What are your social media motivations?

social media motivationsI’ve been following the debate that has surrounded the Twitter Unfollow Experiment that Chris Brogan started for some time.  It made me think about my motivations to blog and use social media tools.

Why do you blog?

People blog for a host of reasons; self discovery, self promotion, to make money (SHOCK HORROR) and some do it because they feel they should.

The bottom line is, if you blog do it because you want to. Do it HOW you want to.

Why do you follow people on Twitter? Do numbers count?

I’ll be honest here, when I started tweeting I would get so excited when I got new followers and immediately I’d follow them back. Now, I don’t and yes, I regularly unfollow people.

Why? Because I want to follow those who bring VALUE to what I am doing. You might be the coolest person around but unless you tweet and blog about something I am interested in I will not follow you back.

How many people follow you is NOT social proof of how successful you are as Robert Dempsey wrote.

I stopped caring about numbers. I started off tweeting under a different twitter handle and my direction was totally different. I tried to bridge my breastfeeding tweets with entrepreneurship and it didn’t work.

So I started a new twitter account with my old handle. I have 25% of my original following and I follow even less but my conversations are RICHER, more interesting and traffic to my site has increased. What does that tell me? I was looking at the wrong numbers.

Bringing value and spring cleaning social media accounts

This goes back to the question of why you blog. I first started blogging on MummyinProvence because I wanted to share the information I found about having a baby in a foreign country.

I was stunned when I received emails from mothers saying that I’d helped them or they found my posts interesting or even, inspiring. The bottom line was I bringing value to a specific group of people – not the masses.

Chris Brogan, Michael Hyatt et al. have publicly unfollowed their entire Twitter following and received a beating from other bloggers but they have also experienced a spike in traffic (which I am assuming has transferred in to sales).

Is it really that terrible that these people shared their methods? Through sharing they brought value to many. Don’t we all blog to share something? Sharing methods, tips, tools, stories etc … it brings value to someone, or at least we hope.

If someone unfollows me that is fine, I didn’t bring them value. I cannot bring value to EVERYONE.

In the same way I clean up my Facebook from time to time or I erase phone numbers of people I don’t speak to anymore (or have no desire to speak to) – we don’t need to hang on to all of relationships of the past no matter how short the past was. Spring cleaning your social media accounts shouldn’t be any different to clearing your attic or basement.

Motivations differ but the tools are the same. It’s how YOU use them.

We all use the same platforms, some more than others depending on our motivations and what we are going to get out of it. When I am researching breastfeeding I’m not going to hop on to LinkedIn to find that am I?

Our motivations differ. There are many people who are out there to make money. And guess what? That’s fine. Art for arts sake and all that jazz is cool too.

Judging others only takes you away from your focus.

Some use Twitter and Facebook as a way to contact their friends, some use it to pass the time, some don’t know why they use it and some use it for financial gain.

Some say love makes the world go round, yes it does. But money makes loving a whole lot easier.

What are your social media motivations? Why are you here?

18 Responses to What are your social media motivations?

  1. The reason that I am on social media is connect with three groups of people:

    1. Potential customers

    2. People that can help me spread my messages

    3. People I can learn from

    Each of these groups is important for money, influence, and growth. Interestingly these apply to all three groups. So while customers are important to help your business stay in business, the people that help spread your message so you can get in front of more potential customers are hugely important. And without people to learn from you cannot continue to offer value to people.

    So while I have the list ordered 1-3 that does not connote the priority in which I deliver value to the groups, which at the end of the day I must do in order to attract all of them.

    Thought provoking as always Ameena.

  2. Hi Ameena,

    I love that line: Judging others only takes you away from your focus. So very true. I really try hard not to judge others and their actions because I could easily be on the receiving end (and I’m sure have been) for my actions. Our very act of blogging or engaging in social media is a public one; in doing it, we’re putting ourselves out there for inspection. For many of us, myself included, that’s good. It’s my way of getting new business. For others, it draws criticism and judgment – not so good, but it comes with the territory.

    My motivations are much like @RobertDempsey : gain new business, increase my referral network, and learn from others. My first few months online, learning from others was ALL that I did. From there it was a building of my network in order to garner referrals and now it’s all about growing my business. The collateral benefits are that I have made some great relationships and friendships online. Love that part!

    • @EricaAllison@RobertDempsey The relationships we gain online are fascinating and enriching. I love that part too! It’s definitely what keeps us going.

      I do agree that social media and blogging is a very public thing and its important that we remain focussed on our goals in order to make the most out of it. Thanks for stopping by @EricaAllison 🙂

  3. Interesting topic Ameena. TBH I don’t know why I started on social media, I guess it was a way to pass the time.

    Now however, I whole heartedly agree with @RobertDempsey and his reasons why he uses social media. As for blogging, I started (as I am sure most people do) because I thought it would be fun to have a blog. With time, I have learned how blogging can bring value to a business and I am gradually changing the way in which I blog.So I’m making all these changes but hadn’t once thought about a spring clean. How do you do that anyway on twitter? You unfollow one by one? Do you know of an app that shows our what our interaction with followers/people we follow on twitter is like?

    • @SharonHill That’s how I started out – I started blogging just to figure out how the crazy world of social media worked. It was then that I realised the huge potential for business – it’s a trial and error a lot of the time.

      Spring cleaning, I feel is important time to time, cluttering my streams with savvy social media peeps who are interesting but irrelevant to me hide what I am trying to see. There are some sites out there which can tell you who is following you and who’s not – they have removed the mass unfollow options as that goes against the T&C of Twitter but I think Chris Brogan used SocialOomph for that. Usually I unfollow manually when someone does something that annoys me!

  4. Great topic and I am happy you wrote it.

    I need to refocus myself from time to time online. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole someone else dug.

    I think that having a clear project goal and list of actions to support that project helps a lot. Who cares what the others are doing. Someone will always be upset, or happy about something someone else wrote or did online.

    Does it really matter to my business? Absolutely not.

    The important thing is, how can I bring value to my clients. Whining certainly doesn’t.

    • @John Falchetto Refocussing is important, self review of what you are doing, who you are talking to and what you want to achieve is necessary. Complaining will never get your focus on track!

  5. I laughed! Yesterday I was going through my list of people I follow, unfollowing one-by-one. I started to get really upset, so I followed them all back! I’m way too attached to how I think someone MIGHT feel about being unfollowed (Honestly, I don’t think they’d notice!). I really wanted to unfollow those who aren’t following me because obviously they don’t want what I have. But I don’t have the time figure it out one person at a time. Isn’t there a fast way?

    Anyways, my gripe is trying to figure out how to know if you are influencing someone to action. I was talking to my husband about it and concluded that money speaks. If I want to blog about information, then the feedback will look one way. But if I want to know if someone’s REALLY benefiting from me, see if they buy something from me and KEEP it! LOL!

    I’m new and probably very naive about this stuff…but that feels right to me.

    Thanks Ameena!


    • @BetsyKCross Hey! Yes, the emotional attachment is something that is hard at times to break. But, you are right that most people won’t notice. Saying that when I unfollowed someone from one account but added them on another some did notice and got upset that I’d stopped following them from both accounts – they are the exception to be honest.

      There is a site called Twitter Karma http://dossy.org/twitter/karma/ which has the option to see who is following you back – I find it interesting and I admit in the early days I’d feel hurt but that’s gone now!

      Sounds like you have the right idea – money DOES speak … I feel it’s important to remove the emotional attachment in social media and focus on the goal and if making money is that then the relationships should be conducted accordingly. That is not to say that the relationships are not important but the value and the attachment should be handled like @RobertDempsey listed.

      At the end of the day, if you had a shop and your customer was nice and chatty, you hit it off but then never see them again – would you be sad? Probably not – why should social media be any different?

  6. Great post Ameena. I never thought i would even be on twitter, facebook or linked in, let alone blogging on my own website. Wow. the main reason is to try and help others and make a difference. My hope is that it will lead to a successful busines and financial gain. The people I have met on line have made it all worthwhile. Just being on social media for about 4 months and my website up for 40 days, I am so blessed and grateful for what is going on. Being Faithful and Grateful the monetizing will start soon. Thanks again.

    Been bitten or stung lately ? Need to go sign up at John’s 30 day challenge. Oh boy.

    • Hey Al! Thanks. You are doing great! Your site is amazing. Keep me posted!

      Yes, got stung a few days ago … it’s the grape harvest here so the wasps are out in force.

      Now, onto that challenge! See you over on the #Expat30 side!

  7. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

  8. Why do I blog? I don’t think I would’ve been able to answer that question a few months ago. I can answer it now, although my answer may and probably will be different a year from now. I blog to increase awareness about my brand – that answer probably is the consistent one – and to start to gain new business leads. I do that by writing about writing, social media, and entrepreneurship.

    Why do I use social media? Those are the tools that are available. I have to be able to share my blog. I need to be able to share interesting information. I have to be sociable. As my mother tells me, “To have friends, you must show yourself friendly.”

  9. If there weren’t a big financial return on my time investment, I would not be here. Plain and simple. We all only have so much time in our days and if I have to choose between something that will lead to business or something I love to do, I’m going to choose the former.

    • That’s true. BUT! You do have your cooking site? That’s something you love? I know you don’t spend anywhere near as much time doing that obviously.
      Thanks for adding to the conversation Gini!

      • Ha! Great point. I don’t consider blogging social media – I consider it content or digital communication. If I didn’t have this whole business thing, I would definitely be using my cooking blog as my launching pad to my own TV show. Alas.

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