Last September, I was flying high. It wasn’t just because September is my birthday month, either! It seemed like I could do no wrong on my blog. Every post was doing magically well. On Twitter, I was getting about 100 new followers a week, which was incredible because it had taken me about 3 months to get my first 100 followers. I was riding high and was rather happy with everything.
In late October, I had a business trip, and when I came back, I noticed that my blog posts didn’t seem to be resonating as much. I wasn’t worried. Clearly everyone had missed me and they needed to be pulled out of their funks. But this continued for a few weeks, and to make matters even more disconcerting, my Twitter traffic stopped growing, too. So far as I could tell, I was doing everything the same way. Had I worn out my welcome?
I kept plugging away on my blog. I tried different kinds of posts. I blogged on different types of topics. Still nothing. I started to get really frustrated. Things had been going really well, and now, what, I was just done?
As it happens, I was just in what is known as a Social Media dip. It happens to everyone, apparently. Suddenly you can’t buy a good number of comments. Suddenly Twitter becomes the way it was when you first started – an echo chamber filled with crickets. It can be stressful, discouraging, frustrating, and even painful. In fact, I thought that I was perhaps done with the whole online game at that point.
Is this sounding familiar?
How Engaging With Others Can Save The Day
I can’t promise that this will hold true, but I can tell you that when I have had dips to deal with, one thing has helped me more than anything else. You know what that one thing is? People. Okay, that’s a bit of an oxymoron, but truly, relationships I had created in the online world helped me dig out of the pit I found myself in. Here’s how that worked for me, and perhaps it will work for you.
1. You need people to complain to: Family and friends are wonderful, but if they’re not “doing the Social Media thing,” they might not understand your angst. On the other hand, people who are plowing away with you definitely get it. Vent. It helps and you have a right to do so (just don’t let it consume you).
2. You can alert people that you need help: When I was going through my dip, friends I alerted took extra care to either offer me support or to help me promote my stuff. Their kindness was enough to remind me that a dip isn’t really a full dip so long as you have dedicated folks around you.
3. You can get advice: Some people like to approach problems more like puzzles. When I talked to some of my friends during my dip, they asked me questions. “Do you think you’re blogging too much?” “Do you think you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?” “Do you think people being away at Blogworld may have something to do with this?” All of the advice and counsel I got helped.
4. You can get your butt kicked: Let’s face it, after moping for a little while, sometimes you just need someone to walk up to you (virtually or in real life) and say, “Geeze, get OVER it!” One of the best questions I was asked during my dip was, “Um, you’ve got all of this great stuff going on. What more do you expect?” Uh…didn’t have an answer to that one.
5. You can build your confidence or discover problems: Sometimes, when your traffic dies down or your followers die down a bit, you can start losing your confidence. This creates a dippy catch-22, because the less confident you are sometimes, the harder it is to create content people will find interesting. Talk to people you trust and say, “Hey, has my content gone down in quality?” If they say no, that’s awesome. If they say yes, try to address the concerns and have hopes to improve.
If I hadn’t had trusted people around me during the time of my dip, I probably would have used the opportunity to give up. You really need a community around you in Social Media, and the occasional dip is just one of many reasons why.
Are you suffering a dip right now? Let’s talk about how we can get you back onto solid ground!
This is post #36 in The Engagement Series. I hope you are liking this series. As we near the halfway point, please let me know if there are topics you’d like me to cover in the future.
Image by Scott Snyder. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/scottsnyde