Not absolutely nothing (sorry, couldn't resist), but really, what SHOULD you use social media for? And what is it NOT good for?
Social media is (source):
the interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks
Now, that definition is pretty broad, and could encompass a lot more (even your blog?), but I'm going to specifically talk about networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+; places outside of your blog where you can share information and ideas with your readers.
At its most simplistic, social media is a tool that we as bloggers can use to engage with our readers WHEREVER they are. Instead of their coming to us on our blogs, we can go to them on Facebook or Instagram by pushing our content there and then interacting with them on those social platforms. Ultimately, we want them also to come to us on our blogs and leave comments, visit our advertisers and click on our links, but social media can be an excellent tool to reach a broader audience and grow blog traffic over time.
But, and this is something we've written a lot about here on IFB, social media can also burn you out pretty quickly. And it can burn your followers out if you're not doing it right and/or engaging in annoying practices (like 15,000 hashtags…c'mon!!).
So. What exactly is social media GOOD for?
Good: Connecting with a Brand
This is one of the most exciting things about social media in my opinion – your ability to connect with a brand you might not have had access to before. Most brands are very good about monitoring their twitter feeds and noticing when they've been tagged or featured in a post, and many will respond or favorite your tweet. This can be an amazing way to start a relationship with a brand you love and wear and maybe get featured on their own feeds.
Not Good: Kissing Up
If ALL you're doing is tagging brands and posting comment on their Instagram to “OMG FOLLOW ME!!!” it gets old fast and result in the brand you're trying to interact ignoring you. Pace yourself, and only tag relevant posts/pictures.
Good: Engaging with Readers
Instagram is quickly becoming a preferred social media network; more and more users are leaving comments and interacting more than ever before. All the social media networks are built for that, and it's pretty easy to see and respond to comments quickly using mobile apps. But it only works if you ENGAGE…in other words, it's not effective if you're only broadcasting without responding…which leads to:
Not Good: Broadcasting yourself
Sure, it's easy to just post and leave it, never responding to comments or responses, but what's the point in that? If you're open to comments, or if you ask a question, your readers will respond. but if they see that you're not engaging, they'll give up and go somewhere else. Make an effort to interact. And just say no to hashtag overload in an effort to get noticed. Don't do it.
Good: Growing followers organically
It can take a long time to gain social media followers, and a lot of consistent posting, but it'll be worth it in the end.
Not Good: Buying Followers
There's no proof, but a lot of speculation about bloggers buying followers to inflate their stats. There's no denying that high follower counts look really good to PR & marketing people, but ultimately, there's no other value to artificially inflating that number. What matters is the quality of your followers, and how often they engage with your posts, not how many of them there are. Well, it does matter, but it shouldn't….
What are some things you find social media good for? Not so good?
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