I’ve been out of commission for almost two weeks. After managing to catch the mother of all colds, I wandered through each day in a maze of meds, vapour rub and snotty tissues (TMI, I know). It was all I could manage just to do the school run and make dinner, far less read and respond to email and make my usual rounds on Twitter, my blog and the rest of my virtual network.
A few days ago I started to emerge from the haze and realised that my social media stats had suffered right along with me. No posts? Well, blog visits dropped astronomically, until my WordPress page cryptically advised under ‘Top Posts and Pages’ that there were ‘no posts to display’ and helpfully asked if I wanted more blog traffic. Things weren’t much better on Twitter. Far from the 50+ new followers per day I’d started to attract, new followers dropped to about 3 per day and unfollowers increased. Sigh.
It’s a cold, hard truth about social media, I’m afraid – she withers with inattention!
From the moment I failed to tweet, blog and pin, I started to be …. forgotten. Remember that post about my blog being a cannon? Well, not only was I no longer projecting my brand for the attention of the the virtual world, but even the people who already knew I was there began to pay about as much attention as they would a rusting relic in a museum! Unless you like museums, that means none.
It’s time for a turnaround.
I talked a bit about what I’m trying to do via social media here. It’s impossible to connect with anyone if there’s no content. And, as this article reminded me, consistency of content is vital for social media interest to stay steady, and grow.
So what does a girl do if life gets in the way and generating (new) blog content is temporarily impossible (or too hard to contemplate)? Here are my 3 top tips:
1. Find free content on-line and blog it! – Duh, why didn’t I think of this last week? Find content worthy of your blog on a site like Articlesbase, and away you go! If you don’t have the time or the inclination to search for an article, what about posting an image that expresses what you’re feeling or what you’re up to? No words required. Check out Foter.com or Wikipedia Commons (both free). Make sure you credit appropriately, of course! You can also look for interesting sights or scenes as you go about your day, take a snap with your mobile, and post. Fifteen seconds or less. Guaranteed!
2. Re-blog! – You know that stream of blog-posts on your WordPress homepage with the latest posts from all the blogs you’re following? Well, there’s a re-blog button at the top of most, if not all of those posts. One click and you’ll generate some good blog-karma by sharing someone else’s post with your readers. Perfect way to connect with your followers if you’re pressed for content, and great exposure for the other blogger. One of these days, someone will do this for you, and garner your blog some new followers to boot.
3. Send a note – What’s the right thing to do if you’re gonna be absent from work? Give someone a ring, right? Hello! Why do we think life is so different in the virtual world? Surely you can manage, in 140 characters or less, to tell your tweeps you’re ill! Or travelling….. or about to have a baby … or going through something. Not everybody wants to (or can manage) a full post at times like these. But remember that, while the not-yet-following don’t know you exist and therefore won’t miss you, chances are you have at least one follower coasting by, wondering why the lights are off at the time you used to offer cake and coffee. If you’re not careful, they might just decide to check out that new place down the road …..