Monday, February 09, 2009
My biggest social media mistakes
I hear it all the time from people that are new to blogging and social media. "I don't feel like I should be blogging or on Twitter. All these other people know everything, what can I tell them?"
Here's a secret when it comes to social media; no one knows everything, and everyone makes mistakes. I've made more than my fair share, in fact here's some of my biggest ones:
1 - It took me WAAAY too long to 'get' Twitter. Look at the above graph. That shows how many tweets I have left each month since I joined Twitter in March of 2007. Notice that I only left a handful of tweets every month up till December of 2007. Till then, most of my time on Twitter was spent tweeting links to my new blog posts. That's right, I was a broadcaster. Thankfully, I finally 'got' Twitter, but it damned sure took me long enough.
2 - It took me over a year to post my pic on this blog. Remember this classic? The reason why I never added my pic was because I didn't think it mattered. It does. People will connect easier with your real face than they will a plastic Fonzie.
3 - A couple of years ago something funny happened one day here. An 'A-Lister' linked to one of my blog posts, and then another did, and before I knew it my post was on the top of the front page of Tech Meme. And in 2006, this was a really big deal. And I saw my traffic jump up, and loved it. But here's where I made my mistake, I started changing the topics I wrote about, to try to get on Tech Meme again. The next day I wrote about something more tech-related, and sure enough, I got picked up by Tech Meme again. And I got a nice bump in traffic again. But I also noticed that for all this traffic I was getting, no one was commenting. I realized it was because I had all these tech readers coming to my marketing/social media blog, and leaving as soon as they got here. Traffic is fine, but relevant traffic is even better.
4 - I have the most idiotic blog URL ever. Have you ever actually looked at The Viral Garden's URL? It is http://moblogsmoproblems.blogspot.com You only pick a URL like that when you assume that no more than 3 people will ever read your blog. Thankfully I was wrong on my blog's readership, but my failure to plan ahead in choosing my blog's URL is pretty apparent.
5 - I didn't start blogging until 2005. And the reason why? Because I felt like I didn't have anything to say. What would I blog about? Who would care to read what I had to say? I assumed no one would, and that's why I waited until 2005 to start blogging. Sound familiar?
My point in writing this post is to show you that we all make mistakes when it comes to social media. And more often than not, the people that are viewed as being the 'experts' or 'gurus' in this space are the ones that have made the MOST mistakes.
So don't buy into this 'I don't have anything to say/tweet/post about' nonsense. Get out there and make your mistakes, because that's the best way to learn. And besides, one of those 'social media experts' has probably already made all the same mistakes you will.
What mistakes have you made? Share them in comments!