Blogging and the social media psychePosted 23 August 2011 by Sandy Cosser
Blogging; we’ve been hearing of its imminent demise for the past four years, since Facebook and Twitter started their growth spurts. Suddenly microblogging was the in thing and actual blogging was considered passé. At least by those who slavishly follow trends. The truth is that blogging is not dead, nor is it near death. Blogging still has an important role to play in SEO and social media strategies, not least because it allows you to post content of substance as opposed to quick snippets and updates.
There is a caveat, however. If you’re going to have a business blog you need to manage it properly. You need to invest yourself in the process; it can’t be a half-hearted second thought.
According to Carrie Hill, blogs can be very effective or very ineffective, in which case they do more harm than good. She takes pains to emphasise that blogging is not for everyone and if it isn’t for you then you are better off spending your energy on some other marketing-related task that feels like less of a chore.
Perhaps the most important way to determine whether blogging is for you is to consider whether you actually like writing. If you dread facing an empty Word document, dredging your brain for something to say then you either need to hand the task over to someone else in your company or let your blog go. If you’re going to relinquish the task then you have to be willing to manage it properly. If you can’t be bothered to do that then you really need to let it go.
According to Hill, you’re made for blogging if you have a content plan that maps out what you want to write and when; if you blog regularly (once a day or at least two or three times per week); if you engage with people who comment on your blog; and if you bolster your blog with other social media tools, like Twitter, Facebook and more recently Google+.
Social media fatigue and blogging
Lately we’ve been seeing posts about social media fatigue. Basically, people are getting tired of constantly being on various social media platforms. Consider that a lot of people, especially people in the digital marketing industry, are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. They also blog. Huge chunks of their day are spent monitoring and interacting on social networks. Of course it’s exhausting. So it should come as no surprise that people want to scale back.
Hugh MacLeod is one such person. He has announced his retirement from Facebook and Twitter and instead will focus all his social media efforts on his blog. MacLeod says that his reason for doing so is that Twitter and Facebook are too easy; blogging is more difficult but more rewarding. But it’s not inconceivable that he’s suffering from social media fatigue.
I myself go through phases where the thought of being on Twitter almost makes me physically ill. It feels incredibly superficial and hollow. But I keep going back, which points to the addictive nature of social media, which is something else entirely.
But I never get tired of blogging.
Blogging gives you a voice that 142 character updates can’t. Whether you blog for personal or business reasons blogs, almost by definition, allow you to convey a particular persona to your reading audience. You reveal more of yourself or your brand and that is what keeps people coming back for more.
Blogging is the oldest social media tool. It’s entrenched in the social media psyche and I don’t believe that it’ll ever die.
(Image by Mike Licht, CC by 2.0, via FLickr)