This post is geared towards bloggers, but I think it can apply to anyone who digs social media. Maybe you’re a definite Facebooker who is also addicted to Instagram and Pinterest, but you don’t really “get” Twitter. Maybe you’re a big fan of the big four (FB, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest), but you have no patience for Google +. Maybe you don’t even know what the Internet is, and someone transcribed this blog post onto parchment with ink for you. Sup.
If you’re a blogger, social media is a great way to promote your blog, but it’s important to use it well so people don’t hate you. Example: Let’s say I read your blog and I’m poking around and I like it. I follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I want to see your updates on Facebook, read your one-liners on Twitter, see what you like on Pinterest, and look at your photos on Instagram.
And then this familiar scenario happens. I’m on a new blog, and I’m reading a post called “Four Ways to Make Friends with Giraffes Without Losing Your Integrity.” Ha! I like it, I read it, I nod, and then I leave a comment.
Then I log onto Facebook: “Hey guys, read my post called Four Ways to Make Friends with Giraffes Without Losing Your Integrity.”
Twitter: “Four Ways to Make Friends with Giraffes Without Losing Your Integrity via @coolblog!”
Instagram: “See this photo of my giraffe friend? I wrote a post called Four Ways to Make Friends with Giraffes Without Losing Your Integrity!! Link in profile!”
Pinterest: “PIN NOW, READ LATER! Four Ways to Make Friends with Giraffes Without Losing Your Integrity!”
Okay, cool. It’s promoting. I’ll see what his/her next update is. If all I see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are links to the blog’s own posts, I’ll make a face, think womp-womp, and unfollow on a couple of them. Maybe all four. :(
Think of a friend that you really like. Imagine that she’s a poet and wears black and often smells of patchouli. She knocks on your front door and is like, “I wrote a new poem and I really want you to hear it.” And you’re like, “Yeah, cool, but next time call first” while you’re shoving socks into your couch cushions. You hear her poem. It’s nice. :) She leaves.
Ten minutes later, she texts you a transcript of the poem. ”Thanks, this is nice in case I want to read it later.”
A chime. The same poem is now in your inbox. :/
You leave to go shopping, and there’s a post-it note stuck to your window. It’s… the poem.
Okay, you get my point. Think of the Big 4 as completely different animals – which they are – and treat them as such.
Facebook is perfect for group discussions. Ask a question or start a topic, and see what happens. I love the Facebook format because it allows for people to interact with each other. When I post on Facebook, I’m not just broadcasting, I’m inviting conversation.
I don’t always do polls, because I don’t want to be obnoxious, but this was a fun topic. I always link up my blog posts on Facebook, because so many of my readers tell me that they use it as a blog feed, but I don’t ONLY post my own links on there. I’ll post links to other articles I think people will like, funny (to me, anyway) memes on the Internet, 90s references, the list goes on.
Twitter is great for one-liners and one-on-one chatting. (Need a crash course on Twitter? Check out How to Use Twitter Like a G.) Inboxes fill up quickly and require lengthy responses. If someone Tweets me directly, I can respond directly. We do it in 140 characters or fewer. It’s great if you have a quick question or even just want to say hi. Or if you’re up late at night and you just want to share a thought with whomever will listen.
Instagram is for photos + videos. I post photos of my kids, and stage really bad videos. (See: Batman helps me with my housework, and the current, on-going unicorn series.) It’s a cool way to get a glimpse of someone’s day to day life, as long as you remember that it’s not totally real life. I’ll occasionally post a photo that was featured in a blog post, with an invitation to check out the blog. Why? Not everyone that follows me on Instagram even knows I have a blog. Sometimes they find me through a unicorn hashtag. Sometimes they find me because one of their friends liked one of my photos. I keep the self-promotion/sponsored photos to a minimum, and make sure it stays real-life-for-me, KWIM?
Conversely, if don’t push all of my Instagram photos to Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. Once in awhile I’ll do it to remind you that I’m on Instagram so you can follow me if you wannu :), but no one needs to read a blog post called “My Week in Instagram” featuring… all of my Instagram photos. Cause it’s already on Instagram. SCIENCE!
Pinterest is for pinning cool stuff that YOU like. Pin your own cool blog posts, because I can only assume that you like them, but make sure you pin a bunch of other action, too. I like to check out someone’s boards, and if I like their vibe (oh yeah, that pillow is pretty hot, I’d buy dat) then I’ll follow, because it’s likely that I’ll be into a bunch of stuff they like, too. I like to customize my pinning experience (haha), so I may follow you but unfollow one of your boards that is not pertinent to me (Senior Photo ideas, Wedding Inspiration, Raising Boys, etc).
The Big 4. I respect them as four different beasts, and I think that makes each of my channels more genuine, more true-to-me, and more enjoyable (in my opinion, of course).