First off, there’s no rule that you have to promote your blog on social media, or be on social media at all for that matter. However, I know many of us are, so why not chat about it?
I’m not all that big a big fan of social media, and if it wasn’t for blogging I wouldn’t be on it at all. However, I do like my blog to have a presence online beyond just the reach of my website, so I have some social media accounts that are all mental health-focused. I don’t have personal social media accounts because a) I don’t know people, and b) I don’t like people.
I’m also not a fan of self-promotion. It’s not a confidence issue; it just feels like work. Work that I’m not interested in and not particularly good at, yet work that fits with some of my goals, so I stumble along as best I can.
I started my Twitter account pretty soon after I started my blog. All of my blog posts get automatically posted to Twitter. I don’t dislike Twitter, and I get to see a broader cross-section of the online mental health community, but I find it quite overwhelming in terms of the volume of information. The amount of stuff that’s on there just seems endless.
I also don’t do much in terms of status update type tweets because my day to day life is pretty boring (by choice) and there isn’t really anything going on to talk about in a snappy little tweet. It fascinates me how prolific some people are on Twitter, because I just don’t have that much to say.
There are a variety of different Twitter accounts that run promotional comment threads, but the basic idea is the same. You’re supposed to leave a comment with a link to your latest blog post, retweet the comment thread, and have a look at (and comment on) the posts that other people leave links to in the thread.
I can see how this would generate views, but I wonder if it would actually translate to more followers. At least some of the other people leaving their own links on the thread are going to play fair and check out other people’s blogs. However, I’m guessing that for a certain segment of people participating the primary motivator is to be discovered rather than to discover other blogs, and I wonder how many of those people would choose to actually hang out and stay awhile.
I would also wonder if there are diminishing returns the more often one participates in these comment threads. And is there much new blood getting injected into these threads, or is mostly the same people over and over? I really have no idea.
My Pinterest account got started at around the same time has my Twitter account. Pinterest is my favourite social media platform. It’s very low-maintenance in that you’re really not interacting with other people directly in the same way you are on other platforms. There’s no sense of needing to get “caught up” on other people’s pins. It’s also possible to get a wide reach without having big follower numbers. I get a pretty steady stream of traffic to my blog from Pinterest.
It’s a great way to collect info and ideas to refer back to later. That’s been really useful for things like learning about SEO and social media marketing, because there’s no hunting around required – it’s all pinned to my boards!
I started a LinkedIn account earlier this year that’s blogging/writing focused. I don’t spend a lot of time on LinkedIn, but my biggest reason for creating a profile is that LinkedIn profiles show up really high in search engine results, and as an author I want to be visible.
WordPress lets you automatically share posts on LinkedIn, but I’ve disabled that because I think it’s a different audience there and I’m not sure that it’s the best fit for the majority of my posts. Instead I share posts individually as appropriate.
Instagram is the newest addition to my social media world. I don’t use it every day, and I still only vaguely know how to use it (for instance, I don’t understand what Instagram stories are).
When I started the account I decided not to focus on blog promotion, because I didn’t want it to feel like an obligation. Instead I use it to share positive stuff like guinea pig photos, nature pics, and quotes. So if you want to see more guinea pig pics, that’s where they are.
I had a Facebook account for a while when I first started blogging, but I just didn’t like Facebook, so I decided to call it quits. Earlier this year I tried to start a new Facebook account because of a specific Facebook group I wanted to join, but Facebook decided I wasn’t a real human being and deactivated my account until I provided them with photo ID. I figured that was a pretty good sign that I shouldn’t have Facebook in my life.
Interestingly enough, though, I still get traffic to my site from Facebook, presumably from other people sharing my posts.
Here’s a look at how many visitors I’ve had from different social media channels over the last month:
- Pinterest: 437
- Facebook: 306
- Twitter: 83
- LinkedIn: 10
I honestly don’t know where all these Facebook visitors are coming from. WP stats don’t tell me, and from what I can tell Google Analytics will only show me the link to my site that was used, not where that link came from on Facebook. Weird.
I could try to up my Twitter game, but at this point I just don’t care enough to put in the work.
I would be quite content to hang out on WordPress and never venture beyond it. My social media feeds are very highly controlled so it’s not that I’m seeing things that are distressing, it’s just all very overwhelming. Still, social media can help a blog grow faster, and I think if there is a business aspect to a blog social media becomes more important.
Do you use social media to promote your blog? And if so, what are your key strategies and goals?