Up until recently, Facebook was the only social networking tool that I really used. I tried MySpace briefly when it first came out, but it really wasn’t my thing. When I started getting serious about blogging, I realized that if I wanted to “make it” at all, I’d have to go a little further into the daunting world of social networking. But the options were overwhelming. Social networks, social bookmarking, and now even social “hey, I like this picture a lot!”-ing (sorry, I can’t think of another term to describe Pinterest). After a few months of trying this and that, I’ve finally got it narrowed down to just a few that I focus on. The rest, I can take or leave.

The tools I love…

 

  •  Facebook- This was the first social networking site that I really used, and the one I still like the best for keeping in touch with people. I use it to keep up with my favorite blogs as well as my family and friends. Plus I’m a little addicted to Frontierville. I started a page for Pretty Opinionated back in March, and I’m getting super close to 1,000 fans, which is very exciting. I think Facebook is an important tool for bloggers because it makes it easy to give your readers an idea of what to expect on your blog each day and interact more with them.
  • Twitter-It took me a while to get into Twitter, and I still don’t use it as much as I should. Everything goes way too fast for me. But I do check in several times a day and try to interact with both my followers and those that I am following (which is usually a mutual thing). My tweeting is a work in progress, but I do like it because it has gotten me quite a bit of traffic over the last few months. My biggest problem is keeping my tweets within the maximum characters. I am a verbose person, in case you haven’t noticed!
  • Stumble Upon– This social bookmarking tool is definitely a must for bloggers. I really didn’t know much about beyond the fact that it was fun to hit the little “stumble” button until  Jennifer at Makobi Scribe taught us how to use it in her blogging group. She has a great tutorial on how to succeed with Stumble Upon. In the last week or so, I’ve gotten over 800 pageviews from Stumble Upon alone, and I know some bloggers have gotten into the thousands on just one post. Food bloggers, you definitely want to take advantage of this, as recipes seem to be the most popular Stumbled posts. Just avoid stumbling anything time-sensitive, because once you Stumble a post, it’s there forever, and if someone comes along a month from now and sees your post for a great deal on an Ipad 2, they’re going to be ticked when they find it’s expired, and give you a “thumbs down.”
  • Google +– The verdict is still out on this one. I’m not too into the social networking aspect of it yet, but it takes me time to adapt to change. But I do like the little +1 button a lot more than I thought I would.  I use Chrome when checking out other blogs because I have the toolbar for +1 and Stumble Upon, so it makes it a lot easier. Credit for that tip also goes to Jennifer at Makobi Scribe, by the way.

…and the tools I can do without.

 

  • Pinterest– I know everyone is totally in love with this one, but I just don’t see it yet. I tried it a few times, but if I see a picture I like, I can just save it to my computer or click “I Like It” on my Stumble toolbar. It just seems too time consuming to pin it, label it, and file it in some sort of folder. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but I’ve yet to successfully pin a picture. If I have, it went somewhere that I can’t find it. However, for those of you that are into it, or are more curious about it, I recommend checking out Moana Save’s post Do You Pinterest?, as she offers some ideas for how to use it that may even make a convert out of me yet.
  •  Reddit– I suppose this site is good for techy people, but I didn’t have much luck there. Sure, I got a few hits off the stuff I submitted, but I also got snide comments on my submissions, and I’m not thick-skinned enough for that. I don’t really want traffic from mean people, so I gave up on it pretty fast. The funniest snide comment I got was on my Super Scribblenauts review. Someone told me I was a little late on that, they already beat it, and they didn’t have any trouble. I really wanted to reply with “good for you,  you beat a child’s game and still have time left over to be snarky! You should be pretty proud of yourself!” But I refrained, because I’m totally non-confrontational.

There are hundreds of social this and social that sites that I’m neglecting to mention, just because I’m already at over 800 words and I’m sure you have better things to do. I’d love to hear from others though, which social networking, bookmarking, or “hey, look, a koala bear” sites do you use the most or find the most beneficial to your blog?

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