How I Fail At Social Media

Nobody is perfect right?  I’m certainly not, and that is also the case as it pertains to my social media usage and strategies.  I’d like to think I get a few things right of course, but I’m not without my failures and what better way then to parade them out into the open for all to see right?  Some might think I’d be foolish to do so, but part of the reason I think I’ve found the level of success with my blog over the years is by delivering an authentic, transparent voice.  I believe that the most amazing folks in the world are those that are very driven, successful, confident, but balance it with a big dose of generosity and humbleness.

So with that, I’ve come up with my list of social media failures.  I’ve based this list mainly on my blog and some of the areas I’ve failed to improve upon.

  1. Facebook – You’d think that on the grand daddy of them all, I’d have found a way to find success using Facebook to promote my blog, but it’s been a dog for me for as long as I can remember.  While it is the #4 source of traffic on my blog, it is a distant 4th.  I share my blog posts on both my profile and recently created page, but neither hardly ever draw any conversation or sharing.  In most cases, the majority of any major uptick in FB traffic directly results from significant happenings in my personal life which I try to stay away from on my blog.  I can understand the lack of interest from my personal profile as many of those folks aren’t as interested in what I write about.  Where I’m failing currently is figuring out how to get the 730 folks on my FB page to do so.
  2. Backlinks – I haven’t had a lot of luck getting folks to link back to my content.  On one hand, I’m not entirely surprised as I don’t really ask for it much, nor do I guest post very often.  On the other hand, I’d like to think the content I write inherently drives other folks to want to link to it.  The bottom line is I just never really  have the time to do much about it.
  3. StumbleUpon – I’ve just never really got StumbleUpon.  I’ve tried it on numerous occasions but I just don’t get it.  It doesn’t provide any value for me.  I don’t have time to just “stumble” around looking at site recommendations.  90% of the time I know what I want, and I go get it, and when I don’t, I use search or recommendations from my network.  I know it has the potential to be a great traffic generator, but I haven’t figured it out yet.  They frown upon just self-promoting, but even in the instances that I have, I haven’t gotten much.  Regardless I’ve included the button in my social sharing icons in hopes that eventually it will.
  4. Email Newsletter – Every blogger and their sister will tell you that you need to have an email newsletter.  Some sort of call to action to turn your traffic into getting connected to folks email.  My problem is that I just don’t have enough to share exclusively in an email newsletter that I just wouldn’t prefer to throw up on my blog.  I’d probably be more motivated to do so if my blog was meant to be a cash generator, but at this time it isn’t.
  5. Video – YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world and I barely do anything about that.  I used to make some pretty silly videos back in the day, but I have failed to try and implement video posts into my blog.  In addition to people traditionally eating up that sort of content, it’s just another way to tap into the massive audience there.  If I had more time, I’d probably churn out a few screen capture videos that I thought might be useful, but the thought of just my talking head doesn’t seem that much more compelling then me putting it into words.

Those are the ones that jump out at me these days.  Some of them are certainly more of a reflection of a lack of time being a part-time blogger as a hobby, but there’s certainly some swings and misses as well.  Would love any of your feedback or suggestions from folks who’ve shared similar failures or have some advice on the above.

Comments

  1. I would love to get cracking at making videos, but there is one massive hurdle I need to overcome; time. I simply do not have the time to make a video that would meet my quality standards. Wish I did, but publishing a written post is much quicker and less painful then creating a video.

    1. Same reason I haven’t worked them in myself. I don’t want to create a video just to create a video. Has to be a subject that lends itself to being useful for that format.

  2. Dear Jason,
    I love your post. Like anyone else who cares about their social media presence or work, its normal to evaluate where you are at, what you could do better… I think its really cool that you just lay it all out here. Here is my humble feedback – but I think it will make a difference, I checked out your facebook page, and I think the problem is you are just posting your blogs on there…When you post your blogs, you don’t write an intro, or anything, you just write out the title of the blog itself. In a way, thats not very interactive…so if i read your blog, i would be inclined not to comment on your FB post, simply because the title of a post is not really drawing me into conversation…. I did notice the contest, but in your case what I would have done was linked Ambers name to her FB, so it would have then showed up on her timeline, and then all her friends would have seen it and commented. I think Amber is awesome, yet I never saw the post…

    In regard to video, you say you don’t think that the subject is lending itself to the video. Well, how about thinking of it from this point of view..this post could have easily had a video version worked into it. You could have verbally explained your thoughts, and posted the video in this post. People would then see it on youtube, Google plus, etc, and then you can also get mileage off the post. If I had seen a video, I would have hit play and then been able to do other things while listening to you, I also would have gotten to know your personalty better and felt more connected, as opposed to just reading this post.

    In regard to the email newsletter, you don’t necessarily have to post totally different content there, personally I have a few key people i follow newsletters of, and I love it because it helps me keep up with them. Its a great tactic to say you are going to give a little extra only to your newsletter fans, but if your content is interesting and people like you, they just may be happy with the newsletter as it stands – i appreciate the few newsletters I have decided to subscribe to, and its not because I am getting a little extra, its because I like the blogger and i like that I don’t miss *their* posts…. Why not just do it, after you get it rolling you can always start changing it up.

    I think your content is great, you don’t need me to tell you that, so…I hope this helps… Just my perspective since you asked…and BTW I think you rock~ Mila

    1. First off, I think you rock for leaving such a lengthy, thoughtful response! Much appreciated. I agree with most of what you’ve shared. It’s not so much that I don’t realize these things as much as it’s a matter of a lack of time to execute most of them. I do need to do a better job of framing my blog posts and sharing other things on my FB page.

      Thanks again for stopping by the and the great insights!

  3. I am currently failing at Facebook and an email list as well. For my blog it doesn’t make a lot of sense right now. As I start building my copywriting business, and have an actual business blog, I think it will work as a better strategy.

  4. Hey Dan

    Really admire your honesty!

    I’m currently suffering from a similar predicament regarding Facebook. I have taken over a clients Facebook page that was set up as a ‘person’ rather than a ‘business’ therefore has over 400 ‘friends’ instead of ‘likes’. This means I’m trying to convince said 400 friends to migrate over to the official fan page for the businesses, but currently stuck on 29 likes! Trying to find the right convincers is hard!

    1. Being very new at all this Social Media stuff I was a bit surprised to learn that FB has not been an effective tool for you. It’s been very effective. What I do find is that I had to come to understand that my personal friends and family love me, but truly are not interested in my business. Even in real face to face time, my friends and family have not been the ones that support my business. It’s my customer’s who become my friends, and thus slowly, one authentic like or follower on twitter connect me which in tern creates that interest dance. I do not get hung up on how many “likes” I currently have on FB (I think maybe 15) because they came by way of finding my business, liking what they saw and interacting. It is a new kind of business. One I am learning. No more walking into a room of people and having people gather around to hear what you have to say. Wow. Really good blog. Thx, Elizabeth

  5. Jason,

    Your honesty about where you are and what you are (and are not) doing in social represents huge value. You’re one of the FEW Forbes50 that I take time to read.

    Mentions and Links

    Getting linked mentions in blog posts is four parts excitement about you and your success, one part reciprocity, one part hope to make your next blog-based shout out, and one part liberal link love. Needless to say, this is not a time sink. You just need to lift up the little people. Like me! [grin]

    Facebook

    Mila is dead on. And I feel the same way as you about time. What you need is a social media intern. Guy Kawasaki said it year ago. He couldn’t do what he does on social without a hand full of interns.

    StumbleUpon

    Another task for interns or social media assistants.

    Video

    Collaborate with some video editing peeps to make 1 to 2 minute intros to your blog posts. You’re a good looking guy and so it’s not like you have to make a hard sell on the genius. Consider a mutually beneficial arrangement. I have some ideas too – if you are interested.

  6. Jason–love your post! Really refreshing writing style and honesty, as several pointed out.

    I concur with Mila’s comments across the board. I see that you are already capturing email addresses via your ‘Get free updates in your inbox’ CTA. Is there a reason why you are thinking of a newsletter with content that is different from your blog? Like Mila, I get ‘newletters’ that are simply blog posts that drive to my inbox, which I like as a reminder to read them.

    I think you may be overthinking the video content [your response to Garth ‘has to be something useful for that format’]. People digest content in different ways, and many just LIKE the easy-to-digest visuals.

    Thanks for the post!

  7. I’m just a blogger but not a marketer, however I learn so much thing in collecting several ideas that I got in every post… I think some are folks but there’s still that bring a huge help for a great change…

  8. It was a wonderful blog. I am a newly blogger, I’m exploring my knowledge through blogging.

  9. That is a great post. Thanks for sharing your informative blog with us. Looking forward for the next knowledgeable post.

  10. Hp would be hiring for that apple would be hiring for this postion ibm would hire for this postion miscosoft would hire for this postion kinko is another one and i think the base rate would probably with experience be 15.00 to 25.00 and hour going bye the experience listings..

  11. Life is about trying and learning from it either, social media has a huge part in providing me different kind of ideas that make on a purpose and be a great person… failing is about learning, think it on and consider as a basing materials…

  12. The online social media community presents massive potential for any marketers and advertisers looking to promote products, services and events. However, many businesses fail to fully exploit this potential because they are sending out the typical, traditional press releases, which disappear into cyberspace without a trace.

  13. I can relate… As a new blogger I am trying to grow my “blog community” but some social networking sites just don’t do anything for me. It almost seems that social media isn’t really doing it’s job half the time. But then again, I must be patient… Rome wasn’t built in a day.
    E

  14. Dear Jason,

    Thank you for existing ! With your help and Janets help I was able to become self employed! I took the advice in your website and turned it into a $500,000 a year empire! Please continue to help others and continue to touch their lives the way you have helped me, my family, and the countless people who’s lives I improve through my companies !!!!

    Sincerely ,
    Dan.
    CEO of :

    http://ClosetPayDay.com
    http://SwaggerSpot.com
    http://MyStateTalk.com

  15. Wonderful post Jason! Few people are willing to humble themselves even if they don’t need to and that is much appreciated as it gives even the newest bloggers hope. Still working things out myself on Facebook.

    You could take maybe a half hour out of the day to just scroll down your News Feed and like or comment on statuses, poke people and wish Happy Birthdays. Also something that I do is maybe post some kind of quote that people may find interesting and will like because that will open your page up to their friends.

    Hope this helps…

  16. You really had a beautiful post Jason. You are so brilliant to have this idea. Its really true that Facebook to promote my blog, but it’s been a dog for me for as long as I can remember.

  17. I took the advice in your website and turned it into a $500,000 a year empire! Please continue to help others and continue to touch their lives the way you have helped me, my family, and the countless people who’s lives I improve through my companies !!!!

  18. Social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are an advertising and marketing gold mine for business owners. They provide access to current customers and offer the potential for new clientele. Despite the ease of using social media outlets for business marketing, approaching it the wrong way can be detrimental instead of beneficial.

  19. Thanks for your honesty. Everybody makes mistakes in his life, that unavoidable. The wisdom
    is to learn from those mistakes in order not to repeat them. By the way, I find youtube to be my primary place for learning new technologies and concepts (such as C# or other programming languages). it become extremely important to have some presence there.