Over the last couple of days we’ve looked at various tactics that bloggers are using to gain traction, grow followings, and generate blog traffic on:
I’m sure that these posts gave you some great ideas for developing your interaction with fans and followers on these social networks. But I also know that social media is one of the key distractions that bloggers face.
Without a solid strategy or approach to social media, you can end up feeling like you’ve wasted time, fragmented your following, and—in some cases—created a social media monster that just wants to suck up more and more of your waking hours.
What’s your strategy for beating the social media monster?
I’m interested to hear how you choose to spend your time on social media. How important is this tool to your blogging efforts? Do your audiences congregate on certain networks, and ignore others? Have you had to change your approach over time as social media and its users have evolved?
My own approach involves three components:
- Audience: I focus my engagements on the social media I know are the most popular with my blogs’ readers. Primarily, this is a simple time-cost tradeoff. I don’t have time to try every new social network that pops up, so I focus on those where I know a lot of readers hang out, and I’ll get the greatest possible return (in terms of engagement) on my time investment. But my audience also helps me understand how I need to evolve my social media usage. That’s why I was so eager to create a following on Google+ when it was launched: because I knew from talking with my blogs’ readers that this network would be big with them.
- Goals: I control my time on social media by keeping my blog business goals top of mind. Every so often while I’m using social media (and throughout my day in general) I’ll ask myself if the way I’m spending my time is moving me closer to my goals. If it’s not, I check what I’m doing, and refocus on something that will. My goals also dictate a baseline for social media interaction—for instance, they helped me decide to auto-tweet the articles we publish here at ProBlogger, and help me choose what to add to the ProBlogger Facebook page. Finally, my goals also help me to choose which new networks to try as new options come onto the market.
- My schedule: Social media can swallow up a lot of time, and as a blogger there are many, many things I need to do each day. So my social media strategy is also limited by my schedule. I can only give social media so much time out of each week, and I try to streamline that time as much as I can so that I can achieve as much with social networking as possible.
That’s me—but what about you? I’d really love to hear a bit about your social media strategy in the comments.
How conscious have you been about creating a strategy for your social media interaction? Have the articles we’ve published in the last few days given you some new ideas to try? What else is working for your social media engagement? Don’t forget to link us to your social media profiles so we can check them out and see what you’re doing for ourselves!