Relationships or Rankings? What Does Social Media Mean To You?
I have a confession! As I approach the second anniversary of the start of my social media journey I am no longer enjoying the experience.
There – I feel much better now. They say confession is good for the soul which is a good start but now I want to go further and make changes which will regain my social media soul and transport me back to the early days when it was all just so much fun.
What has led to this sad situation? I have been trying to be all things to all men (and women) spreading my time too thinly in wanting to be involved in every new community in case I miss out on something. As a consequence I am spending all of my time chasing my tail and have lost the wonder and excitement of discovering and connecting with new people.
Friends old and new are ignored as I strive to reach an intangible goal that I don’t even understand. Content remains unwritten and the blog languishes with only the occasional morsel to retain my loyal readers interest.
Let’s be honest – it’s all become a bit of chore and I have just been going through the motions recently.
So on the cusp of this New Year I find myself at a cross roads, I could take the easier and negative route and just give in or I could take a step along the positive path and take some actions to rekindle the joy I used to feel. I have always been a positive type so I choose the latter and have drawn up a list of 10 golden rules to follow to keep me on the straight and narrow in 2012.
We all have different reasons for blogging – my motivation is to have an enjoyable hobby, meeting and engaging with fun and interesting people along the way, enjoying the journey and seeing where the adventure leads. I therefore feel I need need this radical overhaul and while you may not feel the same way I hope you will find something here too keep you on the right track whatever your destination.
Keep a balance
My number 1 rule! By this I mean have some balance in my life and maintain a healthy perspective to all of my social media activities. I am not and never will be a ‘social media professional’ but at times I have been thinking as if I was and taking it all far too seriously.
I don’t use one of those fancy smart mobile devices so tend to pop onto the computer in between doing other stuff to see what’s going on. From now on I will jump in when I have time but if real life is getting in the way I’m not going to worry about it. My online world will be for enjoyment and connecting with good people and not for adding pressure to my life!
Ignore the scores
There are so many ways to measure ‘success’ and ‘influence’ in the social media world and it’s very tempting to pay too much attention to them. I started out measuring my success by the quality of my relationships rather than the number of followers, likes and so on and that’s the way it is going to be again.
So no more Klout score or Empire Avenue share price worries for me – maybe these types of measurements have their place but I do think that too much emphasis can be put on them. To me they have just become a time waster and a distraction so I am going to ignore them and concentrate instead on just enjoying the ride and building relationships again.
It’s very tempting to automate stuff to find and share content but it’s not something I’ve ever been comfortable with.Â I could see some value in Triberr for a while and have connected with some good people there but I did find that having a stream of content presented to me, sometimes from people I didn’t really know, with a pressure to share meant that the spontaneity and random nature of Twitter was missing. I’m sure it works well for some but it’s not for me.
The same goes for scheduling. I can see the benefits and I am happy to have a Buffer button on the blog for you to use but I would like to send my Tweets and shares out into the ether myself, it just seems more fun that way. I like people to know that when I’m active online that I am actually there.
So it’s back to popping into lists, subscribing to great blogs and just seeing what’s going on to find content to share. If I miss something so be it, that’s the nature of life and it’s trying to be in too many places which has taken the fun out of it.
Tweet with integrity
I am going to get back to sharing a Tweet for the best reason of all – because I like what it says or has a link to great content. Too often in the past I have shared something to try to impress or because I felt that I might upset someone if I didn’t.
I am all for Retweeting something as a way of thanking someone for their friendship or support but I must to admit to putting Tweets into my stream which I knew in my heart were rubbish to try to impress someone who is ‘influential’.
I have some wonderful online friends who would be perceived as such but it’s not their influence that I admire – it’s their personalities, friendship and support that mean a lot to me so in future ‘influence’ is bottom of the list.
Read – don’t skim
I have realised that I have got into the habit of not reading posts properly, I tend to skim them to see if they are the type of thing I would like to share but haven’t felt that I had the time to actually read them in detail.
So a little more time spent taking in the content I am reading will allow me to better understand it and as a consequence to be able to ;
Share with enthusiasm
Don’t just Tweet – if content is good then I am going to take a little more time to share it around in other places too. Not indiscriminately though, a little thought needs to go into choosing which community will appreciate it.
Interact and engage
So many ways to do this but so little time!! Thank someone for sharing, ask a question, send a compliment, add a comment or just say Hi. These are all fantastic things to do to get more out of the social media experience and to connect to and build relationships with some wonderful people.
Stop checking those stats
Is it just me? Do you feel the need to check stats repeatedly? Maybe it’s just the OCD side of my nature coming out but I find myself wanting to look at Adsense, Analytics, subscribers and all those other ways to measure far too often. It’s not as if they have changed very much since I last looked!
It’s such a waste of time and can be demotivating if too much emphasis is put on the results. It’s become part of the social media disease that’s been afflicting me so it must go. Once a week will do just to keep an eye on things and to identify any trends I need to know about.
Hit that ‘Publish’ button again
I used to add 2 to 3 posts to the blog each week with new ideas springing up all the time. More recently, while I have been chasing other things it has been more like 2 to 3 monthly. Not good enough I say, what’s the point in having a blog if it’s withering on the vine?
Time will be set aside to write more again (Oh dear – I’ll have to think of something witty to say!!) and I will start building those relationships again so that I can invite some more wonderful guests to appear on the blog.
It’s so boring producing the same old type of content or even worse, no content on the blog or Tweeting out the same old stuff all the time. I need to be more adventurous again coming up with new ideas even if that risks falling flat on my face or making a fool of myself. Where’s the fun in playing safe all the time!
I need to have a more proactive approach to relationship building too reaching out to new people to connect with without fear of rejection.
If it’s not adding to the enjoyment then don’t do it!
The more observant of may have noticed that this makes 11 (I told you I was going to be bold!!) but I think this one needs to be set alongside all of the first 10 as my overriding social media rule.
So there you have my new social media philosophy. Having written it all down now I am sure it’s the right way to go for me. Two years ago I hadn’t heard of this amazing social media community and have had a wonderful time immersing myself in it. The direction of the journey had however veered on to the wrong road for me and I feel it’s important to recognise that and do something about it.
Now over to you! What do you think? Do you feel that you are on the right road or do you think that, like me, you have been sucked into a world that you no longer enjoy?
Do you think I am misguided and missing out on some wonderful opportunities by taking a more simple uncomplicated approach? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Many thanks for visiting The Top 10 Blog today, if you have enjoyed this post I hope you will share it with the world.
Wishing you all the best for 2012
Statistics – graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Opportunity Road Sign – scottchan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net