Social Media, What Is It Good For?


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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15 Responses

  1. style me curvy

    Great post! I think its really important to stress that bloggers should grow social media organically as you mentioned 🙂

  2. Millie Dollar

    I’m getting frustrated with facebooks new rules lately tho.
    My main bulk of readers are on the Facebook page and see the updates there, but the pages show a tiny percentage of the actual subscribers see updates unless I’m willing to pay for that boost.
    Is there a way around this, I am getting a bit frustrated with it now. 🙁

  3. Monika Faulkner

    Buying followers?!? Wow!! Suddenly, I don’t feel so much pressure to get my numbers “up there”…at least I know each and every one of the followers I DO have is legitimate!!
    And, to be honest, I don’t quite understand those bloggers who NEVER seem to respond to any of the comments they receive on their blogs…as your “social media” definition states, “interaction” is the whole point, isn’t it?! If you are so caught up in Twitter/Instagram/Facebook that you don’t have time to reply to your blog readers, then maybe you should reconsider having a blog at all!!

  4. Megan Doyle

    A good friend who runs a successful instagram account with a few thousand followers gave me a great piece of advice for posting to instagram: Only post photos that will add to your brand’s image. Looking at the account from a readers perspective to see what’s necessary to post is something I always try to consider before I share anything from my blogs social media accounts.

    Beautifully styled and well thought out photos and captions are also crucial. There’s nothing more awkward that a poorly constructed post!

  5. Lilly Shalini

    This is a great info! Thanks for sharing. I do find time to respond to every comments and interactions from readers, fellow bloggers and visitors.
    I don’t think I have the money to buy followers and I don’t think it’s right to so. You need legit followers to interact with you and others visitors as well.

  6. Lara

    Agreed about these. I’m pretty lazy with social media tho and mainly use it to keep in touch with friends. I have seen a giveaway where the prize was 10k? (or something, I forgot) fake followers so obviously some people use that trick. Some online promotion agencies do that as well tho, you pay a company to get your website more visibility but actually what you get is a bunch of fake followers, so some of the bloggers who do that that might now know that the followers are fake.

  7. Jenna Michelle

    As helpful as social media is when it comes to promoting your blog, I almost wonder if it deters people from visiting your actual blog. For example, I find Instagram to be the most crucial social media platform for fashion bloggers these days, but by posting outfit pictures, engaging with followers, etc. all on Instagram, your followers may not feel the need to visit the actual blog itself since the social media sort of suffices in its place.


  8. Hayfa

    This is a good article. As a new blogger, I am trying to read blogging tips from people who has been doing it for some time now to get some insight. However, I do see that many bloggers never comment back or socialize with their followers once they hit 30K. I wonder is it because they can’t catch up with the updates from their several social platforms or they get used to compliments that they don’t care to interact anymore!

  9. Steph

    Great post as usual. I really enjoy interacting with the little few who follow me….I wish they’d interact with me more lol…I actually cant wait to have a solid, quality interactive network of followers…I may lose myself to cyber world lol

  10. Cass

    I think social media is really great for connecting with readers as well as finding other new blogs to follow. I do find it very difficult to keep up with every platform, so I prefer to focus on Instagram and Pinterest, since I use them the most in my personal life as well.


  11. Pronto Lucia

    Social media is very valuable also for getting actual feedback for what you’re selling: be that a service or a product, your customers are your best product designer as they can tell you what they liked and they didn’t like; Listening is quite important.

  12. Gracious Store

    The greatest advantage of all the social networks is that they each in their own way help to create brand awareness. By interacting with people in those social networks they come to know about you which they would otherwise have not know, from there you can begin to enter into partnership or their becoming your customers

  13. Naza Chukwumam

    I think that getting real followers helps in the long run…you get people who can relate to you and actually like you compared to a lot of people who don’t know who you are and don’t care to! Might be able to fool PR people once but not for long..honesty and hard work pays best.

  14. PinsPlace

    Great post, I really never thought about using social media to interact with brands. I like your advise about not overwhelming brands comment wall with “follow me’s”. Definitely applying this.