Activate a social network. That was the advice that came on day 18 of the Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog challenge. And for the first time in this blogging adventure, my immediate reaction was “Nope! Not gonna do it.”
(A 90’s nod to Dana Carvey impersonating President George Bush, Sr.)
Let me explain. I think the advice given in this assignment was spot on for many bloggers, and maybe for me in the near future, but I have concerns about tying my blog to my social networks. Here’s why:
Square Peg, Round Hole
I currently maintain three personal social network accounts (not including Pinterest, which I have only used once):
- LinkedIn: I house my resume there, share a fairly regular cadence of professional articles and post items to promote my current employer. My connections are a mix of coworkers (former and current), customers and friends. Given the lighthearted nature of Awkward Laughter, this hardly seems like the appropriate forum.
- Twitter: I’m not a big user. My usage has risen over the last few years, as I temporarily took on social media responsibilities at the companies I worked for, but I have few followers and many of them are professional contacts. Again, this doesn’t seem like a good fit.
- Facebook: This is my favorite social media forum by far. While not a super-user, I check it daily, post once or twice a week, and find it’s a great way to keep up with the interesting happenings of my friends, family and a handful of professional contacts. If I were to connect to one of my existing accounts, this would be the one.
A Private-Public Affair
So why not Facebook, you might ask? Well, this might sound crazy given the fact that my blog is out there for just about anyone in the world to see, but I don’t think I’m quite ready to announce it to so many people I personally know. I’ve only told about five people that I started this blog, and two of them don’t ever go online.
Part of my reluctance comes from self-doubt (and please understand that I don’t suffer from low self-esteem). Will they like it or think it’s ridiculous? Will they even click on the link or simply roll their eyes and think “Great! Just what the world needs – another blog”?
And part of my reticence comes from not wanting to be annoying (closely tied to the last statement). I began this blog to give myself a creative outlet, improve my writing, and push myself beyond the news releases, case studies and white papers that I produce for work. I didn’t create it to gain attention from those closest to me or make them feel compelled to read it, follow it or comment on it.
Not Ready for Primetime
My last reservation really stems from the fact that I’m still working out the kinks. This post marks my 10th, as I only launched it on Dec. 29.
A few days ago, I overhauled the blog’s look and feel with a new theme, a new header image, and worked on cleaning up the images contained in previous posts. I’m much happier with the results so far (thank you, Zero to Hero and general WordPress advice!), but I’m still just finding my way.
Some Sage Advice
I’ve debated the social media question internally during the few weeks since creating the blog and even more so after coming across this post: Success and Mistakes: Blogging in 2013. In it, Suzie81 talks about her first year of blogging and some of the things she wishes she’d done differently. Among them was using other forms of social media.
Here’s our exchange:
Me: Congratulations on your success in such a short time! As someone who’s only been blogging for only a few weeks, this post gave me a lot of food for thought, especially the part about social media. I’m hesitant to link to my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts, but perhaps after I settle in a bit I’ll reconsider my approach. – Kim
Suzie81: Thanks! I created a separate Twitter account rather than linking it to my own if that helps?
What’s a Gal to Do?
Here’s where my head’s at today. First, if I decide to promote my blog on Twitter, I think I’ll follow Suzie’s advice and create a separate account. Second, LinkedIn is a definite no for me. Third, I’m still wavering on my personal Facebook page.
That said, on Monday I head out for a 10-day trip to England and France (a work-vacation hybrid). If I capture some good photos, interesting stories and have decent Internet service (all of which I’m crossing my fingers for), I may just take the publicize plunge on Facebook.
Would love to hear your thoughts on how you’ve approached social media. Have you used it to promote your blog? If so, any regrets or advice? If not, why not and do you wish you had?