Social Media Common Sense For Bloggers

As many know, I made a personal commitment to dig back into my personal blog in 2012 and I’m proud to say that, in my opinion, I’ve done a great job.

What many of you may not know is that in my 9-5 life, I own a company that specializes in digital and social media marketing. Sometimes it’s really hard to not let that 9-5 world cross into this world and critique the bloggers that I come across. But, I’ve noticed a few things that make me cringe and I thought it would be fitting to let my 9-5 world cross into my personal world in order to offer a few pointers.

Many of you know these things but there are enough that I’ve come across that don’t, and I think it’s prudent to point a few things out and offer a little “pick my brain” session TODAY ONLY (that was said in the deep, booming, infomercial voice).

Social Media Buttons: Your site needs to have these and they need to be prominent. At the very least you need to have Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and an RSS feed. Anything else is an added bonus.  The more you have out there, the better your SEO rankings are going to be. The links also need to be correct. I’ve come across way too many blogs that I want to follow via RSS and the links were bad. You have one shot usually to get someone to subscribe or follow. Don’t blow it on bad links.

Twitter: If you’re not on it, GET ON IT. I tell my clients that there is about a 6 week learning curve on Twitter. Once you get the hang of it, you will find it your #1 way to push people to your site. Twitter is to links as Facebook is to photos. Follow people back. There is no bigger turn off than going to someone’s Twitter profile and finding they don’t follow back. I’m not saying follow everyone back but take a moment to see who the person is. Unless they are obvious MLM or spammers, I’ll pretty much follow anyone back. I don’t care how big your blog following is – you’re not Ashton Kutcher or Lady GaGa so stop acting like you’re that big. Also, if someone @ replies to you – respond. You wouldn’t ignore me if I walked up to you and spoke to you so why do it on Twitter? Again – you’re not THAT great. If you set up your Twitter account to have an Auto-DM, don’t ask a question like “Do you have a website” because what happens is you’ll get someone who responds to you. And if you’re not following them back, it won’t go through and you’ll look like a schmuck.

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Facebook:  Set up a page for your blog. You’ll get people who will want to connect with you and you probably don’t want them ALL to follow your personal page. If you have your blog set up on Networked Blogs, you can configure it so that it will auto-post your most recent posts. Every now and then, cruise through Facebook AS your page. Comment on other Facebook pages so it helps your page show up on more feeds.  Ask people to subscribe to your page..this way they never miss your updates!

RSS Feeds: I haven’t run into many that don’t have an RSS feed set up for their blogs but what I have run into are blogs that have bad feed links. Make sure it’s set up right so people can easily follow your blog. For me, I like to read my blogs on my iPad via Flipboard. My happy reading experience is dependent upon proper RSS feeds.

Blog Comments: It blows my mind that I would have to mention this but, if someone comments on your blog post you need to respond back to them! I have made numerous comments on blog posts that went without response or some form of recognition. The entire reason any of us are blogging in the first place is to grow our readership. Guess what? The quickest way to NOT grow your audience is to ignore those that are taking the time to actually comment. This is what you strive for — don’t ignore those who stop by “your house”.

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Did I miss any hot buttons or other mishaps that you’ve come across? Do you have any questions for me as it relates to your blog and using social media? Remember – this is a ONE DAY OFFER TO PICK MY BRAIN!!! 😉

Kristen
Are you raising a teen or a tween? Join the conversation over at Ten to Twenty Parenting!
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Comments

January 19, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I think I’m doing pretty well, actually, after reading your post. I really appreciate your knowledge and thank you for sharing it. I do have a question: I think I’m not nearly using Twitter to it’s full advantage. I admit to only posting links to my blog, lately, and suppose I should do a little more ‘interacting’. What are your suggestions for using limited time for social media most effectively?



    January 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    @frommaggiesfarm Find a few folks that you really like and just start engaging with them. While Twitter is good for pushing out links to your posts, it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing you’re doing there. I also recommend using a 3rd party platform such as HootSuite (my personal fave) or TweetDeck. You’ll find it much easier to get all the important information in one screen shot as opposed to having to jump around within Twitter. I also recommend making lists early on. Once you’re following a decent sized list, it helps to keep the noise down a little and you can focus on the tweeters that you really have an interest in. Hope that helps!!



sstauss
January 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Thank you for this post. I am relatively new to all of this and am slowly getting the hang of it. I have sat down several times to set up a Facebook page for my blog, but then stalled out. What page do you use? Writer? Brand? Website? Sports team? I don’t know why that’s daunting. Also, the name of my blog is taken by the name of a really bad hair band on Facebook. What to do?



    January 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    @sstauss I would recommend Writer or if you’re like me and primarily write about family, I used Kids/Teens (which is probably not accurate). You can always change your category which I may do myself. If your name is taken, is there another way you could word it so that it’s similar? I’m not a huge fan of under_scores, but sometimes that will work in a pinch.



      sstauss
      January 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      @4Hensandrooster Thank you, that really helps. I really appreciate your taking the time to help the less savvy of us out!



January 17, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Great article…and I agree, respond to comments. I also always click on blog links if someone has stopped by my site. There are definitely a few bloggers from nablopomo that don’t seem to interact much, don’t respond to comments or take a visit to your blog. We’re all busy for sure but I feel like when you don’t interact, you miss out on so much, the engagement and making new friends is priceless.



    January 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    @mauishopgirl I can’t visit your blog. It makes me bitter 😉 Just kidding of course. There are a LOT of BH bloggers who don’t interact but I don’t think their mission is to make friends as much as it’s to make money. Which I get, but me thinks you would get to one a whole lot faster if you took the time to work your audience. But who am I to judge?! 😉



January 17, 2012 at 10:54 am

I would love a link about how to set up RSS feed (I use Blogger). I’ve tried before but it didn’t work. You’ve almost comvinced me to join Twitter, but I really love the suggestion to go around commenting occasionally from my blog’s Facebook page. That’s a great one!



    4Hensandrooster
    January 17, 2012 at 11:51 am

    @sfcornerblog Get on Twitter!! You’ll love it once you get the hang of it! Here’s a simple step by step process for Blogger – http://www.ehow.com/how_2050575_add-rss-feed-blogger.html



    January 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    @sfcornerblog I LOVE twitter Tiff ! It’s not just a bunch of status updates, there is great content, links to fantastic articles and picture. I’ve also made quite a few new IRL friends on Maui through twitter.



      January 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      @mauishopgirl@sfcornerblog I started a whole group that connected women that I met on Twitter… we call ourselves the #BWTs aka Broads Who Tweet. I did it to give those of us who have created rich online friendships a place to meet up in real life! We’ve even gone on a couple of retreats that were amazing. Trust us… get on Twitter.. hang in there for about 4-6 weeks and you will find it to be a rich resource of info and new friends!



a eye
January 17, 2012 at 9:28 am

Great advice. I hadn’t thought of making a FB page for my blog. And since I just started Twitter this month, don’t have a link to that on mine either. I need to do more to up my readership and followers.



    4Hensandrooster
    January 17, 2012 at 11:53 am

    @a eye They’re just simple ways to grow your audience AND increase your rankings on Google. Quite often, my tweets will end up at the top of the page when I google my own name.



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