later in the day, after posting a few other useful-info shares.

We program a Facebook post for early a.m. that also goes to Twitter, along with a few other early-morning tweets. I also had him hit early afternoon Pacific/late afternoon Eastern, when I’m usually busy, as there’s often another spike of Twitter use, before back-East workers go home that I was nearly always missing. If I know I’m going to be out, I can have him program more time slots.

Promote older posts. I’ve been impressed to see some bloggers who will take one post and promote it multiple times a day, for a month. Where I was usually sharing it just once!

Meanwhile, I have 700+ posts on this blog, and many of the most popular ones are still relevant. One of my biggest goals was to promote these assets and make better use of them to attract more subscribers. We optimized many of those classic posts with fresh links for current products, or a subscribe ad for the blog. That early-morning Facebook post is usually a re-socializing of one of these older posts, like this one:

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.07.00 PM

Before hiring Evan, I might get 200 views and a couple likes on something like this, if I was lucky (and if I remembered to do it).

You may know Facebook now makes a point of not giving business-page posts any decent exposure unless you pay to boost them. But with Evan taking a bit of time to craft these, they do much better.

I gather he speaks Facebook chat better than I do — a strong argument for getting someone young on your social-media team — and I consistently get messages from Facebook that his posts are performing above my average.

Be more active. By getting Evan on Hootsuite to schedule posts days in advance, I could be more active in social media overall. If I had a day where I never had time to check in on these platforms, it still looked like I’d showed up. If I had time and added a few things, it was gravy. Soon, I was getting comments like, “Wow, how do you manage to be on all these places? It seems like you’re everywhere!” My profile was getting higher.

Reduce pressure to check social media. When you know you have pre-scheduled posts and tweets going out, it’s easier to resist the time-wasting compulsion to hop onto Twitter five times a day to post another update. This really helped with my productivity. No more feeling stressed that I should get up super-early to get on social media!

Cross-promote to build followers. One of the first things Evan pointed out to me is that I had 10,000 blog subscribers, a nearly equal number of Twitter followers…and only about 2,000 Facebook page followers. “That’s just wrong!” he pointed out.

He began using my Twitter audience to build up my Facebook audience by posting tweets that point to a Facebook post. He also encouraged me to hold contests on Facebook instead of in blog comments, which drove a lot more FB engagement, and helped grow my followers there by 50 percent, to over 3,000 and counting.

Make friends. My main goal for tweets was to simply share useful content my followers would like, by other entrepreneurs and freelance writing experts. If I had something to promote, I’d add that to the lineup myself. Having the regular calendar of other peoples’ stuff made it less obvious when I slipped in a promotional tweet, and made the whole channel feel less salesy.

I was expecting Evan to pick a wide variety of people to retweet, but instead he did something better: He would usually pick a few people and retweet their stuff for weeks on end. Because I shared their content repeatedly, these experts started to take notice, and I made some great new relationships this way. In some cases, these new friends were people I’d admired and had tried to connect with before, without success.

Experiment with Facebook ads. This part I do myself, working with my designer to create eye-catching graphics that Facebook will allow in ads (there are strict limits on how much text there can be). I’m still learning here, but I’ve promoted my free trainings to many thousands of writers I target on Facebook, and gotten some substantial signups through it — all without spending more than $10 a day in a typical campaign. (Trying to directly sell things that cost money on Facebook ads I believe doesn’t work that well.)

If buyers need many touchpoints before they take you seriously, this is another one I’ve created that’s raising my visibility.

Bottom line: What this all added up to in a typical week was one Facebook post and about 4-6 tweets a day, in line with our goals. Some days I came on as well and did more. But many days, I didn’t.

2. Biting off too much

What were the problems? I was all excited about having a social-media manager, and at first, I tried to go in a million directions at once. Things bogged down pretty fast. Some of our problems were specific to delegating this to a manager, and others are issues to watch out for even if you decide to tackle this yourself:

  • Too many platforms. At first, I wanted to try to get Evan to post for me on four platforms — LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. I created a spreadsheet with goals for each…but it was just too complicated, especially since I have LinkedIn and Facebook set to automatically also post on Twitter! This was resulting in duplicate messages on Twitter, and I came off as overly promotional. After a few months, we settled into focusing on just Facebook and Twitter.
  • Technical problems. We soon learned that you can’t connect a personal G+ account to Hootsuite, only a business page. But I usually post there under my personal profile. I decided to kill off my business page on G+, and to give up on having Evan post in this channel, for now. Since LinkedIn can be done once a week or so and still be effective, I took that on myself too, leaving Evan just Facebook and Twitter (which also meant we could use free Hootsuite.)
  • Too many goals. I wanted Evan to do about ten different things — all the goals above and many more, including promoting my Forbes blog and handling a lot of fast-changing promotion cycles. He was completely boggled. At this point, I delegate only two or three social-media projects at any given time, so the goals stay clear.
  • Delegated critical tasks. At first, I delegated promotional campaigns to sell products. That was a mistake — timing and precise messaging on these were key, and no matter how well I calendared it for him, mistakes happened that probably cost us sales. I decided to do my own sales cycle promos (pre-scheduled on Hootsuite as well), and leave Evan to do the stuff I *never* get around to.
  • Underestimated training needs. If you are hiring a social media manager, create a training manual — and then, expect to keep adding to it. Provide lots of screenshots and examples of what you like and what you want. You can’t be too specific. If you hire someone, remember that they don’t know your audience like you do — or you’ll see tweets go up that make you cringe.

3. More traffic, more subscribers

So, what’s been the result of all this extra, more targeted social-media activity? Over the past year, my traffic has grown substantially. As you can see below, a year ago, I couldn’t crack 2,000 visitors a day for love or money. Then, after bringing on my social media manager last fall, things started to accelerate.

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 7.53.39 PM

Now, I routinely see 3,500 visitors or more. I rarely have a day below 2,000 visitors. And much of that gain comes from Facebook and Twitter, which are contributing over 2,500 visitors a month. Comparing the most recent month to the same month a year ago, traffic is up over 62 percent, from around 40,000 to about 65,000 visitors.

That additional traffic has translated into more subscribers, and in turn, more sales of classes, e-books, and my Freelance Writers Den community.

I’m compressing a big chart with 5 years of data below, so you can see what’s happened with subscribers — they grew by 30 percent:

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 8.21.07 PM

I didn’t have a lot of free time to grow my blog traffic and build an audience during this timeframe– which is why I hired a social media manager. I wasn’t guest posting, I didn’t post on my blog more often, I didn’t do much networking…I basically had my head down, working.

We did do a redesign of the blog site for mobile — that’s about the only other major thing I can point to that happened in this time period.

Maybe some other big blogger would find these social media marketing results pretty modest — I didn’t quadruple my subscribers in a month or anything crazy like that. But I’m thrilled with the level of growth I’ve seen. I also didn’t spend much, and once we got our goals clarified, it didn’t take much effort.

How are you using social media to grow your blog? Leave a comment and share your tips.

How to Be a Well-Paid Freelance Blogger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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63 comments on “Grow Your Blog: Steal Tips From My Social Media Marketing Experiment
  1. Hello Carol

    I can not Thank you enough for this article. It had never occurred to me to hire someone younger as my social media marketing manager. I had thought about doing it, but never considered this.

    Now I am trying to train and choose between either my daughter or my nephew for that position. Both spend a great part of their day on facebook, etc…, why not utilize one or both of them for a job I don’t really have time to do?

    Again, Thanks for the article and the awesome tip.

    David

    • Carol Tice says:

      The kids, they know the Facebook! I can tell you my son CONSISTENTLY gets WAY more traffic to the FB posts he puts up for me than I do for the ones I write. I keep trying to get the hang of it though!

  2. Heather says:

    Brilliant post Carol. I schedule my posts on Hootsuite too and try to be strict with myself just to focus on two platforms (but it’s hard!). For now, it’s Twitter and Pinterest for me – I would like to use Facebook but I think I need to get a handle on these two first. You’ve inspired me to write a social media marketing plan though – I have been saying to myself that I’ll do it and then just end up loading up Hootsuite for the week without any real strategy (which is crazy!). Thanks for the kick in the pants I needed!
    Heather recently posted…12 Best Small Business ToolsMy Profile

  3. Eric Beaty says:

    Such a great, insightful post. I’m trying to get back in to the fray of posting on Social Media (mainly twitter) for my new writing ventures, but it usually feels much too overwhelming. Definitely bookmarking this post for future reference and will come back to it again.

    Now I’m off to find the post you mentioned above in your Facebook (the one about doing something else if you’re considering creating a blog); truly curious about this. 🙂
    Eric Beaty recently posted…New Short Stories Are Finally Here!My Profile

  4. Laurie Stone says:

    Wow, really helpful advice. I just got into the Twitter world and find when I promote my blog through that platform, traffic goes up a lot. Still, there’s much to learn. Thank you for your advice.

  5. Tom Southern says:

    “goof proof” – great term!

    Having goals so that you know what you want to happen is priceless. It helps you stay on track & know when your social media isn’t working so you can adjust what your doing (and maybe even your goals if they’re not feasible).

    It’s great to see your growth. Slow growth is often better than fast growth because slow growth tends to last & pay off in revenue too.

    A really useful post, Carol. Thanks for posting it.

    What do you think to the advice to write for blogs whose readers a more likely to share content on social media? Have you done this and, if so, what are your thoughts?

    • Carol Tice says:

      You know, I’ve never thought of guest posting a place because I think its audience is more active in social media! I just think they have a way bigger audience than mine, and generally get more shares than I would on my own site…so it’ll probably be a great thing. But guest posting is also about a lot of things — cross-pollination, exposure to new people, and building relationships with top bloggers.

  6. Time of day is definitely a factor, and perhaps the penalty on FB isn’t as large now as it has been in the past. Still, most independent studies still show a decreased reach via 3rd party apps on FB. A brief Google search will bring up some interesting articles on the subject.

    In any case, 3rd party or no, this your article is a great expose on social media management. Thanks, Carol!

    —Peter

    • Carol Tice says:

      I found pinning a post to the top of my thread would sometimes get me a ton of free traffic. In general, unpaid FB page posts get very small exposure. You basically have to decide whether you want to spend on FB. But my FBs also go thru to Twitter, where I find they often get quite a lot of interest…and help bring my larger tweep audience over to the FB page. 😉

  7. Hi Carol,
    Great stuff. One good thing to keep in mind with social media scheduling—Facebook reduces the visibility of posts made by third party apps. So far there aren’t any other platforms I know of that do this. So if you want your reach to go further on FB, use their built-in scheduling instead of products like Hootsuite and Buffer. (Just one of the many reasons I hate Facebook—LOL!)
    —Peter

    • Carol Tice says:

      I do sometimes use their own scheduler — but the funny thing is, Evan’s posts through Hootsuite get pretty nice traffic. Time of day may be a factor, as he does early on.

  8. Therese Kay says:

    Thanks for the great tips, Carol. I’ve definitely got some tweaking to do. I’ve been at this on the more serious side for only a few months. I have not seen much growth in that time but my views have started to become more regular. Other than being sure to share my posts on each of my social networks, I haven’t been as intentional and focused as I could be. I’m looking forward to applying your tips and seeing what happens!
    Therese Kay recently posted…Writer Wednesday: Loading a Word Document onto a KindleMy Profile

  9. Miss Carol,

    An incredibly powerful post. I can easily see why you have the readership that you have, as I’ve bookmarked this site into my special file.

    I noticed that you have someone helping you with your social media attack.

    That’s a luxury for sure. I’ve been blogging, posting to 3 social media sites as much as I can, but I can now see that I’m getting burned out. (I teach technology at a private school during the day; all grades pre-K through 12th grade.) So time is a big factor on whether I can get the word out to the social media channels that I can, much less write substantial posts.

    I usually go to these sites and post a short synopsis of what the post was about. On Google+ I’ve been posting to about 20 of the biggest communities and on FB I’ve been posting in about 20 different Internet marketing groups.

    So, I’ve gotten traffic that way.

    Anyway, excellent post!

    God Bless my friend!

    ELMO
    Mark Elmo Ellis recently posted…Information Marketing the MOST Lucrative of all Internet Marketing OpportunitiesMy Profile

  10. Hey Carol,

    This article on your results (with your son as social media manager) is slamming! Thanks for sharing … As others have already said, you’ve included a lot actionable tips.

    There used to be a neat plugin that would pick up older posts and add them to your twitter stream. (I used it for a while then seems it wasn’t maintained any more, so I abandoned it.) So, that’s a great strategy to consistently share evergreen (and epic) content.
    Vernessa Taylor recently posted…Too Much Paper? Adopt A Managed Print Services MindsetMy Profile

  11. Gina Horkey says:

    Nice work Carol (and thanks for sharing). Social media is something that can always be improved upon in my business. I try to be present on Twitter, FB, G+ (personal page) and Pinterest. FB & Pinterest battle for my most social shares monthly. Honestly, I feel like I connect w/people better on G+ though. I try to share anything I read that I find value in and also my own posts strategically:-)
    Gina Horkey recently posted…One Way I Guarantee I Get Paid by ClientsMy Profile

  12. Jawad says:

    Great post, Carol!
    I wanted to “brand” myself as an expert/top-rated professional in my niche, so I extensively focused on building connections on LinkedIn (LI). When I started writing articles for some top websites in my niche, I used to promote it on LI and began gaining significant traction! This resulted in a traditional-publisher approaching me after reading my articles and/or after checking out my LI profile. I ended up signing multiple-books deal!
    So, for me, LinkedIn continues to remain the top social medium! For Twitter, I think the tweets move too fast for anyone to follow or read relevant content (just my thoughts!). For Facebook, it stills seems a bit “easy-going” to be called a professional’s platform!
    Thank you Carol for doing an amazing job by helping all of us in our writing careers!

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’ve been hired by 3 Fortune 500 companies on LinkedIn, so I’m definitely a fan as well. What I like most is you don’t have to spend much time on that platform to look ‘active.’ But I’ve also been hired by some great clients off Twitter, as well, and it’s been key to the success of my Forbes blog. People definitely do read and share on there.

    • Elke says:

      Multiple books deal?!! Congrats, Jawad!

      • Jawad says:

        Yes, Elke! You got that right! 🙂
        And do you know a secret? It’s none other than Carol Tice whose blog inspired me to get out of freelancing websites (oDesk, Elance etc.) and position myself as a “brand”! There’s no looking back!
        I owe Carol Tice too much to ever think of paying it back! But, the least I can do (and I do) is to wish her endless successes and pray for her continued success!
        Now, I too am on a mission to help someone/anyone, however small that help may be!

        • Carol Tice says:

          Wow, thanks for letting me know how my blog helped you get off content sites, Jawad! As it happens, I’m developing a new course right now with Linda Formichelli that’s focused on solving that exact challenge — stay tuned for that in about a month!

          • Jawad says:

            Carol,
            I think I can be your perfect case-study for writers who want to surmount endless challenges in their writing journey! For me, it’s been a ‘rag-to-riches’ path to the writing world, just because I took yours (and Linda) advice to heart and put them to work! And in my case, the fears such as being a Muslim or being a Pakistani also proved utterly wrong, as no client really ever cared as long as I did an excellent job! I too had my share of rejections and disappointments along the way, but it was worth the experience! Imagine a writer earning $10 (which was still a GREAT pay for a third-world country’s freelance writer) for 1000 words to now earning $250 for 400 words! All because of YOU! 🙂
            THANK YOU, Carol, and God Bless You! *Bowing*

            • Elke says:

              Dear Jawad, Have you published a blog post anywhere of your writing journey? Would love to read it!

              • Jawad says:

                Hello Elke,
                Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to chronicle my writing journey yet! It’s been a whirlwind writing journey almost at a breakneck speed!
                But, you make an excellent point and a great food for thought to share my writing experiences with the world! I’ll chronicle my writing journey and publish it too, most probably, on LinkedIn! 🙂 I don’t have a blog, and nor have I approached anyone to share my success story with the world!
                I wish you all endless successes in your current and future endeavors!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    This is such a great, practical overview of social media strategy! Still dragging my feet on Twitter, even though I know it’s important. One thing I’ll throw out there to add to this list: lots of people pin great content to Pinterest boards… I am selective in what I pin but it results in some really great content. Whenever you post images that accompany content it’s a good idea to name them something that makes sense vs. letting the image file just default to IMG0123.jpg or “screenshot” or whatever; I often change the caption in the process of pinning so I can better see what I’ve pinned later, but it’s always nice when this is already done.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Yes, lots of people pin great content on Pinterest — and I’m working on developing more pinnable graphics, so readers can use that strategy and help promote me over there. But I’m still unclear that it works as a major traffic driver in our niche — I think it works great for lifestyle/DIY/Home/Food type channels, but not sure on ours.

  14. Amy L Gouger says:

    I’ve noticed the difference in the facebook posts and love the older blog posts postings. They are still relevant and timely. Keep up the good work, Evan!

  15. Rohi says:

    Thanks for this detailed case study, Carol.
    It’s incredibly helpful.
    I know exactly what steps to follow and how.
    Btw, I’m really really enjoying Pitch Clinic.
    I’m learning a ton of interesting stuff.
    Rohi recently posted…Let Humor Accompany You Like The Shadow That Never LeavesMy Profile

  16. Linzi Clark says:

    After two years of random postings on social media, I’ve also just embraced scheduling. It has made a huge difference to both my time and the quality of my posts. Fingers crossed my blog traffic will also grow as a result.

    • Carol Tice says:

      Well…instead of crossing fingers, test and evaluate. Try a strategy and see how it works. Try something else if it doesn’t.

      Scheduling is definitely a breakthrough, just like it was when I got WordPress Editorial Calendar and began looking at a month at a time’s worth of planned posts. I think scheduling automatically makes you start thinking more strategically.

  17. Amy Campion says:

    Carol, Very helpful post! I always feel guilty for not being more involved with social media, but you make it more doable with your focused plan.

    I would add that, for me, including a Google+ post to the program when I have a new blog post has been helpful not from a social media standpoint but for seo. Even if people don’t comment on or even notice the post, Google likes it, and I was able to get on page one of Google search results for one of my search terms that way.
    Amy Campion recently posted…Five Seed-Starting Myths ShatteredMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Ah yes…then there is that SEO angle for using G+. So far, I find I’m on top of a lot of the searches I want to rank for without it, but it is a consideration.

  18. Redesigning for mobile probably is providing you with some traffic you wouldn’t have otherwise. Specifically, returning mobile visitors, as your site is now mobile friendly.

    Your visitor number gains are impressive.

    Will
    Will Bontrager recently posted…On-the-Fly ‘Scroll-To’ AnchorMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I’m sure the redesign IS a factor in the growth, Will, but it’s hard to assess how much.

      Hmm…this made me curious to go take a look at that — and the stats I think convince me that the social media is the bigger factor. Vast majority of my readers are still on computers, using Chrome, Safari, Firefox and the soon-to-be retired Internet Exploder.

      Then I get Android Browser, Opera Mini (who uses that still???), and Safari in-app (iPhone), among others. But the numbers are quite small for the smartphone browsers — maybe 5,000 sessions a month on those compared with about 73,000 sessions on computer browsers.

      Hmmm…going back a year, it’s about 4,000 sessions. So really, not a lot of immediate payoff on that — but at least I’m ready for the future. 😉

  19. Jess Donegan says:

    Wow, that was an awesome post. It validated a lot of the techniques I wanted to try along with some that I’d discarded. Now if only I could hire a social media manager.

    Still Hootsuite is awesome, and I love how you can have a presence ithout having to live on twitter.

    Right now I’m just working on twitter and google+, which unfortunately does not branch into hootesuite or buffer. Within the next month I want to expand into pininterest, but I think incorporating it just now would be too much at once and I don’t want to be swamped by social media either.

    I’m on the fence about whether I want to work linkin or facebook. I don’t like the facebook business model and so far I find linkin very dry. Who knows though, it’s still early in my work.
    Jess Donegan recently posted…3 Things Baristas, Don’t Want to Discuss & 9 Brighter Topics of Conversation:My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      We all have to decide where we enjoy being in social media, and where our people hang out. I’ve had real questions about whether a visual platform like Pinterest or Instagram is worthwhile for a writing site, though I know some who are focusing on it. For now, I’m sticking with the two main platforms that seem to work best for me.

      What I need to do a lot MORE of is more precise tracking of what’s working. Sometimes we get a tracking pixel up on a FB campaign, and sometimes we run out of time and are in a big rush, and we don’t. I can see the overall social-media stats in Google Analytics, as I mention, but I should be doing a lot more to test. A/B split testing…I’ve got to start doing it!

  20. Mike says:

    I love that you put your son to work for you… a win/win for both of you.

  21. Amel says:

    I think it is wonderful that you have your son helping you out with the business. This is good experience for him if he wishes to manage social media for others in the future. I, too, try to involve my children in my business whenever possible.

    Regarding Twitter, I only recently joined, and I noticed that the articles on your blog do not include share buttons (or maybe I am missing them?). A few times, I wanted to share an article of yours but could not locate a tweet button. I think it is important to include these buttons for individual posts (not just the site as a whole) because a lot of people probably don’t want to go through the effort of copying the url and composing their own tweet.
    Amel recently posted…About Markets for Writers – How Much Do You Want to Earn?My Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Amel, we have Sharebar, but you have to click into the post first. If you’re reading on mobile, it may not be visible — we’re still working on solving that with a better tool for mobile. The problem we’re seeing is switching tools may zero out all my counters, which I hate!

      • Amel says:

        Hi Carol,
        You’re right that I was on a mobile device when I wrote my comment. I was curious about this, so I went to my laptop to see if I would be able to see the share-bar. With Internet Explorer (which is what I usually use), I could not. The bar is not visible on individual posts. It is, however, visible when using Firefox and Chrome. There are other (non-intrusive) plug-ins available that you might be able to use in conjunction with Sharebar. If you use two tools, you probably won’t lose the count data.
        Amel recently posted…Job Opp: Blog Article Writers for Restaurant Internet Company (pays $250 per article)My Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          Did you click INTO the post? It doesn’t appear until you do.

          My understanding is MSFT is sunsetting IE, so hopefully that problem is going away. 😉

  22. Janice says:

    Carol – this is social media marketing plan I’ve been looking for to market my blogs. Thanks so much for posting this.

    Social media has always been one of those things I tell myself I have a handle on, but really don’t. I like how you’ve outlined everything in a way that seems doable and results-oriented. Now if I could just get my 14-year-old to follow even half of what your son has created, I’ll be golden!
    Janice recently posted…Escaping house chaos at Hanging Lake, ColoradoMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      Hey, my 13-year-old son is totally angling to take this job away! Start him with one task, and see how he does.

      What I loved about bringing my son into this is I’m teaching him a great skill he could use to earn in the future — social media manager is a rising career that pays well.

  23. Williesha says:

    Your son has a very awesome career in front of him! 🙂 I also use Hootsuite but for now mostly doing other people’s content. My marketing plan calls for more stuff from me so I really need to incorporate old blog posts especially.
    Williesha recently posted…Finding Financial Direction with Carrie Smith, Careful CentsMy Profile

    • Carol Tice says:

      I know! Promoting older posts was something obvious that I was *never* getting around to. And now, it gets done, and gets a lot of traction for my blog. We take the trouble to write these posts, and we should use them, and not just the week they come out.

  24. Barbara says:

    This is really helpful – I write books and really *need* to promote them. As it is, I’m too busy to write and do the promotion, so I’m going to think about how I can hire a social media manager to help me out. I have Hootsuite (free) as well, along with Boomerang on gmail.

    Carol, seeing how to do this without coming across as salesy or, heaven forbid, spammy, was also helpful.

    Thank you!
    Barbara

    • Carol Tice says:

      My pleasure — one of the things I taught Evan was how to promote the same thing six different ways. If you keep mentioning different angles, or calling out different thought leaders, you can tweet about something all day without annoying people.

      On my Forbes blog, I do a lot of hitting the company names — “@Starbucks, you’re in…LINK” as well as using the public-company hashtags — “$SBUX, you’re in… LINK” to add variety and to potentially recruit someone with a big audience on social media to share it around. That strategy on Twitter was a HUGE driver in the success of my Forbes blog, which had racked up 2.7 million visitors in 3 years, posting just 4x a month.

      Bloggers should always be thinking about who they could target tweets to, to get help with promotion. Build up your network, make friends, share their stuff — and at some point, they may return the favor.

      • Dale says:

        I was waiting for you to mention this. The additional benefit is that it can provide an opening to build a relationship in the future rather than having to cold email them (if it was a blogger for example).
        Dale recently posted…The Freelance Writers Den: My ReviewMy Profile

        • Carol Tice says:

          Funnily, enough, I *just* now got an invite to affiliate sell one gurus products, from the many promos I’ve done of her posts on Twitter. It really is an icebreaker!

  25. Thanks for sharing this in-depth post about blogging skills which are inbuilt in every blogger but always remain hidden and one should get inspiration to show skills. And I get that motivation after reading this post. This is very very helpful and I will update my experience after following this to improve my blogging style.

    I am using several social media to get readers and it is working because I spent 20 minutes on each social site and post my latest blogpost or if I have not written anything new then I repost old one. This takes only 5 minutes and rest of the 15 minutes I spend to connect with my readers on their posts submitted to their social media.

    Mohinder Verma recently posted…6 Steps of Blogging and You are DoneMy Profile

  26. Joe Kovacs says:

    Wow, well….this is helpful! Yes, very helpful.

    Thanks, Carol, for sharing your story about bringing on a social media manager as well as the struggles and challenges you faced doing so in terms of goal-setting. It sounds like your son has some great talents and is a real asset to you and your business.

    The results, as you share, speak of unquestionable success.

    As a newbie blogger, I have taken the advice of many mavens and limited my engagement to just a few social platforms. Right now, my personal favorites are Twitter and Google+ though even with Google+ I don’t do as much as I should. One day, I hope to get to where bringing on board someone to assist with social media is viable.

    You also probably have yet another blog post buried in here on social media strategy. You positioned certain social media considerations in this post as hurdles to overcome as you brought on board a social media manager. But issues like: time zone consideration, avoid direct selling on Facebook, and consistently retweeting posts by the same (influential) individuals to increase engagement could make a great blog post in and of itself.

    Thanks again and happy writing!
    Joe

    • Carol Tice says:

      Ha, I thought about breaking this into more than one post! But I sort of got on a tear last night and decided to just put it all in one stemwinder.

      If bloggers take away just one thing from this, I hope it’s: Have a strategy. I think most bloggers are just sort of running around on social media doing anything and everything and hoping something sticks. Instead, try a specific campaign, and see what happens. Then, try something else.

      I personally had high hopes for G+…but I find I’m never on there. And now, I keep hearing that Google is going to kill it and it’ll just leave Hangouts (which I’ve had real problems with getting to work). Whenever I get a note about someone who’s connecting with me on there, it’s never anyone I know or want to know, just random people. So I think the jury’s still out over there — another reason I chose to concentrate on Twitter and FB.

    • I agree with you Joe. I was going to say that.

      This piece is so actionable and condensed Carol could have written many more posts from the content. Thanks for sharing this case study, Carol!
      Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin recently posted…How To Start A Blog Online $500 Scholarship For U.S. StudentsMy Profile

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