by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
(Originally published on The Write Conversation. Reprinted/updated here with permission.)
Everywhere we turn we’re hit with the message of how great social media is. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. But I didn’t start out loving it. I began my relationship with this new paradigm by hating it.
I don’t have a background in computers or marketing or anything that might make social media look interesting. Add to that fact that I’m a natural introvert, and you have a recipe for a disaster. Truthfully, that was how my relationship with social media began—as a disaster. Here are, from my own experience, the top 10 ways to make yourself miserable with social media.
- Sign up for Twitter, and keep your tweets protected. This means you have to approve anyone who follows you. This make absolutely no sense at all. You’re on Twitter to get your name out there. Having to approve followers means no one (okay, almost no one) will follow you.
- Never add to the social conversation. This means you never comment on Facebook, or tweet on Twitter or take part in any of the dialogue. You just follow what’s being said and wonder why social media isn’t working. For social media to work, you have to wade in and join the fun.
- Refuse to upload a picture of yourself as your Twitter avatar. If you just keep the default Egg Avatar on Twitter you’re telling the world one of two things. You’re a Twitter newbie and don’t know what you’re doing, or you’re a spammer.
- Join every new social media platform that comes out. As of this moment, there are well over 150 individual social media platforms, and that number changes by the hour. There’s no way anyone can reasonably interact on that many. Join Twitter and Facebook, but beyond that, pick one or two more you like best and concentrate on those.
- Use Facebook as a platform to air all grievances. There’s a saying that what happens on the Internet STAYS on the Internet. It’s true. No matter how much you later regret an outburst or ill-considered post, it’s there to stay. It’s almost impossible to erase all traces of something written on the Internet and that’s especially true with social media. My rule is to NEVER post anything negative on social media.
- Spend the bulk of your writing time doing social media. Yes, social media can help you get a contract (whether it’s for an article or book). But it won’t help if you can’t write. Writers need to be spending the majority of time writing and learning to write, NOT on social media. I recommend writers spend no more than 30 minutes a day on social media.
- Post all your social media updates at once, in a short window of time. This will insure you get noticed—but not in the way you want. Hogging the stream will cause your friends and followers to stop interacting with you and even delete you from their streams faster than almost anything.
- Just do social media when the mood hits. Posting when you feel like it, instead of working at it consistently is a guaranteed way to fail. Small, consistent steps are a guaranteed route to success.
- Don’t use an ancillary program to keep track of social media. I recommend Hootsuite, but Buffer and Tweetdeck are also viable alternatives. Not sure what I’m talking about? Then read this post on Hootsuite Basics to see what you’re missing.
- The best way to make yourself miserable with social media is to NOT do it. If you don’t give it a try you’ll always be wondering what you’re missing, and feeling guilty because you know it’s something you should do.
Now it’s your turn, what part of social media has made you miserable and how have you overcome it?
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!
Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s addressing parents, military families or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Connect with her on her blog and through Twitter and Facebook.You can also connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.