Socially Active: Using Social Sites and Making Them Work for your Blog

In today's time, there are new social sites coming up everywhere. As a blogger, I personally question whether or not I should get on a social network. I also worry about time management, traffic, and all those other things us bloggers worry about. Some networks are essential to bloggers at times (i.e. Facebook, Twitter) but some can just be for fun (Pinterest, Lyst) Here's a list of a ton of networks and how they can work for your blog, plus tips on managing your time.


 

THE "ESSENTIALS".


  • Facebook: I'm going to go out on a limb and say that most of us already use Facebook. BUT... Are you using it in a way to publicize your blog? Not only can you share your posts on your page, but you can also showcase other bloggers you love, plus sneak peeks to posts.
  • Twitter: Like Facebook, Twitter can also help you publicize your blog. When you have a personal twitter, I suggest making one for your blog as well. That way you can attract followers who are more tailored to your blog posts instead of all your college buddies (It also looks more professional!).
  • Klout: Klout is a social networking company that provides social media statistics to measure a your influence across your social networks. Basically, you get a Klout score on a scale of 1-100. you  get reports on how many people you are reaching within your social networks, plus tips on improving your score. Klout allows you to link your profile with Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Foursquare,YouTube, Instagram,Tumblr, Blogger,Wordpress.com, Last.Fm, and Flickr.
  • Tumblr: Tumblr can be used in many ways. I personally use it for inspiration and quicky blogging: posting photos from instagram, polyvore, etc.

VIRTUAL PINBOARDS: YAY OR NAY?

 It all started with Pinterest. Now we have Pinterest, We Heart It and LoveIt and STYL.MX. Out of these three, which is the most useful? Pinterest is the most popular, but not the most organized. We Heart It supports videos and photos, but is more like a gallery. LoveIt is well organized, and you can move items from board to board.  But what should you use? Well, I all depends on how much time you have, the type of people you want to reach, and what you are posting. Here's another breakdown:

  • Pinterest: Pretty much the most popular out of the 4 previously mentioned, Pinterest is about pinning everything. You can pin fashion/style, food, hair, beauty, random photos, etc. Of course, If you are only pinning one genre (i.e. Style) you might get a little lost. a good example of a single genre pinner (made that up) is Leandra Medine of Man Repeller (check out her pinboards here) Basically, if you are a style blogger, pin items that stay true to your blog niche (i.e. plus size fashion) pinning items that are not of your blog niche (i.e. the new sandwich at the sandwich place down the street) If your a food blogger, pin about that sandwich at the sandwich place down the street. If you are a travel blogger.... I think you get the point.
  • We Heart It: WHI is more like a gallery of photos you like. Other users can "heart" your items (similar to repinning) and it'll show up on their feed. I personally don't recommend WHI for driving traffic to your blog, connecting with readers, etc. WHI is more for fun.
  • LoveIt:  LoveIt is Pinterest's competitor. as mentioned before, LoveIt is more organized and you can move items around. other than that, there is really no difference between Pinterest and LoveIt. I personally recommend LoveIt for someone who is looking for an alternative to Pinterest.
  • STYL.MX: This site is more for the fashion and style lovers. It is more tailored to clothing and Apparel. you can also still add other items, however.

    FASHION-RELATED NETWORKS

  • Lookbook.nu Lookbook is a Fashion/Style photo website where people can showcase their looks. Other users can "hype" (almost like "like") their photos. A good example of a great Lookbook profile is teen style blogger Zoe Suen (her profile here) the key to using this site is linking back to your original blog post and interacting with your fans. Great photography will get you far as well.
  • Chictopia: Like Lookbook, Chictopia is a place where you can showcase your looks. But it has more features than Lookbook, like a points system where you can earn points by using the site, earn rewards, and shop directly from the site.
  • Lyst.com: Lyst is a site where you can follow your favorite designers and create a "lyst" of your favorite products. You can also get email alerts when your lysted items go on sale.

PHOTO NETWORKS

  • Instagram: A more diverse photo sharing network, Instagram is the most popular of them all. Instagram can be used on your blog as a) personal photo diary or b) showcasing your niche and post your inspiration. This is another site I suggest you make a separate account for your blog or website and then have a personal one for yourself. You can't access Instagram from your computer, but they have apps available for iPhone and Android.
  • Pose: Pose is a photo sharing site/app similar to Instagram used for fashion related photos. Unlike Instagram, you can access and post photos from your computer. Check out Lynsey of Law of Fashion's pose profile here.
  • Snapette: Like Pose, Snapette is a fashion related photo sharing site. Most users I see on Snapette are showcasing their inspiration and favorite pieces from designers. The downside of this app is that you cannot access it from your computer, and it's only available on the iPhone/iTouch.

The key to using any of these networks is consistency and originality. Like I mentioned earlier, stay true to your niche! another great way to use any of these sites is to get their app. When you have the app, you can then post any inspiration, picture you just took, etc. from the road. I hope these breakdowns of different social networks helps you grow your blog and understand the uses of these different networks!

♥Olivia Smith
www.lelivy.blogspot.com

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