Every post or guide about growing a blog mentions social media. From marketing to conversations to trends, social media platforms provide the space for it. They have an almost infinite potential to help your blog grow.
But how necessary is social media for bloggers? If you don’t have a platform connected to your blog, is it the end? Do you NEED to be on every platform to grow your blog? Which one will work for YOU? Will social media even work if you don’t have detailed strategies?
I’m going to discuss all of that and more today. This post is a discussion, not a guide. But it is meant to help you with social media for your blog.
- 1 how is social media beneficial to bloggers?
- 2 is social media necessary for bloggers?
- 3 do you need to be on all social media platforms?
- 4 how to choose the right platforms for you and your blog
- 5 endnotes
Firstly, why should we even consider social media so much? Why do we go for it?
Social media is THE place to find an audience and like-minded people whether it is for fun, for marketing, or for finding your tribe. Most people use at least one popular social media platform. Hence, it provides the perfect medium to share and discover.
But the best thing about social media is that it does not have boundaries. You are not limited to an audience within your state or country. If your content is widely relevant, the possible audience is also huge.
Here are a few specific ways it helps bloggers:
- Traffic through direct link-sharing, plugging work at appropriate places, sharing knowledge, participating in events etc.
- Grow your brand which leads to more opportunities and traffic.
- Networking through social media opens so many doors.
- Trends are easier to notice on social media platforms.
- Learn about many things, especially small things through word of mouth.
There are more ways it helps but this post is not about that. So let’s move on.
Short answer: no. Long answer: it is complicated, as most things are.
First of all, I believe that social media is not absolutely necessary for bloggers. Our area of content creation and publishing is our blogs. We can network by visiting other blogs and commenting on them too. If you blog on WordPress, it’s so easy to find new blogs through the explore feature on WordPress. It’s also easy to put out your blog.
When I started blogging, I didn’t have any social media linked to my blog. I visited other blogs through WordPress and added tags to my posts. That was enough to kickstart my blog’s following and grow it significantly. My blog got over 500 followers in a few months without starting a Twitter account.
So no, social media is not a need-or-die thing for bloggers. But you have to admit, it definitely helps. I’ve learnt a lot in my years of blogging and this is one of them.
The main benefit is networking. Be it making friends with whom you can discuss blog things, ask opinions, or collab with; be it putting out your name for possible opportunities with brands; or even being reached out to by someone since you’re available on social media. Any and all networking helps.
It helps no matter how much work you actually put into it. Let’s take me as an example. I’m having a huge slump with the internet and social media right now. I barely open the apps, I don’t socialize much, and I barely post. Twitter is my platform of choice but I barely tweet. My Instagram is completely stagnant.
BUT. I do take notice of the few things that I see. I get DMs from people who found my blog through search engines and message me to talk more on the topic. I also use it to catch up with a few internet friends who will get parts of me way better than my friends in real life.
While social media is not a necessity, the option of having a live conversation with others is a huge boon that translates into blogging. I started talking to Amanda about random blogging things recently. We share information and encourage each other. It feels great and helps! Some people have entire groups of people with whom they have this relationship.
Networking is possible without social media but it is harder. Comment sections and emails exist but it is just not that friendly for conversations. Back when I didn’t have social media, I found it very hard to connect with other bloggers. I much prefer having a Twitter and Instagram account even if I don’t post on them much.
Promotion through social media is unlike anything else. That helps a TON for blogs. It totally depends on the type of content and type of platform, but there is a platform for everybody.
Although I’m on multiple platforms, my main platform is Twitter because I like that it is more word-heavy than image- or video-heavy. Sharing blog post links on Twitter sends me quite some traffic. I haven’t been promoting much recently and I can clearly see the difference.
Blogs do get traffic without social media. It is possible to gain attention just by commenting on other blogs and participating in things. And SEO is a magical thing that is capable of sending a LOT of traffic. But traffic through social media is more immediate and it helps one share links directly to audiences. Of course, it involves quite a bit of effort, but the effort pays off.
So, whether a blogger needs to be on social media depends on their goal. If your blog is a hobby blog where you only post and move on, it isn’t necessary for you. But the minute you look at stats and connections, social media is the most obvious route.
If you can’t tell yet, I’m firmly for social media. Bloggers should have social media accounts linked to their blogs if they want to do more with their blogs than just posting.
But does that mean bloggers need to be on ALL platforms? Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, Facebook—and these are just the most popular ones. Every platform requires different types of content, networking within the app, and more. If another platform comes up tomorrow, will we add that to our plates as well?
The only ones who can manage all are social media managers, to be honest. I don’t think people who use these platforms to help something else can manage it all. Especially not bloggers who have to write content, blog hop, and maintain blogs.
Being on all platforms can mean not doing well on any platform. You would be splitting your attention to them all and none of the apps will be getting enough to do well. Take Instagram, for example. The app requires us to spend our entire day on the app to get something back. Reels, IGTV, feed, stories, and whatever new thing they add going forward. One has to be in all the areas to do well.
Instagram is extreme but most apps require a certain amount of attention and effort to give returns. We simply don’t have the time for that.
Doing well on one platform is much better than being on all platforms. Especially if that one platform fits your brand and content. Sure, more platforms help, but one good platform > multiple average platforms.
Hence, being on all platforms is not necessary for bloggers. It can be a burden. Picking and choosing the best platform(s) for you will be good.
how to choose the right platforms for you and your blog
The best social media platforms for other bloggers may not necessarily be the best ones for you. When choosing, only consider how it will work for YOU. You can take cues from bloggers who have similar blogs or content, but your path will not be the same as anybody else’s.
Here are a few questions and pointers to help you decide.
1. what content do you shine at?
There are many different types of content. The most obvious categories are written words, photos, and videos. But you can go even beyond that.
Do you like short videos or long videos? Do you prefer your words to take the attention or the images? Do you want to have layers in your content (professional vs casual) or stick to one?
If you’re good at photography or images in whatever way, Pinterest and Instagram are the go-to platforms. They require aesthetic planning and it helps if you have aesthetic things at home to take photos of. Basic knowledge of graphics also helps.
If you’re good at short, catchy videos, go for Pinterest and TikTok. You can recycle the content for Instagram Reels as well. But obviously, if you go for Instagram, you have to consider the other forms of content and your interaction time on the app.
If you’re good at writing and having conversations, Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit are good. You can also try Tumblr for writing, quotes, and short commentary.
If you’re good at quickly making content based on trends, TikTok and Reddit are great platforms.
2. what do you like to do?
What content you shine at might not necessarily be what you like to do. Even if it is, you need to consider what you like within it.
Do you find it easier to take pictures and post videos? Is your home or space aesthetic and eye-catchy? Go for Instagram and TikTok. Do you want to show your life and take your audience along? Do you like having real-time live conversations? Instagram!
If you prefer to make informational videos more than other types, Pinterest is a great option. Do you like making graphics but don’t like photography? Again, Pinterest.
Do you like to quickly give updates and talk to people? Do you want to post content without having to work too hard on everything? Would you rather not show pictures of yourself or your life? Twitter! It’s also the option to go for if you want to have very casual conversations and relationships with your audience.
If you want to be a part of groups and socialize with many people in one place, Facebook is a good option. It is also helpful if you like being part of conversations but struggle at starting them. Facebook doesn’t require creating content for posting in groups so that is nice too.
3. what do you like to see?
These are social media platforms that make up the attention economy. You are not likely to get very much from them if you don’t interact with others’ content. You have to put in interaction and engagement that you want to see returned. That is how it works for everything.
It would help if you liked the content that you have to interact with. I tried sticking with Instagram but it is hard because I prefer words over images and videos. In fact, I hate having to watch videos. So trying to put in the interaction and time on Instagram requires way more motivation than what I have. I can’t keep it up consistently.
Do you like to see videos with no end in sight? Do you prefer images and aesthetics? Do you prefer just words or a combination of words and videos?
Take the time to really see what platform you spend the most time on and what content makes you happy to see.
4. how much time do you have?
This is the BIGGEST point to consider. Take your answers to the questions posed above and look at them with how much time they take from you. Question if you can afford that much time.
You may like Instagram but if taking photos, writing captions, posting on stories, IGTV, reels AND interacting takes more time than what you have, it will not work well. You will become demotivated over time.
If your choice is taking more than you have to spare, you have to find a way to keep up while not spending too much time on it. Or you’ll need to cut down some of the plans.
If you have the required time, amazing! Go for it.
Make sure that you’re not overextending yourself with social media. If your blog is your main platform, you shouldn’t be spending more time on social media than your blog. Spending a lot of time in return for crumbs is a waste. You might as well not bother and focus on your blog completely.
After reading this post and forming opinions and choices, make sure to try them out. You will never know if something will or won’t work for you until you actually try it.
Before writing something off, try it for a month. You may think that videos are not for you but you may like them once you try different types and find your type of content. You may not like Twitter with its short-lifespan content but you may like the conversations that it allows.
On the flip side, don’t expect a lot from something before trying it out. You may think that Pinterest is great because it focuses solely on content and not conversations or personal profiles. But maybe you won’t like how it barely focuses on words and is only about images and videos. Or you may think Facebook is perfect but you might not fit in with the type of conversations that you find there.
Also, the actual workings of every social media platform are different. While the content might work for you, the user interface and experience may not be for you. You have to like the app as well.
Be okay with changes over time. Whether they are changes in the platforms as updates roll out, changes in your preferred content, or in your lifestyle which affect your content. You may not be able to stick to one platform for several years. You may want to switch your attention to another platform. That is totally okay!
It is better to switch and start from scratch on something that you like than stay and struggle with a platform that demotivates you.