Happy Wednesday, darlings!
I hope you are enjoying your week! Today, I am sharing the second part of this month’s blogging series which covers a few of the most important aspects in social media including best and worst ways to grow your audience and how to remain authentic in the digital space. If you missed part one, you should definitely go back and read it because this amazing group of ladies share their best blogging advice along with what they wish they would have known before they started a blog. Read on to see their best social media tips!
Tahari ASL Dress c/o | Shoes | Handbag | Forever21 Hat (old – similar here) | Cuff
In this day and age, social media is king. While it’s important to stay true to yourself and consistent across all platforms, it can also be overwhelming and confusing, especially if you’re new to the space. Below, an incredible group of girl bosses share their experiences and advice with you. They prove that you don’t have to have hundreds of thousands of followers to be successful and explain how having your own unique voice and perspective is an important part of this industry.
#1 Tip for Remaining Authentic in the Digital Space
You don’t have to say yes. Just because a brand or company reaches out with an opportunity, it doesn’t mean you have to accept. Make sure you are only accepting partnerships and collaborations that are a true fit with your style and personality! It is so important to be authentic and organic because your followers can tell when you aren’t!
Stay in your own lane and don’t take any short cuts. We all get inspired by each other in one way or another, but bringing your own twist to things that’s been already done will make you stand out in a long run. Organic growth will follow, trust me. 😉
Find a way to connect with your readers and stick to that! One of my favorite ways to connecting with my followers is on instagram stories and they really engage with me organically. I know I am their trusted advisor and they really respect and value my opinions. If you can cultivate a relationship like that with your readers, your integrity will never be comprised and you will become an irreplaceable resource to them.
It took me a while to find my own style but I soon realized I love vintage fashion. I think it is important to not worry so much what people think. I am not afraid to tell people that I got my favourite blouse at a thrift shop for $5. I think for me personally it is nice to know that it isn’t always about the latest designer fashion but more about how you put your outfit together.
Have fun. Honestly, blogging may be work for a lot of us. But when it stops being fun, it starts getting stale.
Be vulnerable and open. The best way to remain authentic is to create relationships with your community surrounding your space. The more honest you are, the more the audience will trust you.
Don’t compare yourself to others! Don’t do what someone else is doing just because it works for them. Find what works for YOU!
Do what’s right for YOUR brand. Trial and error won’t kill ya, and it’s certainly better than being someone you’re not.
It is really hard to stay true to yourself in this huge digital space. It’s super easy to get lost in the mind game of judging your brand, your growth, your looks and more to what others are doing and succeeding at doing. Staying true to why you started your blog and what you want followers to really get from it is key. Everyone is going to have good days and bad days when it comes to this, but creating a “Why” behind your blog is what’s going to save you from going into a deep hole of negativity. I think a lot of bloggers get stuck in the cycle of constantly thinking they have to buy the latest and greatest styles because that’s what their seeing online, but if it’s not who you are and it doesn’t work for your budget then whats the point? Getting lost in the mix can maybe seem beneficial for a bit, but eventually you start to feel exhausted and fake which is the total opposite feeling that should be coming from blogging. Being blogger isn’t easy,but the connections made along the way between your followers and readers is what makes it all worth it. Listen to what people connect with from you, not other’s content, and run with that.
Don’t fall into the trap of doing what you see other “successful” bloggers doing. Remain true to yourself. Only post about brands and products that truly fit within your lifestyle. Remain true to yourself and that will definitely show through to your readers. Readers and followers connect with the realness.
Don’t hate follow. Don’t follow blogs that make you jealous, make you snarky, or make you question what you’re doing. Even if you follow 0 other influencers, don’t let others get into your mind. Comparison is the thief of joy.
Start a blog because you LOVE it. Followers can tell who blogs for joy and who blogs for money and fame. As always, be nice to everyone no matter how many followers they have or how rude a brand is being to you. A little kindness goes a long way towards growing your brand and reputation. Second, don’t be afraid to get a little personal from time to time. It shows your readership that you’re a relateable human, after all!
I know everyone says this, but it is so true, BE AUTHENTIC. Being authentic means being who you are and portraying who you are through your pictures and words. Being yourself also means you are not swayed by what others are doing, which is SO important in the digital space. If a blogger or brand is doing something that does not align with your values, don’t compromise and follow along, do what you believe in. On that note, don’t collaborate with brands that do not align with who you are or what you believe in. Not only is it exhausting for you, but it is also not fair to your followers. If you genuinely do not like or use a product, don’t sell it to your following because that does not serve anyone, including yourself.
Don’t compare yourself to others!
Don’t be afraid to open up and be yourself. My most engaging posts usually aren’t amazing outfits. They are the ones where I let my readers into my life and see more of me. Be vulnerable! It isn’t easy at first, but now I find those posts are the most fun to write.
It’s important to have your own voice and to always be yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others that have been doing this for much longer and don’t try to copy everything they do. You definitely have to stand out and be unique whether that’s in your editing, photography, your words, etc. Start a blog because you WANT to start a blog and because it’s something you are passionate about. Above all, always be relatable, honest, and kind. Do what is best for YOU.
-Elizabeth from Lizzie in Lace
Best and Worst Ways to Grow an Instagram Following:
Many say that giveaways and pods aren’t the best way to grow on IG, but I feel that any method that allows you to connect with people who are interested in your content is great! IG has made it very hard to grow organically and while it is possible, I don’t see any harm in supporting my fellow bloggers and receiving support in return!
-Kristen from The Glamorous Gal
Best: Connect with other bloggers and people who might enjoy your content through leaving genuine, thoughtful comments and likes.
Worst: Do I even have to mention buying followers?
When I joined Instagram and started blogging it was a completely different game. It was still a challenge to grow but not like it is today. I think it is important to use all 30 has tags and find unique ones in your niche. High quality photos and consistency are also key. Having a niche with cohesive branding is also important. I always use the same settings when I edit my photos in Lightroom and keep to a vintage theme.
-Laura from Laura Jane Atelier
Best: Engaging with people who comment on your own page. Go to their pages and write heartfelt comments on their images. Make your community LIKE you. Creating consistent content is important as well. Colors, theme, and pictures of YOU matter. Worst: Buying followers or spending a lot of time focused on what others are doing. YOU do you.
Unfortunately, I am not the best at gaining a following since I have been stuck at 40k for a long time… but I can say that to build an engaged audience you need to post quality content by telling a story, return the favor on comments and likes, and post consistently.
-Lauryn from Lauryncakes
The best way is to genuinely connect with people. That’s the whole point of social media! The worst way is to be fake and comment random emojis on every post under a hashtag. Or follow/unfollow. That is the WORST!
-Megan from Lush to Blush
Best? Authentically engage. Follow people and engage with them because you genuinely LOVE their content. Worst? Follow and unfollow. Nothing makes me more mad than someone following me only to see them unfollowing me a few days later. It’s just not authentic!
-Dana from The Champagne Edit
This is such a tough topic because there are so many opinions out there. I personally think engagement and consistency are key in growing a goo following. Posting t random times and not really keeping up with giving your followers new content is only going to lead you in a constant circle of feeling behind. It’s tough work to be a content creator. You finish one thing and quickly need to move onto the next, but if you enjoy what you do things start to flow a lot better. Engaging with you followers is really important as well. People want that connection and if you don’t give it to them they’ll likely find it somewhere else.
-C.J from Everyday Chiffon
The best way to grow an Instagram following is to engage with your audience. Spend time responding back to any and all comments left on your photos. And then return the favor – like and comment on others’ photos too! You have to be engaged with people on the platform to grow your following. The worst way is to cheat the system by buying followers and likes and participating in loop giveaways that create an inflated follower count. When a brand reaches out to work with you, you want to be confident in your followers and follower count – having 1000 loyal and engaged followers is a million times better than having 50,000 fake, unengaged followers. I pride myself on growing an authentic and organic following. I’d much rather have an engaged audience and community of 1000 amazing readers than a larger following of folks who never participate in the conversation.
Loop giveaways are the worst because it annoys those already following you and KILLS your engagement afterwards. Sure you have 10X the followers but they don’t care about you.
The best is engaging. Reply to comments and DMs. Visit the profiles of your followers and get to know them, like and comment on their photos. Ask questions, answer questions, and show you care about your followers as people and not just numbers.
I’m not too concerned about Instagram growth – so I’d say obsessing over it and spending too much time on it is a poor choice! Focus on what you own forever and ever – your blog. But okay fine I’ll give a tip. Post photos because you love them! A feed full of photos that you love will make you happiest, and isn’t that the reason we all do this anyway? Liz does this so well – she posts photos that make her happy and that feeling is contagious to all of her followers.
The best way to grow an Instagram following is to engage with as many people as you can on every social media platform. By engaging, I mean taking the time to write genuine comments on other people’s pictures, responding to comments and questions on your own pictures, and actively finding new people to engage with on social media. This also means responding to tweets, Facebook messages, and DMs. The worst way to grow a following is to buy followers. There are no good outcomes to buying followers. Fake followers will not engage with your pictures in any way, meaning they will not comment or like any of your pictures. This makes it very awkward when you claim to have thirty thousand followers, but have ten likes on every picture. This makes it very easy for brands and new followers to spot when you have a fake following, which can ultimately hurt or destroy your credibility.
Best- Engage with your readers whether it’s responding to comments or asking questions on Instagram stories! Worst- paying to do giveaways!
-Nicole from Where Your Heart is Now
It’s super cliche but the best way to grow an Instagram following is to focus on being good to the followers you have. Reply to their comments, focus on growing community. And, don’t get jaded by numbers. I can’t believe I am frustrated that I have more than 12,000 REAL women who follow me and somehow that is not “enough” by some standards. I focus on being grateful for all of these women who do consider my feed worth following. I have spoken to countless bloggers who have purchased fake followers, likes, and comments. I get emails to do it all the time. Please don’t. Just because others do it doesn’t make it OK. It’s cheating, and will destroy our industry if we are not careful. Plus, PR firms and brands are getting savvy to those who are doing it and once you ruin your reputation it’s nearly impossible to work your way back.
Best: Focus on engaging with others and high quality content. Worst: buying likes and followers. So not worth it and it is usually very obvious.
-Jenny from The Sensible Shopaholic
One of the biggest ways to grow is by engaging – engage with your followers, other bloggers and brands. You want to create a positive community for your followers. Create content that other people want to see and make sure that your photos are clear and in focus. You really have to ask yourself “Why should people follow me? What purpose am I serving and how can I help my followers? What makes me unique?” The most important things you need to remember is to be consistent, persistent and patient. If you are consistently putting in the effort and hard work, people will start to notice. The absolute worst way to grow your account is to buy followers. This is not a genuine way to grow a following and will be detrimental to your account in the long run as it’s not sustainable. When you start to work with brands, they want to see that your following is engaged and possibly interested in their product. If you buy followers, there is no way for them to engage or buy products. It serves no purpose other than to inflate your numbers in hopes of being paid for your work. I don’t feel that this is the best practice because not only are brands paying a lot of money for followers that ultimately will not engage or convert, but you are also taking opportunities away from those that have worked years to grow a truly authentic following.
Anything Else to Add?
Just be yourself, don’t give up AND have fun! So simple but often overlooked. 😉
Few become famous overnight. Just because you’re not killing it now doesn’t mean you won’t. You’re more likely to find success by being yourself than copying another who is successful. Copying may bring a short bit of success but it never lasts. Forge a new path and that will bring lasting success and personal fulfillment.
-Alison from Wardrobe Oxygen
I would like to add that you should stay true to yourself! It’s so easy to get caught up in the social media world of designer this and the comparison game but if you just be yourself you’ll never lose!
-Nicole from Where Your Heart is Now
I love that so many of these ladies said the exact same things about certain subjects without previously seeing each others answers. That just magnifies the importance of these tips even more! Overall, I thought this was such a fun project and I really enjoyed reading what other blogger babes had to say on about these topics. I hope that you enjoyed it as well and got something out of it whether you are just beginning your blogging journey or are a blogging expert yourself. Stay tuned for a new Girl Boss post next week and another Business of Blogging post next month! <3 Thanks again to all of these fabulous ladies for sharing their wisdom!
What social media tips would you add?
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