Consistency, Mood and Publicity — The Social Challenge

The Social Challenge

      One of the challenges of social media is the fact that you are mixing a 24 * 7 * 365 medium with human limit­a­tions. You cannot be active all that time, your body simply won’t allow it. Part of the social challenge for the writer is when and how we connect with others.
      I dread going back on to Facebook having been away for a long weekend, I know there will be many notific­a­tions to take care of. To be clear I don’t dread the notific­a­tions, just the volume of them. I make use of Buffer to automate many of my postings. It doesn’t however, handle the sharing or retweet notific­a­tions, likes and people follow­ing you. I would not wish it to either.
      A writer friend recently wrote about how she had gotten bored of Facebook and what she regarded as a social challenge. Is there a persist­ent need to post on social sites? She was start­ing to question wheth­er being active of social networks was the right approach. The seeming constant duty to write posts about your blog mater­i­al can get overwhelm­ing. Some writers seem to spend the whole day updat­ing their social networks.
Social challenge - need to update      This is one of the reasons why I use Buffer. She is right, with social media our moods change day to day. Yesterday you may have been bright and bubbly, yet today you feel sad, lonely and un-original. Nothing has happened, the mood is differ­ent, that is all. Unlike a corpor­ate market­ing depart­ment, you cannot swap yourself out for a bubbli­er person­al­ity. Should you be posting at all if you are not in the mood to make a posit­ive contri­bu­tion? Could you be negat­ing the good work that you have done before because you have a bad mood? The question should be asked.

The Blogger’s Story

      As an individu­al writer, working alone, we must be cogniz­ant of these facts and plan how to inter­act on social sites. For the blogger stopping their social inter­ac­tions can mean losing a signi­fic­ant reader­ship. According to Forbes, social media drives an average of 30% of traffic to all sites. My site statist­ics show a higher percent­age, over 50%, but the nature of the blog is differ­ent to brand websites.
      What choice does the blogger have? Social media, is their advert­ising medium. Part of the social challenge is persist­ently adding new posts. There are tools to help you save time in your social inter­ac­tions. Some have free account options. These include:
  • Buffer — post to Buffer, which add future social updates. Awesome plan allows 100 posts to 10 social profiles, costing $102 per year.
  • Hootsuite — allows you to manage all your social inter­ac­tions from one place. Schedule messages. Cost $9.99 per month.
  • Likeable Hub — provides pre-canned post ideas. A market­ing solution based on gener­at­ing refer­rals and leads. Free service avail­able, but VIP option is $19.99 per month.
  • Social Oomph — sched­ule tweets, track perform­ance. You can upgrade for $17.97 (for 2 weeks when you need it) which has a lot of options avail­able.
  • Mav Social — Add your RSS feed, builds a content library. Create and manage campaigns. Small business option is free.
  • Social Pilot — Social media market­ing tool. Basic plan is $4.99 per month and includes 250 posts in the queue, 50 posts per day.

Use of Tools

      I am not making any recom­mend­a­tion about any of these tools. Personally, I use Buffer and spend 10 to 20 minutes buffer­ing new social posts. I don’t pay for the service, but have often considered doing so. When Hootsuite had a free service, I used that.
      When tools are avail­able it is always sensible to lever­age them to your advant­age. Tools are only part of the story. Use tools when the mood permits. Tools can allow you to automate some of your work but they don’t replace the need to connect with others on a person­al level, the real social challenge.

Generating an Income?

      Monetizing blogs is not a prior­ity for every blogger. I include a brief discus­sion here because a monet­ized blog will impact your social inter­ac­tions. You may at some point become conscious of the need to make money from your social inter­ac­tions. This can negat­ively impact reader­ship for some time. Let me say there is nothing wrong with gener­at­ing an on-line income. It is not for every­one. Yet there are some author­it­at­ive sites that are self-sufficient because they were monet­ized.
      In addition, having products to market can certainly help reader­ship. I am devel­op­ing a couple of booklets that I will include for sale later this year. Your social inter­ac­tions will change when you have products to market because not everything you post will be about your blog. At some point you will post a pure advert point­ing to the item for sale. It is prefer­able to keep the landing page associ­ated with your blog. it can help drive traffic.

Social Posting is not the Most Important Thing

      As writers, we adopt the mindset of needing to advert­ise our work through social channels. It is possible to get so wrapped up in the social challenge, posting as if there is no tomor­row. Yet it is not the most import­ant thing in the world, compared to your own sanity (or lack of). I have exper­i­enced the roller-coaster of emotions of using social media, it is a great social challenge. Whilst I am convinced of its value to the writer I am coming to the view that there is something more to becom­ing known. It takes more than headlines and social media to get yourself known and make your site popular. Open yourself up to new contacts. I have readers coming back every day, but I always wish for more.
      Links from blogs and other sites repres­ents approx­im­ately 5% of my reader­ship. I am grate­ful when people link to my pages, it should mean I am doing something right. It is my goal to grow the number of people visit­ing my site this way. Doing this means working with other writers to cross promote work. Cross promo­tion is something we should be explor­ing more. Can we build tools that allow us to cross promote?

Conclusion

      The conclu­sion of this path of thought is that devel­op­ing social connec­tions is more import­ant than Facebook, Twitter, etc. Is that the great social challenge bloggers face? Arguably we should be think­ing more about influ­ence than social inter­ac­tion, which depends in part with the rapport we build with the people in our social network. I have some connec­tions for whom this is true, but need to devel­op it for other network connec­tions. Your mood can greatly impact your social media posting, with this in mind it is better to post nothing when your heart and mind is not in it.

 

 

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a coffee to thank him for the social challenge bloggers face. Do we need to do more to inter­act with our poten­tial audience?  This is an inter­est­ing question and I would love to hear your opinion via a comment. The images included here are from royalty free public domain image collec­tions, Pixabay, or from Peter Giblett’s collec­tion.

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