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?


      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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