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This past February I finally got fed up and decided to take a step back and reevaluate my social media channels and the strategies I was using to see which ones were working for me and what I should and could be doing differently to really increase my followers and engagement. What I soon realized is it wasn’t so much the strategies I was using it was that I was doing too much.
For my blog A Relaxed Gal I have Twitter, a Facebook Page, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube. Whew! As of the end of February the combination of all these social channels was 3,045 followers. Not a whole lot, but it makes sense when I view it through the lens of not being able to properly focus on anything.
You may be able to guess where this is going. The change I’ve decided to make about my social channels is I’m going to “turn off” a couple of my social channels for a few months. The channels I’m turning off are YouTube and Instagram. I selected these two channels as the ones I turn off because they drive the least amount of traffic for me. Also, I struggle most with creating content for these channels. In February I had a 260 net month-over-month increase in followers which was driven by Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.
Related post: How I Plan My Blog and Social Content
Knowing that Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter tend to see growth every month I believe focusing on them will allow me to work on social strategies and optimizations without feeling the pressure that creating content for Instagram and YouTube cause me.
Since “turning off” Instagram and YouTube I’ve been able to spend more time working on growing my remaining social channels. Here are some of things I’ve been doing
- Use more keywords: I’ve started the process of updating my use of keywords in my board descriptions
- Branding: For new and old posts I’m creating that fit with my branding
- Manual pinning: To supplement my pre-scheduled pins I’m manually pinning when I have a few minutes free during the day
- Leverage popular search topics: I did this by revising some boards names to make them more descriptive. I also added a few new boards that tend to be popular search topics by still fit with my content focus
- Create multiple graphics: I created new graphics/pins for some of my more popular posts
I started making these changes around mid-February. Since then I’ve been seeing more net followers each day.
I also saw some bumps in my repins which you can see starting mid month which is when I started making these changes to my Pinterest profile.
- Test and learn: I tested some new hashtags in my posts
- Vary my content: I made sure to tweet more content from other bloggers and sites
- Follow more people: I started following more active tweeters who have a similar content focus
Unfortunately I haven’t seen much of an impact from these changes. My average retweets, clicks and likes didn’t increase month-over-month.
- Test and learn: Ran tests to see the impact of using no hashtags in posts
- Vary my content: I started posting more content from other bloggers
- Focus my content: Heavied up on the hair and beauty posts which resonate more with my followers
The result has been increased reached for my posts as well as increased post engagement from likes and comments.
To help me track my follower growth and engagement for my social channels I created a printable. With it I can track not only my followers each month, but my top posts, shares and overall engagement.
Related post: 2017 Site and Biz Goals
How I’m Doing with My 2017 Goals
1. Fully optimize arelaxedgal.com site for SEO by the end of Q1This is done! One whole month early. I really got into a groove for a couple of weeks in February and was able to knock it all out.
My month-over-month organic traffic decreased slightly and my social traffic overall increased. This is mostly due to putting more effort into Pinterest this month, bringing StumbleUpon back into the picture and it can be a while before SEO takes effect.
My top four traffic drivers stayed the same as as they have the last few months
I was hoping to start seeing a lift in my traffic from Google. Instead it decreased slightly as did my organic traffic overall. On the other hand my traffic from Pinterest slightly increased which could be a result of the additional emphasis I put on it during the second half of the month.
2. Retain readers on my siteOut of all my site stats this week, my retention rates are what excited me the most. Month-over-month saw a lot of improvement. My bounce rate decreased getting me closer to my goal of being between 75-75% for the year My pageviews and pages viewed per session also increased.
- Pageviews: 10,234 (+21.82%)
- Unique Users: 5,072 (+10.77%)
- Pages/Sessions: 1.64 (+20.59%)
- Bounce Rate: 71.49% (-7.31%)
Digging even further my popular articles this month also showed that readers are spending more time on the site. Looking at the top five popular articles in February, the bounce rate for all them decreased by at least 5%. This shows that readers find these articles to be content that is relevant to them. The top five popular articles were
- My Relaxed Hair Regimen
- 5 Ways to Avoid Relaxed Hair Breakage
- Pre-pooing Before Cleansing Chemically-treated Hair
- How to Keep Relaxed Hair Moisturized in the Winter
- How to Properly Deep Condition Your Hair
Based on these stat improvements it seems that my site is more user friendly (probably doesn’t hurt that I changed the site design. More about that in a later post), my SEO optimization attempts are starting to take effect and my content is resonating with the readers I’m attracting. Hopefully I will see this trend continue.
3. Grow my social followers and increase engagementAs I noted above I’ve started really focusing on growing my social following by turning off two of my social channels. I’m hoping this new focus will result in greater increases than I saw in February
- Pinterest: 2021 (+228)
- Twitter: 413 (+12)
- Facebook: 98 (+11)
4. Grow my email subscriber list to at least 1,000 by 12/31I really haven’t been paying any attention my email list lately, sorry guys. Looking at my monthly stats in MailerLite I gained 22 new subscribers last month so my overall subscriber numbers didn’t change. I’ve started forming some ideas on what I can do to grow and be consistent with my email list, but am holding off on that until I’ve gotten my social channels performing at the level I’d like to.
5. Do a least one paid post a quarterNothing to report here. I applied for a few opportunities, but wasn’t selected for any of them.
6. Create an image library of at least 24 images by year endI was able to add two additional images to my library. It’s exciting to see it grow and to have image options available if I don’t have time to shoot pictures specifically for each post.
What strategies are you using to grow your social channels?