Is social media for your blog worth it?

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One of my rare Instagram attempts.

If you’ve ever been to a blogging workshop, I’m sure you’ve inevitably heard someone in the crowd ask, “What social media sites should I use?”. The answer seems to always be, “Whichever ones you enjoy using.” If you’re like me, that pretty much means none of them. So, what do you do?

The obvious answer is to ignore the ones you don’t like. However, there seems to be this impression that in order to be a successful blogger you need to be a power user on every popular social media platform. I don’t believe this is true. In fact, I would argue that attempting to be on every platform is stretching yourself too thin. It makes blogging exhausting when you feel the need to maintain active accounts for your blog on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Snapchat, Google+, GoodReads, Pinterest, etc. and you increase your risk of burning out.

Not only that, but I have never seen a direct correlation to my increased activity on a social media platform drive a spike in unique visitors to my blog. Now, I’m a small fish in a giant pond. However, I’ve heard some extremely popular bookstagrammers say that, while their Instagram accounts have over 100k followers and their photos get thousands of likes, a corresponding post on their book blog barely gets more than 100 views.

So, is having social media accounts connected to your blog worth it or is it more of a hassle? I lean more toward the latter. Due to this, my rule of thumb has been to not use anything that feels cumbersome or makes blogging start to feel like a chore. While I’ve tried out a lot of different sites, I’ve only consistently maintained a few. Honestly, I’ve found that if you’re looking to increase traffic to your site the best piece of advice is to post consistently and engage meaningfully with fellow bloggers on their sites.

However, if you’re still looking to use social media for your blog, I would say experiment to find the one(s) that work the best for you. For me, these are the sites I’ve found the most value in and that I don’t mind using:

To drive traffic:

  • Bloglovin – I’m torn on if I should consider this a social media platform. It’s more of just an easy way to follow your favorite bloggers. In fact, it’s the only way I keep track of blogs I enjoy reading.
  • Twitter – Some people only follow blogs they enjoy via Twitter. So, it’s worth it to have an account and post about new updates there. It’s also an easy way to quickly engage with the community.

As a blog tool:

  • GoodReads – I use this site because I love it. It’s primarily a way to keep track of my TBR pile, wishlist, and the various types of books I’ve read over the years. I cross-post my reviews there, but I don’t link to my blog from them. The only place I have a link to my site is on my profile page. So, GoodReads is mostly just a tool I use when looking up information on different books for blog posts.

Just for fun:

  • Instagram – Once in a blue moon I’ll post something to Instagram. I mostly just use it for when I’m bored and want to browse pretty pictures of books under the bookstagram hashtag though.
  • Litsy –  I recently jumped on this bandwagon. For those who aren’t familiar with Litsy, it’s what would happen if GoodReads, Instagram and Twitter had a baby. I’m still too new on it to say if I’ll be an active user. (FYI, I’m not BookMinx on there. I’m LateNightReads.)

Do you find value in using social media? Do you enjoy using it? 

 

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Another of my Instagram pictures. Behold the awkward use of a necklace in the lower corner.

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11 thoughts on “Is social media for your blog worth it?

  1. I pretty much agree with your breakdown. Twitter is basically the only one of these things that actually drives traffic to my blog–and even then it’s hard to say how many hits are coming from MY tweets vs. other people tweeting links to my posts.

    I see all these posts about joining X social media for traffic, but they rarely come with numbers. How many blog visitors is the person suggesting using Pinterest getting from Pinterest? I have no idea. But my impression is that the book community is mostly on Twitter and Instagram, and Instagram posts don’t usually drive blog visits.

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  2. Twitter’s pretty much all we use as well. We’ve branched into other platforms, but I agree at a certain point you run the risk of spreading yourself too thin, and I’m not keen on spending every free minute on social media. The benefits of increased traffic isn’t always that clear with a lot of these platforms either, but I guess publicists see any kind of internet presence as important, even if it’s just helping to get a cover image out there to be seen by as many people as possible.

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    • Very true. I was surprised to learn that publishers were interested in getting involved in Instagram since typically it’s just the cover image of a title and not a review or description. But I can see some people deciding to read a book after seeing it in a nice photo. Especially if it has an interesting cover.

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  3. I agree with this, I think spreading yourself too thin can definitely increase the risk of burnout. I barely keep Twitter updated let alone anything else lol. And I’m terrible with Goodreads even though I LIKE Goodreads- it’s just a time thing. I decided long ago Twitter and GR were the only two i was going to worry about- I added Pinterest recently but I haven’t really linked it to my blog much (I’m just getting started).

    I do like Twitter though for the most part. And Bloglovin is useful in that I see a lot of posts due to the daily email I get.

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  4. I do exactly what you do! I have my blog feed out to Twitter, FB, Bloglovin’, and Google+. I have my email subscribers and my RSS feeders still out there. But when I engage, I only engage on Twitter and that’s pretty rarely. I use FB to “share” posts and news, same with Twitter actually. But I’m so busy homeschoolin’ my son that I can’t really sit and talk to people like some bloggers I know. It’s all okay, though. It works for me. Eventually I’ll get good at visiting all the blogs I want to daily 😉

    Goodreads, IMHO, is a necessity for reading and books in general. I can’t live without it 🙂 It’s how I pick books!! I’m on Litsy but I haven’t been back in a while so I totally forgot how to do it. I’ll have to go there again!!

    Great post! Got me thinking again about what I do and where!!

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  5. I agree with you, we can’t keep up with ALL the social media sites out there. We’d just have to choose some that work well for us and stick with those. I’m on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram and Litsy (also used to be on Tumblr) but I tend to have favorites. I was a huge fan of Instagram for a time but now leaning towards Litsy. 🙂

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  6. I tend to agree with you, mostly because I like to use my social media accounts for “me” stuff, which doesn’t always correspond to my blog. My Twitter feed is very political (because that’s just who I am!) and I’ve heard from some bloggers who follow me that they were really taken aback by that because they expected it to be just about books.

    As far as Instagram goes, I love a good picture! But I’m very aware that I can’t take one to save my life, hahaha. I’ll post pictures of my current reads fairly often but I hardly think they’re blowing anyone away. And I definitely don’t see any blog traffic coming from that platform!

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  7. Sounds like we are almost exactly the same when it comes to social media, except that I don’t have Litsy (I’m only vaguely aware of it and I’m trying to keep it that way for now). Twitter is the only social media that I use on any sort of regular basis at all. And, like you, I post on Instagram when the mood strikes me—which it apparently hasn’t for over a month. Oops! 🙂

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  8. I’ve found that if I follow someone on one platform, I don’t necessarily go to their blog. I am friends with a lot of people on Goodreads but they rarely interact with me on my website. Twitter I enjoy but many times these days I’m tweeting about TV shows for fun on there. Tumblr and Instagram are a lot of fun for book pictures! I have almost 1500 followers on facebook page but I doubt it boosts my blog. My Pinterest is huge but for my own benefit

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