Welcome to blog talk! This is the seventh installment of "Blog Talk," in which I will give my opinion on different aspects of blogging and continue the discussion in the comments. Because I want to hear what you have to say! Yes, you're even allowed to disagree. Just be nice about it.
I think we can all agree that social media is basically free advertising for your shop, business, or blog and is a great tool. It's also lots of fun. I will be the first to admit that I don't use social media to its highest potential. I don't regularly take time to schedule links or tweets, and I rarely share a link to a post more than once a day. So I understand that some of you won't agree with me about some of what I'll say in this post, but that's what this Blog Talk is about: discussing the good and bad of promoting your blog via social media.
Below I am going to highlight some of main pros and cons I see and invite you to join the discussion in the comments. I would love to hear if you have any tips for promoting your blog that have worked (or not worked) for you!
Pro: Various social media platforms for readers to follow your blog
I have a lot of family and friends who read my blog who are not bloggers themselves. They don't read a lot of other blogs, so they don't have a blog reader like Feedly or Bloglovin, and many of them also don't have Twitter or Instagram. But they do have Facebook. The only reason I started a Facebook page for my blog was so friends and family could "like" the page and get updates on new posts. I don't have very many followers in my FB page, but I don't care, because having a lot of followers wasn't the point of starting it.
Likewise, someone might not have a Twitter but they have Instagram, etc. Having many different platforms allows many different readers to follow you and get updates on new posts. I think this can only be a good thing, and it's important to remember the different goals of your social media sites so you can post accordingly.
- Question: Do you have multiple social media outlets connected to your blog? Do you have different goals for each of them?
Con: Extreme self-promotion
It's easy for people to get a little too wrapped up in promoting their blog on social media. This is just my opinion, but it doesn't seem necessary for people to tweet out a link to the same blog post 6 times a day. I understand that there are high-traffic times to post and that you are trying to catch people at different times of the day, but if I'm seeing the same link tweeted out, I have to assume others are as well.
My thought is that if I saw it once and didn't click on it, I'm not suddenly going to decide I want to click on it after seeing it the second time. Promotion isn't a bad thing, but it seems like some people go overboard and saturate their feed with links to their own posts, which (at least for me) does the opposite and makes me not want to visit their blog.
- Question: How much is too much when it comes to promoting your blog? What is the main reason you follow someone on social media? Is it to get blog updates? Have you seen success with posting the same link multiple times?
Pro: An easy way for others to connect and share content
It's really fun when I see that someone has shared my post with their followers on social media or pinned a post to Pinterest. I also love the ability to share a post of someone else's, and I like linking back to them so they can feel warm and fuzzy too.
I've found social media can be a good alternative to comments in some cases as well. People will comment on a post or tweet me something if they didn't have time to leave a comment or if they don't want to leave a comment. Social media connects people and makes sharing content fun and easy, which again goes back to why it's good to have multiple social media outlets for people who prefer Instagram, Twitter, etc.
- Question: Do you share other blogger's content on social media? Do you ever tweet/Facebook/Instagram someone instead of leaving a comment?
Con: Paid shared content
The flip side of using social media to share content is when tweeting out a link or pinning a post is included in a sponsorship package. I understand that this is just a fact of blogging, and I don't begrudge bloggers who make money on sponsorship. But it is frustrating for me as a follower to see links tweeted out by people getting paid to tweet them. I'm left to wonder if the person really endorses that link or if they're just sharing it because they're being paid to. I have clicked a time or two on a post that sounded interesting, but for the most part I ignore these links, and I have to wonder how many people actually read them.
It's easier for me because I don't offer sponsorship on my blog. I only share links to posts that truly strike me or that I think others will find interesting. I can only hope my followers notice this and know that if I tweet a link to a post, they can trust that I am endorsing it.
- Question: Do you click on shared links? How do you feel about shared links being part of a sponsorship package? Do you think this is effective?
Want to weigh in? I would love to hear what you have to say about this topic! I'm sure some of you are going to disagree with me, and that's fine. Even encouraged! Please just be kind to others, or I will delete your comment. We're sharing opinions and learning from each other, and we're being nice about it.