Making the most of your social media influence

As bloggers, it can be easy to get stuck in the numbers game. We see a blogger with high numbers and we immediately assume that what they have to say is valuable and is well-received and respected. I’m currently looking at the twitter account of a blogger who has 37.3K followers on twitter. Do you hear me? That. is. a. crap-ton. of. followers. But most of her tweets only have 3-4 engagements. Roughly .008% of the people following her engage with any of her tweets. She DOES post a lot, but still.

For some people the numbers are REALLY important. For example, I’ve been working hard on trying to drive traffic to my blog. Would I like the comments? Yes. Comments to this blog are like applause to Tinkerbell; I need them to keep going. BUT. The thing I daily check for growth isn’t my comment number, it’s my Google Analytics. Well, more specifically my Google Adsense. I’m trying to create posts worth reading and engaging with WHILE convincing people to come look. It’s like being one of fifteen kids who built a volcano at a science fair. Yeah, there are tons of things that are basically the same but does their lava come infused with glitter? Mine is a little different, come look.

ANYWAY.

Numbers and influence aren’t necessarily the same thing. I was recently looking at someone’s Twitter and my first thought was…

Your twitter followers aren’t your fans.

Your twitter followers aren't your fans. Click To Tweet

People don’t follow you (unless you’re like the Biebs or Ben Rector or something) because they’re fans of you. They follow you because you paid for them to do so in a giveaway, or they like your blog or think you’re funny or think you’re cool. That doesn’t make you a celebrity, it just makes you a human with a platform for strangers to connect with you. and to them you become a person of influence. How do we make sure we’re being responsible with our influence?

How to make the most of your social media influence // stephanieorefice.net

Five ways, people.

1. Be genuine.
I’ve been encouraging one of my mentors to start a blog for awhile now. She’s brilliant; very in touch with nutrition and very organic in how she lives, she home schools her brilliant little gingers and raises chickens. She finally decided what to blog about, and she was telling me about how she’d read an article about how the biggest appeal of blogs are the authenticity of the blogger. If you are completely honest with yourself on your blog, some people will love you (and really love you!) and you do run the risk of some people not being able to stand you, but who cares. You do you, and do it 100%.

You do you, and do it 100%. Click To Tweet

2. Be a little mysterious.
You can be real and you can be protected at the same time. I’ve recently been going through a bit of a rough patch in my life, and I felt like people needed to be encouraged by it so I took to writing about it. Even though this is my little corner of the internet and I have free reign over what I write, I KNEW I needed to be discerning about it. I’m easy to get in touch with via social media. If people needed or wanted more details, I’m available to share them privately. That allows people the opportunity to connect on the personal stuff in a personal way, but still gives the person who stumbled upon your blog the opportunity to put your posts in context.

3. Be a builder.
There was a blogger that I used to LOVE. I thought she was the very best blogger in the world and I wanted to be just like her. So one day I bravely sent her a tweet that I’d been meaning to send for a very long time. Her response came across as being very harsh and dismissive. Guess who was no longer my favorite blogger? Here in blogland, we’re living in a bunch of cafeterias like the school in Mean Girls. There are cliques. and there are plastics. and you could be the “that skirt is so cute” Queen Bee or you could be the “that is the ugliest effing skirt I have ever seen” Queen Bee. Choose one. I vote the former. Don’t leave room for any of your social media interactions to be interpreted as tearing someone down. Only use words that build people up, ESPECIALLY if it’s in direct response to comments or engagements initiated by someone else.

4. Be engaging.
There are a few people I know in real life who boast about a large social media following who do not engage with people AT ALL. They’ve collected their followers by following other people, but they never engage. They never comment on other people’s instagram pictures or reply to tweets unless they’re mentioned or anything. It drives me insane. The best part of social media is the SOCIAL part. I had a coffee shop follow me on Instagram awhile ago. They hadn’t yet opened, but I decided to check out what they were about and I’ve been interacting a lot with them over the past few months and I’m SO excited for them to finally open. I had to step off my high horse and not pretend like they followed me because I am the coolest coffee drinker in the Portland area. You are not too good to interact with people who are interested in you. Unless you’re Justin Bieber, because I’ve been trying to get the Biebs to retweet me for years.

5. Be supportive.
This is something I’m currently working hard on right now. If you love someone’s blog post, share it. If you love their recipe, pin it. If you like their tweet, retweet it. Shout the praises of other people from the top of your lungs. Be known as a builder. Be known as a person who supports stuff, someone who people want to have on their side because you are excited for the things other people are doing. Be constantly on the lookout for who you can lift up. We all know how great it feels when someone shares our blog posts or retweets us or repins a pin that’s important to us. Be that person for other people.

 

This isn’t a formula for how to grow your realm of influence, mind you.
But in my experience, a lot of it recently, I’ve seen that when I use my small realm of social media to build, I receive more interaction and support because when it’s my turn to step up to bat, my team remembers how I cheered for them when it was their turn.

What do you think? How do you make the most of your social media influence?


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May 20, 2015
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  • I love this! Agree 100%. 🙂 I love getting comments but also giving comments! And I like to reply to people who take their time to comment. And I think my ‘blog personality’ is 100% my real life personality. I try to make sure I don’t write stuff that I wouldn’t think/say in real life!

    • i’m still working on the comments part of it… i think because i wrote that blog post i feel the need to actually comment now haha. even if it’s something small, just so the blogger knows i’m still engaged in their blog and i’m in their corner, you know?

      yesterday susannah & i were talking about blog personality — it’s such a BIG thing that it’s genuine and real and authentic. you seem real on your blog – like i get a sense of what it might be like to hang out with you, and that’s what i always like in bloggers. 🙂

  • These are excellent tips! I love reacting with readers and other bloggers. I hate when you feel like you’re talking to a brick wall or when sites don’t even give you the option to voice your opinion at all!

    Jebbica

    Jebbica’s World

    • YESSS!!!! the non-comment thing… it makes me SO FRUSTRATED… usually because it’s a blog i actually REALLY want to engage with and it feels so mean and cold to not let me just freaking comment on it!!

  • Ooooh sorry about the mean girl blogger! I’ve had a few experiences like that myself and I immediately unfollow. Don’t be rude to ppl that admire you should be life lesson #1.

    • amen. i mean don’t be rude in general but especially to people that are straight up admirers! i went and double checked that i’m not still following that girl… luckily i’m not! though i should check instagram. it makes me bitter towards her and i’m not down with harboring that kind of stuff in my heart.

  • This is an excellent list, seriously. I love the one about sharing, but still being mysterious. That’s something I am always juggling because I am a pretty (well, very) private person, but I love to share a testimony that could potentially help someone, so I’m always looking for the balance. However, I’m sure I still fall way more on the private side. Also, I know most of my readers in real life so I have to always be mindful not to talk about a situation without someone’s permission or whatever. “Be engaging” really just inspired me to go meet some people on Instagram. Challenge accepted. “Be known as a supporter.” That is such a good tip. You expressed that idea perfectly! Oh yeah, I can’t believe you are trying to get Biebs to RT you, that is too funny! Well, love it…thanks 🙂

    • oh yeah. that’s so tough. i’ve been processing a breakup here on my blog and it’s been quite the journey to be honest and vulnerable but not exploit the person/situation or be mean. there were some consistent readers of my blog who couldn’t actually piece together what happened, and that made me feel pretty good about how i’d handled it. i’m sure that if he came to my blog he’d be upset because he already knows the details and it probably seemed really loud about it, but i didn’t actually share them. it’s definitely a balancing act.

  • Hi Stephanie, this has to be one of the best posts I have read about blogging and social media in a long time. I am so glad I came across it at Turn it Up Tuesday. On the most part I have come across supportive bloggers but I completely get what you mean by the cliques. I am still a relatively new blogger however during my very early days, I had a rather unpleasant experience with a well known blogger who left me feeling inadequate simply because I was new. And maybe because I am Aussie. Who knows? Anyway, keep tweeting Bieber – you never know, he might just tweet you back one day!

    • hey kelly!! i’m glad you came across it, too! i think a lot of the times, people write about how to grow their follower count in numbers and not about how to actually invest in their influence. i’m hoping to write more about it in the future, because it’s something i really have come to believe in! so sorry to hear about your experience with that blogger – people can be such jerks sometimes! i’m glad you’ve been able to find some supportive bloggers; having other bloggers in our corner really makes it easier on the hard days!

      &&i’m not done with the biebs ;D

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  • Stephanie Benton

    This is so great! Thank you for taking the time to remind us other bloggers to just be human. 🙂 I am a new blogger {Launched my blog May 1 this year!} and I can never imagine ever being the rude Queen Bee, but it’s good to just always keep that in mind. I was bullied in school so would never want to make anyone feel like that! <3

    Thanks for writing this Stephanie – great name BTW!

    • hey stephanie (great name FOR SURE!)
      welcome to the blogging world! what’s your blog? i tried to find it but it’s not linked on your disqus profile! i wanted to check it out. glad to know that the blogging world recently got a new, NICE blogger 🙂

      • Stephanie Benton

        Hey Steph, its http://www.CohesiveFitness.com

        My Disquis linked to the wrong profile of me, and I couldn’t figure out how to change it!

        • oh no!! i hope you’re able to figure it out! i think i had to start logging in with a different social media account to get mine to be the right one. maybe try that? also i checked out your blog – i absolutely LOVE it! for having been blogging for less than a month you certainly got the hang of it quickly!

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  • You hit the nail on the head with this post! Thanks for sharing it. I struggle with finding the time to be that supporter on ALL the social media networks. Do you pick your favorite, like Twitter, or do you equally share that love everywhere? Also, we would love if you’d come link up with us on Thursday Favorite Things. Have a great week!

    • hey! i’ll definitely check out thursday favorite things – do you have a link for it?
      i tend to stick to twitter as my primary one, though i try to promote people through Facebook as well but it never seems to get much traction (some people i know have CRAZY success with Facebook, but it doesn’t seem to do much for me). i’d say you should pick the one you like the most and the one that is the most engaging! thanks for stopping by.

      • You have no idea how much this helps. I thought there’s no way I can be active on all of them, all the time! Thank you so much and the link to my blog is http://all-thats-jas.com/. Thursday Favorite Things goes live tonight at 9 pm (EST). It’s hosted on 6 blogs 🙂 See you there!

        • no worries! yeah AND i think it might be overkill, too… you don’t want to burn out on your blog while you’re trying to grow it, you know? you just have to stay real, authentic and accessible and do so only on the platforms you can manage. <3

          i'll definitely be linking up!! <3

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  • sue

    Excellent points Stephanie! I am new to blogging about 3 months, and I just write what I feel. I’m me and if someone doesn’t like my style of writing so be it. I have found two or three very supportive and experienced bloggers who have taken me under their wing which has been great. I suppose being a blogger is like anything – treat others as you wish to be treated. I saw your blog #ThursdayFavoriteThingsBlog. Sue from SizzlingTowardsSixty

    • hey sue! welcome to the crazy world of blogging… it’s quite a beast! my non-blogging friends don’t really get it, but man. there’s SO MUCH TO LEARN! i’m so glad you were able to find people to take you under their wings – i’m trying to do that as much as possible (though i’m not super experienced, just learning). i hope blogging is treating you well! <3

  • Very valid points, Stephanie. I remember how disappointed I was when I first started my blog fan page on Facebook. None of my personal friends were LIKE’ing my page or reading my blog. And that’s when I realized that they were not fans of my blogging. But that was OK! I would rather have people who enjoy my content. Thanks for sharing on Turn It Up Tuesday.

    • hey kimberly! yes… totally true! it’s important to identify the people who DO love our blog content and kind of hone in on what you have to offer for those people. i think it definitely helps create a fun, healthy blog life! <3

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  • Love these tips! Thanks for sharing this. Coming over from Thursdays Favorite Things 🙂

    • alexis! thanks so much 🙂 hope they were helpful 🙂

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