According to recent statistics, 2.3 billion people actively use social media, and each of those people, on average, have more than five social media accounts.
In the last year alone, the number of internet users grew by 176 million.
However, despite the growing popularity of social media, people still weigh the advantages and disadvantages of its use.
Consider this a follow-up to my post Are You Wasting Your Time Promoting at Social Media Sites?
That post explained how you could choose up to three social media sites to promote your blog posts. The result would be more focused efforts which would save you time promoting your blog.
This posts questions whether you should use social media at all. Fellow blogger Darth Veda is here to help me examine the issue.
I will advocate reasons you should use social media while she will argue against the practice.
No, You Don’t Need to Worry About Using Social Media
- Social media helps bloggers promote their blogs leading to increased exposure, social shares, page views, and subscribers. According to blogger Jeff Bullas, you find future audiences by promoting your blogs on social media. According to Blogger Sidekick’s Will Blunt, 60% of all adults are on some form of social media. Therefore, the odds are strong that your readers will be there.
- Social media helps people find like-minded individuals they can share interests with. Facebook, for example, has many fan pages where fans of the same band or TV show can find each other.
- Using social media helps boost your confidence. When you see people are reacting to posts you’ve made on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites, it strengthens your self-esteem.
- Social media is entertaining. For example, YouTube is a site that is extremely entertaining depending on the videos you watch.
- Opportunities present themselves on social media. For example, in my BizSugar post, David Leonhardt discussed how people found him at that site and presented him with opportunities he wouldn’t have had otherwise.
- Social media is educational. People learn new information by going to sites such as Reddit. For example, I often find new Facebook groups and information about blogging on Facebook. In fact, I found the quote that began my post Successful Blogging: Do You Need Certain Qualities? on Facebook.
- Reputations can be made at social media sites. Word of mouth about people and brands spread there. People’s reputations as experts in their industries grow at sites like Twitter and Quora.
- People find comfort at social media sites. For example, people from all over the world united in a solidarity of support for the victims of the Paris terror attack.
- Social media sites help end world conflicts. According to the Odyssey Online blog, “society has grown closer than ever because of the unity that social media is able to bring us”.
- Friendships are made at social media sites. I joined Facebook groups to promote my blog and made many friendships through those connections.
- Money can be made at social media sites. Many bloggers use Facebook and Twitter to promote their courses and products. Pinterest has become a powerful force in marketing in recent years.
- Blogs can be ruined if the admin bloggers don’t use social media. According to Building A Brand Online, “Unsuccessful blogs are fizzling out because they are not connected to social media.”
Yes, You Need to Worry About Using Social Media
By: Darth Veda
Social Media should not be necessary to run a successful blog, and here’s why.
Not too long ago, nearly when I had first started my book blog, I didn’t consider it to be anything of importance or anything that I needed to set goals or standards for. Soon enough, I became rather invested in my blog and blogging in general. I started to blog more often, and I started thinking about other blogs and popularity.
When I was in my early weeks, I received a comment that suggested I use Twitter, because “it helps you get followers on your blog“. This got me thinking: Why is it necessary that I create another account on another platform, and put all the time and effort that I could put into my blog into creating a following on something else?
After starting up my Bookstagram [book community on Instagram] very recently, I realized that it was the same process as a blog. You had to put precious time into it, a lot of effort, and meet all of the standards that you have on a blog. This started to turn me off of creating more social media accounts to create a blog following.
I’m sure all of you know of several cases where the reliability of social media has faltered– you tried to post something on Instagram about the excellent new post up on your blog and it completely throws away your caption.
You might have been tweeting something, and that could also have malfunctioned, and you ended up tweeting something else. I have gone through several cases on my Instagram where a part of my caption is cut off, sometimes my comments don’t fully send, sometimes photo filters don’t show– it’s a pain to go through and delete and repost.
Is it really worth it to go through the 50/50 chances of something malfunctioning or not getting what you want across so that you can get more blog followers? I have found that I would much prefer not having to ask myself: Do I have to back this up in case it doesn’t go through? What if it doesn’t post?
Social media has been through several updates of late. Instagram’s newest update was not well received, for example. Even Facebook recently changed. With all of this updating and redesigning going on, often you have to relearn or relocate certain things. Sometimes it takes some time to adjust, and it’s always hard to get content with the updates again.
The problem with this isn’t the person behind the account, it’s the people viewing the account.
If social media is updating so much or the settings changing so often, then it is more trouble to your followers to be able to view your content. If your followers are having to go through a process or having to wait in order to see the content that you deliver, often the meaning or value of the content is degraded. After all, if you have to wait, or you get denied to view something that would be helpful to you, then it no longer becomes appealing to view.
Attracting the wrong audience
A blog is very straightforward. There are so many types of blogs: book blogs, like the one I run, lifestyle blogs, food blogs, IT [Information Technology] blogs, educational blogs, even portfolios! In a blog, you choose what kind of blog you are going to write, and you immediately get put into that community. It’s not very hard to meet new people in a certain blogging community, and once you do that, you’re on your way to making more friends across the community!
The only problem with social media is that it’s hard to get into a certain community and receive attention. There are just so many people on every kind of social media platform that it’s so hard to reach out to the audience you want to reach out to! Have you ever heard anyone say, “I run a lifestyle Twitter!”? Or even “I run an IT Instagram!”?
It’s so easy to attract the wrong kind of audience with just a wayward hashtag or even through your followers or the people you do follow. When you attract the wrong audience, it can lead to many unfollowers if you don’t have the kind of content that appeals to all of your followers.
This is something else that is a matter of time and effort. You have to have promotion skills at the barest to be able to catch people’s attention. It’s all about how people will view what you post. If you are trying to promote your content, and while your content is superb, but your promotion is lacking, it’s not going to convince anyone that they should follow you or the content you deliver isn’t along the lines of every other blog.
Remember, if you are promoting your blog content, then you have to start somewhere. Is it worth repeatedly promoting content with no results? Is it worth spending much of your time trying to learn how to promote, to practice promotion, and to catch people’s attention? Everything that you are putting into promoting on social media should be promoted across the internet, directly to people who you think would benefit from your content.
Maintaining other accounts
Here is where the effort comes into play: You are a blogger that really wants results from your blog, yes? So you are putting all of your efforts into delivering standard content, no? Then it becomes increasingly harder to maintain so many social media platforms just so you can get a blog following!
So am I not right when I say a social media account is just another blog that you are trying to get another following on? In order to get popularity for one blog, you are just running several more blogs. Is that not right? You must get a following on the social media accounts in order to direct more followers to your blog, and even then, promotion is key.
It’s just like a blog because you also have to post content worthy of followers, and put lots of effort into every single account. You need a username worthy of attention, reach out to people, and work all over again to get attention in a community. It’s twice, thrice the work that could be used to really grow your blog!
Here approaches a lot of what people know to be common knowledge. They say that social media is not always safe for people to put a lot of information into or maintain several social media accounts, but still, people use more, and more, and more. Aside from maintaining several accounts which can bring people to your blog who are not part of the community you want to attract, sometimes social media can be very unsafe and unreliable. Your safety should definitely not be compromised whenever considering owning several social media accounts just to gain a blog following.
Remember when I said running multiple social media accounts is just like running multiple blogs? This relates to taking a hiatus as well. Time is always an issue if you own multiple accounts to grow your blog. If you want to attract followers to your blog, you’ll need followers on your platform, and the thing is, followers come with quality promotion and well-written, beneficial content.
Speaking of quality promotion and helpful content, that is the key to both followers and unfollowers. Have you ever gone through a hiatus before? When you go for say, 2-3 weeks, or even a month-long hiatus, it can be REALLY hard to regain all the attention that you’ve just lost. And if you’re like me, that stresses you out– dealing with having to regain all the lost followers and viewers. It’s just as stressful as taking hiatuses on a blog. However, if you need a break, it’s not necessarily something you can control, so the amount of time you’ll be able to spend on your social media accounts to generate consistency has to be planned out right. (Admin blogger’s note: Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to preschedule your social media promotion.)
All in all, unless you have a lot of time on your hands (which you might, but mind you, everyone has other commitments) I would think it is a better use of time and effort to put into promoting your blog directly across the Internet to viewers you want to reach and writing content rather than to spend time on maintaining several social media accounts with all the risks that come alongside owning and maintaining accounts just to attract a following to a blog.
Admin Blogger’s Commentary:
Readers, please share this article on your social media, so bloggers know the advantages and disadvantages of using free social networking sites.
How do you feel about using these sites? Do you feel the upsides outweigh the negatives when it comes to using social media, or do you agree with Darth Veda and why? Were there any advantages or disadvantages we left out that should have been included? I look forward to your views in the comment section.
When you are done commenting, please thank Darth Veda for her portion of this article by visiting her blog.