Six Social Media Mistakes That Could Kill Your Blog
So you’ve been blogging for a few months and you think you’ve got the hang of things. You’re getting some responses in the comment section, your traffic has grown each week, and you haven’t run out of topics yet to write about. You’ve even managed to attract some followers on Twitter.
Congratulations on your great start, but don’t get too cocky. These days social media has become one of the key online marketing tools for bloggers, and bloggers who don’t know the rules run the risk of alienating, or worse yet, angering their readers.
Avoid making these six common social media mistakes to ensure that your blog readership continues to grow.
Not Staying Up With the Latest Social Media Trends
If you still have a MySpace page bookmarked and you’ve never heard of Instagram, then you need to overhaul your social media strategy. These days social media moves so fast that the hot new thing can peak in a matter of months, if not days.
Pinterest, for example, became one of the top 10 social media sites barely a year after its launch. It was a must-use for businesses even before it finally released an official business page app at the end of 2012. If you don’t have a Pinterest page right now, you run the risk of making yourself look dated, and that could cost you readers.
Focusing Too Much on Self Promotion
Let’s face it: It gets old to read about how great Brand X is in every single tweet or Facebook post. Whether you’re selling Harrisburg windows or banana bread, you need to toss in some posts that have entertainment value.
This is a chance to really show your personality. Stray from your usual subject matter and delve into something a little more personal. Ask your tweeps how they spent their weekend. Give your opinion on the blockbuster movie you went to Friday night. Or post some photos on Instagram that you can share on your Twitter or Facebook feeds.
These ideas humanize your brand and make you more relatable, and thus more interesting, as a blogger.
If you only post something to Facebook every few weeks or tweet about as often as a snake sheds its skin, your audience may slither away from you. These days, people expect bloggers to maintain a vibrant social media presence, offering as much entertainment on their newsfeeds as they do on their actual blog pages.
Bloggers who post only sporadically will have difficulty engaging their readers in conversation, which is the real value of social media.
Not Filling Out Your Profile
You want to present the best, most professional image that you can on social media, and part of that is taking the time to fill out every single piece of your profile. You’d be amazed at how many people don’t bother to include their website links on Twitter or Facebook, which is a huge oversight. You won’t gain any blog readers if you don’t tell people where to go to find you.
Plus, attention to detail is an attractive quality, whether you’re blogging for business or pleasure. Studies have shown that people who include a picture on LinkedIn, for instance, network more effectively on the site. It adds a personal dimension to what might otherwise be a cold, impersonal interaction.
Not Responding to People Who Reach Out to You
Do you take the time to check your Facebook comments each day? To see if anyone direct messaged you on Twitter? To discover who repinned your pins on Pinterest? If not, you’re missing out on a very engaged audience. People go to social networks to connect, and when you do not return that connection, they are often disappointed.
Make it a point to answer every Facebook comment, reply back to every tweet, and thank those who repinned you. Turn these into habits, a daily part of your routine, so that you never take this sort of reader involvement for granted.
Some people open a Twitter account and are disappointed when they don’t have a thousand followers by the end of the week. That’s a mistake.
Like any investment, building up a social media presence takes both time and patience. You have to give people the time to find you, and you have to be patient enough to trust that they will spread the word about how great you are.
Even if you’re getting few responses to your tweets or Facebook posts, continue to do them in the hopes that your diligence will pay off with new followers and thus new readers.
Adrienne is a blogger and aspiring writer. When she’s not blogging about tech and social media, you might find her practicing her French, whipping up some recipes she found on Pinterest, or obsessing over vintage postcards and stamps.