The science of social media

Yesterday morning I attended a presentation on the power of social media (SM). The presentation covered everything from hugely successful social media campaigns such as Pepsi’s Refresh Project to some of the bigger blunders. Even though I was there representing my work, brainstorming for ideas on how we could implement a SM strategy, it got me thinking about it on a personal level as well.

The more I get out there blogging and surfing around, the more I see people are interconnecting themselves between their Facebook, twitter, blogs etc. And at yesterday’s presentation, the speaker talked about companies maximizing and playing off of this interconnectivity so that you have a comprehensive social media presence all feeding off each other – Facebook, blog, twitter, and YouTube accounts all connected and driving content on your website homepage for example. Wow!

On a personal level, obviously I have a blog. The only other social media platforms I really tap into are Facebook and twitter.

I would say I am pretty prolific on Facebook. I am near the 300 mark on friends. I post status updates fairly regularly (although not hourly), use Facebook to plan events, and I post a lot of photos etc. For me, it’s a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. I like to see what old junior high and high school friends are up to by visiting their profiles from time to time, seeing the “goings on” of family located around the world running through my news feed – it’s fantastic. And I like that the relationships are not time or investment intensive. The people I am close to, I have more personal conversations, emails, and face-to-face time with. But Facebook allows me to stay connected to them, as well as those more distant acquaintances, with the click of a button when, where, and how often I want.

Twitter on the other hand, has me a bit lost. I don’t understand the point. I’ve been login on more often to try to get a sense of what people tweet about – how would I use it – how can I leverage it but I am still lost and don’t really see the point yet. 140 characters – do people really want to hear what I am doing right now, where I am at, what I am working on? I don’t think so. I get the news tweets – those make sense. And some of the tweets from our local leaders are interesting. But I still feel like I am missing the point of twitter for personal use.

Although, the SM presentation did highlight how now that I am blogging, I could use both Facebook and twitter to drive traffic and feed off one another – and drive content. Interesting and it’s pretty clear how effective and easy it would be and how those mediums would really enable me to gain readership.

The catch: I haven’t yet “come out” as a blogger to all of my friends and family. I don’t advertise my latest posts on Facebook or twitter, and I know this means I am missing out on an untapped readership. So why haven’t I yet? As of now, I write with a certain level of freedom that comes with anonymity and I am not sure if I want to sacrifice that in the name of blog stats. Or maybe (and more likely) I am just scared of being judged by those who know me? Perhaps a crisis of confidence.

Either way, when I am ready to go “viral”, I can certainly see how tapping into social media platforms will enable me to make the leap!

How do you use social media professionally or personally? Do you capitalize on different platforms to enhance your blog readership?



  1. I know exactly how you feel, I haven’t told anyone that I blog. At the same time now as I try to build up a following I feel that I may need to lose the anonymity that I have valued so much as a blogger. Social media really helps you when you connect your Facebook, Twitter and blog but is it worth it when it comes to my blog which is very important to me. I just don’t know and it’s a very tough decision to have to make.

    • I can’t tell you how nice it is to know that I am not alone in this struggle of readership vs anonymity. You’ll have to keep me posted on what decisions you make and how it turns out.

  2. I think for many blogging is almost a diary of what is on your mind in that moment and time. My wife knows about it and total access to it. There are maybe a few others who but that do not know which one it is.

  3. When I started Delicacies, it was anonymous.. and now that I’m ‘out’ it’s challenging. I have a little tension in the family and an ex-boyfriend who reads so I am constantly censoring myself. So, think carefully about coming out!
    It also means that I don’t have Delicacies connected with my Facebook account either. As for Twitter, I rarely tweet on personal stuff, but I do broadcast blogs and work-related.. I can’t stand the whole, “I”m going to bed now” tweets.

    • Thanks so much Walker! I knew my “fears” were reasonable but part of me wondered if I was just a coward. It’s so helpful to hear the voice of experience. I will definitely think long and hard before I take that step. I agree on Twitter, I feel weird tweeting about personal stuff but work-related info is scarce so I say little. Oh well, perhaps as I watch and follow, I’ll find a twitter voice.

  4. unless your going to bed with me I could care less about your sleeping habits!

  5. I’m so glad you posted this. I thought I was nuts for not “coming out” to all as a blogger. My reasons are similar to yours. Right now, I can write with abandon and don’t have to think “ooo, is so and so going to read that and what will they say.” I don’t have to worry about how the gang of people that know me might judge. I’ve shared the blog with a few friends and think I’ll continue doing that slowly.

    I also don’t get Twitter and don’t have time to sit all day and post the who, what and where of my life. Linking it all probably is a PR trifecta, but like the other commenter said, at what price?

    • Phew – I feel a sign of relief wash over me. It’s nice to hear so many feel the same way as I do. Like you, I’ve shared the blog with my husband, my Mom and Dad, and a few close friends but that’s it. I am sure as time goes on, word will get out here and there, as I am comfortable. Or maybe not. It’s hard to say. I really do enjoy writing with abondonment and without worry about what the peanut gallery may think or say. That’s what it’s all about – that’s why we blog – to write without fear, without anxiety, and without censorship!

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