Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay. The sites may come and go, the members may shift around, but the social networks provide a valuable service – they give billions of people all over the world a place to connect, socialize and exchange ideas online, which is why social media is so important for your blog. But here are seven misconceptions about how bloggers should use social media that we need to clear up.
Try to blend in
When you set up your profiles, don’t try to present yourself as just another ordinary member who happens to be interested such-and-such keywords. The biggest reason bloggers hate working with social media is because it takes up too much time. The reason it takes so much time is because you’re pretending to be someone you’re not.
You are using social media to promote your blog. Period. Let readers know that in your profile. Pepsi, Target, Walmart, Nike and thousands of other major brands promote their businesses with social media and they all have more followers than they can handle. These major brands never share their follower’s content, then never retweet their tweets. Half the time they don’t even follow back.
If you’re honest in your profile, you’ll attract followers who are interested in what you’re promoting and you won’t have to waste time “socializing” – you can get down to business.
You can get thousands of followers over night
You can use all kinds of techniques to get thousands of followers over night – you can misrepresent yourself in your profiles, you can ask people to have their friends follow you and you can even buy thousands of followers for just $5 at Fivver.com. But you don’t want just any followers – you want followers who are interested in what you’re promoting. It takes time to build a targeted audience in the social networks, just like it does on your blog.
You have to get in there and socialize
If people are following you because of your business then they don’t expect you to spend time sharing and commenting on their baby pictures and pumpkin bread recipes. In fact, they don’t even expect you to follow back. They’re following YOU because they want to see YOUR updates. If you happen to chime in occasionally with a contest or a video, that’s great. But you really don’t need to spend a lot of time on idle chit-chat.
You should join as many networks as possible
Obviously, the more networks you belong to the more time you’re going to spend on social media marketing. And if you’re doing it right, you’ll definitely be extending your reach. However, if you join too many you’re going to be spreading yourself too thin. Better to focus on one until you build up a following, then add another. And remember, you’re still going to have to maintain the first one you joined.
Not all social networks will be relevant for your business. For example, if you’re blogging about Forex trading, chances are you won’t find too many interested members at MySpace. If you’re blogging for online gamers, you probably won’t find many followers at LinkedIn.
Start with Facebook or Twitter since they’re the most popular, and then poll your readers to find out where else they hang out.
You don’t need any social media accounts
You’re half right. If you have social sharing buttons on your blog then your readers will share your content with their own followers. You can survive without any social media accounts.
However, Facebook has over one billion members now and they all visit their walls every day. Can you really afford to pass up that audience?
If you aren’t using social media now, join just one network. Set aside one weekend to learn how the site works. I guarantee you you’ll see a noticeable increase in traffic.
Your followers read everything you share
Your followers come from all over the world, which means some of them are online while you’re asleep. Everybody is busy these days, which means some people only log into their accounts once or twice a week. If you’re only sharing your links once a day, then most of your followers will never see it.
When I first started working with Twitter and Facebook I only posted one or two links a day, in the morning, because I didn’t want to bombard my followers. But then I started posting the same link at 4 hour intervals and I saw a huge increase in click throughs.
Again, it all goes back to how you represent yourself and your business. If people are following you because they want to see your promotions then you should give them what they want. If they’re following you because they think you’re just another member, then of course they’re going to be offended when all you do is promote.
It doesn’t matter what your followers have to say
I’ve been making a big deal out of how your present yourself and, as I said, if you do it right you don’t need to spend a lot of time “socializing.” But you do still need to listen to what your followers are saying.
If they stop following you because they don’t like the fact that your links are all promotional, that’s fine. Plenty of others will follow you for just that reason. But if they stop following because they don’t like the content those links lead to, then you have a problem.
The biggest misconception bloggers have about social media is that you have to “blend in” with the crowd and, as you can see, that just leads to a lot of wasted time and a lot of disgruntled followers. Let people know right up front that you’re there to promote your blog and you’ll be attracting the targeted audience you need to help share your content.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!