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Swimming in the Sea of Social: How One Blogger Stopped Wasting So Much Time

Swimming in the sea of Social Media

The big players in social media, let’s call them the sharks, have tens of thousands of followers on multiple platforms. Some of them use broadcast messaging because they don’t have time to interact with the masses. And so it becomes quantity over quality.

But here’s an idea: why not be a big fish in a little pond? Why not cultivate a nice, smaller list of followers, offer them quality content and give them solutions that can be found on your blog?

So, you ask, how do I use social media in a way that brings me results but doesn’t consume my life (because there are only so many videos of singing dogs you can watch, right)?

What sites are best for promoting your blog? How much time is enough? And what in the heck do you do after logging in?

If you feel like you are swimming upstream with no end destination in sight, I offer the five social media sites I’ve found most useful and show you how they are increasing my blog’s visibility.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, being the older kid on the block, doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Some still think of it as an glorified rolodex. But I will just say that I can connect more often—and more deeply—with key people in certain industries there than I can on other sites.

Through LinkedIn groups, I can join WordPress discussions and funnel people to my blog for more in-depth answers and solutions. The Q&A forum is a great place to give blogging advice. And LinkedIn gives me another platform for sharing my blogging and social media workshops, which introduce more local people to my blog.

Facebook

Facebook is the Great Barrier Reef of social media—vast, diverse, with beautiful coral, distracting sea creatures of the exotic variety, the occasional clownfish, and a fair share of barracuda. But unlike the depths of the ocean, this site is filled with noise and things I don’t need.  In fact, sometimes it can be mind-numbing.

But, though I don’t do as much on my personal page, I use my business page more often, where I post a WordPress tip of the day, share resources and engage my followers on the topics of my most recent blog posts.

Google +

I’m still wrapping my brain around this platform, but, so far, I’m getting more quality information there vs. on Facebook—and the interactions are more topic-specific. I grow my community more selectively on Google+, but that’s what contributes to its more content-specific value.

I use Google+ to share my blog content and inspire interactions and discussions. The value for bloggers is that you can connect with the right people, the ones who are most interested in your blog content. On Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, even if I don’t know you, I will usually accept your invitation. But on Google+, you need to fit into the interest of a specific circle I have created (bloggers, WordPress peeps, etc.) I haven’t and probably never will create an I-don’t-know-you-yet-so-I’m-putting-you-here-for-now circle.

Pinterest

Pinterest is an interesting animal. I’m using it as another venue to share resources, a place where I include infographics, my favorite WordPress themes and plugins and focused WordPress ebooks. The cool part about Pinterest is that, if you have the button on your blog, readers can share your posts on their Pinterest boards, where they will often be repined by others, extending your blog’s reach even farther. And since Pinterest is visually driven, the more eye-popping photos you include in your posts, the more your content will be pinned.

I do have one Pinterest board that shows my personal side: my LMAO comedians. What can I say? Humor is one of my core values and pretty much a constant in my life.

Twitter

This is my favorite social media site. Now you may have heard talk that Twitter is just becoming an endless stream of links: people sending their followers to read their most current blog post or buy their newest cool product. And it’s true that lots of people use it that way.

But, used in the right way, Twitter is an amazing site for promoting your blog. I’ve developed relationships and incredible connections with successful bloggers there. You can track keywords or hashtags for specific blogging topics. You can also find out what people’s most pressing problems are. For example, I respond to questions about WordPress and, when it fits, send a follower to one of the free videos on my blog. That brings more traffic to my blog, and, once, there, people sometimes poke around and find other interesting things—or better yet, become a subscriber.

One more side benefit. On all of these sites, I’ve gotten incredible ideas for new blog posts from my readers and followers.

So there you have it. How one blogger avoided drowning in the sea of social media.

Which social media site has been most successful for promoting your blog?

How much time are you spending on social media?

Did I leave out your favorite platform?

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7 Responses to Swimming in the Sea of Social: How One Blogger Stopped Wasting So Much Time

  1. joeconnector April 17, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    Great post Bob.  I know that Google+ started off poorly and hasn’t gained the traction they’re hoping for, but I would hope that you would let your readers know how important Google+ is to ‘social search’ rankings.  Search has changed drastically and my bet is that Google will continue to stack the odds in favor of its users.  Definitely do NOT ignore the +.

    • bobWP April 17, 2012 at 7:50 am #

       @joeconnector Those are great points and thanks for chiming in. People should not ignore Google+ as it’s still in its infancy and the fact of how it can help with ranking, well, that’s a no brainer, huh. As I mentioned, I find myself moving more towards Google+ and moving away from the noise of Facebook : )

    • messagecraftbiz April 17, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

       @joeconnector I’m just starting to use Google+ for personal use, where it is very helpful — love the circles! Wondering if people can share what they are doing business-wise on Google+. I wholeheartedly agree that FB is getting irritating.

  2. readysetgrow April 17, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    Great post Bob. I wholeheartedly agree with you about cultivating a new small, manageable list of fans that you can actually communicate and engage with on a regular basis. 
     
    I do spend quite a bit of time on social media – because it’s my business, but I have also done many things to customize my news feed on Facebook to week out the “crap” so that it takes me less time. I have blocked most third party posting apps, most games and many people as well. I want to maximize the time I spend and those things have helped tremendously. 
     
    Thanks for this thoughtful post!

    • bobWP April 17, 2012 at 7:54 am #

       @readysetgrow Thanks! And yes, I know what you mean about Facebook. The invites to games and the apps you have to install to simply read a post, they drive me crazy. And to be honest, I do spend quite a bit of time of social media, I love it and like you, it’s a big part of my business.  

  3. TheJackB April 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    G+ has been great and I am a huge fan of the hangouts. I had ignored Pinterest for a long while because I thought of it as being a giant time suck but I discovered I was wrong.

    • bobWP April 18, 2012 at 7:21 am #

       @TheJackB Yes, as I mentioned, I am with you on G+. And I’ve yet to dive into the hangouts, but it’s on my to-do-list : ) Pinterest, that seems to be the general initial feeling of a lot of us…

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