Just For Mamma Momspiration

Moms sharing – Slaying social media

May 6, 2019
top social media tips for bloggers

Celebrating other woman during the month of May has become an annual tradition on the blog. It’s also one of my favourite things to do. This year we aren’t just celebrating incredible moms but also asking them to pay it forward in a series “Moms sharing” . Each woman share what they have learnt, giving fellow mompreneurs important help and advice. We are kicking the series off with 4 mamas slaying social media. They openly talk about the challenges and victories they’ve experienced and even reveal their top social media tips for bloggers.

First up, Teri from Choose a Row

Choose-a-Row-blog-featureMama to 3 year old Skylar and 1 year old Wyatt. I am lucky enough to call this incredible mompreneur my friend. A friendship that started 2 years ago on the gram… Teri is one of the first moms I followed on Instagram and today I still love sharing in all the Row’s travels, life moments and success. 

When was Choose a Row founded?

I started an Instagram account to track my daughter’s life from pregnancy to when she was born. I had a blog before that, during my infertility journey, but that was more of a journal. I knew very little about blogging. My official blog grew out of our Instagram in 2016, just before Skylar’s first birthday. 

Why did you start Choose a Row?

I posted photos for fun but soon realised there was a community of moms to interact with, especially being a first time mom. I had lost my own mom to cancer 3 months before giving birth to Skylar and felt lost in motherhood. Instagram gave me access to so many beautiful women and soon my loneliness subsided.

The blog gave me the opportunity to merge my love for photography, styling and finding the best spot to photograph my little baby. My account on Instagram grew and grew, and so did the blog. 

More about @TheSocialRow and @TravelingRows. Why start these separate accounts?

The Social Row is my business account – In 2018 while on maternity leave with Wyatt I decided I wanted to resign from corporate life and become my own boss. I have been in marketing for 15 years, the last couple  years specialising in social media. The Social Row is where people can interact with my #MomBoss side and get some pointers along the way. 

The Traveling Rows is a branch of Choose a Row, with a focus on our holiday photos. I find that we take a lot more photos while away, but only share a small portion on our Instagram account. Followers interested in parenting don’t want to be spammed by travel photos. The Traveling Rows, lets me speak to an audience with a passion for travel and those who want to know more about our adventures. 

What has been your biggest struggle as a “momboss” and how have you overcome this?

Definitely balance and trying to say no to clients. I am a people pleaser in the work environment and want to constantly prove that I can do anything. Also the guilt of not giving my kids enough time and then working late at night etc. I have not overcome this as yet, it’s a constant challenge. But I would not change the choices I have made. 

5 Social media tips for bloggers: Staying true and authentic to who you are.

  1. First off, start with intention. Why are you on social media? Remind yourself of why you started.
  2. Try to be inspired by others and do not compare!
  3. Be on social media for the relationships, not the press drops.
  4. It’s okay to not be on your phone for a day or two to have a break.
  5. Focus on the positive, the more you put out the more you get back. 

Your idea of the perfect Mother’s day gift this year?

Sleep, glorious sleep!

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Follow Teri and the Rows on Instagram @ChooseARow and Facebook @ChooseARow.

Next, Ash from Hey Mama Life

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Ash is a mama I recently met, also via Instagram. Fellow girl mom to their Kayla Jane (2) and Olivia Rose (9months), this woman’s passion for social media is hard to put into words and how she manages to do it all… A wonder! She openly shares so much of herself and her life. It’s impossible not to love her.

Why did you start blogging? 

My career is in the digital and social media space, and when I stopped working full time to be a mom, I still wanted to connect with the evolving social media and digital space. Blogging allows me to do that. I also love creating content and blogging has always been part of my life. However, after becoming a mom,  I felt inspired to share my raw motherhood experiences, and family life. Maybe also because many of my friends didn’t have babies at the time. I turned to mom bloggers for advice, and understanding.

Looking back to your first blogposts in 2017, how have you and your content changed and evolved?

While battling infertility, I  found it easier to chat to mom’s going through the same online. I purchased my domain, chose my blog name, wrote a post and then left it for over a year. 

I wanted to start talking about my infertility struggles, and dealing with PCOS — Where my motherhood journey started. It’s still something that I deal with everyday, and I still hope to talk more about it. However, I didn’t write for a while after that, and never elaborated much more on PCOS. I went from doubting my blogging journey, to suddenly getting asked by a local brand called “Clever Little Monkey” to write a blog post for them. I enjoyed it so much and  I decided it was officially time to start!

I have evolved, learning which content works better and engaging with my followers more. I understand what they want. My post aren’t as long and I incorporated rich media like video. I purchased a camera and I’m putting more time and effort into my photography and content. I am also collaborating with brands that align to our brand now, and thus getting more opportunities to review and try new products to share with my followers.

While I love working with brands, I also want to share unsponsored content, create awareness around issues that are close to my heart to make an impact. 

What has been your biggest struggle as a “momboss” and how have you overcome this? 

It’s become more challenging to work from home and juggle my social media consulting business (and blogging) with kids.

I struggle to believe in myself when my ideas are outside of my comfort zone. “Will it do well?” “Is it worth it?” My husband is my biggest fan, and he always tells me to do it after I’ve sat on the idea for too long.

Then finding the time to actually do the things I dream about. I have a grand idea and then suddenly I wake up and it’s three months later!

I also have mom guilt when I’m stuck in my phone and missing out on precious time with my babies.

To overcome these things I have to set out time in my day for work, blogging, motherhood, my relationship, and then ME. I’ve learnt to incorporate blog shoots in our day to day activities and to make them fun, and not a chore.  I’ve also chosen to not blog on the weekends, unless it’s a special event or awesome spot for a shoot. I normally work in the mornings while Kayla is at school, and then be fully present in the afternoon for hugs, giggles, and action shots. Lastly, I plan content ahead of time by using a bit of discipline and APPs to help.

Social media is a clear passion of yours. Why do you love it so much? 

I studied brand management, and I always saw myself helping brands develop and grow. It’s a place where you can actually engage in a two-way conversation with your fans. It’s always evolving which keeps me on edge, and the content you push out can be more creative, innovative, and trackable. I went on to do my Masters in Digital & Social Media, and that’s when my passion just exploded.

Being a millennial, social media and technology has always been a big part of my life. It a place I personally feel comfortable in. Social media isn’t just about sharing a snap of your cup of coffee, it’s about making meaningful connections, telling stories and building a loyal community. 

6 Social media tips for bloggers: Growing an engaged Instagram account 

  1. Connect: Engage with similar accounts in your industry, community or niche every day. Find these people through geo-tags, hashtags, and through your followers circles. Instagram will pick up who you engaging with, which helps. Feature them, support them, and talk to them. They will hopefully support you back. 
  2. Hashtags: Use long-tail, strategically selected hashtags. E.G. Don’t use #Mom or #MomBlogger, it’s an engagement war. You have thirty to use, and I would use them all. 
  3. Captions: Think about your captions to try captivate engagement, and ask questions to promote engagement. The lyrics to a song or philosophical quote can only go so far. 
  4. Human Content: Post more photos of people (like yourself, or family). I’ve learnt that when I just post of a product or thing, I get very VERY little engagement. Put effort into your photo’s, and people will want to engage with you. Have a similar look and feel on your feed. Not everything has to be curated, but great content helps on Instagram.
  5. Time: Look at your insights once a week. There you will see what time you should be posting to get more engagement. 
  6. Literally Engage: Reply to everyone who engages with you.

What would be the perfect Mother’s day gift for yourself this year?

I’m very sentimental. A card and drawing normally does the trick. I wouldn’t mind a pair of earrings. Nothing fancy, just something I can go to sleep with, but make me look skinny and awake during the day. Jokes! Otherwise, a Danielle Frylinck coat that will last many many years. I don’t love flowers as they die in a few days, so my husband knows I’m more of a candle kinda gal. Some new gym tights could spark some motivation, too. Oh, you said one? Whoops! A side order of tea in bed, a massage, no toddler tantrums, and a nap would also do the trick!

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Follow Ash and her beautiful family on Instagram @HeyMamaLife and Facebook @HeyMamaLife.

Plush Panda by Ola – So much more than just pretty clothes

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Meet Ola Psillos, lawyer turned fashion designer and mama to 3 years old Paris and 2 years old Mila. Also the incredibly talent and enthusiastic founder of Plush Panda.

When was Plush Panda founded?

Founded in 2016. Plush Panda was started after the birth of Ola’s son.

Why did you start Plush Panda?

I am a Polish born South African. My father immigrated to SA for a better life under communist Poland. Being the daughter of a Eastern European doctor, fashion was not on the cards as a career option, so I studied law.

I qualified and practiced as a lawyer, but when I fell pregnant with my son, I decided to leave this profession.

One day, 6 weeks after the birth of my son I was watching an episode of MasterChef Australia. Marco Pierre White was sharing words of inspiration with a contestant that had been voted out. He said: “If you have a dream, you have a duty to yourself to make it come true….it is within you.”

A penny dropped for me. I needed to follow my passion despite the obstacles in my way. No one was going to do it for me.

I knew nothing about the industry, had no formal training, could not sew or make a pattern. Somehow in that moment I decided to put aside my excuses and make the impossible, possible.

Plush Panda is actually a clothing range, yet you share so much of your life on your Instagram. Why? And did you do that from day 1?

I created a social media account for Plush Panda and initially it was only business. As time went by, it naturally progressed into being more personal as I shared details about my “momprenuer journey” and “momlife”. I felt inspired by various mom bloggers doing the same and found that people enjoyed seeing the “behind the scenes” aspect of a small local brand and business owner.

I show the highs and the lows, the work that goes into every garment and let other mothers know, they are not alone in both the joys and struggles of motherhood. Hopefully I inspire those that need some inspiration. Letting them know that if you are willing to put in the work, you can do whatever you want to do. “It is within you!”

Do you ever get tired of the social media world? How do you stay so wonderfully positive and upbeat?

Honestly , yes I do. People don’t realise the amount of work, time and effort that goes into just one post.  I am predominantly a “one man show”.  It can be very draining seeing as I’m not just about social media but also have to run the rest of the business.

I do feel spread thin at times but I stay positive by knowing that I am not alone. Other mompreneur are going through the same thing. We are all trying to make it and do the best for our families while appreciating and living our short, beautiful lives.

My father raised me to be positive and know that life can be hard at times, but the glass is always half full and there is so much to be positive about and grateful for. Nothing comes for nothing and hard work pays off. I am creating something that can support my children and create opportunities for them to achieve their dreams. I am setting an example of hard work and discipline for them to hopefully mimic.

There’s a time and season for everything in life and this is my time to work, build an empire and have a family.

5 Social media tips for bloggers: Staying wonderfully positive and upbeat

  1. MOST IMPORTANT FOR ME: Look after your body and mind. Make time to exercise and prepare healthy, balanced meals. When you do this, you automatically feel good and it gives you a sense of control of a very important aspect of your life. Having this control over your body and health has a domino effect into other areas of life.
  2. Prioritise time for social interaction and adult time. While it’s the most important role in life and greatest blessing; you’re not just a mother. It’s important to have “down time” from it all so as to not go insane. Balance is important but virtually impossible to perfect. Making an effort and striving for it, is important.
  3. Take comfort in knowing that God has you in the palm of his hand. Whatever is meant to be for your life will be. It may not always be easy, but it will always be okay, no matter the trying times you may be experiencing at the moment.

  4. Have an inner sense of belief in yourself. Know that you can achieve whatever you want and set our mind to. There is always a way to make it happen. Nothing is impossible!

  5. Don’t compare yourself to others and/or what you see as a perceived truth. Comparison is the thief of joy. Care less about what people think of you. Be the best version of yourself, for yourself and your family. That’s the only thing that matters.

What would be the perfect Mother’s day gift for yourself this year?

A massage (not on the day as I would want to spend the day with my bambinos and hubby) but a voucher to go have a massage with me, myself and I on another day. Just some time out for me from the hustle and bustle.

 

 

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Get inspired (and dressed in the best) by Ola on Instagram @PlushPandaOla and Facebook @PlushPandaOla.

The queen of blogging; Shan from You, Baby and I

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The last momboss for today, Shanèy Vijendranath. Mother to Kitana (6), Kiaan (3) and Kirav  (23 months old). This mama of three is also the founder of You, Baby and I – One of South Africa’s BIGGEST parenting blogs. With over 3.4 million page views from inception and over 1.4 million users; winner of several awards – locally and internationally. Including Best South African Parenting Blog 2017 from SA Blog Awards and Most Influential Parenting Blog from the African Blogger Awards. You, Baby and I is impressive to say the least.

Shanèy has also been featured in the Sowetan Newspaper Top 100 Entrepreneurs to watch out for 2015 and was the only South African entrepreneur chosen for Collective Global Accelerator in London in 2018. During her blogging journey, she also became a regular guest on the popular parenting show Great Expectations on ETV and wrote for several publications including Milestones, Essays, Huffington Post as well as Living and Loving.

Goals ladies, GOALS!

When was YOU, BABY & I founded?

Initially I created my blog on Tumblr – September 2013. I moved over to WordPress early 2014 – That’s when I started taking it more seriously.

Why did you start YBI?

At 21, when I became a first-time mom. I realised that motherhood can be a very lonely journey, especially when none of your friends are parents yet.

There wasn’t enough support for new moms trying to filter through baby products, deciphering which are the best options. The internet offered too many choices, but with little real-life data or first-hand opinions. Making the correct decisions were extremely difficult.

Everyone had their own lists, but no one shared what South African moms were purchasing and why. So, I began blogging to connect with other moms in the community.

What has been your biggest struggle as a “momboss” and how have you overcome this?

Time management! I still struggle with this, but I feel like I am getting better at it everyday. I plan my week ahead and schedule everything on my phone. I’m loving Trello at the moment – it keeps me organised.

5 Social media tips for bloggers: Growing your Facebook Page / Blog

  1. Be Original – Everyone has a story to share. Share yours!
  2. Consistency – Unfortunately, you have to be consistent to grow your audience and get the engagement you want.
  3. Share relatable content – Write posts you think your audience will be able to relate to.
  4. Collaborate – Share other blogger’s content on your social media and guest blog if you can, it helps with your SEO.
  5. Connect and engage with your readers on a regular basis – Answer emails, DMs and comments.

What would be the perfect Mother’s Day gift for yourself this year? 

A day at the spa. I’ve been craving a spa-day but haven’t had the time to go.

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Follow Shanèy, and all she gets up to in life and business on Instagram @YouBabyandI and Facebook @YouBabyandI. You’ll definitely find more social media tips for bloggers and mom bosses too.

Also keep your eyes open for Shaney’s new endeavour, MomSays launching soon!

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Be sure to check back next week for the next group of inspirational moms. “Mamas that know how to take care of themselves, and their families.” In the meantime – have a look at the incredible moms we featured in 2018 and 2017 HERE.

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2 Comments

  • Reply Melissa Javan May 8, 2019 at 7:36 am

    It’s nice reading about these moms journeys and i love their tips shared. Thank you

  • Reply Shaney Vijendranath May 28, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    Thank you for the feature. Amazing post.

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