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?
January 20, 2014 at 2:05 pm
Same apprehensions I have. Exactly the same. Good luck with it.
January 21, 2014 at 1:22 am
In reading some of the other related posts, we are definitely not alone. Are you thinking about doing some social promotion anytime soon or holding off for the time being?
January 21, 2014 at 5:18 am
I’m already on twitter, and Facebook. I link my blog post with Twitter, but not always with Facebook. I am thinking of doing another like page as the other one I did I got locked out of and haven’t been able to reset it 😦
January 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm
I had this issue initially but then I decided to set up new Facebook and Twitter accounts solely for the blog and it works really well and is still seperate from business or other personal accounts. Hope that helps.
January 21, 2014 at 1:24 am
Yes, that’s really helpful, Steve. Thank you. I’m assuming if you’re managing multiple accounts, you’re probably using Hootsuite or some other service to keep on top of them. Do you mind me asking which one you’re using?
January 21, 2014 at 1:51 am
I’ve never heard of hootsuite. I really only use the other accounts as feeders to my wordpress blog.
January 21, 2014 at 1:59 am
I’ve never heard of that. I just use the other accounts as feeder to my main blog so they don’t really take much of an effort at the moment.
January 20, 2014 at 3:01 pm
when I first started blogging, I created an account for every social media site I could think of under my blogs name in case I wanted to use them in the future. Create separate accounts for your blog and have your personal for well your personal stuff.
January 21, 2014 at 1:55 am
Thanks, Eliza. I checked out your post about the same topic and liked your Facebook page to see how you use it moving forward. Also, took your advice about creating a Twitter/Facebook account related to my page. Awkward Laughter was gone, but I found what I think will be a good alternative. Appreciate the advice!
January 21, 2014 at 10:33 am
Ah no worries and thanks for having a look at my stuff. I’m still not entirely sure how to manage my accounts yet… But we’ll get there.
January 21, 2014 at 10:55 pm
I had the same concerns about linking my social media accounts to my blog. I linked my Twitter account but after reading this and the subsequent replies above I may consider creating accounts solely for the blog. That’s a great idea!
January 22, 2014 at 12:41 am
I agree, Suzy. I’m glad I posted this and got such good feedback from other bloggers. I set up 2 accounts yesterday during a layover. Not quite ready to launch them, but now they’re waiting for me when I’m ready.
January 22, 2014 at 6:43 am
Kim, I’d love to follow you on those social media sites when they are up & running!
February 13, 2014 at 9:19 am
Hey Suzy – I did finally make my blog Facebook page and Twitter account public about a week ago. I only have a handful of tweets/posts and even fewer followers/likes, but you gotta start somewhere, right? 🙂
January 22, 2014 at 8:24 am
I too created a twitter (and an email) solely for my blog. I did publicize my blog to my family/friends on Facebook…but for me, I want to keep my personal Facebook and Twitter separate from this blog. So while I do promote my blog on Facebook, no one from WordPress knows my personal social networking info. 🙂
January 22, 2014 at 10:21 am
Funny you should mention email. I just setup an email address today using Zoho mail so I could use my domain name. I did it as part of today’s new page assignment. I added a Contact page and tied it to the new email. Baby steps. 🙂
January 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm
Hey, I’m a little late to this party! 😉 I also keep my blogging, personal, and professional lives separate. This is much easier to do with some social media services than others. Google is the worst at this that I have found so far. What a confusing mess. I have yet to figure out how to keep lives separate on there. A business page might be the answer, but I have yet to find a clear answer on that. Google enforces a number of changes per time period restrictions that make experimenting freely problematic.
BTW, I’m using Live.com/Outlook.com for my blog’s email, with my custom domain. It was pretty easy to setup, even though WordPress has no official documentation on how to hook domain, email, and blog together. (I really should post a how-to sometime.)
February 1, 2014 at 6:44 am
Ah, Lee, your timing couldn’t be more perfect! I just returned from a 10-day excursion with intermmitent Internet access at best.
I decided to go with Zoho to manage my blog email. I signed up for it right before I left, so I can’t really speak to the pros/cons other than to say setup was a snap.
As for Google…I feel your pain. When setting up the page for my company, I struggled with keeping my personal account separate. I don’t even want to think about what I’ll do with a distinct blog account. If you discover any pointers, please do share a post with the group.
Thanks for your feedback – Kim
February 1, 2014 at 8:26 am
Today I asked coworker who has an Android phone for pointers. He also hasn’t quite figured out keeping his different online lives separate with Google. If two guys with 40+ years of IT and programming experience are having trouble figuring this out, I don’t know how non-tech people are expected to figure it out. But, I endeavor to not be thwarted. I’ll let you know if I make any progress.
February 2, 2014 at 4:51 am
Interesting. I haven’t linked to either my twitter or Facebook. So setting up new ones makes sense.
Such a lot to learn about in this new blogging world eh?
February 2, 2014 at 8:48 am
Indeed! I feel a bit overwhelmed at times. I did finally at least share a post of mine through my personal Facebook account. It was my first share and probably my last, but I wanted to let them know it was out there and available to see/read as desired. 🙂
February 13, 2014 at 3:35 am
In case you are still looking for a way to manage multiple accounts on Twitter, I use Tweetdeck (I use my own account plus I do tweets for Yeah Write.
I used to have my Twitter linked to my Facebook account. I severed the connection opted to use Twitter for my blog only, not for personal use. Still, if you use an app like Tweetdeck, you can easily manage multiple profiles.
February 13, 2014 at 9:23 am
Thanks for the tips.I have launched two blog-specific accounts. Managing them is now the challenge. I appreciate you sharing your advice!