**YOUR OPINION ON THIS MATTERS TO ME** and you’ve probably been directed here through my experimentation with specifically notifying you about this blogpost (sorry, I don’t normally do that, but you’ll read why I have very soon). So, before you close down this window, please spare a few minutes and let me know what you think.
A little background first:
Last weekend I attended the SpotOn London event about Science Policy, Outreach and Tools ONline, and it was so great to chat with old friends, make some new ones, get involved in some fascinating discussions about each day’s topics, and of course grab myself a goody bag and some decent swag from the trade stalls. For those of you who couldn’t attend, you can catch all the sessions and workshops on YouTube by clicking on whichever topic takes your fancy, here: Policy, Outreach and Tools. I was, personally, mostly interested in outreach but I found myself sitting in on some others, too.
The purpose of this blogpost, however, is to investigate a little bit into one particular point that’s been reverberating around my head since the advice was dispensed at the conference, and it’s this whole thing about increasing and improving our online presence and profile through self-promotion.
Whenever I write a blogpost, the extent of my self-promotion is this: tweet my blog-link about 3 or 4 times in the same day it’s published and once or twice on Google+, but never on Facebook. I notice many of the people I follow do the same, but amongst posting on Facebook and a number of other social networking sites, some people, so I’ve observed, actually tag influential twitter users into their blog-link tweet, some also send me messages (email, DMs etc) telling me that they’ve blogged and I’ve also read some tweets that simply just say “please RT”.
I don’t do any of those things because they make me feel awkward and, well, I guess I just fear rejection. But, according to a few people at SpotOn London, apparently these approaches are the types we need to be taking to build up an audience. After I tweeted about this during the conference, a short conversation came about between @eperlste, @AkshatRathi and @artologica, in which it was mentioned that it is OK to tag people and repeat your promotions because that’s how it works. But there was a concern that some may be afraid of looking like an “attention hoarder”, to which a reply was “most people survive”. Which is a great point because I don’t think anyone’s died from not being retweeted.
Another good point was that if you expect others to share your work, you should also be generous to them and share theirs, too.
Also mentioned was that when you do tag influential people into your post, apparently, the worst thing that could happen is that they ignore you. But I’m not so sure that that is the worst thing.
Earn your audience
Personally, I feel that directing people to my bIogpost by me specifically tagging them in tweets etc, rather than them finding it purely by happenstance, would be rather irritating for them. If you irritate people you don’t actually know in this way, especially if you repeatedly do this, I worry that it could come across as being a little arrogant, if not aggressive, and they will be more disinclined to share your work and it may even damage your reputation a little. I think to nudge a few friends towards your blogposts is absolutely fine, if I’m honest, but I do realise I can’t expect them to be as fascinated by my topics as I am. If people just so happen to read my blog-link tweet/post (minus any tagging) and feel a pinch of interest, then it’s there for the reading, and I’m happy with that. I feel that’s a much better way to earn an audience.
What do you think about self-promotion?
I’m interested in what the wider audience thinks. I’d be so grateful if you would please take part in this short poll – please remember to click “vote” to register each of your answers:
Now, by “tagging” I am referring to literally *any* notification you have been directly sent about an article/blogpost etc, so that’s either being tagged in a tweet, a Facebook post, email, DM, text message….you get the idea.
The first three questions, by the way, refer to you being tagged by real people and do not refer to situations involving spam.
Thank you for participating.
So, let’s see how popular and effective (or not) this self-promotion is as I end this by asking you to please share this post (argh!! *cringes a little inside – but thanks you in advance*).