Today we’re talking all things social media. Hold on to your seats because this is a LOT of valuable information!
Be sure to check out Morgan’s blog as well because we use all of these platforms a little different. There’s no “right” or “wrong” way to use social media because what works well for me doesn’t always work well for Morgan and vice versa. Best piece of advice I can give you is test multiple different things on different platforms and do what works best for you and your brand!
Use Social Media to Leverage your Platform
Use social media to leverage your platforms and NOT as your sole source of content creation.
Paisley + Sparrow and construction2style are on the following platforms. We also strongly urge you to be on all platforms even if you don’t have time to use them all. You don’t ever want anyone else taking your brand name handle.
Mine are below (I don’t have links to SnapChat, LinkedIn or Google+ since I don’t do anything with those but definitely get on there to claim your brand name) – be sure to head over to Morgan’s blog to follow of hers!
This is hands down, our favorite social media platform. Pinterest is a search engine, just like Google.
Think about the last time you searched for something. Did you go to Pinterest or Google? If you did go to Google, did it lead you right to Pinterest? Most times I’m searching for something, I end up on Pinterest whether I wanted to be there or not.
Create searched for content
Creating content people are already searching for. I am constantly making notes of blog post ideas from things I see! Make an excel doc or have a special notebook just for content ideas. Then after I got them out on paper, I’ll go back when I’m ready to write, and start writing based on my ideas.
If you’re stuck and not sure on ideas, Google will tell you what people are searching for. Use it. For example, think about things you’ve Googled..they were pretty specific, weren’t they? This is how I come up with half of my blog posts. Here’s an example from Morgan…
“I’m Googling if I should paint my kitchen cabinets white and it starts to auto-complete what people are already searching for. Use this to your advantage. Name your blog post whatever people are searching for so you come up in the search engine. You’ll also get a couple more good ideas for content to create.”
This same thing goes for social media. Search through trending pins on Pinterest or hashtags on Instagram and see what is performing well and create content similar.
Pinterest has free analytics that tell you exactly which posts are performing the best. Use this to your advantage. By knowing what pins are performing well, you’ll have a better idea of what types of pins to create and what type of content to write.
We’ll talk about analytics a little later, but what I’m trying to get at is, you need to rely on your analytics and learn and take action from what is performing the best. Then, most importantly, create more content just like that.
Just like Google, Pinterest takes time to generate. You have to be patient, which can be annoying. Just keep your head down, work hard and I promise it will all eventually pay off.
Create pins that convert
One of the biggest things that resulted in a ton of traffic for me is creating pins that covert better. The pins that convert the best for me are sized at a 2:3 ratio (something like 600 x 900) with large, bold text and bright colors.
Colors that have been tested to attract clicks are warm colors (red, orange, yellow, etc), so I typically always use those.
I also always create at least 5 different variations of pins for the same post. Ideally I come up with 3-5 different titles that I use strictly on my pins (not on the actual blog post title) and create 3-5 pins per title. I upload all of those directly to Pinterest (I only keep 1 on my actual blog post) and test to see what performs best! A big part of Pinterest is testing to see what people like and click on.
Pinterest is free and if you can capture almost a million views in a month, why wouldn’t you leverage it?
Canva is our favorite platform to create Instagram or blog post cover photos. It’s awesome because it already sets up the perfect size you need for any social platform and gives you some default font and designs for free or as little as $1.
Since Pinterest is top performing social platform, this is our absolute favorite tool. Tailwinds is a Pinterest auto-scheduling tool. We schedule and pin 75-100 pins per day. I know this sounds insane, but trust me, once you learn the tool it’ll be a breeze. And if you enable the sidebar widget for easy access, you’re golden. Since we’ve started we’ve only seen an increase across the board.
Go to any blog/website that you love and click the sidebar icon, and in under one minute you’ve pinned all the images on the website. I hop on and use this tool once a week, spending no more than 30 minutes, and I have all my 700 pins scheduled for the week. No need to log into Pinterest ever and you’ll be pinning within every hour of the day.
To think our images have been repinned from our blog over 45K times with only spending an hour per week, tops is so neat.
Another cool thing about Tailwinds is you can be part of Tribes. Tribes is a group of people that you can put pins into and repin one another’s posts, it’s just another way to engage and build your community. If you want to be part of Morgan’s tribe, just shoot her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she’ll get you added to our group.
And if you’re not already on, we’ll give you guys a free month to test this tool out too. I promise it’ll change your life. Just click this link –> Heck YES, I want a FREE MONTH!
- Post 75-100 pins per day using Tailwinds
- Pin directly from your website, link from the original source
- Feature business name on the profile and relevant bio
- Add website URL to your profile
- Have a detailed and updated description in your “about” section
- Make sure cover photos on boards reflect your brand style
- Use detailed titles and descriptions
- Create and post vertical pins
Our next favorite platform is Instagram. Instagram is the best for building relationships. There are so many topics we can discuss on Instagram alone, and everyone does things different, but here are a few tips that work well for Morgan and me!
Our number one rule is: don’t let content live solely on social.
The biggest thing to remember is that we don’t own our social media platforms. In one second, they could all go away. Are you only leveraging social platforms? Own your content and use social channels as platforms to push it.
Tip: Own your content and use social channels as platforms to push it.
Know Your Numbers
When you have a business account on Instagram, you can get all of the stats you need to produce better content. You can see the posts with highest amount of engagement, saves, impression, etc. Use this frequently!
I know that posts with Rishi will likely be my highest performing posts (he also is not a fan of being in my posts which is why you rarely see him…gotta respect your spouse!!). I will have amazing engagement when I share a deep or personal story. My highest saves are on photos of my house or posts where I’m sharing specific style or hair tips. Know your numbers and use them to your advantage.
Instagram can quickly become a time suck and sometimes leaves you with no inspiration and motivation. The best advice I can give you for Instagram is to time block and get on with purpose and get off.
Set yourself a timer and go to the last 10 comments on your pictures, click through to those people, leave a genuine comment and watch what happens.
If nothing else, you made someone’s day a heck of a lot better. Otherwise, I also go to some good hashtags such as and leave comments on the first 10 pictures that pop up. Don’t leave generic comments either, leave a comment with meaning.
The easiest way to grow fast is to comment, like, share, and engage. Be present. Sounds like common sense, but it’s not.
Every day I set aside 20 minutes to go and intentionally comment on people’s photos. Twenty minutes might sound like a lot, but I bet you already spend more than one hour a day on Instagram scrolling and not doing anything intentionally to benefit your brand.
Tell a Story within your Stories
Instagram stories are about creating stories, so tell a story. Don’t spend time just posting random videos all day long. Know what your audience likes! If my kids or husband is in my stories, people seem to love it. They don’t get a ton of air time but I definitely include them from time to time.
People like to feel like they know you so figure out a way to do that!
Tip: “Everybody wants to talk. The way to win is to listen and then contribute.” – Garyvee
Use Effective Hashtags
Hashtags are like a Google search engine on Instagram. Don’t copy and paste the same hashtags into each post. I have 3-5 different collections of 30 hashtags for each type of post I share (mom life, hair, beauty, fashion, home, etc). I use of mix of those and about 5 hashtags specific to the photo for my posts (for example – if it’s a photo where I’m wearing my extensions I’ll hashtag #barefootblonde and #clipinhairextensions).
Don’t use hashtags with over 1 million posts – your post will never get seen!
And don’t use hashtags with less than 1,000 – there’s not enough people searching it.
I aim to use hashtags with about 100,000 – 700,000 posts attached to it.
Tip: Use local hashtags to show up locally
Reply to Comments, Create Engagement
Always reply to comments! I always make a point to reply to the majority of my comments. I don’t always go back to posts after I post a new one but engage with your people! Engaging also increases engagement. The more engagement you have, the more you’re going to show up in feeds. And make sure at the end of every post you have a clear call to action. Ask them a question or tell them what to do.
Tip: Finish your caption with a question to create engagement
VSCO is super robust photo editing app. Honestly I had it downloaded for a good 6 months before I actually dug in to use it because it’s kind of intimidating. But a little bit of work makes it one of the best apps out there. It can take a boring iPhone photo and make it look like a pro!
But Morgan loves…
This is her favorite photo editing app. In her words: “There are other awesome photo editing apps that are probably even better such as VSCO, Snapseed, or Afterlight but to be completely honest I have the attention span of two seconds. So if I can’t figure something out in under that, I’m over it. And I tried those apps, and I didn’t have any patience. But some of my friends use them, and I do have to say, their pictures look a whole lot better than mine.”
I’m OCD about my feed and it looking cohesive. Almost to a fault ha! I don’t like a home photo to be above or next to another one or a photo of my daughter to be touch another photo of my daughter. I like colors to mesh well and not fight one another. That’s where Preview comes into play. You can get a feel for what you’re entire feed is going to look like by importing photos into this app. The thing I love the most is that you can simply drag and drop photos around inside the app. So say you have an outfit photo, a plant photo and a photo of your kid – you can simply move them around so you know how it looks best in your feed.
Later is the app to schedule out Instagram posts. Morgan likes this app because it’s easy to use and best of all, you can visually see what your feed is going to look like before you post (if you don’t use Preview).
Scheduling your photos needs to be a mix of preplanned content and in the moment photos (in my own opinion)! I always have at least 3 photos per week ready to go and then fill in with things happening throughout the week to keep my content fresh and give my crew an inside peek of what life is actually like.
But with that being said, all podcasts that I listen to always say to schedule all of your Instagram posts to be visually appealing. So you gotta do what’s best for your brand and how you want to portray yourself.
Same with WordSwag, we use this app when we create Instagram stories for text overlay. It just gives that really clean and crisp text over the images. It basically feels like you’re a professional graphic designer with no education at all. Ha!
- Post 1-2x per day
- Have a healthy balance of fun and business, people want to know and connect with you
- Follow brands and people in your tribe
- If an account leaves you feeling drained, stop following
- Use industry-related hashtags as well as local tags
- Engage! Engage!! Engage!!!
- Have a link to your website URL in your bio
- Make sure you have a descriptive bio
- Do stories and use the swipe up for the URL
- Do a Instagram cleanup sweep
Facebook is a hard platform. I’ve tried a variety of different strategies but basically what I’ve landed on is sharing a minimum of one blog post each day and also sharing other brand’s posts directly from the Facebook page.
I don’t get closet to the amount of engagement on Facebook as I do on Instagram yet it drives quite a bit of traffic for me. Be consistent, share stories and be compelling. You’re not going to get people to read your blog by simply sharing the title and the link! Make it appealing and make them want to click the link. Don’t just do the minimum amount of work possible. It’s better to write 3 really amazing posts a week than 20 really terrible ones. 🙂
Morgan has more info on paying for ads and boosting posts so head over there if you want some info on that!
Tip: The way to be discovered is put out good content or become apart of the community.” Garyvee
Morgan uses Buffer to schedule out the rest of their social channels. The second a blog post goes live; she schedule it out on Buffer 5x.
Once immediately and then a week later, a month later, and a couple of months after that. It auto schedules them for the best time of day and the best time for engagement. So I don’t have to rethink or overanalyze a thing.
I personally do all of that in Facebook itself rather than using Buffer since you can schedule posts in Facebook. Figure out which way works best for you and do that!
- Post 5x per week
- Include a clear and direct call to action
- Do targeted Facebook ads
- Gotta pay to play, boost posts
- Upload your mailing list to Facebook
- Do contests and giveaways; it makes it more shareable
- Don’t use YouTube, directly upload your videos
- Cross promote your fan page across all of your online channels
Video is huge right now. And we’re just tapping into YouTube and leveraging that platform.
YouTube is great for tutorials or how-to’s. Think about all the content you have looked up and when you’ve clicked through to a video versus a blog filled with content or images. However, video can also be costly, but it can also be really inexpensive if you DIY but even your iPhone can take decent videos!
I have a nice camera so I use that and edit in iMovie. Making videos takes time and practice but it can definitely be done.
In a nutshell:
- Include call to actions, tell people to subscribe
- Get interactive
- Customize your channel
- Choose good categories and tags
- Write a great description, think about what you would search for to come to across your video
This is all Morgan because I am not a fan of Twitter haaha!
Twitter, everyone for some reason doesn’t like Twitter, but I’m a fan! If you’re a blogger, it’s a must. It’s the easiest way to reach out to a brand. When I want to do a collaboration, the first thing I do is tweet to the brand and ask them for their PR contact. I’ve never not gotten a response.
And if you’re a brand, you need it for damage control. Twitter is the first place people go to when they are upset about your product. So I go on at least once a week to ensure I reshare any mentions we may have had or make sure no-one’s going rouge on us.
In a nutshell:
- Tweet 3x per day.
- Perfect tool to reach people directly and publicly.
- Engagement for brands is higher.
- Tweet with images as they get 2x the amount of engagement.
- Use hashtags; it gets more engagement.
- Include links in your Tweets.
Google my Business
This is different than Google+. Google my Business is more of a directory for your brand. It’s important to set it up with all of your brand’s information, and then you’re golden. As you can see, we currently don’t share anything on this platform but you can. They don’t last forever like all the other social posts do. Post on Google my Business are short and are more targeted during a specific time. So if you have a good promotion for the holidays, etc. this is a perfect time to post!
Google verifies your business, accurate hours, responding rate, etc., and you can load photos of your brand versus having Google choose the photos. That way when people Google you, the photos you chose will show up first. This is huge for helping local people find you.
Also check out Morgan’s blog for info on Google+, LinkedIn + SnapChat.
My Best Advice
Don’t feel like you need to be posting and doing all the things on every platform. Instead. Claim you name on every single one and get really good at one of them. Once you feel like you have a grasp on that one, add in another! You don’t want to overwhelm yourself and get burnt out because you can’t keep up.
Start with one and go from there.
Imagery is Key
If you’re going to be taken seriously, you need high quality images. One of the most common questions I get asked is who takes all of my photos? This is a mix of things.
I’ve spent the last couple of years taken course on photography and practicing my butt off. I have 2 really nice camera that I use to get the photos I have on my blog. Because of that, I am able to take the bulk of my photos! I take the majority of the photos of my kids and our house and even use a tripod and remote for the photos I’m in as well.
Rishi has come a long way in taking photos as well and usually really enjoys it! Our nanny is also really amazing at taking photos and has an incredible eye. For both of these people I put them in the position that I want to be in for the shot, get all of the setting figured out and hand off the camera to them.
For bigger brand partnerships I hire a professional. I especially love working with photographers who have a creative eye and can help me execute fun ways to share things.
There are a number of great photographers and videographers in the Twin Cities, and a lot I still want to use. As of now here’s our people who we love and use regularly. Hit them up, they’re beyond talented and really good people.
Check and Utilize your Free Analytics
And lastly, use your analytics on your social platforms. It’s free! It tells you exactly who engages with your content, where your consumers are coming from, and what is the best time of the day to post. Stop getting consumed by your following count and get absorbed within your analytics and learn and make changes from it.
Instagram for business has a great analytic tool. It’s actually surprised me what the best days to post are. Who knows, you could be posting on the day and time when no one is online.
Tip: Stop getting consumed by your following count and get absorbed within your analytics and learn and make changes from it.
So from looking at our Instagram analytics, Thursday’s are our top days to post with Saturdays being the least. So I always want to make sure I have a post scheduled for Thursdays, and if I need a day off Saturday is it.
If I ever do any paid advertising on Facebook or Instagram these are great tools to reference so I know exactly who to target, age, sex, demographic, etc.
Also, looking at posts to see which posts performed the best and why. Again, use analytics as a guide but don’t get consumed by them. Sometimes when I’m feeling frustrated I’ll throw some posts out and see how they perform. And if they do well, I’ll do more like them. So as you can see, some of our top performing posts were ones that I posted when we were under construction, hence why I throw a few of those in there.
I am a podcast junkie. I listen to podcasts while I workout or while I drive or whenever I have 20 minutes to kill. They’re a great way to learn something to apply to your own business
My Favorite Podcasts:
My Favorite Books:
I truly hope this helps! And feel free to leave a comment with any questions you might have and I’ll do my very best to answer them.
Don’t forget – test things out and figure out what works best for you and your business.
You got this!