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I’m honoured to be a finalist at the BritMums in Brilliance Awards in the Social Media category (yay) so thought it was high-time I shared my own social media tips for bloggers and business owners.

I’ve been lucky enough to make it to the finals at the awards several times over the years in various categories, the most poignant being 4 weeks after starting this site here which led to me gaining the confidence to return to TV directing before eventually making blogging and vlogging my full time career.

Honest Mum will be 6 years old in November 2016 and the last 4 years have seen me work prolifically as a blogger, vlogger and digital influencer, now with a small team at HM HQ.

I’ve had posts here and on social media go viral several times and this site is now regarded as being in the top 5% of blogs worldwide.

I also consult for international PR firms and run workshops ‘Turning Passion Into Pounds’ with Jessica Huie MBE in partnership with the British Library, to empower others to work in the digital sphere.

I’m also going to be speaking about my career at BritMums Live, sharing my experience and expertise in how you can thrive in this digital field. I hope you can make my session.

…I define myself as a ‘digital storyteller’ connecting with readers across all platforms from this site here to Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Stumble Upon, Linkedin and Tumblr, creating content which includes photos, videos, gifs as well as of course the written word in a personal, honest and hopefully fun and inspiring way.

I also work with global brands on international campaigns in primarily the beauty, food, family and style sectors.

…Content might vary from a sumptuous Greek salad on the blog to a quote on how tough parenting can be on Facebook, with the same end-goal: to connect genuinely with others in a meaningful way.

Here are my top 10 social media tips to help maximise your presence online.


  1. Always Be Yourself

It goes without saying but I’m saying it anyway! It’s as crucial to be yourself online, as it is IRL.

Not everyone will get you, nor you, them, but that’s OK. Don’t try and be someone you’re not and don’t go changing either!

Know that you are putting yourself out there and everyone’s a critic but you can handle it. Start growing a thick skin and reminding yourself of how fly you are.


The brain is plastic, the more you practice self-confidence (and keep telling yourself how awesome you are), the easier it becomes to re-wire and re-educate yourself until you truly believe it. It’s science. Don’t argue with science!

The beautiful thing about blogging and social media is that for the majority of the time (hey there trolls) ‘like meets like’ so people interested in the thing you’re posting will discover you, and hopefully, will keep coming back.

This is how organic SEO (search engine optimisation) works-people ask the internet questions and search engines come up with answers/ recommend sites.

Yes, the websites which are deemed the highest quality/authority are usually those which have been around the longest or pay for advertising to be listed first, but people will eventually find your blog so keep plugging away.

Content is king, always so make it cracking.

For further clarity on the ways you can gain traffic to your site your site, Jon Marrow of Smart Blogger breaks it down:

  1. Search engines
  2. Social channels (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  3. Social bookmarking (Pinterest, Reddit, etc.)
  4. Links/referral traffic
  5. Ads

But back to being yourself. To be successful long term, you have to be true to you. It will be too draining to keep up the pretence.

This doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by others. Read widely and analyse why you like what you do, but know unequivocally that what makes you original and unique, is your voice.

It distinguishes you from every other creator out there so own it!

Also please note that everything ANYONE who shares ANYTHING online is doing so in a selective way. Unless they were streaming unedited footage on them 24 hours a day, content is an edited version of events.

That is the nature of social media and all things creative.

As a director, narratives would always be constructed, whatever the medium- and that’s exactly what we do as creators online.

That doesn’t mean we can’t be genuine, it just means we are in control of what we share. And how empowering is that?!


2. Write What You Want to Read and Watch, Yourself

It’s so important to share your passions and write/create what you would want to read and view yourself.

My site is an online magazine sharing my love of family, as well as food, fashion, beauty, culture and travel. It is a reflection of my life and interests. I would personally feel limited to stick to just one single niche, although it works for others.

You don’t have to be a niche blogger to be successful. You are your niche!


3. Add Value to People’s Lives

Whether you’re a beauty YouTuber or a car blogger, you need to add value to people’s lives.

Be it sharing beautiful blooms into people’s feeds to make them smile or giving advice on how to breed dogs, create and share what makes you happy but don’t forget to think about your end-user:  your audience.

Writing and sharing content online is not dissimilar to filmmaking. We are ultimately creating EMOTION ON SCREEN. Making people care.

Blogging, vlogging and social media are means for entertainment and education. They are vehicles to transport others across time, space and location. They are change-makers.

A way to share our point of view of the world, with the world.

Storytelling is cathartic, empowering and a lifeline to us as humans. We ‘need’ as people to connect, love and share.

It really is as simple as that.

Always ask yourself the intention of your work.

Who does it add value to and why?

What is the theme of your post, the meaning of your work.

The driving force of this post is to help others improve their social media presence.



4. Become your own Best Publicist

I’ve written about this before, in my post Be Your Best Publicist and while I have a super publicist as part of my team, I’ve always been adept at my own PR.

It’s crucial you work at self-promotion too.

You might have the most captivating must-read blog or compelling product but if no one knows about them, how will they find/buy from you?

The movie industry spends 50% of a film’s budget on P&A (press and advertising). Makes you think huh!

But how to increase PR and visibility?

Contact local and national press (email addresses are easy to find via search engines), find an angle for your work/product/story and don’t forget to reach out on twitter and other sm to bloggers and journalists.

They too are always seeking stories. I run a popular Wonderful Women interview series where bloggers, business owners and PR’s regularly contact me to feature their or their clients’ work.

Look for opportunities everywhere.

Create a media kit, an About MeWork With Me and Press page on your site and simply make it easy for others’ to find, work and buy from you.

A Contact Page is a vital addition too (most of my requests come through there despite having an email button)-as is keeping all your social media buttons high, at the top of your page for easy-access.

PR is also commenting on other people’s sites from well known bloggers to your own friends. Leaving comments allows readers to discover your own blogs and businesses and depending on the commenting tool and set up, leaving your url can help with SEO too.

Do use the same gravatar image of you/your business everywhere online and in press to help with instant recognition and PR and don’t forget to include urls of your social media handles on ALL of your pages and handles online (as well as including them in the description box on YT videos) and other sites you write for.

I also advise creating a logo or commissioning a designer to make one for you. Whether you want to monetise your site or not, start thinking of and presenting yourself as a brand.

It’s time to get slick!



5.  Analyse and Reflect on Which Content Works Best & Where

It’s time to start analysing which posts and social media posts gain the most engagement and traction.

I know, for example that funny images about parenting work best on my FB blog page so I stick to those where possible.

I also know which posts on my site are the most read, thanks to Google Analytics: opinion, food and style.

On YouTube, it’s travel and beauty and hair how-to’s which fits the medium.

I also often ask my readers what they like to read most.

You can run a poll tweet on twitter or ask your likers on FB in a status what they’d like to see more of or even send out a questionnaire to your subscribers or write a post appealing for feedback.

…When it comes to Instagram, I try and keep photos to those taken with my Canon G7X or 7D so they look as professional and crisp as possible (with only a few phone ones interspersed).

My friend Lucy of beautiful blog Capture By Lucy and the same named instagram gallery first advised me to do this and I’ve never looked back…

I always use the free app Snapseed to edit photos in-camera if I am using phone shots and I often look at my gallery as a whole to just how photos can be best curated together.

I mix up content to reflect the different aspects of my life.

I would advise to always add tags to your images (you can use Tags For Likes or simply search popular tags on the app) and don’t forget to tag brands and locations in to your photos to help with searches too.

I have personally found that style, beauty and travel posts work best for me on that platform.

Instagram has always been the fashion and beauty-bloggers’ sm of choice so it makes sense, but of course parenting Instagrammers and others are thriving too!



6. Social Media is Picture-Heavy So Get Shooting

Know that all social media platforms are picture-heavy. Use imagery to entice readers in to read your words. Ensure that when you share pictures on twitter and fb they are landscape images, and portrait for Pinterest.

Shoot with the light falling on your face/subject so never pointing directly into a window for example and consider taking a photographic course to improve your skills.



7. Use Social Media Scheduling

Whether blogging is your job or not, I would advise you schedule content to make your life easier. This allows you to be visible online and reach people even when you’re not active there.

That doesn’t mean not being present online too, social media is about conversation so don’t forget to actually connect there too.

…I use Social Oomph to schedule evergreen posts on my blog-mostly recipes on twitter and popular opinion pieces which will literally run until I stop them.

This keeps my timeline busy, vibrant and engaging.

Tail Wind is a useful scheduler for Pinterest for scheduling content.



8. Embrace Video

The 30+ market is only at the start of their YouTube journey, whereas younger generations literally grew up with online tutorials and vlogs, making the likes of Tanya Burr and Zoella, household names.

As this younger audience matures, the content you are creating now will appeal to them (even if takes a few years) and you will grow in popularity. Think of the long term.

You really are missing a trick if you don’t start creating video content, be it on YT, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Periscope or in shorter form on Instagram (do it all if you can).

You can point and shoot using your phone and there are some simple in-phone editing apps you can use if you’re a beginner or just want to make things easy.

I love my Canon G7X which is a simple and lightweight camera (and the YouTubers’ favourite), making it ideal for vlogging on the run.

I use Adobe Premiere to edit on the PC (you can use it on the Mac too). You can also use it on your phone.

Do get to grips with video because it’s going nowhere!



9. You Don’t Have to Do Everything All of the Time

I know what you’re thinking. How can I possibly do all this and lead a normal life? Well you don’t have to do it all and not all of the time, either.

Some creators find they want to focus on YT and grow their audience there, others are committed to FB as that suits their material etc…I would say the ideal is to have a blog and a YT channel with twitter, instagram, pinterest and FB platforms supporting those at the very least.

Blogging and YT go hand in hand as you can embed your videos into your blog and you should add your blog urls in corresponding videos in the description box to help with SEO and cross promotion.

You should also upload video content natively on the platforms you are using so don’t plug YT videos on FB (Facebook will only include a small viewing box with YT links to prevent people bouncing off their site over to their competitor) so upload your YT video as a video onto Facebook.

The same goes for Instagram-upload 10 second clips from your YT film to entice people to head to YT to see the full cut.

My Instagram account is also connected to my other social media accounts so I can easily share images/video posted there on FB, twitter, tumblr etc if I choose too, so link up your accounts to save time.

It’s also important to curate different content for different platforms.

I rarely tend to share personal posts on Linkedin for example, as my connections there are mostly from the film/media and business sectors so my content reflects their interests.

Don’t just focus on sharing your own content on your channels too, share others’ your audience will relate to from blogging friends to well known sites.

Look at trends on BuzzSumo which lists viral content determined by category for inspiration.


10. Ultimately, Be Kind to Yourself

This is not a race. Stop competing. Don’t compare yourself on day 1 to someone who is on day 101 or a million and one.

This is your very own journey, it is unlike anyone else’s and everyone started at the beginning. There will always be someone behind you and someone ahead.

Ask yourself if you enjoy what you do, whether you feel stimulated, stretched and excited about your work for the majority of the time (we all have bad days, don’t forget)! If the answer is YES, then keep truckin’.

I get how easy it is to feel that in the mammoth sea that is the internet, your voice might not matter but please know, it’s just as important as anyone else’s.

There is space on the internet for all and enough success to go around, OK!

My Mum was my very first reader on the blog and she still reads it today.

If she was STILL the only one reading, I’d still keep creating. Hi Mum!

Know that being scared is natural, inevitable and actually truly positive.

It means you really want something- and while pursuing your dreams is frightening, we only grow and flourish when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone. (My good friend, media psychologist Emma Kenny of Make Your Switch always reminds me of this)!

So, go push yourself. Create, make ‘mistakes’ and learn from them, celebrate your triumphs and simply enjoy the process!

I hope these tips have been useful.

To read more of my BLOGGING TIPS, click on the link.


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My Top 10 Social Media Tips - Honest Mum


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76 Responses

  1. Silly Mummy

    These are really useful tips. I have started to use SM a lot more since having my blog & I have made progress, but I was never someone who used SM a lot & only ever used facebook. I’m not a natural at networking on SM, & I do find it overwhelming trying to manage all the different platforms! #brilliantblogposts

  2. Morgan

    LOVE what you’re getting at here. Thriving on social media can make or break you in this century, so it’s important to understand how it works and how to succeed in using it most optimally! Very nice tips! Thanks so much for your insight!

  3. Alex Gladwin

    Amazing post Vicki! A lot of useful advice and tips. I’ve bookmarked some of the websites that you linked too.Really helpful, thank you. xx

  4. Debbie

    Hi Vicki, my favourite tip is that you can’t do everything all of the time.That is one thing that leave me wondering, but trying to do everything is an impossible task. Being yourself is always the best bet whatever we do in life, you just can’t keep it up otherwise.

    Congratulations on being a finalist in the BIBs and as for your blog being in the top 5% worldwide? How good is that?


    • Honest Mum

      Thanks so much Debbie, you are spot on, you can’t not be yourself for long. So important to show the world who you are and hold your head up with pride xx

  5. Kate

    wow, top 5 bloggers in the world! What an amazing achievement. I love the tips to write what we’d like to read, and also to add value to people’s lives. It’s so important to remember that. #brillblogposts

  6. The Pramshed

    I feel overwhelmed reading this Vicky, there is so much to do with blogging and how to be successful. I only started 5 months ago, and get a kick out of pressing submit and love all the promotion side of it. I need to get better at SEO and improve my DA – I’ve recently gone self-hosted so it’s rock bottom at the moment. There are some really useful tips here that I shall try to put into practise. Claire x #brilliantblogposts

  7. My Petit Canard

    Love this post, just what I needed to read right now for a bit of inspiration, motivation and ooomph! Lots of great tips, insights and advice here. Im sure if I just picked a handful they’d make a difference 🙂 Emily

  8. Claire - Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

    Great advice Vicki. I’m still working on the fake it till you make it on a personal level. Looking forward to hearing your talk at #BML16. I mentioned going to it in a post I wrote for Britmums 🙂 #BrilliantBlogPosts

  9. Petra / Be Healthy Now

    These are some really great tips. Thanks for sharing your media kit, this is something I still need to work and I will definitely look at yours for inspiration when I get to this point. There is so many things to do! At the moment my priority is to get logo designed, so I am currently working on a logo design brief. Well, slowly I will get there..

  10. One Messy Mama

    This is the first post that I have read with DIFFERENT ideas and advice. A fresh perspective. Thank you for taking the time to share what works with us! My mom was the first to read my blog as well. Here’s hoping to many more years. An informative yet emotional post! Thanks! #brilblogposts

  11. themotherhubblog

    So much great advice. I think focussing on content and being honest are key; I find that the more I write, the more it becomes apparent what I want to focus on and what Im best at writing about. And yes, to not comparing with others, Im not even four weeks in yet and already looking at other peoples numbers with envy – comparison is the thief of joy!

  12. jeremy@thirstydaddy

    Video really does seem to be where all this is heading. Eventually I’m going to need to step up my game there. Great advice here and some stuff for everybody to consider, no longer how long they have been at it #brilliantblogposts

  13. Mess and Merlot

    Oh Vicki you are an absolute star. This is the first time I have ever read a ‘Top 10’ of anything where I have felt emotional! I had tears in my eyes by the end paragraph (what’s going on there??!) This is such a helpful post, I’m bookmarking and using it as my next project! I know I need to push myself out of my comfort zone (video – eek!!) but I’ll get there eventually. It is easy to feel like you need to be spinning plates to keep up with it all, not to mention being a good Mummy, wife, friend etc so it’s reassuring to hear that it doesn’t have to be that way, if you manage things well. Thanks for such a helpful and real post. x #brillblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      Aw now I’m really moved by your comment, thank you darling. So true you don’t have to push yourself nor do it all, do what you can and most importantly have fun xx

  14. Alison (MadHouseMum)

    This is so good – really interesting and helpful and it isn’t hard work to read either! It’s jam packed with ideas and information, but what I really love about it is the inspirational psychology you effortlessly throw in there. This is what makes it inspiring, rather than another list of how to be a successful blogger. Thank you! Alison x #brilliantblogposts

  15. The Tale of Mummyhood

    I’m new in this community and posts like this really get me thinking and teach me so much. After reading this I’m going to be at it with the self-confidence reminders and scheduling of my posts!


  16. Charlotte

    I have been blogging for less than 2 weeks and even newer to Twitter, I love these kinds of tip posts. #neurologist

  17. Lucy at occupation: (m)other

    I love this so much. I’m not quite there with the photos or the video idea but I’m ok with that limitation at the moment I’m also not very good on social media partly through necessity (I can’t commit the time to it at the moment) and partly through befuddlement but your tips are so easy to connect with. Being yourself and being confident is so important. You are so fantastic at inspiring confidence in others…I’ve read previous posts you’ve written (recently the one about not worrying about what people think) and they really resonate with me…even if I can’t always get there completely. I love that you would still be creating if it was only your mum reading it – that seems to me to be crucial for happiness and longevity in anything that requires a creative output – the desire to do it for you, for the beauty and the sake of creating. I’m starting to go on but this is something I am really passionate about and find it sad when people compare themselves to others instead of looking at exactly what they are doing and why (although looking at others can be fabulous for self reflection too). Right, I’m going back to look at point four in more detail – I have a very local project that I have just started and I want to look at publicising this one in a slightly more connected way. Really looking forward to your session at BML – if I can squeeze in, bet it will be packed out. Good luck with the BiBs too. #brilliantblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      What a wonderful comment Lucy, thank you. You are so right, it is passion that drives everything and when you love something it gives you purpose whether 1 person or a million connects with your work. It would be lovely to meet you at BML xx

  18. Geraldine

    Every newbie blogger should read this! Thank you so much for posting. it’s easy to get disillusioned but I’m enjoying blogging so much and want to go far with it. I’m determined and enthusiastic but as I’m just 3 weeks in, I’m learning and discovering so much every day. Thank you again #brilliantblogposts

  19. Andreea Sandu

    All very good tips. Still struggling with video and I think I would never do a vlog, but I’m getting better at it. Scheduling is my next move probably, as everything takes so much time! Thanks for the write-up! xo

    • Honest Mum

      Pleasure Andreea, maybe have a go at Facebook Live or Snapchat at first-video can seem strange at first but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. My rule is give everything a go pretty much and if after a month I really don’t like something, move on x

  20. Kim

    Thanks for tips, as a new blogger the learning curve is steep! I have so much to learn still, but I keep plugging away. I can’t tell you what a big help it is to read posts like this. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Janet Cooper

    Your post is great! I’ve just completed a post on social media which I have linked up however, I’m just beginning so it’s sort of an interim stopping point. Great tips for when I’m ready to push harder and I love the fact you point out that you can’t do everything all of the time!

    Janet #Brillblogposts

  22. jodie filogomo

    I like that the last one is the fact that you can’t do it all!!
    But most of all, it’s nice to hear not only what we can do to improve, but find that some things I’m doing right!!
    Thanks for this!

  23. Merlinda Little (Glimmer of Hope)

    I went into hiatus from blogging and when I went back I dont know what to do as everyone seemed to have mature in blogging and I am still my old self. This is great help especially coming from you. Thanks for sharing =)

  24. Sunita

    Really cool tips. Think one of my favourite is You are Your Niche! Love that. I’ve been wondering whether to focus on a few topics but to be honest if my blog wasn’t covering such diverse topics it wouldn’t represent me that well. Thanks for my dose of social media techie training! Will have my fingers crossed for you at the BiB awards. It’s my first BritMums #BML16 and I can’t wait! Maybe bump into you to wish you good luck!

    • Honest Mum

      Oh fab Sunita, glad you found it useful. I’m speaking on a panel about how to make a living working in the digital sphere, hope you can make it x

  25. A Mum Track Mind

    You are so inspirational, I can only dream of success like yours but I know you must have put in serious hard work to get there so congrats on how fab it is 🙂 My Mum was the first reader on my blog too haha and she still leaves a little comment on every post bless her. Thanks for sharing these tips! x

  26. clare

    Great tips Vicki, really helpful thanks for sharing! I have not done any video yet! I’m thinking about it and have some ideas, so this has been really useful. My problem is I just run out of time. Congrats on your nom!
    Big Love Cx

  27. Charlotte Oates

    I really need to get cracking with making more videos. I’ve written a long list of ones I’d like to make, I just need to get started.

    Congratulations on being a BiBs finalist, it’s throughly deserved. I’m looking forward to finally saying hi and watching your talk at Britmums.

  28. Mirka Moore

    Congratulations lovely xxx Hope we can celebrate your win this year! I need to schedule more, just need more than 24 hrs in a day. Some great tips lovely! x

  29. Michelle Reeves (The Joy Chaser)

    Great tips Vicki as always! Like you I love my social media fun and live broadcasting is my new passion first on Periscope and now on Facebook Live. I use my camera phone for most of my snaps on Instagram but it does have a fab camera and I make good use of the filters for collating too. Can’t wait to see you at Britmums Live honey! x

  30. Emma T

    Some great tips here Vicki, especially about the plugging away. Lots of bloggers start and don’t realise how much work it takes, but it does, and we can’t do all channels all the time. I think the main one for me is to work to your strengths on social media, then do the others but not as hard.

    I’ve just started a niche blog because it’s too niche to put on my normal blog, but I’m a big believer in write about what you want and what you like, because there are others like you out there who like the mix of topics! You prove it with your blog.

    • Honest Mum

      Thanks Emma, no wrong or right way at all and I read tons of niche blogs alongside lifestyle ones with a variety of topics. I really enjoy the social aspect of social media and a great love of mine is video too. Thanks for your comment x

  31. JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

    This post will be so useful to early stage bloggers – a catalogue of all the things we have all learned over the past 6 or 7 years, neatly condensed into one post! I also think it is worth agreeing that anyone who shares anything is doing so selectively – so true. My recent blog post about a holiday sounded so fantastic (and it was!) but the post served up the best bits – the highlights, the reader didn’t get the experience where we were stuck in traffic for 3 hours in the way to the place we wrote about or the thunderstorms that soaked us through! The reader gets the best of the experience, without any of the rubbish bits! Great post Vicki!

  32. Lucy @capturebylucy

    Oh my goodness so many amazing tips, need to print this and stick it on my office wall to go through! Yes I think whatever camera you use, whether it’s your phone or point and shoot or dslr it’s good to have that consistency through your gallery. For me that’s my main sort of living cv now so I want to share my favourite and crispest images and I save my phone shots for Facebook and Twitter. I think it’s great to take all the advice and work out what is best for you. happy snapping! xxx


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