Social Media 101

WCBC - Social Media - Blogging 101 - Recap - Chicago - Bloggers

image via The Chicago Lifestyle

On Sunday, co-founders Kit and Erin led a Social Media 101 discussion at Next Door Chicago. The group was engaged and everyone learned something! We reviewed best practices and strategies to grow followship on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Before we go into the details there are a few tips that apply to all platforms.

  • Engage with others
  • Follow back
  • Be nice
  • Be funny
  • Be genuine

As you set up your accounts try to use the same handle (username) between each platform to ensure your readers can easily identify you and so you can share your posts seamlessly. It is also helpful to use the same profile pictures/images from platform to platform. It helps prove you’re not a robot when a new user finds your profile! And, be sure to always have a link to your blog in your profiles.


Twitter is a great way to connect with people you don’t know but remember anyone can see your tweets! It is essential to tweet links to your blog posts so your network is aware of your latest work. Engage with people that have similar interests so use “@” to reply to something so that user sees your tweet.

It is helpful to use a free services like Hootsuite to schedule tweets, track activity and keep tabs on your networks.

Twitter chats can be a way to meet new people and get more followers. Often the host of the chat is being sponsored by a brand, and they will bring up that brand in the chat.

Tips for Twitter Followers:

  • Follow other people
  • Follow all your FB friends- this is easy
  • Follow all WCBC members
  • Use hashtags
  • Engage in conversation
  • #FF (Follow Friday) others
  • Participate in Twitter chats
  • Follow people back
  • Be friendly! Compliment others on blog posts you like and share the link

Instagram is all visual – you post photos and a brief description. Instagram also uses hashtags to help people find your content. You can set up your website as a location and tag images to that location – this helps to promote your site.

Tips for Instagram Followers:

  • Post beautiful photos
  • Use hashtags
  • Follow people back
  • Follow WCBC members
  • Tag locations
  • Post to Twitter, Facebook (and Tumblr if you have it)
  • Ask questions and start a conversation

Pinterest is probably the best way to drive traffic to your site. Like Instagram, it is very visual, but, unlike Instagram, Pins link back directly to your site. Pinterest also uses hashtags which will help users find your posts!

Tips for Pinterest Followers:

  • Use descriptive keywords to title your boards. “Florida Beaches” is better than “Places I Love”.
  • Use hashtags in your descriptions. Descriptions can be up to 500 characters long.
  • Use Alt Tags to make pinning easy
  • Use high quality images
  • RePin your own images
  • Add a Pin It button to images on your blog

To grow followers on each platform, be disciplined, follow 100 people a day and unfollow 100 people that don’t follow you. Apps like Followers+ (instagram) and FindUnfollow (twitter) makes this process easier.

Most importantly, for all platforms, pay attention to what works. Check your stats, the time of day your tweeting or posting, see which Pins drive the most traffic to your site and create more similar content.