Refocusing my Social Media Presence

I’m in the process of refocusing my social media presences as a way to maximize my time doing other things: work, research, writing. I am part of a large number of social networks, both for platform building, and hobbies, including: Facebook, Plnterest, Twitter, Flickr, Goodreads, Architizer, Ravelry, LinkedIn, Stumble Upon, Google+ and Wordpress. This was too many to keep track of with any regularity, so I needed to refocus my efforts. Before this, I had two strategies for maintaining my social media presence.

  1. Use the WordPress Publicize function or the Hootsuite multi-network application to announce any new work on my website.
  2. Haphazardly connect with various people at different times on the rest of my platforms.
Publicize with WordPress

Publicize with WordPress

Not a great approach.

While my approach was useful for putting my content online, it essentially just put the word out there, it didn’t draw people in. Last year I successfully refocused my blog into 2 topics: writing (contributions to WordPress, poetry, updates on my fiction status) and designing. This year, I looked at what social networks are effective for my blog, and how to engage others where they are. I’ve chosen 5 networks to spend time on, and focus my efforts on how they work best.

1. Pinterest

Pinterest as linked from my website

Pinterest as linked from my website

This is the easiest network for me to participate in because it is all visual and can encompass everything in my website. I have separate inspiration boards for my writing and architecture. I also participate in boards for Wordsmith Studio, and have private boards for topics I don’t want to share with others. I have linked my writing “Inspiration board” back to my website so readers can see what inspires me. I also have a public board of images pinned directly from my website. The drawback is making sure that I can repin something directly from a host site. I have to make sure that I don’t infringe anyone’s copyright.

My plan: For Inspiration, check Pinterest daily during my lunch and see if there’s anything I want to post. For my website, post images that I’ve created for my website onto my board and tag them appropriately.

2. Twitter

I’ve easily embraced twitter for my writing, but it’s not as visual so it doesn’t appeal to architects as much. Writers excel at this platform, and I’ve gained a lot of followers through twitter chats (Wordsmith uses #WSchat every Tuesday night at 6PM and 9PM, Eastern) and using appropriate hashtags for my comments. I’ve also started taking pictures and posting them online, and have gained attention from our local Business Association by tagging the area the photos are in.

Twitter post of my area

Twitter post of my area

My plan: Post photos of interesting things I see as they occur. Participate once a week in the 1 hour #wschat on Tuesday evenings.

3. LinkedIn

I don’t find LinkedIn helpful for writing, but it’s excellent for the architecture world, so I limit what I post there to architecture-related posts. I generally check the account once a week, and make sure that I check the groups I am most involved in. I am an administrator for my firm’s corporate account, so it’s another good reason to keep it focused on architectural posts.

My Plan: Check LinkedIn once a week on Friday afternoons to see what’s happening and network our office. Post architectural content from my website in appropriate groups and from my profile as I write it.

4. Google+

This is the best platform I know for making sure that I am the recognized author of my website’s content. This is my most public account, and I post everything to it. It enables tagging, topic hashtags, and post formatting, which lets me really highlight the key points of my posts. While I don’t agree with the photo technique in this post, it really helped me see how powerful Google+ could be.

My Plan: Post all content from my website here, and engage in groups once a week.

5. Facebook

This is the one I check the most, and the one have the most difficulty with. I subscribe to the WANA way of using Facebook, which is making it personal, not using a Facebook page but using a personal account. I am genuinely friends with everyone I’m connected to on Facebook, but I have also allowed followers as well. But I will be the first to admit that I don’t share everything, and primarily comment or like other people’s posts, aside from posting my website content. I struggle with my privacy, but being real online has made more comments and likes than posting about my blog.

My Plan: be more genuine about the rest of my life, not just what I want to put out there, and check twice per day. Refrain from spamming my friends on the content I produce.

So what is your social media strategy?

How do you approach the various social networks with a focus on being genuine and putting your writing out there?

8 comments for “Refocusing my Social Media Presence

  1. May 12, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    I like this evaluation and must do it for myself some time soon. I tried to link Pinterest directly, but it didn’t connect to my WP blog.
    I do use TwitterDeck and post 6-8 tweets throughout day, go back for 5 minutes and read others and RT interesting tweets. Takes 20-30 min daily. My readers have grown the most from Twitter.
    FB is a time suck for me, so I limit to 15-20 minutes a day. Average growth.
    I do like G+ but that one is the hardest for me, basically I use the least. Little growth.
    What I do enjoy is reading others blogs and giving my opinion. I learn a lot from blogs and find more interaction that way. (I don’t have a way of measuring this growth).

  2. Heather Button
    May 12, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks Alvarado! One thing I like about WordPress (at least WordPress.com which is what I use) is the ‘Referrers’ portion of my stats page. I can actually see if views are coming from other websites that I’ve commented on. For me, other websites have been where I’ve received the most followers, either through posting poems on poetic asides, or commenting on content others have written.

    • May 12, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Oh my goodness, Heather, I have that ‘referrers’ section too. You helped me do an evaluation right on the spot. Looks like FB IS the best, lol, with 3x the amount of Twitter, which is the 2nd at referrals. and then Pinterest.
      Looks like my time spent on SM is all wrong!
      Thank you for a great post.

      • Heather Button
        May 12, 2014 at 6:59 pm

        Glad I could help!

  3. May 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Heather, I like this and am also inspired to do an eval of my own. My favorite places are Twitter (it’s so fast and easy- I find using lists and Hootsuite helpful), Facebook (I was silly and started a page because random people kept wanting to friend me- now I wish I hadn’t, although I’ve connected with a few more people), and Google+. I recently read a great post somewhere about not just linking to your blog on Google+, but also posting other helpful/ relevant/ humorous stuff.
    Thanks for the kick in the pants!

    • May 12, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      I’ve made the most meaningful connections through blogging.

      • Heather Button
        May 12, 2014 at 7:02 pm

        Julia, I’m glad you’re inspired to look at what works for you. Blogging is definitely a great way to make connections. With Google+ I also find that I get responses by posting other people’s helpful content or +1’ing their own articles.

  4. May 16, 2014 at 1:58 am

    I’m still trying to figure out how to effectively use the different social media sites. I do like FB, but I’m never sure who to be friends with because I post not just writing stuff on it. (I actually have a fan page, too, which I was trying to separate out for strangers.) I like Google+ and Twitter, but I always feel like there are so many things to see and respond to on those feeds.

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