It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of HASHTAGS and SOCIAL MEDIA. I was 15 when I created a XANGA page. (who remembers that!!!??) Shortly after that, I jumped on to Myspace (top 8 what’s up!!) and then Facebook. Fast forward to 2010 – I’m in college and suddenly obsessed with this “Instagram” app.
Remember the days when social media was just a communication tool for us to quickly connect with family and friends across the globe? Having a social media presence in 2017 is one thing, but strategically marketing your business across various platforms can mean another. Today we’re going to discuss how social media can boost your business whether the return is in sales, reach, advertising – aka business game changers. I have been in this space for almost 5 years. It’s competitive, it’s hard, but whatever I’m doing is working. I have seen many MANY changes happen in the social media world and today I want to shine light on some of these things. Get ready for some Saz tips exclusively delivered to you, right here – for all my BYOB readers.
BTW! I loved reading all of your questions in my last post. At the end of this post I will answer a handful of those plus an exciting announcement so stay tuned (don’t cheat!!). But first, here’s what I’ve personally learned about my platforms across social media in 2017 and some strategy tips that have worked tremendously . (grab pen and paper and take notes!)
In case you’re wondering, here are my current social media numbers below. You might be able to tell which platforms I’ve nurtured more than others just by looking at these numbers. Can you guess which platform below drives the most traffic to my blog? You might be shocked…
Instagram: 742,000+ followers
Facebook: 26,000+ Fans
Youtube: 255,000+ subscribers
Twitter: 10,000 followers
Pinterest: 8,000 Fans
The answer is: Pinterest. Say what????? (Bet you assumed Instagram). While Instagram is a huge platform for me in other areas, when it comes to DRIVING blog traffic – Pinterest takes the win over all. Why? A post on Instagram only lives for so long. Right now all you can do is link it in your bio or Stories (if you have a verified check). In other words, you are limited. Pinterest has been a great traffic source for me because my pins can be linked and live on FOREVER! There are some blog posts in the back end that I’ve seen bump up during certain seasons and months after I’ve posted. An example of this is my wedding post. I’m constantly seeing it boost as wedding season picks up. I just recently discovered how consistent Pinterest has been and I’m looking to pin more in 2017! (follow me!)
Instagram: My life in squares. This is my biggest platform and it’s because I’ve strategically put a lot of time and energy into it from the start. I love being able to “instantly” connect with my amazing online family and sharing my life experiences. In 2017, it’s not just about how many followers you have. It’s about the engagement of your followers. With that being said, I had to say bye-bye to a lot of food pics and random “buffer” photos. I’ve also been posting less (on purpose). When I quit caring about how pretty or aesthetically pleasing my IG feed looked, I started noticing amazing growth. Everyone is different but the new algorithm change has affected everyone. We all have to be more strategic with what we post, how we edit our photos, and not be afraid to switch things up. If you want some more in depth tips for Instagram, one of my good blogger friends Brittany Xavier launched an Instagram e-course and it’s totally worth checking out!
Facebook: Real talk. I thought Facebook died a long time ago, but then it came back and proved us all wrong! Facebook is definitely the big kid on the block right now (not the coolest in my opinion but..) – It’s definitely a platform worth investing some time in. For my personal blogging business, I haven’t put too much energy into it. However, I’m loving their LIVE feature which I’ve been utilizing more. On the contrary, Facebook has been a key player in my second business, Bless Box. We’ve seen a huge return on sales coming from Facebook. We’ve seen some new attraction “new eyes” – people who didn’t know me before Bless Box. As a result, I’ve seen some of these new discoveries flow into the personal business.
Twitter: This is the easiest platform to keep up with in my opinion. I put the least amount of energy into this one and I feel like that’s okay. I just tweet out links to my latest posts, thoughts I may have on the hour, and/or current events. I recently ‘Live Tweeted’ during the Oscars and saw great engagement. My best advice? Think before you Tweet.
Youtube: “I found you on Youtube!” is definitely the first thing I hear when sweet followers come up to me in the streets. I see Youtube as a search engine – just like Google. For that reason, it has opened so many opportunities and has helped boost the performance of my other platforms. It’s also my top platform for paid opportunities and collaborations. Youtubing is VERY different than blogging. I’ve been doing 1 video a week and it’s been good for me. I decided this year I want to go back to the basics – less paid opportunities, saying NO and guess what? It’s been great for me! LOL! Some friends and family drop their jaws when I tell them the deals I walk away from. Truthfully, Youtube is a space I’ve been very cautious about. The value of my audience means so much more than the value of a paid opportunity. If I’m not genuinely excited about a collaboration opportunity – I won’t do it. Period. In terms of competition, I think Instagram videos are Youtube’s biggest competitor. We’re seeing more eyes on Instagram videos and with that there’s less people wanting to go on Youtube to learn how to create a smokey eye when they can type it into Instagram! Whether that’s true or not, I don’t plan on quitting Youtube anytime soon. I love my Sazcribers too much! I treat my channel like it’s a personal blog.
Blog: The value of having a blog (big or small) is YOU OWN IT. That’ really important to keep in mind – considering we are living in a fast-paced world that can change at any given minute. Instagram isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but remember when they shocked us with the new algorithm change? Maybe you were a small business that took a BIG hit from that. Protect your business or brand by having your own website or online shop. I see my blog as another platform because it’s another way I can engage with my audience. If you are a personal lifestyle blogger, remember that as you grow and change, your blog needs to grow and change with you. I realized this year A LOT has happened in my world. My website is undergoing a huge makeover as we speak. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it because it’s mine and I own it.
Here are some of the questions you guys asked me in my last post. Be sure to comment below so I can answer more in next month’s topic post!
1. How do you identify career opportunities that overlap with your skills and how do you make yourself “wanted” in a competetive market? by Ana Maria
It’s important to know who you are and what your goals are for your business. Be strategic because it’s overwhelming when you’re trying to be an expert at everything. For me, I quickly learned that my brand is my personality. The sky was the limit but I still had to strategically find my place in this world. What made me unique. Don’t let the competition discourage you! I’ve seen digital influencer friends rise up just after a year of going full-time. It’s awesome! How you market yourself and speak to an audience can be the secret recipe. When it comes to working with brands – simply ask yourself this: “What brands do I dream about working with?” I used to dream about working with Target. Naturally, I found myself producing tons of style content that was affordable and attainable. Guess who my first sponsor was? Target.
2. Branding in the online world is paramount, but with so many fierce bloggers, designers, & stylists to “compete” with, how can aspring bloggers forge their way into the market in a way that gets us noticed? by Victoria
This is a question I get asked all the time. I think a little competition is necessary to fuel your desire and get you going! It’s so important to set GOALS. Long-term, short-term and weekly micro goals are literally the glue that keeps you from falling off or out of your business. Seeing 100000 million bloggers on the internet can be discouraging and throw you off when you thought, “I got this!!” Stop yourself when you start getting lost on someone else’s feed and pour the good stuff back into your mind. Go back to your GOALS sheet. Remember, it’s important to understand there’s no other human being on the planet like YOU. Sure there’s tons of competitors but that doesn’t mean they are doing it right. There’s no cheat system when it comes to anything in life, so I wish I had a recipe for boosting your followers etc… but I don’t. Take it from me, a girl who started at the bottom and find comfort in knowing the Internet is massive but it can be YOUR FRIEND.
3. I don’t have a niche that I could sell one day, which is what I feel like I’m missing. But, do you have to have something to ‘sell’ or is it okay to only be in business for sponsorships from your lifestyle? by Morgan
Of course you can create a business around your lifestyle – that’s ultimately what being a Digital Influencer is. 🙂 Take it from me! It’s important to line yourself up with sponsorships that are in line with your lifestyle. One day when you get offered a paid gig (and you will!), remember this. If you don’t actually use something or love the product, why cheat your audience? I’ll share this example. Let’s say you tell your readers that you LOVEEEE this face cleanser but it actually sucks – and 3 years later you decide to launch your own skincare line. Do you think your readers will trust you and support your new venture? Always be completely transparent and honest with your readers – whether that’s 10 people or 100,000. If you end up doing something you regret, be honest about it and they will forgive you. 🙂 Most importantly, BELIEVE in the value of your audience. It is worth more than anything and it’s a price that will pay off in the end. 😉
4. Could you please give some tips on how to get more exposure and traffic to your blog. by Yusra
There are so many streams to bring traffic to your blog from social media to Google being one of them. If you want a Google friendly post, create RICH SEO content (especially if you’re starting out) like, “8 Style Tips for Broke College Students” versus a title like this, “My trip to Cancun!”
MY CHALLENGE FOR YOU THIS MONTH..
Clean up your social media pages or create new separate pages for your business.
Follow similar accounts in competition (but don’t get lost on them!) to help inspire you.
Start strategizing your content and get AHEAD.
Schedule your posts at the beginning of each day.
Make it happen.
Exciting Announcement time! If you made it THIS FAR then I know you’re a loyal reader who will love this. hahah! I am so excited to share that I am starting an internship program here at Sazan LLC as well as Bless Box! There are a lot of areas in my world I’m looking to fill and I thought it would be great to mentor some girls in the process. If you’re interested in learning more and potentially applying, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Restrictions apply: You must be 18 or older and living in the greater Los Angeles area. It’s an added bonus if you have skills in social media, photography (basic level), Photoshop and/or graphics skills. Good luck!
Hope you enjoyed reading this post! Don’t forget to comment your questions, thoughts, concerns! See you next month for another BYOB series post.