Creative Spotlight: Blogging Versus Social Media

In the technological age we find ourselves in today, sharing thoughts with the world is easier than ever. There are plenty of tips and tricks to maximize readership and get your voice heard, including marketing yourself on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn to name a few of the more popular channels. In fact, it’s almost impossible to have a blog without social media.

Yet with every social media outlet comes added responsibility. Marketing a blog on social media means acquiring followers. Getting followers means spending copious amounts of time building a following. This time takes away from time that you could spend writing a blog. So what is the balance between using social media to market yourself and spending more time on social media than your blog?

Social Media As a Marketing Tool

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According to new research, younger audiences consume more social media than television. Millennials spend an average of five hours per day on user-generated content. Social media has become one of the biggest sensations of the new millennium to the point where it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t have at least one social media account. It’s no surprise that bloggers find most of their followers through social media. One of the best ways to market yourself and your blog is by gaining followers on any of these social media platforms and sharing posts.

As blogs become more popular and gain more followers, it shouldn’t be a surprise that big companies start to reach out to these social media influencers to market their products. A recent survey supports that using social media influencer marketing is profitable for brands and organizations, and it costs almost nothing. With companies now including content marketing and social influencer strategy in their marketing budgets, bloggers have even more of an incentive to increase their audience with the hopes of securing more affiliates.

Social Media As a Networking Tool

Not only can bloggers use social media to build their brand, increase customer engagement, and even gain sales, but it can be an important networking tool. Before social media, networking consisted solely of attending meetings for like-minded people, connecting with people through mutual contacts, or asking colleagues for referrals. It can be much more time-consuming than networking from the Internet.

Today, bloggers can network with peers who have the same passions as themselves by searching hashtags, joining a group or chat, or reading other blogs that pique their interests. Some social media stars have millions of followers or viewers, many gained through social media networking. In today’s day and age, social media is as strong a networking tool as any other.

Social Media As a Way to Stay Connected

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Providing quality content your audience wants to read is of utmost importance when it comes to blogging. The best way to know what people are looking for is by searching for trending topics on social media. Social media makes the world a smaller place by connecting everyone with the click of a mouse, so both national and global topics are easy to find. If you want to create a hig- quality blog post, give the people what they want to read by checking social media’s trending topics.

Social Media As a Distractor

If you were starting to think social media sounded too good to be true, you might be right. Social media is a great way to stay connected to the world, gain an audience to grow your blog, and market yourself, but when does the emphasis become too great on social media and not enough on writing your next post?

Posting on social media only works if you have a large enough following, and the only way to get lots of followers is to spend time on social media. Sometimes this can take hours each day to promote yourself to the point where people can find you easily. By the time you’re done, you may not want to look at a computer screen anymore. So when can you find time to write a post? Procrastinators might put it off until a month has gone by and their blog hasn’t seen anything new. Now they have the following but not the quality content to keep their audience engaged.

Finding a balance between writing creative content and marketing it on social media can be a slippery slope. A good way to combat neglecting one area is to combine social media and blogs, making sure that for each social media post, you also write a blog post, and vice versa. Additionally, there are some social media helpers that will schedule posts for you, leaving you time to write your precious creative content.

Social Media As an Inhibitor

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Another problem with social media is that every eye-grabbing social media and blog post requires at least one good picture, and bloggers start to see life through a camera lens. This take on life can sometimes stop the focus from being on the topic at hand and become all about how to get the best picture with the best lighting from the best angle. Blogging turns into photography, and when you can’t get that perfect shot, the blog might fall behind.

While a pretty picture is nice to look at and draws attention to the words, it’s important for bloggers to realize that readers are coming for the content, not just the pictures. Remember not to let social media distract you from your true purpose: blogging.

Blogging and social media have become alternatives to traditional media. With the ability to join the online social world with a computer click or phone tap, it’s easier and faster than ever to stay connected. More people are looking toward online social media and blogging presence for information than to television or radio, as they did in the past. As blogs and online presence continue to grow, it’s important to analyze how social media affects blogging.

Social media can have positive effects like being a fast, easy, and free marketing outlet, using time efficiently to network, or keeping you up to date with current trends. It can also cause writers to lose sight of the long-term goal of writing blogs. With social media and blogs becoming increasingly popular in this age of technology, writers must learn to balance these pros and cons when it comes to blogging.

About the author

Alyssa Acree