If you asked a group of bloggers what their least favourite part of blogging is, I’m willing to bet that most of them would say self-promotion. It’s a big part of blogging – maybe bigger than actually writing stuff – but not all of us feel comfortable shouting about ourselves all over social media.
LOOK AT ME! I WROTE A THING! LOOK LOOK LOOK AT MY THING! ARE YOU LOOKING YET?
It makes me feel kind of gross. And I’m not very good at it.
The irony is that I’m not bad at social media in general. Actually, I’m kind of good at it. As part of my job as a digital content marketer, I help manage the social media accounts for an organisation that has over 200,000 followers across its social platforms. I’ve run successful social media campaigns that have generated real leads for my employer. I know how this stuff works.
But when it comes to my blog social media, I’m crap – as are many of us. Here’s why:
It feels too much like work.
This doesn’t really apply unless you spend your days poking around in Hootsuite like I do, but nothing makes you feel anti-social like a day of being professionally social.
It takes up too much time.
At work, my fellow digital content colleagues and I take turns running the social media accounts for our organisation. That means that one or two days a week, I literally do nothing but tweet, write LinkedIn posts and respond to Facebook comments for eight hours straight.
That’s what it takes if you want your blog social media to be successful – treating it like a job. You can’t just dip in quickly over your lunch break and then again before you go to bed. Social media is always on, and you need to be too – engaging with others, sharing content, pinning, tweeting, liking, commenting, etc.
I can’t always be on. When I’m at work, I’m focused on work. When I’m home, I’m playing with my daughter and trying not to dick around on my phone too much. I have two or three hours to myself every night after she goes to bed, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend those hours scheduling tweets and scrolling through Instagram.
Especially Instagram. I don’t even have a love-hate relationship with that platform – I just kind of hate it. I have a feeling my relationship with Instagram is doomed to be like my relationship with raw tomatoes. I’ve tried to like them and I know things would be a lot easier if I did, but they make me feel kind of icky.
Social media fakeness can be soul-destroying.
My Twitter account gets weird followers every day – a mattress company in Spain, a nanny service in London, a marketing company in California, a guy whose profile is in Russian. I know these people aren’t genuinely interested in what I have to say. They’re following me because they’re hoping that I’ll follow them back – that’s all.
Social media is just a numbers game for a lot of people, especially when it comes to blogging. Like my page and I’ll like yours. Join an Instagram pod where you’re forced to comment on the photos of everyone in the group so they will comment on yours. Start unfollowing people to make your own follower numbers seem bigger in comparison.
Yeah, there are a lot of people who use social media in genuine ways – to interact with others, to share news, to discuss ideas – but getting followed by a dozen Twitter eggs in one day is enough to make you want to chuck your phone in the toilet and retreat to your bed to read an actual book like a nerd or something.
Not that I would ever throw my phone in the toilet. Opting out of social media isn’t really an option anymore – especially not if you’re a blogger. I’ll promote this post on my social media accounts, but I won’t love doing it. And only a handful of people will read it, because I haven’t done it properly. But there are worse things.