So how are things going, friends? Have our previous tips for website and Instagram SEO been helping?
It’s hard to say “share your stuff everywhere” but not tell you how to find these places to share your stuff. There are pockets of communities that are ready to befriend you and include in you the fold—but finding these pockets can be difficult. As I look back on my own blogging journey, I would say most of what I found was gradual and accidental: I happened to make the right friends at the right time and invited me to the right groups. It starts with looking up blog posts on Pinterest and being invited to private groups on social media from the blog owner.
To save you time and brag on the amazing work of other people in the writing community, I’m sharing some tips on where to find your tribe/community/fans/friends/future readers on social media.
General Good Karma Tips
Ultimately, good blogging or self-promotion is all about good karma or following the Golden Rule: be that kind of blogger you want to attract to your social media feeds. And so far, good karma is what most bloggers swear by: it lends to organic traffic, blogging friends, and an increase in views and revenue. Organic traffic means that real people (your target audience) is reading and commenting out of genuine interest—we’re not talking about spammers or people solely interested in promoting their own stuff. That’s the kind of interaction you want all over your social media and your website, right?
You can sow the seeds of organic traffic by first being a good participant in communities and private groups. Since good karma can apply to any kind of online group, I’m grouping my suggestions here to get us started:
- Balance your participation by interacting with others as much as you post to the group page.
- Follow the group rules—they’re usually pinned to the top of the page.
- Participate regularly
- Leave meaningful content and comments—I’ve already talked about the art of creating meaningful comments.
- Share and brag—there’s no telling how many online besties you can make by retweeting, sharing their content, or tagging them in your posts if you’re referring to their work.
Overall, good karma looks like accepting the help and services the host/hostess is offering. Community is definitely “all for one and one for all,” but joining a group doesn’t automatically increase traffic onto your content. Your good participation and friendliness is the sure and steady way to do this.
So now that we’ve talked about karma, let’s look at online communities on the web (with a primary focus on writers) and how they differ based on their platform.
Facebook groups are likely the easiest to join—you’re likely already a member of one. I like Facebook groups because you can make them private to protect your community—it helps shut out trolls! No one likes online trolls.
Generally, the Facebook groups I participate in are there to share recent blog posts that are relevant to the group, offer our own tips, or to field questions. It’s treated almost as a forum, and if you haven’t already discovered: writing communities are one of the friendliest. People really want you to succeed! Moderators also sometimes host live Facebook videos: that’s one bold way to start an FAQ to get a conversation going.
Here are some groups you can join. The majority are geared towards writers, but many of them are helpful for general bloggers:
- Your Write Dream
- The Inklings
- The Literary Freelancer
- #Writing Challenge
- Writerly Me Writer’s Group
- Snippet Sunday
- Narrative Nook
Most of these groups are hosted by people who already have a flourishing social media platform. So, chances are, your favorite blogger might also have a Facebook group—or suggestions on which ones you should join.
So engagement groups. They aren’t really a new tactic, but since the most recent algorithm changes, many Instagrammers have created small engagement groups to increase likes and comments on specific posts. To clarify, an engagement group is similar to a blog hop: everyone in the group shares a post (you agree to how many and how often a day) and you all comment on each other’s posts.
This approach isn’t 100% organic like we were mentioning before, but it’s one way to learn from other people in your community about how to make your account stand out.
How do you make an engagement group? You can create a thread through the direct message feature. You access your private messages with that paper airplane icon usually found on the home page on the mobile app. One person can start the thread by sending a message to the group, and then you can rename the thread so it’s easy to find. Once you create a group, you can send your post in this thread so everyone has access to it. You can use the paper plane icon for your specific post and then select your group and you’re done!
If you’re interested in starting an engagement group with me specifically, comment below or shoot me a message!
How do you sift through millions of tweets to find your community? Twitter is pretty tricksy for me, since it’s either a treasure trove of clever banter or a hell-hole of self-promo tweets or trolls. (Did I mention my disdain for trolls?)
I like to keep updated on specific groups of people by creating lists on Twitter. You can sort all your peeps to filter your feed if you want to specifically find, retweet, and respond to content by people you want to connect with in your industry. Create lists, follow people they follow, then get their attention by liking and retweeting their stuff.
There are also live-tweet groups you can join. Basically, the moderator sets a time each week or month where people can participate in a specific hashtag to answer questions posed by the moderator and other group members. It is SO much fun, and a really quick way to find people that are nice, knowledgeable, and interesting.
Gotta give major props to StorySocial for pulling this off for almost two years now. Kristen Kieffer is just my writing muse, everyone. Also, she’s made it really easy to find the writing community in my few years of blogging.
This is the only Twitter chat one I’ve joined in, but I know there are many more. Tell us in the comments if you know of any we should check out!
Pinterest is a great tool for collaborating with other people and helping each other succeed. Most users do this through group Pinterest boards. Someone creates the board and can grant access to others to add pins to that board.
If you’re looking for more traffic to your blog posts, this is a great place to get your stuff noticed and shared! Instead of sharing your pins on your own boards and hope your followers see them (through the massive waves of images on images), group boards can help you find more “platforms” to share your stuff. Here’s a few examples of writing-related group boards I regularly use and follow:
I’ve noticed that using Pinterest (and contributing good content and eye-catching photos) has helped me gain more views. Just be patient; a person might save your blog post to read for later, but who knows if they’ll actually click it and go to your website! Think of Pinterest as a way to plant seeds—it’ll work for your benefit the more you invest in it.
I know a lot of us have issues against over-sharing their stuff. We don’t want to come across as self-obsessed or annoying. To overcome this, try balancing your self-promotion with your regular social media consumption. Remember the karma tips I mentioned earlier.
Basically, for every tweet, Instagram photo, or blog post, be that golden viewer/consumer for someone else. Comment, like, retweet, or share things that you genuinely enjoy. It naturally gets others to notice you, helps you be a part of the community, and establishes yourself as “the real deal” rather than the “buy my book!” tweeter.
Remember that being a member of a community takes hard work, planning, and heart. Even if you are a member of every single group mentioned in this post, it won’t grant you instant followers and fans. You still have to do the work to stand out in the crowd of writers and creatives. But as you actively participate in the community, you’ll find the support, motivation, and friends you need to reach your ultimate creative goals!
Did I leave anything out? Do you have any community or group recommendations? Share your thoughts below, and let us know what your niche community means to you!
Check out the other posts in this series:
2 comments on “Are You Looking for Your Social Media Community?”
Excellent advice, ma’am. I try to keep up on these very things. Slow and steady wins the race!
I definitely agree on the slow and steady part. 🙂