For those of you who may not know, I blog at Confessions of a Def Deaf Girl on a regular basis. This is a blog that I started up over a year ago when I first started to seriously consider getting my first cochlear implant. This blog is something that’s become very important to me over the last year as it is my way of documenting my story, connecting and sharing my story with others in the Deaf community that may be going through the same thing(s), and also using it a a tool to express my emotions and a times, vent a little. I’m actually in the process of transforming my blog into a full-fledged novel now, with the first draft recently completed.
Around 8 months – a year after launching Confessions of a Def Deaf Girl, I realized I should take my blog to social media so that I can reach even more of my target audience. I remembered how big of a role social media played in my decision to get my first cochlear implant. If it wasn’t for all of the Facebook groups I joined and people I talked to in those groups and the people I connected with on Instagram, I may never have went through with getting my cochlear implant.
I have a lot of experience with social media marketing. I currently work as a Digital Marketing Manager – SMO at WebiMax, where social media is my specialty. Prior to my employment at WebiMax, I also managed Rowan University’s social accounts. However, that doesn’t mean I know everything there is to know about social media. I do know this: there’s always room to learn more when it comes to social media. Marketing my blog on social media has taught me quite a few things. Here are 7 lessons I learned by marketing my blog on social media.
1. Don’t Be Afraid to Be Unique. Let’s be real, there are way more people in the world that don’t have a cochlear implant and/or aren’t deaf than people who are. There isn’t exactly an overwhelming amount of Facebook pages or Twitter accounts out there dedicated to cochlear implants and/or the Deaf/HOH community. However, this has worked as an advantage to me. I knew from my own personal experience that there is a demand for these kinds of pages on social media. I can’t be the only Deaf girl looking for a fun, informative, and positive social pages to connect with. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for on social media, create it. You’ll be at more of an advantage than a disadvantage for being unique. It just means less competition!
2. Be Generous. You know what one of my biggest pet peeves is on social media? Selfish people/brands. I can’t stand when a person or brand never takes to the time to reply to comments or messages. I hate when people or brands never share or comment on other posts or otherwise engage with their audience.
With my own social pages I am always connecting with other users and sharing their content. I noticed some of my best posts that receive the highest engagements are ones that I shared from others. And it also encourages those pages to like my page and engage with my posts, too! It’s a win-win all around.
3. Be Helpful. Why should people visit your page? What do they want to know? In my case, there’s an endless list of questions that people have. What do cochlear implants sound like? What can people expect after activation? What kind of training can they do with their cochlear implant? I share my own personal blog posts that contain helpful information, news articles, and other resources to help people out.
I also take things a step further and answer any questions people may have on a regular basis. One woman even sent me a surgery to answer for her Speech Language Pathologist certification. It was a long list of questions that took me awhile to answer, but I still made a point to answer her in a PM and she couldn’t have been more appreciate of it. I love helping others on Facebook because I remember how everyone came and helped me when I was at the beginning of my cochlear implant process in November of 2014.
4. Know Your Audience. One of the most important parts of effective Facebook marketing lies in knowing your audience. I know my audience very well, because this is my life – the community that I live in. I am a direct member of my audience. My audience is a wide age range (although I purposely try to target young adults/teens since I know there is a huge lack of online resources/social pages available for them that deal with the Deaf community) of individuals who have some form of hearing loss or who work or live with someone that has hearing loss. My posts are geared for this audience and questions they have, challenges they face, and products they may be interested in.
If I one day started posting about seeing dogs, LASIK surgery, braille, and the blind community I may see a decrease in my level of engagement and even lose some followers because those topics are not relevant to my audience. My audience is predominately Deaf/HOH, not blind. Know your audience and know that your content caters specifically for their needs and interests.
5. Organic Marketing Isn’t “Dead”. It’s common knowledge that it has been increasingly difficult to achieve a social following organically these days, especially on Facebook. However the idea that organic marketing is “dead” is merely a myth. Organic marketing is difficult, but far from “dead”.
I personally cannot afford paid advertising on social media to promote my blog at this time, but I am more than happy with my organic results thus far. I have 56 Likes on Facebook. To some that may not seem like a lot, but considering I have never run an Ad for Likes and the page is just a few months old, I feel like I am making good progress. I’ve gotten 18 Likes alone just in the last 30 days. That’s more than a quarter of my overall likes!
And my engagement? It’s been even better than what I see some people getting from paid advertising. Take for instance a post I shared this morning about a doll with a cochlear implant:
It’s been up for only a few hours and already gained 2 shares 6 Likes, and reached 801 people. I also gained 2 more Page Likes shortly after posting this. Not bad for an all-organic post! I can only imagine how well my page will do when the time comes that I can afford to invest in paid advertising!
6. Don’t Be Overly Promotional. One thing that I love about promoting my blog on social media that I’m sure everyone else appreciates is this: I’m not trying to sell anything. I’m sure that everyone hates constantly having their News Feed or Twitter Feed flooded with brands and businesses trying to sell their products. It definitely gets annoying and at times makes me want to unlike or unfollow the account. I do of course promote my blog, but that’s not the *ONLY* thing I do. I make sure I only post about my blog 2-3 times a month on average. The other posts are industry-relevant news, quotes, images, questions, and more fun, social, and engaging content. I imagine if all I did on social media was ask people to read my blog, I wouldn’t have as many followers or as much engagement.
When you don’t constantly shove your products or services down people’s throats, they’ll be more inclined to go to it on their own, too. Case in point? One of my followers chose to visit my blog through my Facebook page on their own today as seen through my CTA button analytics:
Instead of worrying about promoting all of your products and your business on social media, focus more on creating great content that will make people want to learn more about your business/brand and purchase your products or utilize your services.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Recycle Old Content. I share old blog posts on social media all the time. I know a lot of my earlier posts from when I was going through the process of getting my cochlear implant for the first time are some of my strongest, most helpful pieces of content I have and my audience loves them. I make a note of when I share my blog posts and where I share them though so that I can be sure I’m not sharing the same post continuously. I also like to vary between which ones I share on Facebook and which I share on Twitter to keep things fresh at all. Remember, great content is timeless and deserves to be shared more than once. You’re bound to come across some new audience members who haven’t seen it yet that will be sure to enjoy it just as much as they enjoy your newer content.
The best way to learn about social media marketing and what does or doesn’t work is by doing it. Even though my social campaign for my blog is entirely organic and done for fun, I have still learned quite a bit. Once my book is complete I’d like to invest in paid advertising to promote my blog and my book and I’m sure I’ll be learning even more about social media marketing through that experience as well.