Choose Your Channels Wisely
There are so many social channels now available, offering different benefits and opportunities, so it's essential to pick the ones that are relevant to you and your blog. Twitter and Instagram are a must for everyone, as they're easy to navigate and provide endless networking opportunities through the open nature of their platforms. However, other networks may also offer a unique way of talking to your audience - Pinterest is great for sharing imagery and inspiration if you're a fashion or food blogger, whereas YouTube is fantastic for sharing stories or showing how products work if you're a beauty or lifestyle blogger. Pick the ones that are right for you and you have time to manage, rather than trying to do too much too soon.
Set Yourself Some Guidelines
Although social media can provide an invaluable insight and extension of your blog presence, it can also be your downfall. Like anything in life, there's always a line that some have a tendency to cross. Set yourself some guidelines around what you will and won't discuss online, as well as personal details that you will and won't share. Everything you share online can be easily accessed by an employer or future partner, so think before you type. Sharing personal opinions is one thing, but ensure those opinions aren't offensive or aggressive - many bloggers have been disciplined at work or struggled to gain employment because of their over-zealous online presence; others have had brands back out of contracts or simply choose not to work with them as they don't reflect their values. Be careful.
Create Content Pillars
What do you want your channels to represent? What areas of beauty, fashion or lifestyle are you most interested in and what do your readers respond to? Writing a list of key areas you want to curate content around will help you manage and grow your online presence, giving you direction when you're struggling to be creative. Use these to fill your social channels with great content and ensure you're regularly talking about these topics.
Schedule Your Content
Nobody expects you to be online all day, every day - but your readers are. Scheduling content is a great way of ensuring your pages are populated with great stuff, without you spending your life glued to a keyboard. There are great tools that allow you to upload pictures and updates to channels including Twitter, Facebook and Google+ on whatever day (and whatever time) you choose. Some popular ones include Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, but Facebook even has their own scheduling capabilities built into their site.
The brilliance of social media is that it allows you to be reactive and respond to news immediately. If there's something happening right now, start tweeting about it. Have images just been released of the newest L'Oreal collaboration? Start pinning and Instagramming them. There's little point in sharing something that has been shared a million times in the last three days, so ensure you're always on the look-out for new information that's relevant to your audience.
Ensure You're Approachable
There's nothing worse than a blogger just producing content and never speaking to their audience. Your audience makes you, so it's essential that you're approachable and respond to questions or comments. I hate it when I tweet some of the very well established bloggers and never hear a peep out of them in return; not every tweet requires a reply, but every so often you may just make someones day. One of the reasons I love Susie Bubble is that she frequently reads new blogs and shares great content, as well as having conversations she doesn't know on Twitter; she doesn't have to, but it illustrates she's in touch with the people that are reading her site.
Do you have any top tips on managing social channels? Next in the series: How To Work With PRs & Brands.
(Missed the first posts? Check out 'How To Start A Beauty Blog' and 'How To Grow Your Audience'.)