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I’ve been thinking about writing about blog promotion, what I do and what I know I ought to do. I considered how best to present that information and thought briefly about doing a post — maybe even multiple posts — about the major social media platforms and how best to use them.
But the truth is, I don’t know all the answers, and I don’t want to pretend that I do. I don’t know the best way to build circles on Google+ or why it matters (well, I actually do know why it matters, a little, bit still), when to post on Twitter for optimal retweets or whether Facebook matters any more.
I’m still learning, and the “right” way to do things changes all the time anyway. But one thing I do know about social media that works across platforms, any time, no matter what you’re trying to promote.
Be a good neighbor.
Share Other People’s Stuff
Don’t just promote your own posts and projects. Your feed is more interesting when it includes other people’s voices, and when people see you sharing their stuff they might share yours, too.
Share stuff you like, things you’re interested in, the story that really made you think, something you want to make. Bonus points if you don’t share every BuzzFeed and Upworthy post that everyone else is sharing. Opt for originality.
A feed that’s nothing but links isn’t very fun or engaging. Ask your followers questions, even if it’s just “what are you working on today?” or “who caught the latest ‘Sherlock’?”
Getting some comments and conversation going will help your page/circle/feed feel more like a community.
Take Part in Conversations
When you see someone else ask a question and you feel like you can contribute, jump in there. If you see a post you love, comment and share.
Don’t post for the sake of hearing your own voice, but do post when you feel compelled or like you have something of value to contribute.
The reason I don’t know all the secrets is because I’m pretty inconsistent when it comes to being a good neighbor on social media. Some days I’m chatty and sharing and it takes so much time I feel like it’s not worth it and I stop or focus only on one medium for a while (which is fine, by the way) and then I come back and I feel liek I’m behind.
A little effort every day is better than a huge effort for a few days or weeks that you can’t sustain. If all you can do is share one thing, reply to one comment or ask one question, do that, every day and don’t stress too much about all the things you could be doing.
Don’t Try to Hit Quotas
I’m all the time seeing social media checklists and infographics full of “best practices” that say stuff like
- follow 3 new people every day
- reply to 10 conversations
- share 5 pieces of other people’s content
- post your own content twice a day
These posts and graphics proclaim this stuff as if the authors know the secret and it will always work the same for anyone who just works the numbers and does their assignment every day.
Well, that’s ridiculous. For one thing, if you’re trying to do all that on three or four networks, you won’t have time to do anything else. For another, if you’re sharing things or replying to conversations just for the sake of hitting a quota, that’s not a good approach.
Social media should be fun and friendly and about relationships, conversations and helping other people, not about the numbers.
Be a good neighbor.
How are you a good neighbor online? I’d love to hear your thoughts!