We live in a world where technology is constantly changing, so it’s sometimes hard for me to grasp how I have changed with it. How I manage my social media platforms today is quite different than just a couple years ago. For instance, the addition of the “stories” and “live” features on Instagram show the need to provide access to information, and quickly. Likewise, the ability to now follow hashtags expands that access.
While algorithms will continue to change, what has remained constant over the years is engagement and communication. I’ve learned that it is critical to be involved with your community. You need to know your followers. That has been beneficial to me as my intention has always been to remain local and support the businesses and organizations in and around Pasadena. By helping them promote their businesses, responding to questions by my followers, and featuring them in posts, I am essentially delivering on what my followers want; a place where they can learn something new and have fun.
I was invited to be a panelist for a Q&A session at Apple back in 2016 (you can read my responses from the Q&A below), and was surprised to see representatives from large corporations like House of Blues and Pabst Blue Ribbon at the event. When people came up to me with questions afterward, I realized I offered a fresher perspective because I was a small “business” and was doing it alone, which means you can too.
I want to share my experiences with #pasadenacharm and how you can grow your business, which is why I am giving workshops and speaking at events to share my recipe for success through social media.
Topic: Separating business and personal profiles
Question: Taryn, how do you separate your brand from your personal life? Is it important for you to separate the two?
Answer: I like to keep a separate personal account where I post unfiltered family stuff. It’s a nice way of not always having to be “on,” or worrying about picking the right filter, etc., so having that separation allows freedom in what I post on both accounts. I also set hours for myself. I take weekends off from #pasadenacharm and it allows me to refuel. I’ve noticed that I get the most engagement through that account Mondays through Fridays and occasionally Sunday nights.
Topic: Choosing the right social media platforms
Question: Do you treat all of your social media platforms equally or do you give some more attention than others?
Answer: I don’t think it’s necessarily about choosing the right social media platforms, but about using them all to your advantage. Social media is constantly changing and you have no idea when Instagram, Facebook, whatever social media platforms you use, is going to become irrelevant. Also, brands like to see that you have a well-rounded presence on social media. I do give Instagram the most attention because I love it the most and it’s where I get the most engagement back. With Twitter, I use it as way of bringing more people to my Instagram account by saying something interesting that hooks them and makes them want to click on the link. “Climbing up a really tall ladder to grab something gorgeous…” find out what it is on Instagram.
Also, you want to be consistent and cohesive. People sometimes over post. We don’t need to see 4 or 5 pictures of the same sunset or the same photo across all social media platforms. In a way, you want to be mysterious and lead followers to your website or another social media platform (from Twitter to Instagram).
Topic: Social media best practices
Question: How do you make Pasadena Charm stand out from the rest of the lifestyle bloggers and what is your strategy?
Answer: Engagement with my followers and features like questions, goodnights and good mornings, getting personal with my community. I also ask myself “why people should follow me” or “what’s in it for them?” This serves as a helpful reminder of what I should be doing to ensure I am bringing the right content for them. I also find out the right hashtags to use like #love with 900 million people using it versus #lovepasadena with only 629 users, or #california with 30 million versus #californialivin, without the G, with only 60,000 users. You can use all of those hashtags, but you want to be aware of which ones have the higher following.
One thing I used to wonder why, no matter what the comment was, big accounts would always respond to every comment and I realized that there was a strategy behind that, so I always have the “how can I strategize this?” thought in the back of my head. For example, one of my mommy friends has the same amount of followers that I do, but she was getting twice as many as likes and comments as I was. That’s when I discovered that she was responding to every single comment. With that said, you want to keep quality over quantity in mind. Even though I only had about 7,000 followers, I have a dedicated and loyal following of locals that attracts me to work with companies.
One of the biggest mistakes I see with larger companies is when they aren’t engaging with their following. You have to have some sort of a takeaway for your followers. Why do they care about what you’re posting? Why should they want to follow you? If you want people to follow you, you need to have a takeaway. Mine is providing information about what is happening in the city. Moms know they can find cool places for their kids, foodies can find new coffee shops or restaurants to try, etc. One time I had a follower direct message me asking for a restaurant with the best patio in Pasadena, and I responded right away with El Portal. So I really feel I am engaging the most with my followers through Instagram than any other social media platform.
Topic: Resources and tools
Questions: Where do you look when you’re feeling uninspired about what to post?
Answer: Pinterest, my followers, by using #Pasadena or #PasadenaCharm hashtags where I can see what people are posting and finding that is charming in Pasadena. One of my followers, Maplejoythecorgi, requested information about dog-friendly places in Pasadena. And I’ll be honest… I don’t have a dog. But I see this as another fun way for me to reach out to local companies like the Pasadena Humane Society and the Langham Hotel to see what they know and have to offer. And that’s my takeaway. People know that when they come to Pasadena Charm they are going to learn something new, they’ll have fun, and they might get featured or quoted in a post. People know that if they come to me and ask something of me, I’ll deliver.
Topic: Goal setting and success tracking
Question: What are some of your goals moving forward with Pasadena Charm?
Answer: A newsletter! Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. I am definitely working on getting my followers from Instagram and onto a newsletter where I have quality emails full of information about what is happening in Pasadena. Not only am I giving information to people who live in the city and tourists who visit, but it’s also an outlet for companies to reach out to locals.