What surprised these 8 bloggers about social media?

What surprised these 8 Bloggers about social media?

Photo from Canva

When you start a blog there is a sense of adventure that comes with it. You get excited about all the topics you can cover and things you can teach people. You think this is going to be fun.

It’s only when you run the blog that you realize there is so much more to blogging and social media than just writing about your favorite trips, double rainbows or how cute your dog Mr. Snuggles sleeps. Oh, there is so much more.

I know when I started blogging I was surprised by so many things. I was surprised that you don’t publish your first Instagram post and magically receive 300 followers. I was surprised that people aren’t as excited about the picture of my egg sandwich as I was. Did they see the cool flag toothpick? It was pretty fancy. I was really about surprised about how much hard work social media was.

I belong to many Facebook blogger groups and Instagram engagement groups. Groups that encourage other bloggers, and help promote each others work. They are networking clubs. So I knew I wasn’t the only one who was surprised by how much work social media could be.

I decided to post the same simple question on a Facebook and an Instagram group to see what people would say. I thought these two groups would be good because they were similar. They were all family blogs mainly blogging about travel. What was the question you ask? I’m getting there everyone, there has to be some kind of buildup.

“As someone who runs a blog, what do you think is the hardest thing about the social media aspect of running it, or what was the most surprising?”

Ok technically that was two questions but they go together. Here’s what I learned.


Each social media is unique

Photo from Canva.com

Each social media is unique

Each social media has their own personality. Like people, we may all be human beings but we are far from being the same person. Social media is just like that.

For example, with Twitter, you only have 280 characters to express yourself but with Facebook, you can show your love for cats with as many words as you would like. You can even meow a few times if you want too. Meow.

Disney Twitter Tweet

Photo from Disney Twitter

People tend to also use abbreviations on Twitter that they might not use on Facebook. Someone may say “4get about it” while tweeting on Twitter but will say “Forget about it” on Facebook. A very slight difference but when trying to have a consistent writing style across a platform, it makes a big difference. Especially since most companies develop their own style guide for each social media.

“I think it is surprising how much there is to learn – every platform is a little different –  … and most platforms reward consistency making sure that I am posting regularly to all of the above.”
Jennifer from Mouse and the Magic
FacebookInstagram

When I first started to operate a social media on behalf of a brand, I was surprised at how different social media can be. I thought you made one post in a program like Canva and the posted it across the board. Bam, you were done for the day. Easy and quick, but that’s not what happens. Like Jennifer, Mouse and the Magic, said you have to take time to learn about each one and there sure is a lot to learn.

Disney Eats Instagram

Screenshot from Disney Eats Instagram

The simplest example would be hashtags. Using the number sign in front of a custom word can include your tweet in a larger conversation. All major social media include hashtags in their programming but they are not received the same in my experience. On Twitter, readers are used to them and they are fully expected. Instagram uses them but people tend to hide them in their posts. Usually, they will write their caption and will place spacers in the text before putting the hashtags. Bloggers and companies know they are important to help new readers find them, but since Instagram is such a visual program, they try to hide the hashtags. On Facebook, I have heard from many blogger and companies that hashtags are not alway well received. They say readers sometimes find it takes away from the credibility of the posts. It is perceived as just a ploy for more followers. These three are just a simple example of why it’s important to know the differences between social media.

“Time management is the hardest for me. There are so many different types of social media, and they all have different “rules” and it’s hard to keep track of all of them.”
Beth from Paper Angels
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Where does your audience live?

Photo from Canva.com

Where does your audience live?

Something that surprised me about social media is how different the audiences can be from platform to platform. Initially, I assumed most readers would have all the larger social media. I figured someone who used Facebook would also use Twitter but that’s just not true. In my experience, very different readers live on each platform. Of course, there will also be readers who have all, but they use them differently.

“I think the most challenging aspect for me is finding the right balance of time to manage all my social media networks… and more importantly, which ones to focus on for my niche and audience.”
Keri from Flip Flop Weekend
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

When I first started blogging I didn’t realize you had to write for the specific social media you are posting on. If you are a high-tech company posting cat pictures on Instagram it will not be the best to promote your brand but retweeting articles from reputable news organizations on Twitter is perfect for your audience.

Like Kerri said from Flip Flop Weekend, it can be challenging to find out where your audience is. It’s really a trial and error thing because you have to try a few different kinds of posts to see what your readers like and share. If you post the same photo on Twitter and Facebook, and one gets no shares and the other gets 100, you get a solid idea what kind of posts does well on each specific platform.

“It’s about pushing the traffic constantly”
Amanda from Disney Fam Vacation
FacebookTwitterInstagram

You have to know your audience and write something they want, but first, you have to figure out where they are. If your audience is in zone A, but you only post in zone B, then your audience won’t see your hard work. You spend a lot of time creating these posts, make sure your niche is seeing them. More importantly loving them.

“I think it’s easy to get caught up in trying to do all of them and all of them well… but I find that it then takes too much time away from the actual work of the blog… So I try to focus on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook since those seem to be where my audience is… but even three is a lot to manage… I think finding the right networks, learning how to balance your time on them… and find your audience…”
Keri from Flip Flop Weekend
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Fulfilling the expectations

Photo from Canva.com

Fulfilling the expectations

Like numerous bloggers I spoke with, I was surprised how much work social media would end up being. I didn’t realize how much time it would take to respond to comments, questions and thank readers for follows.

“I would say the hardest part about social media aspect of it is feeling obligated to always be available to answer any questions readers may have “in a timely manner”.
Alyssa from WDWBound
FacebookTwitterInstagram

Readers want you to answer their questions and want to feel a connection with you or your company. If they ask you a question and you don’t answer, they remember that. They reward loyalty. They want to feel like they know you, and you know them. They want a connection.

“Just the lack of traffic there unless I’m actively pursuing it.”
Stress-Free Mickey
FacebookTwitterInstagram

What the writer from Stress Free Mickey is implying is delivering on your promises with your audience. If you promise to post daily, then you have to keep up with it or the audience will leave. This was a lesson I learned when I start blogging. When I made a post saying I’ll post every day on Instagram and then I didn’t, I lost followers every single time. Yet, if I promised something and delivered, I usually gained followers and almost always gained engagement levels. You want engagement because social media engagement is what drives traffic to your blog or website. That is the true goal after all.

“Sometimes that’s hard when you have a family and a plethora of other responsibilities.”
Alyssa from WDWBound
FacebookTwitterInstagram


Your marriage with the reader

Photo from Canva.com

Your marriage with the readers

Relationships take work. This is a point that not too many people would argue. You need to carefully nurture them and care for them every day.

Many new bloggers do not understand this. They are under the impression, if you put the content out there on social media then people will flock to you. That is not true though.

“It’s hard for me to manage my time. I know you have to put the time to grow it, but I’m a busy mom! It’s hard to put my all into something when I’m putting “my all” into so many things.”
Taryn from Lau Family Travels
FacebookTwitterInstagram

Just like any relationship, it can be more work than you expected. Blogger after blogger told me how hard the balance between blog life and real life can be to find. Many mentioned about having a hard time finding the balance between them at all.

“… my biggest challenge is time – working, kids and blog can be a lot – … time to make the blog content, but then there is all the rest of it – make a Canva for the post – post it to the FB – add it to stories … , pin it to Pinterest, etc. ”
Jennifer from Mouse and the Magic
Facebook – Instagram

Jennifer’s observation is something I hadn’t expected either. It may sound silly, but I didn’t expect how many detailed steps were involved to make your reader happy and have them continue following you. To make an attractive and professional looking picture, you have to set the scene for the photo, arrange the setting on the camera, take the picture, edit the photo, write a captivating caption for the photo, make sure it includes hashtags and a “call to action” so the reader has a question to answer. All that work to just have the reader see the post, and click the “like” button. Lots of time for you, and two seconds for the reader. Many bloggers when they start don’t consider this, but you have to schedule the time if you want to be successful at social media.

Disney Family of the Week

Photo and Screenshot from Disney Family Facebook Page

The reader has thousands of sites to choose from and you need to convince them to stick with you. It’s like a marriage. There are millions of people in the world and you are asking someone to stay with you. Social media can be a high maintenance relationship, but like all relationships, it’s worth it in the long run. The bond between reader and blogger is a precious one that needs to be treated with love. Just like any marriage or relationships, I don’t think a lot of bloggers expect that when they get into blogging. At least the ones I spoke with sure didn’t. Just like a relationship, everything is easy and fun at the beginning, but if you want it to work, you have to put in the effort. More new bloggers need to be told this from the start. That way they will be able to consider if they have that kind dedication to what they are writing about. It’s also why it’s important to pick a topic you love for your blog. You and that topic are going to be spending a lot of quality time together.

Think about a time a blogger or website made you feel special. Did that make you feel more connected to the site? We’d love to hear about it in the comments if you would like to share.


So what does this mean for the new bloggers out there?

Photo from Canva

What does this all mean for you, the new blogger, reading this all full of adventure and hope? Learn from these 8 bloggers and remember a few things before you start.

  1. Each social media has a different personality and should be treated as so. Learn their language and you will make your audience happy. Learn this early on and it will save you a lot of work.
  2. Just like each social media is different, so is each reader. Take the time to learn which type of reader uses which type of social media. It will save you a lot of time by not promoting your post in the wrong space.
  3. The readers are going to want your attention and you need to provide it to them in a timely manner. If you promise something and don’t follow up on that promise, the reader will go somewhere else. You want to keep them happy and reading your stuff.
  4. You and the reader are entering into a relationship that you will have to cultivate carefully. You will have to find a balance between the blog and your real life. Your day to day is busy but so is the readers. If they are taking the time to read and comment on your social media then you need to take the time to thank them for it.

“Social Media is a juggling game. Either I am engaging well with others, and then falling behind on posting, or posting, but not engaging. It take much more time than you think…”
Nicole from I am a Honey Bee
Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

Social media is a lot of work, yes, but it really is as much fun as new bloggers think it is. There is just a lot of time and work to put into it too. The great thing about social media is there is an audience for everyone. Just because one group didn’t like my egg salad sandwich photo, doesn’t mean there isn’t a group of egg salad enthusiasts out there. Once you find them, treat them with all the love you can give them. Maybe even have a contest to give out some little cute sandwich flags.

Are you a blogger and can relate to some of the above? Are you about to start your first blog and find some of these tips useful? Let us know in the comments! We would love to hear what you have to say. We are one big blogging family after all.

References:

  1. Algonquin College Centre for Continuing & Online Learning. Introduction to Social Media – COM0011 Course Content. Lesson One and Lesson Two.

img_0036-2 Starting a new blog? Blogging for years but want a “I’ve been there” head nod? Check out What surprised these 8 bloggers about social media?  #socialmediasurprises #acsocialmedia

img_0035-2 Are you starting a new blog and want to be as prepared as possible? Check out What surprised these 8 bloggers about social media? to help yourself be as ready as possible for your new blogging adventure. #socialmediasurprises #acsocialmedia

 

4 thoughts on “What surprised these 8 bloggers about social media?

  1. Great blog! It’s very interesting to see how other people struggle with similar issues (time management, writing engaging content, etc.) Social media is a lot of work and takes a lot of time to perfect but as you said the reward can be great. 🙂

    • Hi Laurie,

      Thanks for the comment! I have heard so many people say blogging and social media can be lonely. Sounds silly because we deal with so many people but it’s true. You may talk to tons of people each day, but you see very little face to face. When you look at social media it’s so easy to think bakers never burn cookies, makeup artists never pick the wrong shade and skateboarders never fall. That’s just not true. We are all in this together and it’s nice to know that others are going through the same things we are going through. It gives you the feeling if you they can do it, then so can you. We are all in this together in this social media world.

      Thank you again for the response,
      Gen

  2. I’ve actually never blogged before and it’s been an eye-opening experience. As a newbie, three things in your blog really stood out for m–the importance of keeping your promises, understanding the characteristics and personality of each social media platform and picking a few platforms that are most receptive to your subject area and doing those really well.

    I also really liked the fact you interviewed folk to put your blog together. The quotes were not only pleasing to the eye but gave your blog a much warmer feel.

    • Hi,

      Thank for the reading the blog and I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m glad you enjoyed the quotes from bloggers. People were incredibly sweet and were wonderful to participate. Nice people writing great blogs.

      Thank you again for your response,

      GP

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