What are your favourite social networks?

13/04/2015 Blogging, Discussions 23

What are your favourite social networks?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

  • Twitter

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.

  • Google+

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

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.

  • Pinterest

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.

  • Goodreads

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

  • Facebook

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?

23 Responses to “What are your favourite social networks?”

  1. nordie

    Twitter is my primary social media (as @brumnordie). I do have google+ and Facebook, but those are personal accounts. I use Goodreads and Librarything (both as Nordie) to track the books I’ve read.

    Goodreads has a “reading challenge” that allows you to set how many books you’re going to read in a year. This is the first year in ages that I havent done it, as I’ve noticed that I ended up reading crap in order to get my numbers up. Librarything also tracks my reading (I use the same review across GR, LT and my blog). I’m a member of several groups on both sites, but dont really use them that much – I do know people who get more out of them than me.

    On Google+ and Facebook I belong to a number of groups with which I share a number of posts, that helps pick up my stats.

    I use hootsuite to schedule tweets about posts, normally a number during the day to catch various timezones.

    • Laura

      I have heard about the Goodreads reading challenge before, and did consider doing it but decided against it. I thought that I would probably end up just reading to complete the challenge too, and I didn’t want to feel pressured to read. I’m never entirely sure how many books I read per month or year, so I should perhaps use Goodreads to keep track more, just out of interest to see how many I actually get through! I have never used Librarything though.
      I have also been meaning to start using something like hootsuite to schedule my tweets about posts for a while, so I’m going to have to hurry up and set an account up. It would be a lot more convenient than trying to tweet links to my posts on my breaks at work, when I have no signal on my phone!
      Thanks for commenting, and I’ve added you on Twitter!

  2. Veronika

    Interesting post. I never quite got into Twitter, I’m following loads of people and many of their tweets don’t really interest me. Not because they are boring but because I don’t know anything about them, thus when they tweet something semi-personal it doesn’t have the impact on me as it would have if we knew each other. You might ask why am I following a bunch of people I have no idea about, one word: giveaways. I know, I know this is terrible. After the giveaway ends I can’t just unfollow them, it feels awfully rude.
    I love Goodreads! I wouldn’t remember quarter of my TBR if not for that site. Also, it’s the easiest way to check out a book and see what others think. About the reviews… I always post my whole review there because it annoys me when I start reading a review only to realise that it can’t be seen in whole on GR.

    • Laura

      It personally took me quite a while to get into Twitter, but I do really enjoy using it now. I get what you mean though about not being interested in people you don’t know’s personal lives. Mostly when I follow other bloggers on Twitter it is only so that I can easily see when they have new posts.
      And I always feel bad when I unfollow people too, but I have done it a few times when people tweet loads in quick succession as it does get really annoying when my entire feed is the same person! I don’t think they will actually know unless they use one of those apps that shows how many people have followed or unfollower you recently, so I try not to worry about offending them!
      I am definitely going to try using Goodreads more, even if it is just to keep track of all the books I have read or want to read. And I will definitely bear in mind what you have said about posting reviews on Goodreads. I imagine that would get pretty annoying if you had to keep opening new windows to read all the reviews!

  3. Roberta R.

    I’m a very recent Twitter convert LOL (@offbeatya – new Twitter follower BTW!). Social media as a whole never appealed to me, but since being AT LEAST on one of them seems a requirement for book bloggers, I caved in and made my choice. Twitter is actually more fun than I expected. Facebook I hate with a passion – if you don’t have a strong circle of friends already, you pretty much end up talking to yourself…
    Prior to Twitter, I only had a Goodreads account (that I still have). But I don’t consider GR as a social network – to me it’s just a place where I catalogue my books, though I sometimes interact with other users (and I contacted my first author on there). I only post teasers of my reviews on there, with a link to the whole thing. Honestly, I can’t say if it’s a useful marketing tool for a blogger…

    • Laura

      Thanks for following me on Twitter! I have followed you back. 😀
      Social media never really appealed much to me either until I started blogging, but now unfortunately I seem to have become one of those people who checks Twitter and Instagram several times a day (which I definitely never saw coming!).
      I might start trying to use Goodreads more, but will maybe use it like you more as a catalogue of what I have read, seen as I could never figure how best to use it as a social network, or blogging tool. I’d certainly be interested to see how many books I read, as to be honest, I never really keep track.

  4. Nicole Underwood

    I try to use a little of everything. Instagram and Facebook are the two that I use the most. Google+ ends up being mostly a mirror of what I do elsewhere. I am on and off with twitter. Sometimes I’m on several times a day, but then I can go a whole month without touching it. I haven’t touched Goodreads in a VERY long time. Mostly due to the fact that I don’t have time to read books anymore! 😛

    • Laura

      I haven’t been on Goodreads in ages either, but I might start trying to use it more. I guess it’s not a great social network to use if you don’t get much chance to read anymore though!
      I have been pretty consistently using Twitter since I started blogging, but I have been a bit on and off with Instagram. Up until a few weeks ago I hadn’t posted anything in a while, but since I have started using it again it has become one of my favourite social networks again!

  5. Tika

    I use twitter, instagram and goodreads pretty heavily, especially for my blog. I have personal accounts for both instagram and twitter that I don’t even use anymore because the book community is just so damn addicting! When I first made an IG for my blog, I thought I wouldn’t be able to find bloggers, but I noticed that using and searching bookish hashtags would lead you right to them! I use all three everyday whether I’m cross-posting reviews, browsing for new blogs to follow, or just looking for more victims to add to my TBR. (By victims I mean books lol)

    • Laura

      The only personal social media account I have is Facebook, and I haven’t really touched that either since I started blogging. That’s partly because joining sites like Twitter and Instagram made me realise how much i don’t like Facebook, and partly because the book community really is addictive!
      And social networks are definitely great for finding new victims (aka books)! There are so many books I want to read that I have heard about on Twitter, and when people post pictures of really pretty book covers on Instagram it makes me really want to read them (even when I have no idea what they are about)!

  6. Kaja

    Hmm, I don’t think I *loathe* any of them, but I never got Facebook, not even a personal account. It was a sort of a statement back in high school for me, when everyone had it, and I just said no – I have a phone and an e-mail and Skype and whatnot so people know how to reach me if they want to.
    I have Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Goodreads accounts for my blog now. I love Pinterest but I have very few followers there and I don’t think they’re actually blog-related. Twitter seems to be the most popular with book bloggers, no?
    Goodreads… I have it so I keep track of the books I want to read and books I’ve read and I post my reviews there (mostly complete, with a link to the blog). I don’t really use it as a social network though, with the exception of a few small interactions.

    • Laura

      I think maybe Goodreads is a little like Pinterest in that it is a social network that isn’t actually that social! I know there are groups you can join on there, but I don’t know how active they actually are, and other than commenting on other people’s reviews, I guess there isn’t much capacity for interaction other than directly messaging people. I’ll probably just start using it to keep track of books I’ve read too, and it kind of seems like that’s how most people use it.

  7. Natalie @ Flowers in my Books

    I love twitter but I hardly tweet anymore. It used to be the only site I would use up until last year or so and now I can’t seem to get the hang of it again. I LOVE tumblr on the other hand. I’m on it everyday.

  8. Precious @ Clockwork Desires

    I recently joined Twitter, and while I think it’s a pretty cool site, it’s still going to take a while for me to get used to, mainly because it moves so fast. I have a Pinterest account that I use occasionally, but I can end up spending hours at a stretch on there, so I try to avoid it when I know I’m busy (which is almost always, lol). Facebook never really appealed to me, and Instagram isn’t really my thing. I do however love Goodreads. It’s a great community full of like-minded people, although I’ll admit it has its problems, too. I usually write a slightly different (and much shorter) review on there, mostly because I sometimes have unconventional ways of reviewing stuff, or I haven’t posted the review on my blog yet.

    • nordie

      one of the tricks with twitter is to set up “lists” and “searches”, which do very similar things. Create a list (e.g. “books”) and add people who write about books in it. Then if you want to interact with people who write about books, search your book list rather than the whole timeline. You dont need to be following someone to have them in your list.

      A “Search” is similar to a list, but follows an idea, rather than a person. E.g. if there’s a hashtag you are interested in (e.g. #bloggiesta) you can save it and read what’s been written recently. You dont need to be following anyone in order to get the tweets.

      Hope this helps

    • Laura

      Twitter is really fast paced, and that’s one thing that I do find a problem with it. I never really have chats with people on it because I tend to only be on it for about ten minutes or so, and then will come back to it a few hours later, so if anyone tweets me then I only see it hours after the event. Plus your own tweets get buried in other people’s feeds pretty quickly if they are following a lot of people.
      I really like the idea of Goodreads in theory, because it is a community full of fellow bookish people, but I just can’t quite seem to get the hang of how it works. I definitely intend to give it another go though, and I’ll maybe try posting a couple of reviews on there and see how it goes!

  9. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    It was easy for me to make a Facebook page for my blog because I had previously created several of them for other organizations. I like it because it’s easy to link to my posts and to other things I find around the web. It takes hardly any time at all. The downside is that because FB wants you to pay for everything, you don’t actually get that much viewership; they ensure that only a minimal percentage of your followers even see your posts unless you “promote” them, which I refuse to do. On the other hand, Twitter appears to be a great (and free!) promotional tool but I’m afraid to get into it because it seems so time-consuming. I use Pinterest and Goodreads mostly to keep track of things for myself, not having much “social” interaction there. I’m so bad about taking photos that Instagram isn’t much of an option for me. And I just don’t like the Google+ interface — just as I also hate how Gmail appears and works in my browser. I would probably get used to it in time, but I haven’t gone there yet.

    • Laura

      I have heard that with Facebook it can be quite hard to get any kind of viewership, and from my experience of it from my personal account, I definitely prefer Twitter, even though it can be really time-consuming and addictive! I didn’t initially like Google+ either, but it has grown on me, and Instagram was the same.

  10. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I use Twitter more and more lately, but it was something that I really had to force myself to do at first. Now I really enjoy it, though! I also LOVE Goodreads, but that’s really where I started learning about books and reviewing, etc. I post my full reviews on Goodreads after I post it on my blog. I do include a link to my blog at the top. I definitely visit other people’s blogs from their Goodreads links, so I’m hoping that some people find me that way too. And I occasionally comment on other people’s reviews on Goodreads as well.

    • Laura

      When I first set up my Twitter account I had to force myself to use it too, mostly because I didn’t really know how it worked. Now it’s one of my favourites though, so I perhaps just need to persist with Goodreads as well, as it seems like a lot of bloggers find it useful. Thanks for commenting!

  11. curlygeek04

    Great topic! I’ve never used Google Plus but I have an account so I need to look at the communities feature. I mostly use Twitter and I try to post reviews on Goodreads (I shorten and take out quotes and personal info). I like Goodreads for tracking my reading but I don’t use the groups or challenges much. I like Twitter best but it can be overwhelming. I do find the list feature helpful. I have a personal Facebook account but I don’t care for it.

    • Laura

      Thanks!
      I’d definitely recommend that you check out the Google+ communities. It just makes it so easy to find an audience who are likely to be interested in your posts, plus it’s an easy way to find people who have common interests with you, which is always nice.
      I really need to make more effort with Goodreads though, and I haven’t yet tried out the list feature on Twitter, so I’ll be sure to check that out.

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