BlogHer Food Interviews: Beyond Facebook & Twitter

BlogHer Original Post

It's time for another interview of some of our amazing speakers at BlogHer Food this year! I'm really beginning to love these interviews because it gives both a glimpse into the bloggers themselves and what you might expect from the panel. We hope they're helping you pick and choose which sessions to attend! This week I asked the speakers behind our Beyond Facebook & Twitter panel this question:

Social media as a whole can be big and scary to a food blogger just starting out? What's one piece of advice -- which platform, how much, how often, etc -- you can offer these newbies as they begin to make sense of it all. You know, as a teaser to get people to attend your panel!

Ben Rhau asks important questions on engaging audiences that you really might want to start considering ASAP!

I think success on social media has everything to do with how you approach a platform. If you find yourself asking: "How can I get more people to see content I have produced elsewhere?" it's likely that you're not focusing your attention on how people use the platform. Better questions to guide your behavior are: "How can I be an active member of this community?" "How do I build community?" That's much more likely to give you insight on how a native user thinks. You need that insight in order to promote yourself effectively.

You can properly engage with Ben via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Marla Meridith encourages you to look at what others are doing.

Choose 3 of your favorite food blogs. Study them closely. What aspects do you like best? What would you do differently? Write a list about these observations. Now, find your voice and go get 'em based on your observations. Think one post at a time to not overwhelm yourself. The goal is not to copy others but to define your needs and expectations.

You can see what Marla is doing on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Kathy Strahs reminds us that it's not just about self-promotion.

To me, social media is all about engagement. It’s about sharing something of value. When another blogger asks for advice on choosing an appliance on Facebook, comments on the snapshot of my dinner I shared on Instagram or re-pins an amazing cake photo and recipe post on Pinterest it’s an opportunity to connect with each other. They are sharing something of themselves. I then, in turn, learn a little more about them and can choose to comment and further share. And vice versa. As bloggers we sometimes get caught up in acquiring followers and promoting ourselves on social media – and that’s all part of the equation – but I believe that followers and promotion come as an outgrowth of engagement.

Think of it like a cocktail party. Who would you rather talk to – the person who engages you and others in two-way conversation, or the one who pops into the circle periodically to let you know they’ve just put up a new blog post?

It’s the opportunity to connect and build relationships that makes social media the most rewarding for me.

You can engage with Kathy on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Computer keyboard with cloud text on buttons via Shutterstock

Also speaking on this panel is Irvin Lin from Eat the Love.

If you want to learn more about engaging your community on social media platforms, you won't want to miss this session, Beyond Twitter and Facebook - Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, Tumblr, and Foodspotting, taking place from 3:00-4:30 on Friday, June 7.

Just when you think you’ve gotten in all figured out, new social platforms pop up and change the rules of social media. Are these other social sharing platforms more effective for food-focused content? How much of your resources do you need to dedicate to mastering them? Learn about these food-friendly social platforms and decide which need to be incorporated into your overall brand.

Not registered for BlogHer Food '13 in Austin yet? Do so now! We hope to see you in Austin!


Family Section Editor Jenna Hatfield (@FireMom) blogs at Stop, Drop and Blog and The Chronicles of Munchkin Land.