Happy Blogging #3 – Getting More Followers on Social Media…for Free

July 31, 2015 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Books, Features, Happy Blogging

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Happy Blogging is where I offer my blogging knowledge and tutorials.

Throughout the years, I’ve managed to build a steady following throughout different social media channels. While I like to think that’s because I’m awesome, I’m a social media marketing expert by trade, so it’s probably second nature to me. I want to share with you my tips and tricks and what’s worked for me – it may not work for you, but this is how I gained my larger follower base across Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Instagram.

The key in using social media, is to focus on making friends, not getting more followers, views, and link backs to your site. While we don’t mind blog links and promotions, if that’s all you’re focused on sharing, it’s pretty easy to see straight away. As a rule of thumb, I end up unfollowing a lot of accounts that purely exist to blast sales messages at me.

The secret to attracting a large follower base is to not put all of your eggs in one basket. If you only promote your blog through Twitter for example, or you rely on blog followers solely, you are limiting your audience. What you want to do, is to have different platforms where people can follow you. Everyone has a different way of following blogs, whether it’s via email, Bloglovin, Facebook or Twitter.

Of course you need to have a blog with interesting content that people want to follow too.

How do I get more followers on social media? 

Before I get started, social media is not a competition. Blogging is not a competition. Your success on social media is dependent on supporting your following bloggers/tweeters/bookstagrammers etc. Because at the end of the day, these are the people who will support you the most.

Facebook

Facebook is probably where I spent the least amount of time. Most of the time I reshare posts or just post my blog links on there. With Facebook, it’s important not to spam (posting more than 3 times a day), because otherwise people will get annoyed and unfollow your page. It’s also important to note that not all followers will see all of your posts, as it’s dependent on how much they’ve interacted with your page (liked, shared or commented). That means you need to focus on sharing stuff that your followers will be interested in.

To build followers on Facebook:

  • Create a blog page and fill in all the About information
  • Invite all of your friends and family to like your page (if relevant)
  • Post all of your blog posts up on Facebook as they are published, but make sure you tailor the wording
  • Follow a bunch of bookish accounts, such as publishers, authors, bloggers (like Happy Indulgence) and reshare the news, giveaways and other content that you find interesting on your own page
  • Some people like to share bookish memes and videos, which are good for bringing in more likes.

Twitter

My last Happy Blogging post covered Getting Started with Twitter. Twitter can be intimidating for those who haven’t used it before, so make sure you check out that post. Unlike Facebook, you can tweet 20 times a day and most people won’t mind. Twitter is probably where I spend the most of my time, hence why I have the most followers there.

To build followers on Twitter:

  • Follow as many bloggers, publishers, authors, and other bookish related accounts that you can. Look at your friend’s accounts and see who they follow and interact with, and follow these people.
  • Follow back. I can’t stress the importance of this enough in the early days.
  • Retweet and share any posts from others that you find interesting.
  • Thank people for sharing or retweeting your post and always reply back to tweets.
  • When you’ve found a new blog, make sure to follow them on Twitter, and even tweet them to say hi.
  • Participate in live chat/tweeting events. I’ve found many people to follow this way.

Goodreads 

Goodreads is the account I’ve had the longest, even before I started blogging. I mainly use Goodreads for keeping track of my books, categorising them, and cross-posting reviews. But there’s also the excellent group function, to get to know other people.

To build followers on Goodreads:

  • Follow all of your favourite bloggers, publishers and bookish accounts that you can.
  • Add every review you have ever written on Goodreads, and make sure you add a blog link to your review.
  • Join groups and introduce yourself, and get to know people and add them. Some of my favourite groups include Australian YA Bloggers & Readers, Paranormal Kickass ChicksDavid Estes Fans and YA Book Lovers Unite!, and SOS: Serious Overload of Series.
  • Participate in group buddy reads and book clubs. Some groups also allow you to post a blog link or post your giveaways, make sure you take advantage of that.
  • Like and comment on your friend’s reviews and activity. Admittedly, I’m quite lazy with this.

Instagram

Instagram is my newest pet project. There’s actually quite an active bookstagram community, and it’s a lot of fun having a look at pretty bookish photos. Some accounts have a theme, type of filter they always use or have a consistent look and feel, but as long as your images are clean, this doesn’t matter too much. Don’t be scared to experiment with angles, props, etc. you don’t need a HD camera to take great photos on Instagram.

To build followers on Instagram:

  • Follow all of your favourite bloggers, publishers and bookish accounts that you can.
  • Use hashtags appropriately. My favourites are #bookphotography #bookstagram #booknerdigans
  • Do not put out f4f requests, this can be seen as spamming. Only follow if you feel like it.
  • Comment and like photos. It’s important to find a regular base of bookstagrammers to network with.
  • Feel free to post photos of your pet, meal, kids, selfies etc. but if you do this regularly, you might lose bookstagram followers. People are following you for bookish photos. I have two separate accounts, my personal account for such things and my bookstagram account.
  • Post frequently – when I first started, I posted 1-2 times a day. Now I post 3-4 times a week.
  • Regularly search up a hashtag (such as the ones above) and like photos within it. If you really want to get their attention, go through their account and like a whole heap of photos. This will usually result in them doing the same with you, or a follow. If someone does this to you, and you like their account, follow them.
  • Link your Instagram up to your Facebook and Twitter.
  • Participate in instagram tags and tag other accounts as well – if others do your tags, people will check out your account which sometimes results in a follow.

While all this sounds like a lot of work, keep in mind that it takes time to learn to use each platform effectively. I only started my Twitter after 1 year of blogging and my Instagram account after 2 years. Once you get to a stage where you’re happy with it, you can move on to the next, and only maintain it every once in a while.

Any further questions about getting followers on social media? Ask me below! 

Got any suggestions on what you’d like me to cover in this feature? Email me or leave a comment.

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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63 responses to “Happy Blogging #3 – Getting More Followers on Social Media…for Free

  1. I like this post a lot, especially as I think you have handled the topic so well! I have to agree with you – when it comes to anything it is best to make friends. When you are putting things out on social media and giving your stuff out there, make sure you appreciate what other people have out there as well. Have conversations, meet new people and it becomes all the more fun as well!
    My recent post My Hoarding Catastrophe – Classic Crazy!

  2. I still struggle with social media now and then. I often do schedule tweets and posts to promote my posts, but I often can't think of anything else to post and especially when I am busy that's the first thing to go. You have soem rgeat tips here.

    I used to be more active on goodreads and did many of the things you mentioned, but even now when I am only posting my reviews my followers and friends still grow slowly.

    And filling out your information and about me page is very important as well. Great post!
    My recent post Sunday Post #138

  3. It's probably only been in the last 12 months that I've really discovered social media, only a few since I created my Facebook page for my blog as well. I use my Facebook page purely to link to my posts and post up photos of my bookmail, but Twitter is all about chatting for me. My Bloglovin' and Goodreads accounts are linked, so that's all the promotion I feel I need to do, unless I really, REALLY loved a book then I'll threaten people to read it.

    I used to follow back on Twitter when I first began, but now it's mainly only readers and bloggers or authors I interact with. I found that with a lot of indie authors, following them meant spam via DM, plugging their books. I love Twitter but the most irksome aspect is when an author follows, then unfollows, then follows again just to get noticed. I notice, I just choose not to play your idiotic games. It's Twitter rage Jeann and the struggle is most definitely real. Awesome tips. Looking forward to upgrading my phone soon and hopping on Instagram too. Ohh, people are going to get sooo sick of me 😀
    My recent post Woo Feminism… Remix by Non Pratt

    • I'm so glad you got into social media Kelly, I'm really enjoying your Facebook and Twitter posts always! Hahah I will follow you everywhere Kelly <3 That's pretty much all you need to do with Facebook really, it's quite low maintenance. That's the same with me with Twitter, once you're happy with it at a point, it can get overwhelming if there's too many people to follow. It's so annoying when they play those games, I just ignore it as well.
      My recent post Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour Review: Films, LA &amp; LGBT

  4. I suck at social media. I used to spend time interacting on Twitter, but that got boring. I'm trying to get into it more now. I'm mostly on FB, but the private one where I add people. I feel like I can be a bit more …. open there.
    My recent post Racing the Sun by Karina Halle

  5. readerswonderland

    These are some great tips, Jeann! I know I don't interact as much as I should on social media, especially on Twitter and Instagram. I basically just use Twitter for blog promotion, shame on me D:
    My recent post July 2015 Wrap Up

  6. Shannelle C.

    I don't really use Twitter much. I do decently with the media, and I suck with the social part. And I enjoy bookstagram too. Taking book photos is so much fun. The one thing I won't do is Facebook. It just seems like too much work to set up a page and maintain it, and it's also just another number to care about.

    • Bookstagram is so awesome, I am in love lol. Facebook pretty much works on it's own because WordPress automatically posts out on the page.

  7. I love social media, yet I absolutely suck at it. *hides in shame* But I am really going to try to take these tips to heart because they sound absolutely brilliant Jeann. Thank you for taking the time to share this with the rest of us! Wonderful post!

  8. Amazing advice and tips here, Jeann! I definitely agree with all of these and I hope they will help a lot of people out there who are trying out social media for the first time. Building a network of people takes time and perseverance, but yes, the best and fulfilling way to do it is not to see the people as statistics or numbers but as legit friends! Pro advice here, guys!
    My recent post Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

  9. Love this! Social media is a tricky little beast, especially because each platform is SO different and has its own "rules". Facebook, to me, is almost useless for the blog at this point, but I have a few loyal FB followers, so I keep it. Plus, I just schedule the posts to cross post there, so I don't do much. Twitter I absolutely use the most. Because it is so interactive, and every bookish person ever is on it 😉 Instagram is SO fun, but also the most time consuming for me. The light in my house is a mess, my phone is junky so I have to use a DSLR and then upload, crop, send to my phone, THEN post (why can't I just use IG from a computer?! WHY JEANN!?)

    Anyway, this is fabulous advice! In a few weeks someone will come up with some new social media and we will need your assistance all over again 😉
    My recent post This Week At Midnight (72)

    • Absolutely, I know what you mean Shannon, you have to learn each one but as you get used to it, things get easier. Hehehe I know you use Twitter the most 😉 I am loving Instagram! Man I know what you mean, I have pretty much found a good spot in the house to take photos – and it's only during weekends when the sun is up.

    • Hehehe don't worry Braine, I like seeing what you are up to too! That sounds interesting, is that a Facebook thing?

  10. Precious

    Love this post, Jeann! I'm still kind of lazy when it comes to social media, but I'm going to try and be more active on Twitter and Goodreads. I don't think I'll be getting a Facebook or Instagram for awhile, but I've been trying to figure out how to use Pinterest for blogging. Can you give me any tips?

    • I don't actually use pinterest much, but you could pin your blog posts and provide a link there. Not sure how useful it would be though!

  11. Vane J.

    Wow, you must be very organised to have all those social media accounts. I can barely make it with Twitter, Goodreads and the blog. But I don't regret having those – I love them all. Great post, Jeann!
    My recent post DNF review: Red Queen

  12. Grace @ RebelMommyBB

    Really helpful post Jeann!!! FB is definitely the social media site that gets the least of my attention. Still working on twitter. But I love Instagram and it is such a lovely little community!
    My recent post Review ~ Still Alice

    • Thanks Grace! I totally agree, I mainly use Facebook for friends and stuff like that. Instagram is so lovely!

  13. This is a great and useful post, Jeann. I have a Facebook, but I'm not really active there. I got it because everyone else seemed to be getting it. I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter as you know. If I could find a way to get rid of all the greed, competitiveness and drama, I would love it! I do like interacting with friends on there however.
    I'm still getting the hang of Instagram but I sure do love seeing everyone's pretty photos!
    My recent post Blog Tour Stop : The Highlander Takes a Bride by Lynsay Sands

    • Thanks Nick, I know what you mean about Twitter, sometimes it just gets a bit too tiring with everything. I'm so excited you're on Insta now!

  14. Fantastic post, Jeann. I have to admit that I haven't been that active on my FB page as well. I just feel like I'm bombarding everyone with all my posts. I think what I'm going to do from now on, though, is to post archives on there. Slowly but surely, I'm trying to interact a bit more on Twitter. It's really tough when I get busy with all the other things going on in my life.

    Once again, a very insightful, helpful post! 'Tis why I luv ya!
    My recent post Gratuitous Book Photo of the Week

    • Thanks Joy, I kind of know what you feel about Facebook -that's a really good idea with the archives actually. I know what you mean! <33

  15. booksbonesbuffy

    Really great post Jeann! I don't use social media enough, I just don't have time. But when I do I always think, why aren't I using it more often? It's a blast! Twitter is my fave but I want to do more with Instagram.

    • Thank you Tammy, I know what you mean! It's so much fun and addictive, actually better cos you would probably be getting more done without it…it's the ultimate procrastination tool. Instagram is my new favourite 🙂

    • Thanks Emily! I totally agree, it's the funnest talking to everyone on there. I'm looking forward to seeing your Instagram pics – good luck with your exams first!

  16. Lisa @ Lost in Lit

    I LOVE Instagram!! It's definitely my favorite. I come and go on Twitter. There tends to be a TON of drama, and I just don't like it. So when it gets too dramatic, I take a Twitter break for a while. Facebook I rarely use. I have my posts show there automatically, but really that's it's. One I'm totally clueless on (but would really like to figure out) is Tumblr. I look around and have NO IDEA what to do or really what the point of it is. LOL I'd love to finally learn what it's all about! Great post, Jeann!! 🙂
    My recent post Lost in Kids’ Lit: Summer Road Trip Giveaway!

    • It's really relaxing just browsing through pictures and looking at all the pretties isn't it? I totally know what you mean about Twitter, sometimes the drama and subtweeting can get tiring. Lol you can't ask me about Tumblr…I have no idea what it's about either XD

    • Thanks Dre, it's definitely a work in progress – social media doesn't grow overnight! Online friends is the best 😀 (yes they are real friends!)

  17. Yaay! I feel like I'm doing it right. xD HAHA. (I can never be sure.) I'm sooo glad you said following back in teh early days is okay on twitter, because Im' a bit mortified now of exactly HOW much following back I did. (And guilty I created a twitter account just for giveaways. I know right?! SHAME.) And seriously, reading interesting tweets is LIFE. Funny ones too. I get bored if tweets are just all links to posts and promos. Meh. And while I use goodreads A LOT I don't think it actually drives traffic to my blog. D: Not quite sure how to change that.

    • CAIT YOU DO EVERYTHING RIGHT hehehe 😀 Haha oh man, remember the days when we thought giveaway spam on Twitter was okay? ITS NOT OK. Anyways, I totally agree! Yeah, Goodreads I do get traffic but mostly for old reviews that people click through on the link.

  18. aentee @ read at midnight

    Invaluable post Jeann! Thank you so much. To be honest I am so horrible at keeping with my Instagram at the moment since my baby blog needs it's attention haha. I'm also the worst at updating my
    FB page. But I admire your dedication across all the social media sites.

    • No problems Aentee! I totally know what you mean, it's hard to juggle everything at once! I'm loving your baby blog at the moment though 🙂

  19. keionda

    I TOTALLY agree in when making a new blogging friend follow them in social media. I mainly use Twitter. (FB and Instagram…I just don't understand those two but once I figure Goodreads out, I'll move onto FB. Maybe teehee thanks for all this great advice girl! It's ALWAYS needed whether you're a beginner or a pro. 😉