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Blogging

How Many Social Media Nets Can a Blogger Handle?

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There’s no question social media can help a blogger connect with readers and build an audience. But how much is overload?

I had a discussion with another blogger recently and at one point, the conversation drifted to the area of social media networks.

The blogger complained that other bloggers were insisting that to be successful, bloggers should be on every social network their audience is on.

“But how many social media networks does a blogger have time to fool with?”

The question reminded me of the old question, “How many posts should a blogger do per week?” The answer to that question, I’ve insisted previously, involves asking a more important question: “How many posts per week can the blogger actually turn out?”

If the quality is there for a blogger who pounds out four posts per week but that quality rapidly begins to decline when a fifth or sixth post is added to the workload, then by all means four posts per week are enough for that blogger!

If you are looking to build an audience, after all, quality is still more important than quantity.

Every time I turn around these days, it seems there’s some new social media network being billed as the next greatest thing.

I have accounts across several social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat, among others.

But as I’m sure you know, there’s a big difference between having an account and being “active.”

I’m active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

I get the most interaction on their networks. I receive the most referrals back to this blog from those networks. And I tend to enjoy being part of those networks.

So they seem like logical reasons to be on those networks.

Mileage definitely varies for other bloggers.

Some bloggers receive the most referral traffic from Pinterest, for example. I suspect (based on what I’ve been told from such bloggers) that bloggers receiving the majority of social referrals from Pinterest tend to focus on content my blog does not.

I’m not wild about Pinterest, to be honest, and I absolutely despise the scribbled-on graphics social media types insist must be part of successful Pinterest posts.

If my referrals showed consistent traffic from Pinterest, I might rethink that. It doesn’t, so I haven’t.

I wanted to like Google+ from day one. For a while, I did. But not enough people I knew were there, and it just doesn’t seem to have an individual personality that other social networks seem to.

Snapchat has a personality, on the other hand, but I don’t know what it is. I don’t “get” Snapchat. Every time I open it, there are symbols and numbers at the top and bottom of the screen and I have absolutely no idea what means what. (Seriously, is it that difficult to label things?)

I don’t know how much referral traffic the typical blogger gets from Snapchat, but I don’t imagine it’s a high percentage.

So I’m not going to sweat the fact that I’m not particularly active (or active at all) on those particular networks.

How much social media time do you have for your blog?

Since my top two referral networks happen to be Facebook and Twitter, that’s where I tend to stay. And that’s certainly where I do the most cultivating.

I would not suggest for a moment that any blogger should ignore social media. That wouldn’t make any kind of sense when you consider the fact that social media can serve as a marketing and recruitment tool for your blog. That is to say, it can land more visitors on your blog if they like what they see on their social feed.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

But for me, answering the question of social media participation took me right back to the posts-per-week question.

If you can write five good posts per week, but wouldn’t then have any time for social media, maybe you should consider writing four posts per week and spending some time on social.

Maybe the right answer is writing three posts per week and using the equivalent of two days, even if spread out in chunks across the week, to build your following and direct people to your site.

If you’re stubborn like me and you’re doing daily posts and don’t want to break up a long streak, then you find ways to write a few posts ahead as often as you can so that you have some time built in to your schedule that you can “slip away” to social media regularly and communicate there.

It all depends on what you can manage and still produce quality content.

Stretching yourself too thin, either on the blog content side or the social media side, isn’t going to help you build the dedicated audience you really want.

How many social media networks are you on regularly and how often do you use them to get people to your blog?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

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