Wowzers, October, where'd you go?? This was my month to focus on social media and growth in my blog happiness project... and, guys, I feel like I've failed a little bit. I think I've fallen short of the goals I had for myself at the beginning of the month. I wanted to be allll over twitter convos and sharing all kinds of crazy awesome stuff on facebook. Ok, I did a little (did you see the ghost dog pic on facebook?? Classic!)... but I wanted to dominate my social media channels! I wanted to be a social media BULL (i.e. a big, strong social media force).

Oh perfectionist, over-achieving self. There's only so much I can do in a day... and if I learned anything this month, it's this: for ANY social media sharing to be effective, it has to be genuine and authentic. Aha moment: it's the same as the blog - just a mini version. I can't make myself post more, because that's how it will come across - forced. Sure, I can have the intention to post more, but if the inspiration doesn't come? Don't post.

Here are some of my favorite bits of social media wisdom I've acquired this month:

- use (reasonable) hashtags. I thank Louise of Laid Off Mom for that one. I whined, "but I like to hashtag things like #cantsayno to hot chocolate 'grams and #superdeepthoughts to my Be Happy Linkup posts." While that's allowed, it's not the most #effective use of a hashtag. Ok, agreed.

- Louise also shared these words of advice: no matter what platform you're using, "there has to be some MEAT to what you put out there in the social media-verse.  Don't just post, just to post." Amen, sista!! Well-said.

- get creative! Start a hashtag trend on twitter or instagram. Invite a blogger to be a guest pinner. Host a Pinterest or moodboard contest. Host a twitter chat. Social media (and your mind) is an infinite field of possibilities.

The funny thing about my exploration into social media - it all comes down to having FUN. If you're having fun, your posts will be fun, and your readers will have fun too. So, really, it comes down to being happy... oh that Gretchen, she's good.

Image found here.