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Ask Amanda: Facebook, Twitter and Traffic, Oh My!

Ask Amanda: Facebook, Twitter and Traffic, Oh My!

Social media is where it’s at. It used to be that audiences were fairly silent. After all, you couldn’t really give immediate feedback to a television show or radio program, aside from changing the channel. Sure you could write a letter, or even an email, but who knew if you would ever get a response. Perhaps you’ve eagerly scoured the “Letters to the Editor” section of the paper or your favorite magazine, waiting to see if your feedback had been “chosen” for publication. These days with the onslaught of Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the multitude of other social media avenues, connecting with visitors is something that mainstream media was sorely lacking in. Now it’s readily available and fans find their favorite shows, blogs, websites and celebrities more accessible than ever.

So as a blogger, surely you have questions about how important these avenues are for your blog’s success. Yvette of Abernathy Crafts writes “Is it necessary to be on Twitter and Facebook in order to get more traffic and have a successful blog? By successful, I mean substantial commenters and subscribers. I don’t plan on using my blog as a financial source. Yet.  But I do spend a lot of time on it and it would be nice if it wasn’t in vain. I also have four kids and am in school so I don’t have any more time to give.”

First of all what’s absolutely most important is whatever it is that you are most comfortable with. That’s the beauty of blogs. It’s your venue, a place for you to share your creativity, stories, photos, whatever you’ve chosen to blog about. How rapidly you want that blog traffic to grow is up to you and is determined by the amount of time you are willing and/or able to dedicate to it. Family is most important, so you’ll need to decide where that balance is and where on the priority list your blog falls.

With that said, Twitter and Facebook are most definitely an important part of your blog’s overall growth plan. Connecting with your readers is invaluable! When a reader can post feedback on your Facebook page or send you a tweet, they are directly connected to you without standing on your actual door step. However, you are an important piece of that puzzle. Readers can tweet and post to their heart’s content, but if you aren’t responding, you’ll lose credibility. Squeezing in 10 minutes per day to answer tweets and posts on Facebook is definitely worth your while.

Yvette mentioned that one of her indicators of success is measured by how many comments her blog receives. This does not necessarily tie in with social media, as social media has its own form of commenting and most people are not going to comment twice (once on Facebook or Twitter, and then again on your blog). If it’s more comments you are after there are quite a few resources here at Crafterminds that can help you solve that puzzle.

Here are a few articles regarding comments:

Why a Lack of Comments Isn’t a Lack of Love
Why Don’t People Comment?
4 Mistakes Bloggers Make
8 Reasons to Comment On My Blog

Facebook is an important part of growing your blog traffic. According to Mashable, Facebook is expected to hit the 1 billion user mark by August of 2012. “The company claimed 800 million users in September, so it’s not surprising that claiming membership of one-seventh of humanity is now within the social network’s grasp.” One seventh of humanity. That’s a pretty amazing statement. Wouldn’t you want your blog, your business, to be a part of that? Certainly you won’t reach them all, but putting yourself out there is definitely in your best interests.

Mashable also reported that Twitter has surpassed the 500 million user mark. Again, you won’t reach them all, but by getting yourself out there you are exposing your blog to far more than you were ever able to before. You don’t have to be a twitter power user to participate. Just be sure to watch your “mentions”, reply to questions, and don’t just post links to your blog. Talk to people, retweet other tweets that you find interesting. 5-10 minutes per day is a great way to start and get noticed.

There are several forms of social media, Facebook and Twitter being the most mainstream. There’s also Stumble Upon, Digg, Four Square, Instagram, etc, etc. The list goes on. Don’t overwhelm yourself, just start small and get acclimated to one or two at a time. Take into consideration your family time, work, blog posting, and your social life. Do what is best for you and you will find your path to blogging success.

Here are some other articles on Crafterminds regarding social media that you may find helpful:

6 Reasons Not to Be On Google+
Maximize Social Media Presence with Minimal Time
Facebook Timeline for Fan Pages
More Social Media Articles

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