The Next Level of Twitter and Facebook

Liveblog

Rebecca Otis
TheRebeccamendations
Digital Third Coast
@RebeccaOtis

Lori Lange
RecipeGirl
@Recipe Girl

Kristen Doyle
Dine & Dish
@DineandDish

Rebecca: For this session we'll be using the hashtag #nexttwitterfb

Rebecca: We now have the tools to promote our blogs on social media, trying to grow up and use social media to grow our following. How do you use these tools?

Lori: I use them in two different ways, I use Facebook professionally to share my blog, I use twitter personally to share my personal likes.

Kristen: Anyone who knows me knows I have a love/hate relationship with facebook. I used to use it as a way to promote my posts. Now I use it to engage my readers. I use twitter more personally to interact.

Rebecca: Everyone tries to find their own voice when posting and advertising.

Lori: Everyone is frustrated with Facebook because you don't have that reach, you might reach 500 fans and you have over 2000.
What are some things you do to try to extend your reach.

Kristen: I've switched to engaging - asking questions.

Lori: There are three things you look at with facebook, you have likes, shares and comments. Shares and comments have more reach, likes are a weaker part of the system. The goal is to try to get people to comment and share, you reach a larger fanbase with sharing.

Kristen: I share with posting a picture, but also ask questions. Before I came here, I asked on Facebook what do you do for a self tanner, and got some people that responded. A way for people to see your posts is by replying and other people can see their friends comments on the side bar on your page.
If you ask a question and you notice 2 hours later you get a lot of replies, it's showing in people's side bar so it's important to reply at that time to stay engaged.

Rebecca: There's options for reach, sponsored posts on Facebook or ads. Has anyone used Facebook's ads to promote your blog?

Kristen: Kathy, can you share your success with promoting posts on Facebook.

Kathy: It wasn't very successful. When it first came out with promoted posts it was a small fee and it is said to be able to reach more fans you can promote your post. When I did it the likes and comments were reaching other parts of the world and a larger audience that was not necessarily my target audience. It wasn't the best experience but I wanted to try it out and see how it worked,

Kristen: I had the same experience. I had a lot of likes and comments from people outside of my fanbase. I wondered if Facebook had a call center or something of people that like or comment on these sort of posts because it was really random.

Rebecca: You can target certain demographics and choose who you would like to reach, in the ads there is a way to reach certain people very specifically. It's another thing about authenticity, it's a boost and a way to promote you blog. It's an easy way to connect.

Rebecca: So we've talked about mostly Facebook pages, there's other ways to share like using Facebook groups. Let's share with pros and cons of groups.

Kristen: We created a group to help: "food bloggers helping each other" group. It's a great way to connect with a smaller group of people with similar interests. It's a small private group, and we ask that the people that apply are interested in contributing. I'm from Kansas City, and we have "KC Group" for local bloggers and community building.

Lori: We also have "food blogger friends," you can request an invite.

Rebecca: So let's talk about photos. we're in food blogging, it appeals to the senses. We see food and we want it, we want to taste it and make it.
I want to know your tricks for posting photos and sharing.

Lori: I always post a vertical photo. It's Pinterest friendly, here's an example of some shared photos. The first one you see there, when I see peoples blogs and I see something amazing, I want to share it. This is from "Whip It Good Kitchen", they talked about it being a great Easter dessert.
I shared it and it got 29k reaches, 228 likes, and 202 shares. The other one I asked the question "brownies, nuts or not, fudgy or cakey?" It got 27k reach, 55 likes, 275 shares.

Kristen: You can get great photos with an iPhone, the camera doesn't matter. When you attach a photo to your Facebook post, after you post, you can hit edit and reposition your photo by dragging up or down, side to side.

Rebecca: With phone apps, you can add text to your photos. You can create a creative photo with the recipe or recipe title written on it.

Kristen: You can also create questions inside of a graphic itself.

Lori: Shares help your reach, you see a huge jump in your likes when you post quality content and get that share.

Kristen: I like Adam Levine, I posted a food photo and got 9 likes, I posted Adam Levine and got 61 likes. So figure out what your fanbase likes, and just because your a food blogger doesn't mean your page only has to do with recipes or food blogging. That's the one thing i want to get across, keep experimenting, something's got to work.

Lori: You just have to figure out what works for your readers and what they're comfortable with. Occasionally I'll be looking for a book to read, and I'll ask if anyone knows of a great book to read. I immediately lost 5 likes, but also got over 200 comments. For me I post mostly about food, you just have to figure out what works for you and your blog.

Rebecca: So we're still on this journey to see how we can get more likes and shares. You can ask for shares, I'm curious to know if you've tried this approach.

Lori: Amy, you asked people to share and had huge success with that.

Amy: you tell people what to do, and they listen. I started doing it because I saw others doing it, and it works. I wrote "If you want to save this to your page, hit share." Then all those followers who like it, then see me.

Lori: After you did it I tried it, I didn't feel comfortable. I found it didn't work for me, people weren't sharing it more than normal, but I suggest trying it to see if it works for you.

Amy: I post on a schedule and I just did it regularly, people weren't sharing at first, but I post the same time every day and people just started.

Rebecca: Maybe if you say, share for a tip, giving them direction on why you're asking them to share. People are asking people to pin their recipes from Pinterest to Facebook, so that's something we've noticed happening.

Rebecca: So we talked about vertical images, now we can talk about promotions and giveaways and ways to have people see our posts and visit our blogs.

Lori: With a giveaway I make it an option for extra entry, follow recipegirl on Facebook, and I don't notice them dropping off after it's over. One time i was contacted by a group for a giveaway, one of the ways was to like my page on Facebook, I got 9000 new followers on Facebook. After the giveaway was over they didn't fall off. It felt weird to me because it was a sudden jump, but it did reach a larger audience than I had access to.

Kristen: I don't make the option to like my page for giveaway, I want people to like me for me not for a giveaway. It's the bait, once you get them there you have to have the content to keep them there. If it feels right, do it. Don't just do it because others are doing it.

Rebecca: We want people to like us, because we want more people to see our blog. A strategic way to use Facebook to promote a contest and go to the blog where you enter, and then ask for a like.

Lori: One of the things I took away from this all, you rarely lose fans by not posting content, you can lose fans by posting too much. I only post 1-3 times spread out during the day. A lot of people use Facebook like twitter posting constantly, I feel less posts can reach more people without being spammy.

Audience Member: I typically post to Facebook 3 times a day. The questions I ask get a lot of engagement, how do you translate that to pageviews?
Ultimately I want them to come to my blog.

A: That's about creating that relationship, you're getting them to like you, you're engaged, commenting then ultimately they're going to be a fan of your blog.
That's the challenge, because they have to see your post. I also do a sneak peak, like "here's a sneak peak of what's going to be on the blog tomorrow."
People comment, they can't wait and want to check it out

Audience Member: I had a question about feeding posts to fb automatically or manually. What's your opinion on what works best.
A: I don't know what works best, I'm a little bit of a control freak so I like to be there in case something happens. A lot of people use fb to share their rss feed.
I just like to insert my personality on fb, I like to squeeze a little bit of me in it, so that may not get all of the response and more personal posts.
For me, when it's auto posted you just know. I like to have personalized message and there's certain formats and posting ettiquette for different channels.

Audience Member: Going back to posting a link on fb vs posting a picture, do you find posting a photo with a link in comments is more effective?
A: Some people post the link in comments and when your photo gets shared the link doesn't get shared so I prefer to post the photo with the link in the description.
When posting on fb use a short link, photo, and tag the company/brand. For twitter use hashtag, this is providing calls to action.
If you post the link with a photo, there's more that can be done with that post.
Tag your photos with the fan page or status update with the brand you're using, it's another way to engage.

Audience Member: Thank you for everything shared, fb to me is mysterious realm, my followers are a minimum, they're friends and family.
My followers are quiet and shy and I'd like to reach more followers
A: Is your fb page on your blog? Write a post inviting your readers to join a discussion on fb, or even on twitter you can post that you're having a discussion on fb.
That's what I did, I had a strong following on twitter and not too strong on fb so i asked them to join me there.
From your page, follow more restaurants and food brands in your niche, comment and share what you're doing and people may see it and come like your page.
I think fb is a lot of work, maybe it's not the right platform to invest in if it's not right for you.

Rebecca: Lets jump to twitter real quick, one of our questions was about autoposting, that brings us to autotweeting or scheduling posts. I'd like to get your insights on autotweets.

Lori: I only use autotweets when I have an hour in the morning and I'm reading blogs. I'll schedule autotweets to share other bloggers posts so it's spread out throughout the day rather than all at once.

Kristen: I don't use autotweet because I like to be there to share. Sometimes something tragic happens like the Boston bombings and you will see an autotweet and it could make you or the company you're writing about seem insensitive to what's going on. That's something people need to be conscious of because it could do harm not posting things relevant to what's going on.

Rebecca: I think that's a good point, if something happens and you don't have a chance to turn it off, you can create a post apologizing that you weren't able to cancel it in time and it shows you're human.

Kristen: If I look at someones feed and it's 90-100% links or promos then I'll unfollow them. I want some engagement, even if it's just a response it's better than "look at me, look at me."

Rebecca: You can post past content, it's a great way to drive traffic to older content if it's relevant.

Lori: Retweeting is something that will help you also get more follows and engagement on twitter. You want to post things people will share. Write something funny and people will want to share it. 70% of retweets have a link in them. If you see something you know people will love, share it and it will get retweeted. You will get more followers. I use twitter more personally and get to know my followers and how they can get to know me.
Reposting old content helps, stagnant posts will drive new traffic to an older post.

Kristen: Saying thank you when someone retweets, starts a conversation with the person. It starts a relationship.

Rebecca: If you think about retweets, follow friday (#FF) I try to create a food addition, so everyone relates to food and will like each other. Thanking a company and they might retweet you and that goes to their followers.

Lori: Some of them have a really huge following and they will retweet you and those people see you.

Rebecca: When is the best time to post, for social media in general: Facebook and twitter?

Lori: There's no real answer they say Monday-Wednesday between 9-6 EST, but think of your own audience. If you have a lot of stay at home moms they don't have a typical workday. Look at when people respond to your tweets and retweets.

Rebecca: There are tools out there where you can test your followers, be conscious of when you're posting and getting replies.

Rebecca: Let's touch on twitter chats and twitter parties, do you participate?

Lori: I don't.

Kristen: I have, but don't much anymore. I always say before I do a party I do a general tweet to my followers that i will be participating. To reduce the audience, you can do it as a reply, rather than a new post with the hashtag

Rebecca: If you start a tweet with @ sign, only the people who follow both of you will see it.

Kristen: Which may not be what the brand wants but you also don't want to annoy your followers.

Rebecca: I think twitter chats can be effective in connecting with people in your same industry.

Kristen: If there's a certain brand you want to connect with and they are having a twitter party, get in on that.

Rebecca: Speaking of which, I think we forgot to mention twitter lists.

Kristen: You can have private lists or public lists, you can do a list of brands you want to work with, or brands you do work with and it will show all their tweets so they will show up. You can engage. Lists are a great way to zone in on the content that's important to you. Engage with them on twitter, respond to their questions, they will notice you're present on twitter.

Rebecca: Tools of measuring; what do you use to keep track of it all.

Lori: I use hootsuite, I create lists. friendorfollow.com, you can look to see who you're following and if they follow you back. tweeple: you can see who you're following and if they're inactive to clean up your twitter.

Kristen: sproutsocial, it's a paid service, it shows stats you can show a brand. It has a free 30 day trial, it may be worth it for you to see where you stand. It brings twitter, Facebook, google plus. It's definitely worth the 30 day free trial.

Rebecca: We do SEO, we use Google URL builder, it's a free tool. It looks scary, it's a way to attach tags to your url. It looks confusing but it's not and it's an extra step for your posts but if you use Google Analytics it might be worth it.

Kristen: With sproutsocial I can click on the name of a person and it will show all our interaction or if we've ever interacted.

Rebecca: I tried twitter advertising once and I got scared. Twitter has limits, if you follow a certain amount of people and a certain amount follow you, you can reach a limit to how many you follow. I couldn't follow any more and got frustrated and even made a blog post about it, I tried advertising and got some new followers but couldn't follow them back. I'm slowly building the gap. Has anyone had experience in twitter advertising? No? it's fairly new, it was more important for me to write great content and attract audience.

Lori: It's great to write a twitter profile info that really represents you, you can change your background to show people you're on Facebook or other social media.

Rebecca: You can also add a hashtag to your profile description.

Lori: A lot of people have written great posts with tips on how to work with Facebook and ins and outs of twitter. I wrote a post how to be a food blogger and linked all the great resources and they're all in one place. It's a really long post with a lot of different topics.

Rebecca: Are there any other questions? Alright, great, we'll be here if you guys have any questions.

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