Social media marketing in 2018 has become something much more complex than scheduling a few tweets and posting perfectly edited images on Instagram. Working with key influencers that represent your brand ethos is a must for any successful social media campaign, as their influence on the online world can elevate your brand or product to a whole new level.
We’ve spoken to three fashion, health and travel bloggers to suss out their 10 tips and tricks for tackling the world of social media - and what it means to have an online life in 2018.
Sophie Davis of travel blog Sophie’s Suitcase, Danielle King of fitness blog KIHT and Tilly-Jayne Kidman of fashion and travel blog Tilly-Jayne have kindly given us their advice on how bloggers can use social media to its full potential, the most effective way for brands to approach influencers and how this can set the foundations for a successful partnership.
We've amalgamated these tips into an easy ten step guide - make sure to download the quick reference sheet to keep track of your blogger activity, and where you can make the most impact!
Zazzle Media: Hi Girls! Let’s get straight into the first question - what’s your view on the new algorithm change and has this impacted your social following/engagement?
Danielle: Yes, it really has! I've found that engagement has dropped on some posts and does seem slower than it used to, but on ones that have done well initially, they continue to keep getting interaction for much longer.
Tilly: My following has managed to start growing again recently which is great, however I've had to work harder on engaging on Instagram by commenting and liking content, rather than just scrolling, which I know is all too easy to do!
Zazzle Media: Have you picked up any tips and tricks along the way on how to direct traffic to your blog and to gain better engagement?
Danielle: I've found that working and collaborating with fellow bloggers and industry professionals has really helped drive traffic, and also spending time putting together good and useful content.
Tilly: I've recently started using Facebook advertising to boost some of my posts. I simply add a little budget and create a relevant audience to reach new potential readers. For example, I created a post a while back on the best places for vegan food in Stockholm. I targeted this post at vegans of a certain age range in vegan friendly cities (such as Brighton) and my page views went through the roof!
Zazzle Media: What's your blog’s USP and do the majority of brands that approach you understand your individual personality?
Tilly: I've been quite vocal on social media about cruelty free products and following a plant based diet, which has led to me working with a number of ethical and vegan brands recently. I suppose this has given me a bit of a USP (although I still post fashion/travel content too). There aren't as many vegan bloggers as per say fashion bloggers out there so it's given my blog an additional angle.
Danielle: KIHT’s USP is about health and fitness as a positive lifestyle, promoting balance and empowering women. I check all blog ideas and posts against my checklist - Empower, Educate, Inspire - if it doesn’t tick at least one box, then it’s crossed off the list. I don’t think all of the brands that have contacted me do get this message, but they also aren’t generally the right message for me either, so I just decline the offer.
Zazzle Media: Do you use any external programmes or apps to organise/schedule your social media posts?
Danielle: I use the Instagram marketing platform Later. It means I can sit down and plan my week out, organise when I'm posting and allow me the time to think about what I want to say. I find it helps me to put out more meaningful posts as I can pre-write them and therefore I no longer need to panic about writing a last minute caption!
Tilly: I often use Hootsuite to schedule my tweets. I think it's definitely important in order to keep your blog traffic up - I always notice a sizeable decrease in traffic when I haven't been scheduling in tweets to promote my blog posts. I also use relevant hashtags and tag accounts such as Female Blogger RT, as they will re-tweet your posts so they're more likely to be seen by a wider audience.
Zazzle Media: What frustrates you the most about brands that approach you?
Tilly: It’s frustrating when a brand approaches you with a list of demands but has no budget to pay you. At the end of the day, work is work and if I've spent my time creating content for the brand because they've asked me to, it should really be paid for. It's also frustrating when you don't have free reign of the creative elements. I prefer it if a brief lets me have creative control over the content.
Sophie: Most brands that approach me do their research and we ultimately end up working together. PRs and brands that don’t make the effort generally end up in my deleted folder. I don’t want to work with someone that doesn’t love my brand and therefore takes the time to get to know me. The first sentence is the most important - win me over!
Zazzle Media: What do you think will be the next social trends for 2018?
Tilly: It seems like Vero is the new big social media platform, however I'm not sure whether it will take off or not. Perhaps we'll see a new platform emerge and save us from algorithm nightmares. That being said I'm not sure I have the time for another social media platform!
Danielle: I think it’s more hoping there’ll be a new platform at the moment! In terms of Instagram, I’d like to see more realness, less editing and photo shopping of pictures, and more openness about tough days as well as the good ones.
Zazzle Media: Do you think micro bloggers (10k-50k) are having a bigger impact on the industry at the moment than macro bloggers?
Sophie: Yes, massively. I have un-followed a lot of bigger bloggers recently as I find them un-relatable. I love micro bloggers as they have that raw honesty which you don’t find in bigger bloggers. If something is unattainable you automatically turn off. Just because a blogger has 5,000 instead of 50,000 followers on Instagram doesn’t make them any less engaged, in fact it’s likely they will have a stronger engaged audience. I’d rather work with a blogger with a really engaged audience of 10,000 than ‘fake followers’ and un-engaged followers of an account with 50,000.
Tilly: The rise of the micro blogger does seem to be a hot topic at the moment but I also think it comes down to the individual's content. I think it's hard to have a specific niche these days - you've just got to work hard to produce unique content and enjoy it!
Zazzle Media: What tips would you give to new bloggers starting a social media account in 2018?
Tilly: I would definitely advise against using bots. It's still quite rife in the blogging industry which is a shame as so many of us have worked hard to grow our audiences organically, but I think brands and PRs are wising up to it now. Create content you're excited to share, and try to be consistent with your posting if possible. Oh, and be sure to interact with others!
Sophie: I think Facebook is great for engagement, I love Twitter chats and I have a loyal group of blogging friends, where we all share each other’s content as long as it is relevant. Creating conversation and relationships with readers is what it’s all about.
Zazzle Media: How much time do you dedicate to your social/blog?
Sophie: A LOT OF TIME. Over the past five years, I have spent lunchtimes, evenings, weekends and even time when I am on ‘holiday’ working on the blog. I invest in my blog in many ways, and I am most focused on creating a professional and confident space where people can come and find out information on everything from travel and culture, to food and wellbeing.
Tilly: It changes every week, as it’s dependent on how many projects I have on the go. I try and post on Instagram every day and my blog at least once a week!
Zazzle Media: Our final question - do you use a personal or business social account and what’s your reason for choosing this?
Tilly: I use a business account for the analytics, as I'm often asked to send these to brands for collaborations.
Sophie: I use business as it means I can set goals, track and evaluate results.
Make sure you download the ten step guide, to make the most of the tips and tricks we have covered, and watch the impact from your chosen blogger roll in!
Thank you to Sophie, Danielle and Tilly for answering our questions and giving us valuable social media insight – we’re sure these 10 tips will be well received!
If you’re looking to start collaborating with influencers, make sure you take into consideration all of the tips mentioned in this interview. Bloggers could be key to the success of your marketing campaign and understanding what they’re currently experiencing online/what they expect from brands is essential information you can take on board.
Follow the girls on their social accounts below:
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