Social Platform Dilemmas

Two blog posts from me in one day. That’s a first. While posting on how to grow as a writer, I realized an interesting dilemma.

This blog has over 1400 followers and has had over 13,000 hits. The blog is linked to show up on the author website, Facebook page, and Twitter. On Facebook people will comment and click the ‘like’ button. I have regulars who take a moment to ‘like’ or comment here on the blog (which I appreciate greatly!). But more people tend to ‘like’ or comment on Facebook rather than here.

And that’s the dilemma because comments and the ‘like’ button are the life-blood to a writer. When you comment you add vital dialog to the subject matter. You make people think about what they just read. You encourage people to add their thoughts. Clicking on the ‘like’ button, or, more importantly, the ‘share’ button, means you’ve just invited your friends to take a peek. All those simple actions do more to help a writer than any paid advertising ever could. But this is about more than advertising.

When I look for a new blog post to read, one of the first things I do is go to the comments section. How many comments does that person get? If it’s only one or two, the blog doesn’t feel active. I’ll read the blog anyway, but may not comment.

So how do you ask followers to comment without begging or cutting into their valuable time? After all comments take more time than simply hitting the ‘like’ button. How do you ask followers to comment on the blog itself as well as the Facebook page? How do you ask people to hit the ‘share’ button rather than the ‘like’ button so more people might see your post?

And how in the world do you do any of that without coming across as desperate for attention? Or coming across as desperate for book sales? After all that’s what it looks like when people ask you to share their blog. When in reality, almost every writer I’ve ever come across wants a comment in order to have dialog and relationships with their readers.

Like I said, that’s life-blood to a writer. Being able to interact with their readers, to chat, to learn from them, to improve their work, and to make new friends.

I don’t know how to solve the dilemma so I’ll just keep tinkering away with blog posts and hoping someone understands that when I daydream about comments it’s not begging for sales, it’s hoping for interaction.

I know, still sounds kind of desperate, doesn’t it? All part of the dilemma.

9 thoughts on “Social Platform Dilemmas

  1. I think that the main reason I read and don’t comment (even when I feel pulled to do so) is that I have to sign in to make a comment. I’ve written comments that I deleted because when I went to press enter I was prompted to put in extra stuff. So embarrassing to admit I have fallen prey to the instant gratification trap: extra steps to leave my comment? No time!
    I imagine that there may even be a way to shorten the process, but I have not figured it out…

  2. I wish I knew the answer to this one. I cry sometimes when something I’m proud of or emotionally invested in goes both unread and un-‘liked’. I’d rather hear a polite reason why they don’t like the kind of thing I wrote. Or if they think I’m boring, etc. When I share things on Facebook they mostly go unseen. Twitter works better for me if two more views of a post counts as better than none.

    I can’t find community anymore on WordPress. Just crickets. Facebook seems like the place to be for those who have lots of friends and can keep up with it, but I find it upsetting and puzzling so I’m rarely there. I go to Medium instead for interaction, but even there it’s hit or miss. Nothing constant.

    I agree with Jenni that asking a question at the end is probably the best way to get a person with time to talk to you. I think a lot of readers don’t get that part of it, the back and forth that thrills us and fuels us.

  3. I often feel as though I’m shouting into a canyon when I post on Facebook or comment on a post, and it is probably a reason I don’t post blogs much anymore and why most of my Facebook posts are shares because they are articles or stuff I want to be able to find again. It’s hard to get people to interact online — hey, it’s even hard to get people to interact when face to face! — actually interact vs. use what you just put some thought and heart into as a vehicle to launch into some kind of pet rant. Back when I was posting regularly on my blogs I’d use StatCounter to see if anyone stopped by so I didn’t have to rely on the Likes or comments. That was fun, and it made me feel like I was reaching an audience. Still, it’s not the same as a conversation.

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