Blogger: Mary Keeley
Do you like the new, more interactive format of our Books & Such blogs? Adding the photos makes it feel almost like Skype or Google+ when we comment back and forth. And having the blogger’s reply appear just below the comment encourages interaction. I’ve noticed a difference in the way and extent to which everyone is commenting—more three-way conversations going on. Let’s get a conversation going here about a format change can provide positive results, and how you can apply that idea to your social media.
Observation #1: As noted already, the format change lends itself more to conversation. Rather than a top-down structure in which the comments mainly occurred between the blogging agent and individual commenters one at a time, there is growing involvement with each other. And in the course of frequent conversation, you get to know each other better. The fruit of that is you start to care about each other, and supportive relationships start to grow. It’s encouraging when others take the time to involve themselves with your comments.
Observation #2: The increasing involvement seems to build as sharing and problem-solving take place. When there is true engagement with each other’s needs or interests—not just the “hey, great to hear from you; see you at the next conference” variety—people come back for more. We need each other. After all, God created us for fellowship. Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose (Philippians 2:1-2).
Try engaging with your followers, fans, and FB friends in this way and see if it makes a difference in your social media effectiveness. I know…you’re thinking there’s no way you have time to engage on that level with them. But it takes only a minute or two extra to respond in a more focused way to show them they had your full attention. “Liking” a comment on FB isn’t the same as actually saying something. And, as elsewhere in life, you’ll have acquaintances and you’ll have closer friends. High numbers of followers look great, but they don’t guarantee follow-through. The more social media contacts you try to truly engage with, the more likely they will buy your books and spread the word to others.
What differences do you see between your interactions with social media friends and your closer, “live” friends? If your current social media is different, are you reaping the results you think you should be, based on your numbers?
Such a great post. When I switched to the threaded replies on my blog, I felt like I was encouraging exactly what you talked about here. And I have noticed that since beginning to comment here on this blog, I’ve had others comment directly on my post. There is a certain sense of connection you automatically feel when someone you don’t know comments on something you say…especially if he/she agrees with you! 🙂
Lindsay, thanks for commenting on your own experience. It shows there really is an important difference.
Mary, this was a wonderful post! I love the way that the Books and Such team encourages interaction.
I’m with you, large numbers of followers may look impressive, but it’s the interaction with what numbers I DO have that I try to focus on. I always wonder, even with different apps, how it’s possible for people to keep up with 100,000+ followers. I find myself intentionally blocking spam, eggs, porn, etc. so that can be limiting, but that content doesn’t interest me.
I recently added TweetDeck, thanks to Jill Kemerer’s help, and it has made life (and interacting) so much easier!
And sometimes it’s far better to build our “tribe” with a few followers at a time, as opposed to dozens or hundreds we wouldn’t interact with anyway.
An intentional Pollyanna. I guess that’s me.
Amen, Cynthia. I so agree with you. Those you really connect with are the ones who will follow through to buy your books and encourage others to do so. Not to mention warm and engaging is so you anyway!
Cynthia, I love what you said about bulding “tribes” with a few followers at a time. I agree; quality over quantity reaps meaningful growth.
I like the new format here. IT’s definitely a nicer way to interact. I don’t do this as much on Facebook and Twitter as I should. I’m trying to get better. I still haven’t figured out TweetDeck, but I am enjoying Pinterest.
Hope you have a blessed weekend.
I’m glad you like the new format, Cheryl. Always enjoy your interactions and feedback.
You have a blessed weekend too!
Anita Mae Draper
Good observations, Mary.
I like the threaded comments when they work. I don’t like when they work for some people and not others due to whatever platform they’re using. Or when they work for some posts and not others in the same blog. Give me consistency any day.
As for comments vs liking, most of my Facebook friends have come from people who saw my comment, ‘liked’ it, then followed up with an invite. Not only does it encourage me by knowing people read my comments, it also makes me think twice before writing one.
Anita, speaking of threaded comments, I don’t think mine is going to thread under yours here. I don’t know why it happens.
Thanks for your example that shows “liking” can lead to future interaction. Good to hear that perspective too.
Anita Mae Draper
You’re welcome, but my point was to prove you right. Leaving comments in the first place instigates friendship. 😀
Heather Day Gilbert
I love interacting with other Christian fiction writers/reading their tips, but couldn’t find a hashtag on twitter that connected our tweets. So I started one!
I’m so excited about the #Christfic hashtag (I know many of the above commenters are using it already!), so we can get writing tips from LIKE-minded friends. It’s also for Christian fiction READERS, so I hope we can get more tweets along those lines, too. I love building community, via blogs or FB pages or twitter, and it’s nice to have a place where we can share. Just like the Books & Such blog!
Heather, thanks for telling us about the #Christfic hashtag. Nice to see you here at the Books & Such blog too.
Great post Mary! And yes, I find the interactive thread here on Books & Such engaging….and beneficial. I feel like a gold miner panning for and finding nuggets of information and ideas from very creative people. Glad you all made the change!
I was blessed twice last week when a connection from Facebook and Twitter mentioned my Author Page on her blog post. Our Teapot Bank was also featured in another blog post. I had not solicited any support, but it was freely given and I am extremely grateful.
Thanks again…love keeping up with what is going on at Books & Such and the community of followers!
Heather Day Gilbert
Kate, I just checked out your blog and LOVE it too!
Thank you Heather! I’ve enjoyed perusing your blog too!
I added the #Christfic as a column on my Tweetdeck….thanks for creating it!
Have a blessed weekend!
Always great to see you here, Kate. I love you gold mining simile. I’m celebrating with you on your Author page mentions and Teapot Bank feature.
Thanks Mary. “Talk” to you again soon. Have a happy, blessed weekend!
I definitely like the interactive format of the Books and Such blogs. For a while now, I have been following Rachelle Gardner’s blog and now am following Rachel Kent’s as well as yours. It’s great to be able to respond to another commenter, not just to the blogger. When a few people respond back and forth to each other, it becomes a conversation. It feels like we’re sitting around a table, having a discussion the way “live” friends do. I have never experienced that on FB or Twitter.
Also, Mary, I appreciate that you respond to your commenters. Cynthia, Mary and you mentioned the difference between having large numbers versus having people you connect with. While it will not always be possible to respond to every comment, it’s important never to forget that behind each comment is a person. As busy as you are, Mary, you have demonstrated your sensitivity to that. Thank you.
Thanks for your encouraging words, Christine. You reminded us well: “…behind each comment is a person.” So true.
Great post, Mary! I use threaded comments on my site as well, and I really enjoy the interactions there. Even in author interviews I do, I try to make them more fun and conversational so they don’t feel as canned. It seems to fuel a more open environment where we get to know each other better.
Hope you have a great weekend! 🙂
Sarah, thanks for sharing the benefits you’ve seen from your own experience. You are a community builder.
Hope you have a great weekend too.
I love your effort to make interviews “fun and conversational.” That’s great!
Yes, I love the conversational style. It builds community in the business. Now, if only I could “pin” your logo to my Pinterest “Blogs I love” board, I’d be thrilled :o). Any ideas?
I don’t have ideas at the moment. We’ll have to look into that!
I tried to “Pin” the Books & Such logo too…without any luck. What was available to pin were the “Library Insider” logo and individual agent photos with no identifying names.
Oh the challenges…
Kate, that’s exactly what I got this time. Previously, I didn’t even get that. I am able to get other logos from other blogs so I don’t know what makes this one different. Interesting. But if “you guys” figure it out, I’d love to post it on my board. Just let me know :o).
Anita Mae Draper
Since I have the Books & Such logo on my website, your comments encouraged me to create a ‘Favourite Blogs’ Pinterest Board.
At the risk of breaking a rule and linking here, I’ll add…
Repin away. 🙂
Anita…it worked! Thank you! I just pinned it on my “Blogs I like” board…
Thanks, Anita. Worked for me too. Following you now!
Cindy R. Wilson
Great post! It really is worthwhile when followers are more than just faces on a sidebar – and I’ve noticed the comments here are not just on the post, but on other comments. Creating conversations really helps us all feel like we’re part of a community, and that’s why I love blogs so much.
Yes, and there always is a valuable nugget to glean from each comment. Glad to see you here, Cindy.
Anita Mae Draper
Speaking of faces on a sidebar… I’d like to show my face around here too. Anyone wanna whisper the secret into my ear? I’d appreciate it.
Anita, try going to http://en.gravatar.com. That might do the trick.
Anita Mae Draper
And Keli to rescue again. Thank you. 🙂
Anita Mae Draper
If my avatar shows up, yay! If not, I’m lost.