Social Media Made Simple: How & Where To Spend Your Time
By: Hilary Rushford | Dean Street Society

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Over the last few weeks I’ve been soaking in all kinds of great info from bloggers I admire at Alt Summit and the IFB Conference. One conversations that came up a lot was social media: When do use it, how to use it, how much time to invest, what the tricks are. Here’s two of my favorite takeaways that I’ve started embracing and implementing in my own business.

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1. Pick 3 Platforms

 

This advice came from Erin of Design for Mankind and I cannot tell you how grateful I was to remember it when my Instagram feed suddenly blew-up with people screen-grabbing their new Vine profiles.

My three are Instagram, Twitter & Facebook. They’re my favorites. The ones that come most easily to me; I interact on them without having to think about it; I’m already there because I enjoy it.

Pinterest, which I use sporadically, is not a part of my daily or even weekly rhythm. So, guilt be gone!

Then there’s Vine which, if you are loving, then love on! But I visited it for the first time and wanted to fling myself upon the bed wailing. Another thing to add to my day? Another skill set to figure out how to do well? I didn’t see anything I loved; wasn’t terribly inspired; it just didn’t click. And so, I rose gloriously from my bed of weeping when I remembered Erin’s advice and realized that I do not have to be everywhere.

There is no girl scout badge to be earned for most social media profiles.

Feeling overwhelmed is something I write about a lot because I think it’s a way many of us suffer silently, thinking everyone else is somehow doing it better. This is one way to mitigate that. You have permission to not be on every platform every day or week. Pick three. Go in peace.

2. Use Each Platform Differently

 

When Liz from Late Afternoon started talking about this, it totally clicked for me. I already knew there wouldn’t be reason for a reader to follow me on all three platforms if I was just sharing the same thing 3 times over. So each is a little different.

However, I had never sat down to think: What is someone getting from following me on Twitter vs. Instagram vs. Facebook?

For me, I see it like this:

Twitter is where we’re friends. I’m live tweeting my thoughts on the Oscar red carpet, finale of Downton Abbey, or that even a hot model guy does not have my permission to be flat-out wearing plaid pajama pants in this coffee shop at 11 a.m. thankyouverymuch.

Instagram is where I offer style tips and inspiration. Since I can’t blog my outfits & style tricks 5 days a week, I share as much as I can on Instagram, breaking down why an outfit works, how I styled a thrift find, or giving inspiration through my #StyleMe Instagram challenge.

Facebook is where you go for a lovely break during work. Whether inspiring quotes or pretty Pinterest images, it’s a five minute coffee break and I’m giving you things you can share on your own page with your friends and followers that they’ll thank you for.

On all three, I do link to blog posts or announce new classes and offerings. But even if you already read my blog that morning, there’s many things that week you’ll miss if you’re not also following me on all three platforms.

So, I’m doing more with less. Which makes me feel like jumping on that bed instead of weeping upon it. How about you?

Which platform are you giving yourself permission to go easy on? What are the 3 you want to rock? How do you use them differently?

Comments

  1. Brieanna says:

    There are so many different social media platforms out there now and using 3 seems like a very reasonable and doable thing. Different platforms require different types of information and different ways you can connect with people. A great article.

  2. Avatar of Bisous Natasha

    I use Instagram a lot and also Facebook, since the two are well-intergrated. I don’t use Twitter as much and find that there is little to no activity on my account there in terms of followers. Ever since Instagram pictures were no longer showing on Twitter, I also found that annoying. Plus, I will admit I use Twitter to rant and let out any frustrations. I’m hones about stuff. Can’t help it. lol

  3. Avatar of Miss City Chic

    thank you so much for these helpful tips! ive always wondered what I should use each platform for! thanks again!

    http://www.misscitychic.com/

  4. Avatar of Hope Howland
    Hope Howland says:

    Love this post… I find that Instagram is usually the one I go “easy” on but honestly trying to change that… when I can… Thanks for the tips, these are awesome!
    Hope
    hchdesigns.blogspot.com

  5. Avatar of Tiffy Diamond

    I definitely follow this in trying not to be on every platform. I sometimes test out new things and if they don’t fit I instantly will delete my profile or just not include the link in my other profiles. For me I definitely use Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest the most. Twitter being my favorite. I stopped using Facebook about a year ago I just don’t like it. I definitely like being very active on a few versus half ass active on all. :)
    xo
    Tiffy
    http://www.CuteLA.com

  6. Avatar of Winston & Willow

    I think this is a really great article and is something extremely helpful for bloggers such as myself who are just starting out. I know I have felt overwhelmed with all of the social media avenues out there, from Pinterest to Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter etc. I think I will just stick with my main three from now on, which is Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

    http://www.winstonandwillow.com

  7. Avatar of tiffany
    tiffany says:

    all I know how to use is facebook. I am horrible at twitter and instagram , forget about it, I have no idea what that consist of! I finally got the grasp of my blogger layout, lmao! But I do love blogging and meeting people who get to know more of my interest. I can get used to these like I have gotten used facebook, which I once detested.

    hhtp://www.ritusTBT.blogspot.com

  8. Avatar of Ruins Barry
    N/A says:

    I love twitter & pinterest. I have facebook but really don’t like it. I would love to find a third spot though.

  9. This post is so perfect for me as today I was just thinking about diversifying my social media platforms. I am currently most active on Instagram as I love the simplicity of it and check it regularly, I am semi-active on Facebook but find it more of an effort to try to connect with people.

    After reading another post on IFB about using the ‘Pin It’ button (http://heartifb.com/2012/04/24/boost-your-pinterest-benefits-with-the-pin-it-button) I decided to sign up for Pinterest! So now that I have found my 3, as you suggest, I am going to work hard at making these as good as possible! Thanks IFB for your great content and tips :)

  10. Avatar of Monica
    Monica says:

    I have a tiny blog but I use instagram to show what I do daily sometimes I share it on twitter or facebook, it depends. On twitter we are friends on facebook I show looks that I like from celebrities, inspirations, quotes, etc.
    http://thirtysomethingchic.wordpress.com/

  11. Fabulous 30s says:

    Great post. I also think we should use only three of them. And I use the same ones. I tried to use everything and anything, but you just do not have time for all of it to make a quality content. So now I just concentrate on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (this one the least of them, but I am trying). :)

  12. Avatar of Monica
    Monica says:

    Great article. I think one thing that I constantly think to myself is to use these social platforms the _normal way_ you would use them from a personal perspective.

    Although the promotion of your blog is important, it gets a little too cold and
    “corporate” sounding if you are just posting, “Check out this new post”. But if you can use FB/Instagram/Twitter the way you would with your friends (like posting up that cute cat meme for no better reason than it’s cuteness) then you retain the personal feel of actually trying to communicate.

    IDK, just my two cents, but I think personal > corporate feel

    :)

    x
    Monica (@mieletcharme)
    http://honeyandcharm.com

    • Monica, great point. You definitely have to stay warm. Which I can admit is part of why a platform will feel overwhelming to me on occasion. I won’t be tweeting organically because I’m busy, but will have cued up a blog post to go out 3x & then my feed looks cold & uninviting. But it’s definitely important to me & a wise goal for everyone to strive for to remember that social media is a conversation & a relationship, not just a billboard. :)

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  13. Avatar of Vic
    Vic says:

    thank you for this helpful post – my blog is not very big but I start thinking about using social media. however, the fact that there are so many different platforms kept me from getting properly started – but I guess you’re right – it’s about quality and not necessarily about quantitiy!

    http://allure-blog.blogspot.com/

    • Vic, if nothing else just pick one! Truly, let yourself start small. Pick the one you like the most & get your feet wet with it. Then when you really have the hang of it, let those followers know you have a new profile elsewhere & tell them how what you’ll be sharing there is different.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  14. Avatar of Sarah Loves
    Sarah Loves says:

    Oh, I so agree! Thing is my three platforms change… Instagram use to me one of mine but now I just post images I have up on my blog. I just don’t make the time and effort with it anymore, not at all like I did when I first used it. Last summer I could easily post 20 images a week, now I barely take 2… I’ve put it down to daylight hours. Night-time Instagrams come out all grainy and not very nice, plus I don’t like other people seeing me take photos of myself. I can only hope I improve on my Instagram front now Spring is on its way.
    Sarah x
    sarahloves.co.uk

    • Sarah, I actually love that example because sometimes it really just is as simple as that: You feel uncomfortable with people seeing you take pictures, but when it’s dark they don’t come out as well. In that case, maybe just let it go? Maybe there’s other platforms you’ll update more often without having to “force yourself”?

  15. Laureece says:

    Although I don’t use Facebook or Pinterest, I do use Twitter and Instagram. It’s important for people to be able to visualize the fashion/trend, that why Instagram is amazing for blogging and like you said Twitter is good for speaking your mind, and being chatty. Personally I love Tumblr, because it’s full of fashion already that you can learn from and also its a popular thing these days.

  16. Avatar of Lydia
    Lydia says:

    I think Twitter is the best for mass publicization, while Instagram could get you connected to your followers as they get a glimpse of your everyday life…facebook for me is for personal relations and I don’t use it to publicise my blog!

    ravenmaidenmaven.blogspot.com

  17. Avatar of Emily
    Emily says:

    Having a Fohr card, I find myself directed towards those social media platforms they base their ranking on–Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. However, I’m shameful when it comes to Twitter. I have no clue how to use it and always over-think everything. I have a fourth, Pinterest, that I use mainly for Rewardstyle purposes, and a fifth, Facebook, that I keep updated on a moderately consistent basis.

    I don’t even know how to cut down or where. At this point, I don’t find my readership stable enough to cut down anywhere.

    http://hazylaughter.com

    • Emily, that’s a great point as I too had taken notice of which platforms Fohr Card notes. However, in my case, while I think Tumblr would increase my traffic numbers, it’s of more financial benefit for me to focus on increasing my # of clients vs just my # of readers. And I think the Tumblr demographic is definitely not my target audience for clients. So I’ve been conscious not to let Fohr Card personally sway me in that, until I have expanded my team enough to have extra people who can oversee Tumblr. Great food for thought in your comment.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  18. i started blogging recently and I am still pondering over this issue. I have an instagram but Im wondering if I should have a facebook page. My blog is still tiny, not many followers, so Im wondering whether I need to go for facebook to increase my readership. Still havent decided:)

    http://iamturquoise.wordpress.com

    • Fabulous Q! And there’s not one answer. But here are the two sides:

      a) Your blog is small, so your Facebook following will be small, so it’s not worth the time investment. Focus instead on your blog content & on just one social media platform to invest time in to grow an audience. Which might not be Facebook, as personally I find it the hardest to update on the go. But that’s just me.

      b) Facebook is a huge hangout & an awesome way to get introduced to new people who might not hear about your blog otherwise. And as you get more likes, those people like & share more, which gets you more visibility, which grows your numbers.

      One other thing to take into account is the Facebook Edge Ranking, It’s confusing, but basically it dings you if you post too many links in your status updates when you have a page (not on a personal profile). So, we’ve found it harder now to drive traffic back to the blog, as posts with a link to the blog, get seen by less people. So in that way I’d say Facebook does have a weakness in driving traffic to your blog, similar to Instagram, which Twitter & Pinterest allow much more easily.

  19. Michelle says:

    I use Twitter the most, haven’t joined Vine yet.

  20. Sabina says:

    THANK YOU for this article. Guilt be gone indeed. I often feel overwhelmed by social media, whether it’s maintaining my own feeds or trying (often because I feel obligated) to follow those of others. And whenever something new comes along like Vine, sometimes you can feel like a dinosaur simply because you’d rather not be bothered. Personally I’ve made a decision to stay away from Vine as well as Instagram and LinkedIn. Nothing against any of those services, but I feel like as an employed person, running my blog as well as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts is already more than enough.

    I also just read an interesting article by Michael Musto of the Village Voice about why he hates social media. (Can’t say I blame him!)
    http://www.villagevoice.com/2013-02-20/columns/i-hate-social-media-michael-musto/

  21. Bike Pretty says:

    Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram

    I started on Twitter before I began my blog. It was a great way to test my concept, connect with people, and build up a tiny following before creating more involved content on WordPress. It’s still a great driver and a good way to promote my posts.

    Pinterest only came into my life because it was a requirement for a job I was interested in. Only I never applied to the job and ended up working for myself! Now I use Pinterest nearly every day. It’s a source of inspiration (although beware of Pinterest-fatigue where it seems like everything has been done before) and a source of small but steady traffic, especially DIY content. I find that trends aren’t as “hot” on Pinterest so content tends to be more evergreen.

    For Instagram, I followed IFB’s advice and used it to show the behind-the-scenes view of my blog. However I get the best response when I post pictures of me with a bike. So don’t be afraid of selfies! Just make them relevant to your brand.

    And finally, a word on Facebook. In my last job, I managed 2 Facebook pages that grew to over 6 million fans. I was posting content nearly 5 times per day, every day. But for myself, I don’t use it.

    Working with Facebook is a nightmare. It’s very difficult to get artistic control over your presentation as they are constantly changing the settings. Also, posts only reach about 10% of fans. If you want that number to be higher, you have to pay to promote.

    On the other hand, my readers are definitely sharing my content on Facebook so I can’t go on ignoring it forever.

    How do you make it work for your blog?

    • Thank you for these insights & examples! Such great food for thought. And I definitely agree that while I am using Facebook for my business, it is definitely the most challenging of all the platforms in terms of hoops, regulations, changes & especially the crazy Facebook Edge Ranking. It’s like a mad scientists lab over there & they have free reign to concoct anything they want! So for that reason I feel much more calm & at peace with the simplicity of Twitter & Instagram, while quietly begrudging that Facebook still is an empire we have to play well with.

  22. tasha says:

    I use Twitter, Facebook, & Intagram. Those are three I understand. Facebook interaction has decreased so I am trying to figure that out. Maybe hosting a giveaway for facebook readers only. I use tumblr + pinterest when Im just sitting idle with nothing to do. Mainly do it for inspiration for myself.

    • Tasha, see our comments just above on Facebook. It may be because of Facebook’s weird & quirky rules & equations that you’re seeing less engagement. So you might need to figure that out & then learn how to play by their rules better. Annoying but true.

      with grace & gumption, Hilary

  23. Olena says:

    Whew.. what a sigh of relief. I’ve started a blog recently, and now I’m going full force on Facebook, have Pinterest, just joined Twitter and Tumblr.. I was tired of just the idea of being consistently active on all of these networks. Thanks for simplifying things for me!

  24. Avatar of Nikki Hodum
    Nikki Hodum says:

    I love this post!! I spend so much time on my blog, that sometimes I feel like I don’t have time for ALL of the social media!! I pin some (but not a ton), I am on twitter and Instagram and just recently created a Facebook for my blog. I have been struggling with varying my content across these mediums but this post really breaks it down! I am going to spend some time working on my strategy this weekend!!

  25. Maria V says:

    It varies from blog to blog. I run two sites:
    CrashingRed.com – fashion and personal style, and I found, Facebook is the best way to connect with readers who are interested basically in seeing what I’m wearing, where I’m shopping and what cocktails I drink on Friday night.

    SoNailicious.com – is all about nails & nail art. Pinterest is the main source of traffic, even higher than Google. I’d get thousands (no joke!) of repins on my posts. People see SoNailicious as a source of inspiration and where all our inspiration gets shared? Right, on Pinterest! And, therefore, that’s where I am.

  26. Avatar of Tallook
    Nache Snow says:

    I laughed out loud when I read the first part of your post because I felt the same way about Vine. I thought to myself do I really have to learn something else. A few days ago I saw a celebrity post about the new app dubbler and I thought to myself ok…enough is enough. So I’ve decided to stick to FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr (I know I’m way over three). I also create a Google+ page today and I’m already wondering if it was worth it. We shall see. Great post!

  27. Thanks alot for the helpful tips

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