Social Media for the Anti-Social: If You Build It, They Will Come

Saturday, I had the opportunity to present “Growing Your Social Media Swarm” to the Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club. I was excited to learn the audience also had non-writers interested in learning better building techniques.

One of the first slides in my presentation is one you’ve seen for years on this blog.

If you build it, they will come.

If you build it, they will come.

Remember back in the day when I revamped my blog, and my brother created this wonderful graphic for me? It’s years old, and it still thrills me.

It’s a reminder to take those steps toward better social media. “If you build it, they will come.”

Social media (emphasis on social) is more than just “look at me.” It’s a mutual support.

Many years ago (okay, we’re gonna pretend I didn’t use the word “many” here, okay? Thanks.) in college, I attended a reading and lecture by W. P. Kinsella, author of Shoeless Joe, which became the inspiration for the movie Field of Dreams. Mr. Kinsella and I spoke after, and he encouraged me to keep writing. “It’s a special gift that takes years,” he told me. “Don’t give up.” To this day, Field of Dreams is still one of my favorites.

When you place your focus on “social”, “media” is just the means by which you connect. As writers, we are the first generation to have instant worldwide access. [You can thank Al Gansky for that soundbite.] Why wouldn’t you want a piece of that pie?

Before building your social media platform, it’s important to know a few things:

  • Facebook and Twitter are da bomb. That’s where you’ll reach 100% of your target audience. The other sites are just icing on the cake.
  • What do you want to be known for? If it’s being a creative, design your posts to share creative ideas. If it’s business management, you may want to share ideas on personnel, budgeting, and the like.
  • Who do you want your target audience to be? This is the money shot. Find a unique way to present who you are with what you know, and you’ll be set.

Running a social media platform takes time. Effort. A little brain-powered creativity. Here’s the good news: You don’t have to do it alone.

Remember the emphasis on “social”? It works both ways. You want to share content to help connect you to a broader audience, right? Well, reverse that. Someone else out there has information and links you’re interested in. Find them, promote them. By sharing someone else’s posts and pages, you’ve still supplied your audience with information, while helping someone else gain status in the social media foray.

See? They built it, you came. Now it’s your turn. Build it, and they will come.

This is where I pat you on the back and say, “Good game. Now, go get ’em!”

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

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TGIF: A-P-P-R-E-C-I-A-T-I-V-E-L-Y
Social Media for the Anti-Social

Blue Cut Fire Day 1

The Bluecut Fire is a bad dream. This fire went from zero to over 18,000 acres in twelve hours. Twelve. Hours.

I’m not sure what I’m going to wake up to tomorrow. I’m not sure I want to go to bed tonight.

I’ve posted photos and updates on Facebook throughout the day. Here’s the collection.

The fire started around 10:30 am. I was at working, jamming out to Luke Bryant on the local country station and writing new policies for a client when my boss came into the main area. She was on her cell phone and changed the radio. Now, normally, I have few issues with this. Except, like I said, it was Luke Bryant. So I say, “What are you doing to my radio station?” As if I own Luke Bryant and his country swagger. She says, “(Hubby) is on the phone. Did you know there’s a fire in the Pass?”

So I sigh. Because the Pilot Fire was just contained like, yesterday. After seven days and 9,000+ acres. Some of the policies I wrote today had been waiting for the fire restriction to be lifted for the last week. So this morning I was a happy camper insurance agent. Notsomuch by this afternoon.

I finish with my client, say ciao, and decide to take a peek out the back door. MoJoGirlSayWhaaaat?! I expected a smoke cloud along the lines of what we had last week. Which I thought was bad. But it retrospect, I’d take that almost any day over what I saw. It was like freaken Armageddon.

And it just keeps growing. Like, crazy growing. Every news update has this thing exponentially growing like a bad science experiment.

So I took a few photos.

And at the end of the day, I head home. Which takes me toward the storm.

Have you ever been inside a disaster movie?

There’s a quality in the air, an electricity that pricks you from the inside of your nerves and travels throughout your body. You hold your breath and hyperventilate all at the same time. It’s a sensory overload, and you look at the traffic around you and everyone else is gawking at the strange orange-red sky.

Orange-Red Sky.

Now, we get wildfires out here, it’s part of the climate. The drought makes it worse, but we get through. Most smoke clouds are thick, grey, a little dark.

Today’s clouds – clouds – are orange-red. Like the ash clouds themselves are on fire. They’re not reflecting the fire, they are the fire.

And I’m holding my breath and trying not to see the beautiful colors because the devastation is only beginning.

My friends are evacuating. Historic sites are burnt down. The only freeway is closed in both directions. And the wind keeps blowing it closer in my direction.

So tonight, my go-bag is packed. My crate is packed. My food essentials are packed. And the cat crates are out and open.

I don’t think I’ll have to evacuate. I think there are too many buildings between there and here. But that knowledge doesn’t help when red ash is falling.

And I think this is something worth documenting.

BlueCut Fire Around 1pm, Hesperia.

BlueCut Fire Around 1pm, Hesperia.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 5pm, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 5:15 pm, Main Street, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 5:15 pm, Main Street, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 5:20 pm, Main Street, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 5:20 pm, Main Street and Locust, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 5:20 pm, Main Street and Locust, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 5:20 pm, Main Street and Locust, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 5:25 pm, Backyard at Bedford Manor, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 5:25 pm, Backyard at Bedford Manor, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 6:50 pm, Backyard at Bedford Manor, Hesperia, CA.

Blue Cut Fire, Day 1. Around 6:50 pm, Backyard at Bedford Manor, Hesperia, CA.

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!