The Best Social Media Platforms for Bloggers in 2018
Social media is arguably the most effective way of getting the word of your blog out there, growing your audience and driving some traffic to your website. There's a lot of people with social media accounts so the reach and potential is huge, especially if you play your cards right.
However, it could be that not all platforms are worth putting a lot of effort into when it comes to promoting your blog. I doubt you have a full time social media marketer to hand and your time is probably already split quite thinly.
It’s better to do a couple of platforms really well than it is to do every platform haphazardly with no strategy.
In this post I will delve into which social media platforms are best for YOUR blog, as every blog is different. I personally use Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, but LinkedIn and Facebook could work well for you. There’s a lot of nuances between the platforms and how to promote yourself successfully on them, but all of them take time and effort. So pick which ones to focus your attention and come up with a cracking strategy and you’ll ace your social media marketing!
the best social media platforms to promote your blog
Instagram is like the holy grail platform for a lot of bloggers - it’s the one people really want to ‘make it’ on.
The platform has seen an exceptional amount of growth in the past few years and with the additions of stories to rival snapchat and IGTV to rival youtube, I don’t think that growth is going to slow down anytime soon.
The good side of this is that the majority of your audience is likely going to be on there. The downside is it’s proving very difficult to get noticed on there now.
There’s so many people, so much content, and the only way to grow is to really cut through that noise. But don’t let me put you off, of course it is possible to see growth on that platform, just like any other, it just might require a little extra effort.
Actually, @me_and_orla (Sara Tasker) recently posted a great series on Instagram with tips for growing and using Instagram which I would highly recommend you check out. Here's her first post.
Instagram is a really great platform to show off visually beautiful content, and build a community. It's perfect for attracting a like-minded audience and it can be a really supportive and engaging place.
I really think most if not all bloggers should have an Instagram. Whether it's your focus or not, a lot of your audience will be there and you should make the most of that.
Great for: all bloggers but especially those with picture-heavy content. Some examples of what does amazing: fashion, makeup, travel, food, lifestyle. Niches such as dogs, bullet journalling, vegan food, interiors also do really well.
Not so great for: Not much! Text-heavy content might be more difficult to adapt to instagram, but not impossible
Twitter is a great platform for bloggers. It’s easier to share links on than Instagram so it’s easier to drive traffic to your blog through the platform.
It’s a great platform for discussion. When I first started blogging, Twitter chats were a big thing, and it was the one thing all new bloggers would be told to join in with. Fun story: I met some of my best pals through blogging Twitter chats.
I think with the growth of Instagram has come the slow decline of Twitter but I would not disregard this platform completely. There are a hell of a lot of people still very active on the platform. Post regularly, promote often, engage with other users all the time and you’ll see steady growth and hopefully make great connections with fellow bloggers and your readers.
So utilise Twitter to share your thoughts, promote your posts, meet fellow bloggers and start conservations with them, and scout out active Twitter chats.
Great for: Most bloggers, there's a community for everyone on this platform.
Not so great for: Nada - nah kidding, I think every blogger could make this platform work for them, but some people just don't like it. People are not shy about sharing their opinion on there, for example!
Pinterest has been that single largest source of traffic for my blog for the past 2 years or so. Often this platform is overlooked, but for certain type of blogs, you’d be crazy to ignore it.
Pinterest is a bit different to other social media platforms, there’s less engagement with other users and it could be more aptly described as a visual search engine. If you’ve not used it before, I’d recommend to go try it out. Essentially, on your profile you have a number of boards on various topics that you’re interested in, and then you pin images to it. These images usually have links to articles, posts or websites.
Pins that usually do well are things like tips and tutorials, lists, travel posts, crafty stuff, printables, and anything to do with bullet journal.
Have a read of my guide to pinterest for bloggers:
I wouldn't necessarily recommend focusing on Pinterest as a platform to grow for every single blogger. For example, fashion and beauty bloggers - this type of content generally doesn't do as well as blogging tips or recipes or travel guides. If your content is well suited to Pinterest - then get yourself on there. Create pinnable graphics for posts, pin your content, pin the heck out of other people's contents and grow your boards. Check out the above post for more tips.
Great for: Recipe bloggers, travel bloggers, blogging tips bloggers, health and wellness bloggers, bullet journalers, diy and crafts, any blog that shares tutorials, guides or tips.
Not so great for: Opinion and thought pieces, fashion posts, personal posts, non-evergreen content (stuff that won't be relevant in a few weeks)
Youtube's a whole different ballpark. Most people either start out with a blog or with Youtube and then use other channels to supplement them. I don't see Youtube as a supplement to a blog in the same way, and I think to crack the platform you need to put A LOT of work in.
Youtube isn't right for me I don't think. I'm not sure my content would translate well, I wouldn't be confident on camera, and to be honest I just don't have the time to focus on it.
But other people have seen huge success on the platform. Whereas beauty content doesn't do so well on Pinterest, it bangs on Youtube. A lot of mastering social media is knowing where YOUR content will resonate best with YOUR audience.
Youtube has huge potential which definitely should not be ignored.
Great for: There's a place for everyone on Youtube if you've got the drive and skills
Not so great for: Bloggers who are a bit reluctant to sit in front of a camera and talk (hi, me) though there are still other ways to create great video content
Not going to lie, I ALMOST forgot Facebook. Why? I deactivated my Facebook account months ago. The amount of people who react as though I've just said I killed a child when I tell them I don't have Facebook still amuses me. Anyway...
Facebook's algorithm has made this channel difficult. Are there any bloggers who use their blog's Facebook page as their main social platform? I doubt it. Facebook is dying...
But one thing I am noticing that is doing well on the platform is groups. These groups are so great for building a community and bringing your audience together. These won't work for everyone as again, this is not a case of one size fits all as certain topics are better suited for groups. For example, a blogging tips group might do well where people can share advice, or a vegan group, a travel group, a photography group...
Great for: Bloggers looking to build a strong community with a group
Not so great for: People who do not want posts to be seen by real living people unless you pay (I'm only half joking)
There are quite a few other platforms that I know other bloggers utilise for example Tumblr, Reddit, Snapchat, Google+, LinkedIn. Don't feel like you need to have a presence on every single one though. I will always maintain that it's better to focus your efforts on growing a few channels and do that well, then struggle to try and reach people on every single platform out there. So pick what works for you and use your energy wisely.
Seek out bloggers similar to you, find where people are following and engaging with them. Where do you find bloggers? Where do you keep up to date with what your favourite bloggers are doing? If you use Instagram to follow all your fave influencers, then you'll likely know how the platform works, what does well, what the trends are - so you'll be able to grow a following on that platform than say a platform you've never really used. So follow your gut instinct with this one, but don't be afraid to try new tactics. A lot of people would have never have thought of using LinkedIn to grow your blog - but a few bloggers I know are doing just that and have seen incredible growth, including more sponsored opportunities and work with brands.
But know your audience on each platform, it may vary and then adapt your content slightly - for example, use different images on Pinterest than on Instagram, hashtags work better on some platforms than others etc. Really analyse how successful bloggers and those you look up to are using their platforms and take inspiration (NOT copy) and you'll learn a lot!
What social platforms do you use?