Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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If you are like me, then you may currently be experiencing a wide range of emotions as you are quarantined away in your home and spending more hours than usual on your phone. Not only are we as humans more sensitive to all the feelings right now as we live through levels of uncertainty and unknown that our former selves of three weeks ago would be unable to comprehend, but we also have more time to sit with those feelings and allow them to get the best of us. And as a full-time teacher who is desperately fighting hours in the day to convert my entire teaching portfolio into a digital format, all while trying to grade endless papers, catch up with all 120 of my students online, prevent dogs from eating away at my bookshelf and keep up with my own emotional sanity, I am finding myself incredibly aware of my own personal presence on social media. And to be quite honest, I am very concerned with what I am seeing. So instead, of continuing to pour my heart out on story rants, I decided to turn this into a purposeful use of content creation and share 12 strategies on what bloggers and influencers SHOULD be doing on social media right now, given the current situation.
Woah. I can feel the heart beating and the blood flowing. If you are reading this, then 1. you are either a blogger/influencer 2. you just like to read what I write or 3. you are simply curious as to where this post is going. Whichever of the three you fall in, I am so glad you are here and I hope this post encourages you tremendously! We are currently living through something that we have never experienced before in our lifetimes. And while I am simply sharing what has been on my heart (and I believe placed there for a reason) please know that this is simply my own specific set of beliefs. I do not know everything. I am not the most popular influencer out there. My following is small. Micro. My engagement is not the best. My reach is okay. My stories’ views are inadequate (as I have a recent NO from a collaboration to support that) and my blogging income is MINIMAL. However, I believe in my heart and I believe in the power of my words. And I believe that right now, more than ever is a time for us in this community of content creation to be so incredibly intentional with what we are posting and sharing. Because the reality is people are sick. People are dying. Nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers are risking their life and their family lives fighting this head on in the frontlines, while we piddle away in the comfort of our quarantined home. Furthermore, people are losing their jobs. People are losing their retirement. People are worried about where they will find money to support themselves and their family. And the economic impact of what is happening across the nation and across the entire world is something that will have long-lasting impact. And so to be quite frank, your try-on from *insert favorite retailer here* may not come across as the best kind of thing to be sharing right now. But again, this is just me. We all have to try to make our money someway. Instead, instead here are 12 things you can be doing right now that will greatly impact your business for the positive. So please, get your to-do list and pen ready as I share the 12 Things Bloggers/Influencers SHOULD BE DOING on social media RIGHT NOW!
There are SO MANY worthwhile things you can be doing during this time to completely transform your following and completely own your brand. And the best part about this entire list, is it applies to everyone. EVERY single person who uses their social media as a platform, whether that platform is for the purpose of income, community, or team-building, EVERY single person can utilize this time to CULTIVATE COMMUNITY. What does this look like? Well, to be honest it kind of depends based on your niche, but be incredibly intentional. Be incredibly personable. Show emotions. Talk about your feelings. Are you worried? Show it! Are you having a bad day, don’t hide it. The average human is sick of seeing a glorified influenced life on the gram, so instead show the world just how human you actually are. Again, this can be done in a positive light, but be incredibly real and honest with your followers. Ask them questions, make a point to create an entire space devoted to what your blog/account is about. For me, that is about an encouraging and joy-filled lifestyle. So use this time, these precious moments, to absolutely create and cultivate a community worth investing in. Because truth be told that is exactly what your following, across all channels is, a cultivated community, specifically yours.
Challenges are needed in order to grow and evolve as humans. I firmly believe this to be true in the realm of content creating. Utilize this time and this space to find new ways of creating and shooting content. Allow yourself to find new corners of your home that you can share, allow yourself to find a different octave of your voice that you can relate with. I strongly believe that diving into this level of creativity is absolutely needed and appreciated during this time period. And the truth is – you don’t have to have a cute overly decorated house for this to work. Find a clear desk space (or table space) find the glow of morning light, hold your coffee cup in front of your favorite little space in your house. You don’t have to be a home decorator to nail staging content in your home. Plus, you may find that forcing to dive deeper into the creativity may actually help you take your thing to the next level. Plus you may be surprised with just how much content you end up creating! Personally, creating content within the home right now is key, especially since it is imperative that we as humans need to be staying home right now, I think there is a whole new level of respect that can be achieved when we can let our Insta feeds match that reality. (Again, I understand that we have deadlines and older content we need to share and that is fine, just make sure you are doing an effort to space it accordingly – the key is finding a balance.)
Honestly, this is probably the most important tip on the entire list. Now, more than ever our content should be purposeful and intentional. This goes for stories and static Insta posts. Here is a little tip: Before you hit send, think, what is my reason for posting this. If it is “to make money, or just because” then please, please think again. Why? Friends, we have to be so delicate with our time right now. We have nurses fighting this on the frontlines, we have families losing their jobs and income that are having to make really difficult decisions. And yes, I understand that we rely on social media for income too, but please realize the bigger picture here. Don’t lose your following to you seeming insensitive to legitimate worries and concerns facing the nation. Remember, this is not about you. Every single content that you create is about your reader, your audience, and how they are going to feel based on the words you share. And this should be exciting. This in itself should be encouraging. Allow this to be a time where you focus on truly creating heart-worthy content and showing that golden heart of yours! Let your spirit and your light shine by being 100% real and 100% you. Trust me, your readers will absolutely thank you. And once all of this passes, they will be even more inclined to shop through your links. Just give it a little time!
Think of your day on IG stories as a programmer for a television channel. How are you going to purposefully and intentionally share and create content throughout the day that speaks to the heart of your audience. And having the time that we do, with more of an audience willing to sit through stories, should give us all the reason to focus here on this next step. Transform your stories. Truly find ways to captivate and connect with your audience. Whether you have a funny story to share, or your desperation in realizing that you are down to your last roll of toilet paper. Or do a little kitchen series, where you record your meal that you are cooking for dinner and with a little fast speed editing and the music feature, you have a little entertaining piece. Mix it up with both videos and pictures. Always use text when you are chatting. Add a location, throw in a hashtag to help your reach. Just remember, before you hit send, be sure to ask yourself what your intention is in sharing this. Additionally, utilize your Insta Stories as a way to truly get to know your audience. And speaking of… tip number 5 of what bloggers and influencers should be doing on social media right now… get to know your audience.
This is very similar to cultivate community, but with a little more intentional approach. Get to know your audience. More people are spending time on their phone, so spend the time getting to know the people who follow you. Truly connect. Ask how they are doing. Read their captions, comment genuinely. Ask questions on your stories. Utilize all the features, polls, multiple choice, the question box. And when you get a DM, spend time engaging in that conversation. Turn the focus away from YOU and place it on THEM. Trust me, this is the time to get to know your audience. Plus, if there are things you are really wanting to share, lets say a try-on from a company you are collaborating with, then ASK your audience if this is something they are interested in seeing. The more we can shift the focus away from ourselves, and directed to our audience, the more invested our audience will be in our own content.
The economic impact of life as we currently know it to be is still something that will hit us in waves throughout the next few weeks and months. And while most big businesses will have an easier time recovering, the small businesses, the bread and butter of the local economy will absolutely be in for the fight of their life. As bloggers and influencers we have such a unique role where we can continue to love on and support our favorite small businesses. This goes beyond just purchasing from them through either to-go orders and online orders, but even more so in sharing authentic content to our social media world on why we support the things that we do. Additionally, this is not the time to be completely greedy and demanding with our own personal rate sheet, this is the time to show the true colors of our hearts and be willing to show the love to the small businesses!
Update old content. This is definitely for the people who have an actual blog with a whole index of posts from how ever many years ago. Now is a freaking amazing time to go back through and re-purpose old content. You may even find something that your audience resonates with and you can share in a new light. This is one of the most important things we can do as bloggers as it allows us to continue to grow in SEO ranking and the Pinterest search engine, but unfortunately so many of us don’t have the time for this! Therefore, make the time for it now, and you will absolutely thank yourself later!
Engage. Engage. Engage. People are social distancing and longing for connection. Use this time to connect, connect, and connect. Reach out to your favorite blogger gals. Find new creative ways to collaborate together. Have a favorite store that you would love to work with. Go through their Instagram posts and connect with people who are commenting on their images. Search through hashtags that resonate with your heart and connect on different posts through there. Real engagement is the most effective way to grow your Instagram following (and following on all social channels) so utilize the time you have to truly create that engagement.
This one is for the business account folks. Which, if you aren’t currently utilizing an Instagram business account, I strongly encourage you to do so, simply for the Analytic tools. How can analytics be of service to you currently? Go through your content of the past month, the past week, and throughout the past year and make notes on what performs the best. And when you learn what performs the best work on including that specific type of content more in your weekly content planning. Utilize the tools that Instagram provides us with and create a new strategy that works for you. This works the same for other accounts you have analytics for, Pinterest, WordPress, and even RewardStyle. Spend the time auditing your content to see where your success is found, and then capitalize on that success. You are welcome!
Oh, I believe in the power of education, well that is the teacher in me. And I think that in order to continually grow and succeed, we must always, always be continuing to learn as well. Use the time you have to tune your education in your niche. Whether that is access an old class you took years ago, read through the different blogging course manuscripts you have in your inbox, or find power podcasts to help take your game to the next level, spend worthwhile moments focused on your education. Probably one of my most helpful tool for me specifically, within the past few months in terms of blogging and all things Instagram is Danielle Gervino’s, Blogging Unscripted Podcast. This podcast is legitimate and jam-packed with ready to use information that is completely free! She is a mastermind herself and a gem of a human being and if you haven’t listened to any of her episodes, please do yourself a favor and hit play now! (Well, hit play in five minutes after you finish reading this post and then of course share it with your peeps!)
Pinterest is a phenomenal tool to use for bloggers and influencers alike as it is a search engine for all things content creation. And so many of us place Pinterest on the backburner without really realizing all the success it could actually provide. Utilize NOW to dive fully into Pinterest. Complete a full audit of your Pinterest page and boards. Update and edit your SEO on your Pinterest page and work on creating new pins for old and new content alike. Personally, for me the Simple Pin Podcast has been incredibly transformative for how I stepped up my Pinterest game and I strongly recommend Kate to help you find success. And if you aren’t using Tailwind. Then you absolutely should. Click here to score a month free and watch as you take your Pinterest game to a whole new level!
This too will past. Trust me. This season will eventually be over and our crazy and chaotic lives will begin again. And when it does, companies will want to collaborate again, tourism will skyrocket and people will want to spend the money they have been holding on to so tightly for the past few months! So go ahead and start planning. Have travel guides you need to work on, go ahead and write out the posts (I would just wait and share them until traveling is more of an option) plan your summer content, plan your cornerstone seasonal content. Pull together outfit guides, gift guides, start working through all your inspiration and do as much as you can now to truly get ahead for the future. Because this too will past! And when it does, we will be ready!
First and foremost if you made it all the way to the end, THANK YOU. THANK YOU for taking the time to read my words. I believe tremendously in the power of words and the gift of writing and so thank you for being here and in this space. I truly hope that you feel encouraged and inspired to use this time to tune your craft even more. And if this post resonated with you, it would absolutely mean the world to me if you shared it!
Also, if you loved what you read here and are a fan of heart encouragement, then you may want to check out:
Thanks so much friends. Stay safe, stay strong, and stay healthy!