There are positives to social networking but there are negatives too. Always exercise common sense when it comes to which social media sites you are active on and what you post. Not connecting cautiously and posting appropriately can ruin your reputation, so if you want to be a successful blogger think before you act.
When we join a social network, make our profiles public and accrue followers we are entering a tacit agreement to exchange links to relevant information with them. Selecting which posts to promote and crafting unique snippets and links to relevant information for each social media site is time consuming.
Creating a single post and scheduling it to be automatically posted at a specific time across multiple social networks is quicker and more convenient. But don’t be fooled by convenience.
Being apparently active everywhere by auto-posting the same snippets and links across multiple social media does not mean auto-posting is an effective social media time management strategy. It’s an impersonal approach to communication that has the potential to annoy existing followers and provoke them to unfollow.
Where is your target audience found?
Whether you blog to inform, to entertain, to persuade or to provoke controversy, to have a successful blog you must identify your target audience and let your audience’s interests guide your content strategy. Which social media site(s) does your target audience frequent? Is your audience on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIN, Google Plus, YouTube or on other social media sites? Where can you connect with them?
Select social media sites that suit your content
I recently read and commented on an article focused on discouraging thoughtlessness in social networking re: LinkedIn. Ben Huberman provides sound advice in Should You Connect Your Blog to Your LinkedIn Profile? so please click through and read what he has to say.
If you don’t want to think twice about anything you write, connecting your blog to LinkedIn might be something to reconsider.
LinkedIn is a professional social network. If you don’t have a professional blog, then it ought to be self evident that becoming a member and setting up so your blog posts are auto-posted to your LinkedIn profile is inappropriate. If you do have professional blog then practice common sense when selecting exactly which articles to promote to LinkedIn followers.
Well, if your blog focuses on your alcohol-drenched travels through South America, chronicles your love life, or is full of vocal (negative) opinions on notable members of your profession, posting to LinkedIn might warrant a second thought. – Ben Huberman
Use your common sense
1. Be selective about the social media sites you join.
As social networking is aimed at establishing your authority on a given subject and attracting like-minded followers to your blog, do select which social media sites to become a member of with care. Choosing to promote your blog on the wrong social media sites ie. sites where your target audience is not active will be an ineffectual waste of time.
2. Be selective about who you friend and follow.
Be selective about who you accept as a friend or follower on a social network and cautious about sharing any personal, let alone, financial information with them. Know that having a large number of friends or followers ie. strangers you do not personally know carries a degree of risk including becoming a target for cyber-criminals.
Phishing emails allegedly sent from social networking sites, but actually encouraging you to visit fraudulent or inappropriate websites are common, and identity thieves might create fake profiles in order to get your information from you. Before you post any information or images to any social network carefully consider whether it may make you a target for cyber-criminals.
3. Be self protective and security minded.
Setting your social networking profile to private does not amount to building an impenetrable wall. Anything published online will likely remain online for years to come and may potentially embarrass you or damage your reputation or career or relationships.
Recognize it`s your friends/followers who are the weakest links when it comes to information leaks one either public or private sites and keep your blogging and social networking cool. If you become a blogger under attack then proceed with caution and respond logically rather than emotionally.
Many companies routinely view current or prospective employees’ blogs and social networking pages. Think long and hard before posting any information, comments or images that could compromise your online presence by reflecting badly on you now or in the future.
4. Be cautious about auto-posting.
Recognize that manually posting unique snippets and links to relevant articles to selected social media sites is more effective than auto-posting is. Auto-posting is impersonal and auto-posts are easily ignored. Unique snippets are attention getting because the unique wording makes them feel more personal.
5. Do not auto-post the same links and snippets across multiple social media sites.
If you must auto-post then avoid auto-posting the same snippet and link across multiple social media sites periodically throughout the day. We are all drowning in a sea of duplicated content. Respect your followers knowing each one has a breaking point when they will declare, “There it is again. That’s it. Enough is enough!” and click the unfollow link to shed themselves of followers, who annoy them by sharing the same link to the same content over and over, again and again.
6. Promote only the best and leave the rest.
There’s also a quality factor that has to do with depth of communication that’s being overlooked on social media sites. Multiple studies confirm the majority online are now skim reading blogs and clicking like buttons, rather than reading or thinking about what they read and commenting on it. Not every post you publish may be a high quality post that makes you shine. It`s quality that counts; quantity doesn`t so be selective about what you promote as well as where you promote it.
7. Be realistic when befriending and following.
Become aware of Dunbar’s Number and do not follow back every person who follows you. Do you really have enough time to create high quality relationships with a never ending number of people? Of course not – we max out at 150 relationships. At most, most social media friends and followers that aren’t family members or face-to-face friends offline are online acquaintances whom you have never met and probably never will meet.
Yet you will witness numerous articles encouraging you to be active everywhere and to automate your updates. So let`s take a close look at what that advice is based on.
Bloggers use social media to socialize with their friends and to market their ideas, skills, business, or products. We have erroneously built our economies and societies on the unsustainable never-ending growth principle and we are doing the same thing in cyberspace! Clearly what underlies the unsustainable never ending growth model offline and online is greed and it’s rooted in egoism.
Social networking has been going on since the first two strangers met and became friends. Use the same common sense and courtesy you exercise online as you do offline. Be selective about which social networks to become a member of and who you befriend. Be selective about what you post to each social media site. Be enthusiastic about your subject but not too personal and you will increase your social networking success.
Please feel free to share your social networking advice in the comments.
Related posts found in this blog:
How to Become a Better Blogger 5: Your Online Presence
Blogging: Online presence and authenticity