SOCIAL MEDIA + COMPARISON TRAPS

RYHSY

You guys. I had the honor of being on Tiffany Han's podcast, Raise Your Hand Say Yes, last week! I'm starting to feel like a little celebrity over here. *brushes shoulder off*

This time we talked about social media and the dreaded comparison trap that can suck us in when we least expect it. Tiffany also somehow got me to share all of my deepest darkest social media secrets - ah! - and we talked about tips for handling social media for your biz without burning out or, ya know, wanting to throw your computer / phone / any social media device into a lake.

Take a listen here, episode 39!

Thank you, Tiffany!! You're the greatest. Let's do this EVERY week, k?

#BEINTENTIONAL

Roksanda-Ilincic If you haven't already heard me say this, here it is: Sandra of Raincoast Creative Salon has the best newsletter ever. I'm intrigued and inspired by it every time, how does she do it?! It's called the Creativity Newsletter and you need it in your life.

Anyhoo, in April's newsletter Sandra wrote about Social Media Hangovers and how it's all just tooooo much sometimes. It's impossible to take everything in. AMEN SISTA!

Can you relate? I know I can. Over the past few months I've noticed myself pulling back from social media. A part of me even feels bad for doing so! I mean, as a blogger and designer shouldn't I love sharing and commenting and soaking in all the inspirational goodness out there?! All day every day?!

Well yes. But no. In moderation.

In my business, I've definitely seen the benefits of social media and I'm tremendously grateful. But as with everything in life - you have to figure out what works best for you and your creative mojo. And sometimes it's not good for my creativity and I need to take a media-cation.

So I'm joining Sandra and vowing to use social media with purpose; to think of it as a tool NOT a requirement; and - most importantly - I vow to release this pressure to post that has been bugging me lately.

Do you ever feel that way? Overwhelmed by social media, yet pressured to do so for your business? Social media is such a bully ;)

Image: Roksanda Ilincic via Harper's Bazaar

SOCIAL MEDIA BULL

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.

OCTOBER: GROW

Month two of my blog happiness project is underway. My goal for October is to GROW. Isn't a blogger's goal always to grow you ask? Heck yes, my friends. But my intention is to grow via social media. I admitted in Sunday's post that when I first started blogging, I read a whole book about Twitter. Sad, yes? Nerdy? I don't even need to answer that. I guess that's the eternal grad student in me - if you don't know something, read a book about it.

Anyhoo, before blogging I wasn't very active on social media. Now that I want to share, I want to learn more about how to share effectively. I want to spend more time engaging on Twitter, using Pinterest more strategically instead of pinning willy nilly, and taking advantage of the power of Facebook instead of simply updating my page with new blog posts. I want to be more thoughtful about what I'm putting out there. After all, each post, pin, and 'gram is an extension of my brand. I gots to represent, y'all.

I'm hoping my blog happiness project posts this month can act as a how-to on what to do (or not to do) to grow; a guide for all of you who are navigating the murky waters of social media too. Let's figure this thang out together, shall we?

Facebook is my biggest hurdle, I just don't quite know what to do with it. So that's where I'm starting. The super rad Amanda Genther recently posted some great tips on how to use Facebook to find clients. Looking for clients or not, her advice on how to engage your fans is gold. I plan on trying all this shiz... join me?

- Post behind-the-scenes photos. I do this already on Instagram, but I tend to only share the photos on Twitter. I get super shy about sharing on Facebook for some reason... but from here on out, I'm sharing every 'gram on fb.

- Ask questions. Umm... I promise I'll come up with some good questions.

- Post quotes that resonate with you. LOVE this one! I'm obsessed with inspirational quotes... I'm stoked to start this one.

- Post industry-relevant news. More art-related goodness comin' atcha.

- Link to your blog. Now this bit of advice is the BEST - instead of writing a small description and pasting your link (which brings up a tiny thumbnail), upload a photo that you used in your blog post, then add a description and a shortened link. I use bitly to shorten my links. Love them. Linking to your blog this way looks so much nicer.

Thank you, Amanda. Read the full post here.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on social media, friendies. Some would say it's not about having a large number of fans but having fans who are engaged - would you agree? Social media is really the best way for bloggers to connect with like-minded folks and build community... in the end, that's what it's all about, right?

Let's talk happiness! Link up below, k? Oh! and if you have any Facebook tips for me, that would make me one happy little blogger...

Image by artsocial.

Simplify

After much deliberation I've decided to do a little social media housekeeping... Twitter, I'm talking to you. When artsocial first started it made sense to have separate accounts for artsoshy tweets and my personal tweets. But the more I come to realize I looooove this little blog, the more it makes sense to embrace it as an extension of myself & my bloggy brand... just typing that is exciting. So it's time to simplify. I will no longer be tweeting from artsocial's account @artsocialonline. All of my/artsocial's tweets will now be from my account @Erin_artsocial. Eep! Time to take things up a notch :)

image source.