Social Media Sites Are Like Shoes

Have you ever seen someone enter the room, wearing an amazing pair of shoes, badass combat boots or dangerously high stilettos? The shoes add so much to their personality, to their style, and you find yourself craving the exact same ones, to borrow some of that pizzazz.

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(Yes, this is a.gif post)

So you try on a pair, and they chafe, or give you clown-feet, or make walking impossible.

Othertimes, you’d really be happier wearing a pair of Converse, but your friends will insist you should wear heels or else this first date is doomed to feel,

Social media platforms are a lot like that.

It’s easy to see someone effortlessly chatting away on a v-log, or engaging with thousands of people on twitter, and to think, oh! I should do that.

Or perhaps, you feel pressured to be on tumblr, favoriting bath bomb giveaways (even though you don’t have a bathtub) or making a book review blog (even though you only read a book a month, and half the time they’re old classics no one wants a review of)

But guess what? It’s silly to shove your feet into shoes that don’t fit, and it’s just as silly to force yourself into a social media platform you don’t enjoy. How many times have you stumbled upon an abandoned blog, left to wither after five blog posts, or heard people complain social media sucks away all their time?

Social media sites, at least, for many writers and artists, are an important tool for networking, business growth, and socialization, but they should never add to your stress levels.

 

1. Determine how much time you want to spend, per week, on social media.

Five hours? Ten hours? Five minutes? None and you want to contract it to someone? None and you want to be a mystery? 24/7?

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2. Decide why you’re using social media

Is it to recommend books to other people? As a platform to advertise your art commissions or freelance editing? A place to share story snippets and communicate with other artists?

Each choice may lead to a different platform, different ways of communicating with followers, and different choices in shared content.

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3. Define your target audience.

Once you know WHY you’re using the social media, it’s important to know WHO you’re hoping to engage. For example, many writers/agents/editors hang out on twitter. If you’re hoping to find beta readers or to learn more about the querying process, twitter is a great place. But, if you’re content with a small, dedicated group of readers/responders, a long form platform such as a blog may be better for you.

It’s also important to note ages change. Facebook is no longer the realm of the young and hip.If you’re looking to engage with teen readers, it’s not your best bet.

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4. Set a schedule/plan

Social media, by its nature, is addictive. We’re conditioned, as humans, to respond to reward stimulus, and as you probably know, few things are more exciting on the net than seeing that little flag pop up, alerting you to notifications.

Once you’re done with your social media for the day, block the site, log off, turn off the wifi, whatever it takes to break away from the glowing screen.

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Now, you’re ready to strut in your social media shoes.

 

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