I’ve been trying guys… I know it’s hard to tell but I really have. This blog is so much fun and I want to give it my all. To make it all it can possibly be. But this social media thing, it’s just not my jam (yet?).
These days, it seems like a strong social media presence is pretty much mandatory for anything that requires any amount of public interaction, even a free hobby blog. It’s become an expected part of everyday life. Traditional (ha) wisdom dictates that a fun and active twitter, instagram, Facebook… account, will naturally translate into views. But how?
I’ve never been a big user of social media. The celebrities whose thoughts I’m interested in don’t tend to use public platforms that much and the people I want to hear from know how to reach me. At least that was my stance before the blog. I’ve made a lot of great friends this past year who only exist as a virtual presence for me. It doesn’t happen often but once in a while I’ll stop what I’m doing just to tell one of you about it on twitter. What does often happen, is that I wish I was connected to a specific reader because that thing we were talking about in the comments just happened, or because they would love this pic.
This isn’t how social media is supposed to work mind you. It’s about numbers, you’re meant to be acquiring the largest *following* possible. Not to be chatting with specific people one on one like old friends. That’s not going to get you anywhere.
Besides, if we are using these platforms as publicity for our blogs, then our readers are supposed to start there first, not the other way around. Once again, I fail at simple concepts. In my defense, this is the deceptively simple sort of concept. The sort that’s really not that simple at all.
Social media (and this time I include the blog itself in the term) has a certain inertia. It’s also self feeding. An account with a huge following will grow regardless of content and that growth will help any connected accounts, to a certain extent. We’ve seen the model work before. Of course good content will encourage that growth and make the whole thing sustainable. However, it does get easier once you get bigger.
This is all theoretical. As far as I’m concerned, I can’t tell if I’ve gained a single reader through twitter. I know I’ve personally only discovered one blog that way but I am trying to be more active.
This said, if we assume that social media is an effective platform to advertise your blog, what is an effective social media presence anyway? If all you do is share your posts, it gets a little boring. Nowadays, you’re expected to share little bits of yourself, all raw and unvarnished. But see, that’s a touch unfair for someone like me.
Because I’m kinda boring. I’m just an average anime loving nerd. I don’t have any real drama going on. In fact I try to avoid it whenever possible. I don’t get outraged at the world and am not likely to go on spontaneous rants. I think I can hold up my end of a conversation but as far as self introductions go, I’m as bland as they come. And my sense of humor is extremely random. Guys, I’m a nightmare in twitter form. Follow me, teehee..
Besides you don’t want to get *too* personal on twitter. Recently(ish) Rose published a wonderful post that sums up a lot of the less enjoyable aspects of Twitter. I suspect we’ve all had similar experiences. Thankfully, I’ve not spent enough time on there to go through the worst of it yet, but I’ve already instaunfollowed some folks after getting unpleasant things spontaneously thrown at me in my timeline. And so so many clumsy out of the blue cybersex DMS. I’m flattered and all but also a little scared…
Aside from the time it takes, it’s those annoyances that make me wonder whether an investment in social media is worth it. Sure we want more readers. However, going through that without even knowing if it will yield anything at all is quite the hassle. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that seeing something a little gross on the internet is some type of hardship. However, if it’s avoidable…
On the other hand, Having a more immediate and direct contact with my readers (some of them at least) is something I want. So far I’ve avoided asking you guys questions about what you would like to see on this blog or projects we could do, on twitter, since only a few of you would get the chance to see it. I think will start trying that more though.
As with all things it’s about balance. Tweet too much and information gets buried in the deluge (brave new world), too little and people forget you exist. Make your tweets too fun and your account overshadows your blog. Too boring, it brings it down. You only get out of it a fraction of what you put in. It’s up to you to figure out if it’s worth the trouble.
Posting to social media a few times a day seems to be the way to go. There are several apps out there that will allow you to stack and schedule tweets or insta pics so you don’t have to be a slave to your phone. You can also find all sorts of media guides online that will suggest advertising strategies and give you tips for the most effective use of your time.
A lot of bloggers are much better than me at it. I won’t put them on the spot but I bet you know who they are.
For my part, I’m simply going to try to tweet more when I think something will amuse you guys but I think I will still mostly use it for personal connections. So if you ever feel like dming me (my autocorrect tried to change that for doing me…) Feel free. I’m bad at cybersex but we can chat about anime!