Chime In Topic #6: Social Media And The Blogging Experience
Chime In is our discussion segment here at M/G/W where we discuss anything from books, to writing, and blogging. As readers, writers and bloggers, sometimes a girl just needs to vent – on or off topic, so this is our outlet to discuss whatever shenanigans are flowing through our minds. Pet peeves, book boyfriends, the never-ending awesomeness that is social media, you name it, and we’ll discuss it. With happy smiles or evil grins and give you the readers, a chance to dish it back at us in the comments. And if you’ve missed anything you can catch up on all the awesome right HERE.
This week on Chime In, we’re discussing social media. Love it or hate it, social media is a HUGE part of the blogging, reading, reviewing experience. Sometimes, you just get it. Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter you are a mega user and are able to conquer the outlet with finesse. Other times, social media can seem like a burden. You may feel like you spend more time promotion, chatting, discussing, or zoning out on the various social sites than doing what you love to do – reading, writing, blogging and reviewing. For us, it’s a mixture of the two. Check out what Heather and I have to say about some of the pitfalls of social media and what you can do to enhance your social media experience.
What We Don’t Like About Social Media:
- Too many platforms.
- Knowing that 99.9% of the people who follow me will never respond at my obviously lame attempts to converse.
Social media is a great and not-so-new way to interact with friends, family, and random people across the globe. You can choose one, or use them all if you dare. But with anything online even social media has risks. The days when spam is delegated to your inbox are over. Now you’ll find it on every social media platform. It’s on my Facebook wall, DM’s and tweets, and even pinterest too (Yes, wedding drink calculator I’m talking about your lame attempts). Now there are ways to control some of it, but a lot still manages to get through via hacked accounts or applications followers click. Just like e-mail, be wary of links posted by a third party on your wall, in DM, and even in direct replies.
If you’re a blogger use Akismet. 99% of the time, this application filters spam and allows me to respond to “real” blog post comments. It truly does alleviate most of the headache and takes the pressure off when it comes to finding out if a post is real, fake or something else altogether.
For Twitter and Facebook as Heather previously described, spam can be considered many different things. From authors mass posting generic “read my book” posts on your wall to random people DMing you “check this out” links on Twitter. Now for me personally, receiving one or two is no big deal. Especially if it’s someone I’ve never spoken with and I’m interested in learning more about them and what they do. However, if I am constantly bombarded everyday with the SAME text/message/DM – the easiest way to filter out these types of spam is to just block the user. If however you want to maintain a friendly/working relationship with them, ask to be removed from their blast list, or to tone down their postings on your page. Most of the time, people are nice about it, so long as you approach the situation with a cordial attitude and ask nicely.
Monitoring your social sites is something you should do often. For example: you don’t want your YA Facebook page exploding with mature content that you didn’t post! Watch what goes on, who’s posting on your pages/sites, who’s following you, tweeting at you, and sharing/tweeting out your posts. This is not something you have to do every day, because in most cases, you can’t and it would drive you insane. Nevertheless, it is something you should try to do on a regular basis.
Ah, #2. Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, G+, and I’m sure there are ones I’ve never heard of too. When you’re a blogger, a business, an author, or a combination of them all, you need a social media platform. Why? Because it gives you a way to interact with fans, or something like that. Those quirky posts or awesome reviews need to get planted somewhere, and then as they trickle into your social media, they bloom. The sad truth is that unless you have an engaged following, no one is clicking on anything you post unless you’re giving away the kitchen sink. If you’re new to social media, save the headache and choose one to master at a time. Personally, I (Heather) could throw them all away and live HEA.
If you are already comfortable with one platform, use it to your advantage. Make sure every post, tweet, Pinterest pin counts by being informative, providing links and ask questions to engage your followers so they have a reason to respond to your posts. If your goal is only to gain followers, then you are truly missing the SOCIAL aspect of social media. You should want to be social (even if you consider yourself antisocial) so that readers will get a feel for who you are and will want to visit your blog, read your reviews, ask for your opinions, etc. The important thing to remember is that no matter what your goal is, if you say it, post it or pin it on the internet then it’s out in the world forever. So please watch your words, your actions and how you treat others on the interwebs.
#3 is one I’ve (Heather) yet to fully understand. So, OK, I’m known as the Queen of antisocial. Even before the internet I had a tough time making friends. Why? I’m a private person and I put walls around the real me. In the world of blogging, this hurts me because the number one rule in blogging is to be you. Well the real me is sarcastic, nerdy, and highly opinionated. I’m nice, funny, and sweet too, but few people stick around long enough to realize it, or they never cared to begin with. For those who have stuck around, I love you and you rock. The rest of you may end up as villains in my novels.
Don’t be discouraged. Social media takes time to learn and it is even harder to master. Even for me (Diayll) who LOVE’s attempting (notice I said attempt) to talk with everyone; it can be a dire challenge. My best advice is don’t let it stress you out to the point where you are no longer having a fun social experience. I think it’s important to set aside some quiet time for yourself and to know your limits. Chose a time to be on social media where you can be MOST effective. For me, since I work 40 hours a week and am a full-time mother, my go-to time is early in the morning and around 4 pm in the afternoon. Maybe even some in between times when I go on breaks throughout the day. As long as you are consistent and don’t forget your friends, followers, readers, and are still able to promote your posts, then you will be fine. I also HIGHLY recommend using Triberr to promote and broadcast your posts. This site definitely takes off some of the stress of getting your posts noticed and out into the community. Sometimes though, all it really takes is a simple “hello” to get the ball rolling and making lasting friendships.
Like it or HATE it, if you’re in this line of work (for business or pleasure) – social media is important. It’s a way for others to find out who you are, what you represent and a way for you to connect with like-minded people. And don’t worry, we all get a little frazzled at times. Just take your time and use – choose – your platforms wisely.
Chime In Readers: What do you like or dislike about social media? What platform do you use the most? Which one are you most/least comfortable with? What are some ways you keep yourself from burning out on the various platforms?
P.S. Leave your social media links in the comments so we can connect with you!