It’s no secret that social media is kind of a big deal. Many writers that I have talked to mention Facebook Groups as a large source of incoming traffic and subscribers. This is an awesome way to make connections, but Facebook Groups are really just the tip of the iceberg in how social media can help grow a newsletter.
Here are some ways that posting and being active on social media has helped me grow my newsletters:
1. Finding where your Target Audience Hangs Out
It is pretty known that Google is the most commonly used search engine in the world, but did you know that YouTube and Pinterest are the next most commonly used search bars on the internet? Maybe an audience of home-cooks are hyper-active on Pinterest and are already searching for your content, and it’s just not there! Or perhaps there is a niche subreddit about the exact cryptocurrency you are writing about this week. Wouldn’t they like to know about your content?
The point is, it is important to try many different forms of social media. For some reason, your content may resonate with people who view Instagram stories or LinkedIn articles, but not Facebook comments. I assure you that there are untapped groups of subscribers out there for any niche, you just need to reach out to them on social media.
2. Compounding Growth
If you were able to brute-force your newsletter to 1000s of subscribers, chances are there would be some form of organic growth from your readers starting. Word-of-mouth is the most effective form of growth and has the highest rate of retention. We trust what our friends tell us!
This compounding growth does not just apply to newsletters. Once your social media accounts hit a certain size, they will also continue to grow. As your Instagram or Pinterest presence expands, your posts also receive exponentially more views. Why only have one compounding channel of growth?
⏱ It can take quite some time before your social media growth compounds, but it is certainly worth it! Hang in there!
3. A Platform to Connect and Engage
Email newsletters are a great way to start a conversation in readers’ minds, but they aren’t as effective as continuing that conversation. From DM’s to comment threads, social media is a great place to give your readers the chance to discuss and further engage with your content and with each other. It can also help you get to know them better and tailor your newsletter to their exact interests. Make getting to know your audience a top priority.
4. Alternative Income / Collabs / Opportunity
A well-established social media account is not just a growth channel, but also an asset. You can leverage your social media accounts to help bring more attention to your newsletter. For example, the social media version of guest writing could be exchanging shoutouts on Twitter with another writer or relative account.
If your goal is to live off of your newsletter, a large following on Instagram or YouTube can land you additional income from promotion deals, affiliate links, or increased exposure to your own info products. Social media takes time to build and is a must early-on if your goal is to live off of your publication!
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Put simply, it is actions you can take that will get your content to rank higher in Google. The goal is that when someone searches relevant queries, your content is always result #1.
There is a lot you can do to boost your ranking. One easy-to-take step is to ensure that there are backlinks to your content across the web. When other quality websites link directly to your newsletter or blog, Google sees this as a good thing and ranks your website higher. Just by including a link to one of my own newsletters here, I am boosting my own SEO! Wow!
Having several different social media accounts pointing back to your publication will help increase your SEO.
Growing Social Media as a Writer is Much Easier than you Think
After reading my reasons for having social media as a writer, you may be thinking that this is all great, but how on earth are YOU going to grow your social media presence. Well since you are an active maintainer of a newsletter, your content for social media activity is already there! You just need to give that content a new form. For me, I found that one newsletter issue could generate about 15-20 pieces of unique social media content. Focus on your writing, and let what you write guide your social media activity.
Good places to start are Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. For all of these platforms, reshaping your content into images will allow you to spin up your account. I personally used to use Canva and Adobe Illustrator to create posts. While these tools allow high levels of customization, they take so much time to use! To save myself time, I created Newsletter to Socials, a tool tailored towards newsletter and blog writers which automatically grabs content from your publication and generates ready-to-post images of any size that match your brand and theme. Check it out!
Thanks for reading our first issue. In the future we hope to dive deeper into advice for writers who want to grow a social media following while still putting all their effort into writing. Follow along!