Well adventurers, it’s time for another update. I know I do these kind of frequently, but I like to keep you as readers posted as far as my thought process goes. Plus updates are a good way to make sure that, on days like today where I really don’t have much to talk about and my mind is on other things, you still get a little something from Adventure Rules. In particular, today I have some relatively big announcements to, er, announce. So let’s get to it.
At the beginning of the year, I declared a goal. That goal was to figure out what the heck I am doing with the social media sites for Adventure Rules. I wanted to create this environment where people were rewarded for following in specific places, giving followers more incentive to be a part of Adventure Rules in different communities. Each site would feature exclusive content that other adventurers wouldn’t see – unless they followed on another site, of course. It was a marketing experiment, an initiative to gain followers that I thought might help the blog to expand.
Ever since making that announcement, I have struggled to put the plan in place. I’ve flip-flopped back and forth on what kinds of special content would be on the sites. I’ve posted MAYBE three to four exclusive posts on each site, missing many weeks even after I declared an official schedule for exclusive content. I’ve have watched myself continue to be unsuccessful when it comes to providing social media content.
But here’s the thing: when I do succeed in providing extra stuff on social media, there is little to no reader response. The “exclusive” content doesn’t gather attention. It doesn’t motivate people to follow the blog. Almost all of the people who follow in more than one place are close friends just trying to be supportive. Whether or not I provide an incentive to follow in more than one place, most of you just follow wherever you found me first and stick to that. Even when exclusives are posted, those don’t catch your attention.
Please don’t interpret me as saying this in an aggressive way. I’m not trying to say that you all stink because you don’t like the exclusive content. What I’m doing here is making an observation about what the adventurer community is and is not interested in. You don’t want marketing gimmicks or special incentives. You just want good content. Honestly, that’s something I really appreciate about the adventurer community. When I come up with some crazy scheme like “Multiplayer Week” to gain followers, you don’t bite. But when I post something that really gels with you, you guys share it and talk about it with other people and draw in more followers organically. I don’t HAVE to give you incentives because you all support the blog without them. And that’s an awesome thing to have in a community.
So here’s the point of all this. Exclusive content is not accomplishing its goal of drawing in more followers, and the people who are already following are not enjoying it either. For me as a writer, trying to create the exclusive content is time-consuming and distracting. So if it’s not working for you, and it’s not working for me, why am I still doing this? Why not focus my energy on the parts of the blog that are actually working?
With that in mind, I am announcing the “cancellation” of exclusive content on the social media sites. Instead, I’m incorporating a new social media strategy – actually using the sites like social media. I want these communities to be places where the adventurers can communicate with me, or get a glimpse into my more personal thoughts and ideas. Instead of trying to come up with clever cartoons, I’m just gonna Tweet stuff. Or post a Facebook status. On Twitter and Tumblr, I’m going to start retweeting/reblogging content that is relevant to Adventure Rules. This supports other bloggers and gives you all more content to enjoy if you’re following on one of those sites. I don’t want to try and coerce all of you into following me on all these different sites – just keep supporting me wherever you’re at, because that’s already doing so much for Adventure Rules.
Recently I mentioned that I’m paying more attention to the stats of the blog and the trends represented by those stats. I want to focus on what works and say farewell to what doesn’t. So let’s say farewell to the idea of using social media as a marketing gimmick for the site. Instead, let’s embrace it for what it is – an avenue for folks from all sorts of different communities to find and enjoy the blog. My approach to social media is going to be different going forward, and I hope that this new approach is one that helps you all to engage with the blog in a more fulfilling way.
As always, thank you all for your ongoing support. Right now we’ve got roughly 120 followers, putting us right at 20% progress towards our stretch goal of 200 followers by the end of 2016. I’m excited for the progress we have already made, and I hope that this change in perspective in regards to the social media sites will only help the community to expand even further.