In my continuing effort to make the most of my blog, I have been working hard to understand how different social media platforms interact with each other. I’ve made some happy discoveries along the way, but I have also hit some walls. Here’s the puzzle: in the world of using social media to promote yourself and establish cross connections, some sites believe in “the more the merrier” approach, others want to have their own elite gatherings with secret rules, and some sites have their own thing going on and don’t even want to come to the big party. Am I talking about high school here? Well, maybe that too! But social media is a big and competitive business. Each site has deliberate policies on interacting with each other. I have not figured out the big picture. Has anyone?
Here’s what I have figured out as it relates to my WordPress blog and other social media sites.
- WordPress is a terrific way to meet and interact with other bloggers. After two years of blogging, I have met some great and supportive fellow bloggers, who regularly comment, share, and reblog. WordPress makes it easy to share your blog on Twitter, Facebook and other sites. Building my WordPress community has been a rewarding experience. While getting new followers is a slower process than on other sites, I always appreciate when someone new follows my blog. It’s much more personal than other sites, like making a new friend!
- Twitter is by far the easiest place to follow and be followed and, if you work at it, you can connect your blogging to the huge world of tweeters. Tweets, retweets, quote tweets, favoriting, and direct messaging are all powerful ways to interact. I consider Twitter the party animal of all the sites, but to make it work, you can’t be shy. It’s a massive “look at me” jamboree and you just have to jump in and get noticed. I’ve learned some tricks along the way, thanks to my savvy teenagers, but I’m still learning.
- Facebook – I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook because, while I’m at the party, I don’t think I’m in the right room! I set up a blog page, separate from my personal page and ever since, I’ve been trying to get noticed. I will never understand the logic behind “Liking” a page. Have you ever tried to see who follows a popular Facebook page? Unlike Twitter, which shares all information about who follows whom (which by the way is a great way to find new followers with related interests), Facebook keeps its “Likers” hidden. Hey Facebook: don’t you know that sharing is caring? I am starting to use my Facebook blog page more, however, and think that sharing the posts that run through my page feed is a good way to connect. I just wish I could see the big picture.
- Goodreads – I’m part of a big community on Goodreads and there are plenty of ways to interact with Goodreads users by rating and reviewing books, commenting on reviews, joining special groups, and participating in promotions and author forums. A special app allows me to invite people who are on both Twitter and Goodreads to my Goodreads group. And it’s easy to show your Goodreads books on your WordPress blog. But I can’t figure out how to get my Goodreads and WordPress friends together. Goodreads is a friendly, but separate party. They have their own thing going on.
- Google Plus – I don’t think I will ever figure out or like the Google Plus format. I have an account, I share my blogs when I post, but I think the circle system of making connections is confusing and unappealing.
- Instagram – I’m considering opening an account. I’ve read a few articles explaining how a blogger or writer can use Instagram to promote his or her work. It takes work to establish a following and post, and at this point, a site has to be worth the effort for me to join.
In the end, anyone who’s blogging for fun shouldn’t get too worked up about all these connections. But if you’re trying to promote yourself and your work, knowing how things work helps.
What are your experiences in trying to promote your blog? What are your tricks? What other social media sites do you find useful?
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