I’ll be the first person to admit that social media isn’t my natural forte. Prior to starting a blog, the only social media account I had was a personal Facebook account gathering dust somewhere in the recesses of the internet, and I had no real interest in changing that (which is kind of odd for a twenty-one year old, but whatever!).
That was until I started blogging. As much as I wanted to avoid social media (not because I disliked it – just because I had no idea how to use it!) my abysmal blog stats soon made it clear that no one was going to just happen upon my posts without me first giving them a bit of a nudge. So I reluctantly set up a Twitter account, and after a while got to thinking, ‘well this isn’t so bad! In fact it’s actually quite fun!’ So I then set up a Goodreads account. And an Instagram account. Oh, and a Google+ account. And did I forget about the Pinterest account?
OK, so I might have overdone it! But I think social media takes a lot of experimentation – some people might love Twitter, but can’t get into Instagram for example. Therefore I thought I’d do a quick post about my own preferences, in terms of both the format I personally like using and the amount of traffic it drives to my blog, and would love to know what your favourites are!
So here’s the lowdown on my social media experimentation:
Social Media Sites I Love
I love Twitter! I just like browsing through my feed, which is usually full of a combination of witty book-related musings, links to interesting blog posts and inspiring quotes, and I like that you can search for specific hashtags and see other people’s opinions on things. For example, when I post a book review, I will often search on Twitter for other people’s reviews or opinions on the same books so that I can see what they thought of it.
Twitter also makes interaction with other users easier and more immediate than any other social network, and has introduced me to more new blogs and new bloggers than anything else. It’s also one of the biggest referrers to my own blog, so it certainly is a great tool for bloggers to promote their posts and engage with other bloggers.
Until I started blogging I had never even heard of Google+, which is why it’s pretty surprising that it is now one of my favourite social networks! I think the thing I love most about Google+ is the communities. You can join different communities such as the ‘Google Plus Book Club’ or ‘Book Bloggers Do It Better’ etc., and not only post links to your posts somewhere where people who will be interested in them actually hang out, but also have engaging discussions with like-minded people.
Social Media Sites I Use Occasionally:
Instagram isn’t a social network you would immediately associate with book bloggers. After all, book bloggers are for the most part all about the words, so Instagram as a purely visual medium might seem kind of redundant. However, books can be really pretty things, and there’s actually (and it was a surprise to me!) a lot of really beautiful book related photography on Instagram, and there are quite a lot of book bloggers on there. Whilst I haven’t exactly discovered many blogs through it (I’m mostly following bloggers whose blogs I already follow), or got much traffic to my own blog from it, it is a lot of fun to use, and combines two things I love: books and photography. However, taking pretty, Instagram-worthy pictures takes time, so I’ll admit I don’t post that often, which is why I have categorised it as a social network I only use occasionally.
I actually do use Pinterest quite a lot to browse for blog posts to read on everything from books, to blogging, to writing, to photography and fashion. However, for some reason I rarely actually pin anything, as you can probably see from my virtually static Pinterest boards. Whilst it’s a good source of interesting blog posts and pretty visuals, and is really fun to use, I just don’t personally get the social aspect of it.
In theory, Goodreads is an ideal social network for a book blogger, and this was actually one of the first accounts I set up. However, I have never quite got into it, and I’ll admit my Goodreads account has been pretty much dormant for months. I think the thing I can’t grasp about Goodreads is how was best to use it in relation to my book reviews, seen as the point of Goodreads is to share thoughts and opinions on books with other readers. I mean, should you post your entire reviews on there? Or maybe just a snippet with a link to the full version? Surely if you post the entire review then no one will then visit the blog post, and doesn’t that just then make having a book review blog kind of pointless? I’d love to know how other book bloggers use Goodreads, as this is one social network I’ve never quite figured out!
Social Media Sites I Have Never Tried
Whilst I have a personal Facebook page, I have never set one up for my blog, and that is mainly because I have no idea how it would work as a tool for blogging, and I have never really liked the format much.
So how about you? What social networking sites do you love or loathe, and why? And how do you use them as tools for blogging?