Plenty of blog owners see social media as free advertising, and to an extent it is. So naturally, their first instinct is to sign up for as many social media platforms where they can promote links to their sites. But this slapdash assault on the market is highly likely to fail.
Social media can be your biggest asset or worst liability when promoting your blog. If it’s the latter, there are ways by which you can streamline your social media usage to make it work for you.
Even when you actively engage your followers in regular online exchanges in the most popular social networking sites, there’s still a chance that your efforts may work against you in the long run.
Here are a few reasons why your social media efforts aren’t working in your favor, and what you can do about them.
1. You don’t use your social media accounts enough
Registering in 25 social media sites will do nothing for your blog if you are only active in one or two of them.
Solution: Choose a few sites (5-7 is ideal) that you can easily work with on a daily basis.
2. You use your social media accounts too often
On the other hand, being too active in social media sites lowers your visibility. How? When followers see you posting too often, you become part of the ‘background noise.’ Worse, if you promote your blog too aggressively, you can get pegged as a spammer.
Solution: Post only at times when your followers are most active; make each post count with content that directly leads back to your blog.
3. You don’t interact with your followers
If you are fortunate enough to gain followers, the next logical thing to do is to do what it takes to keep them. Neglect will only drive them away.
Solution: Validate your followers’ presence by acknowledging them regularly and maintaining a friendly rapport with them. If you can’t answer every inquiry, you can either redirect questions of a similar nature towards a FAQ page, or inform your followers of the fact in a statement addressed to everyone.
4. You get too personal with your followers
One danger of being too involved with your followers is getting too close for comfort. Sometimes you may get too caught up in their discussions that you lose sight of why you’re running your account in the first place: to generate a larger audience for your blog.
Solution: Be friendly and courteous, but maintain a professional distance. Always remember that your followers are your blog’s potential customers.
5. You’re too distant with your followers
Yes, there is such a thing as being too professional, that it becomes unprofessional. I had experienced this myself when I once gave positive feedback on a cosmetics page on Facebook. The site owner responded with a curt ‘Thanks for your feedback’, then proceeded to ask if I was interested in opening a franchise for their store. As a new customer, I was taken aback by such an aggressive offer, but nevertheless answered politely that I wouldn’t be able to accept their proposal as of the moment. The site owner never responded, and the store lost a follower AND a customer that same day.
Solution: When a follower leaves relevant comments or questions on your page, acknowledge it without brushing it off. Ask a few questions if you have to, and thank them for their time when you’re done. Pushing your agenda too hard and too fast only sends the message that you don’t really care about their opinion. Also, remember to use the basics of common courtesy: Please, Thank you, I’m sorry. Sometimes it’s the one thing that can set you apart from your competitors.
6. You lack a strategy
Promoting your blog through social media requires a marketing strategy. Failure to plan your moves will only result in wasted time, effort, and electricity.
Solution: Do your research to formulate a plan that you can apply. Some of the things that you need to consider are the ideal hours for posting, which social media sites work best for your target audience, and the use of online tools such as hashtags, photos, videos, and targeted language.
That said, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this list. Perhaps you also have a few interesting stories to share with us in the comments section.