Taming Social Media (and Me)

I’ve been a student of social media since Facebook took off. Meaning, I missed the whole MySpace hype. (What a tacky user interface, and who has time to socialize anyway?)

Being a student can be a rather passive endeavor. The teacher is doing. The student is watching. Observing. Drinking up information like a sponge, the amount consumed relative to the student’s absorbency. I can absorb a lot, for a long time, before I take any action. It’s not a character strength or weakness, necessarily. It just is.

Twitter hype started years ago, and like a student, I observed. What was this new fangled social media tool everyone was talking about, and why should I care? I gazed upon that sky-blue birdie with mild annoyance mixed with mild curiosity compounded by general cluelessness. If people wanted to waste their time tweeting about peeing, more power to them, but I decided to pass.

Come to think of it, maybe my perpetual watching and observing is a character weakness. I formed an independent publishing company last year, after all, and published my first novel in January of this year. Who needs 20K Twitter followers to market to?

*sigh*

Putting on My Big Girl Pants (otherwise known as creating a plan)

No more observing. I’ve decided it’s time to really commit to building a memorable online presence. I started a few weeks ago, and learned quickly that Twitter is only useful if you actually use it. And when you use it, people will come. Well, they will hit the follow button more often than not. I’ve quickly gone from about 250 followers to 420. It’s still modest, but it’s a start.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. When it comes to social media, I either feel addicted to it (because doing it “right” takes TIME, don’t you know, and it must be done RIGHT!), or I want to stick my head in the sand. If I commit, it means I have to face my addict/perfectionist-self, somehow learning to tame it so I avoid burnout. You know. I have to have one of those things called a “plan”. A reasonable plan, at that. And I have to stick to it. Because that’s what big girls do.

Indeed, I have developed a plan in efforts to discipline myself. (I control social media. It does not control me.) I have even written that plan down.

See???

See???

Within that plan, I have listed the social media outlets I have chosen to take part in (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Goodreads. Egads, that’s a long list for someone with a 6-year-old and 3-year-old). Under the heading “Social Media Strategy” I have detailed my goals for each, as well as daily quotas (ack!), as in “2 business-related tweets a day”, etc.

Finally, I’ve included a TO-DO list under each social media outlet to keep track of what I need to do to optimize each account. For instance, my Twitter profiles are still languishing under the old design. I need to create and upload header images that hopefully re-inforce my author brand.

A Work in Progress

As an all or nothing kind of gal, I dream of having a grand opening of sorts, where my author brand is firmly established in my brain and on my websites and social media pages.

What happens to a dream deferred? It dries up like a raisin in the sun, and I don’t like raisins, so rather than deferring my dream of perfection, I’m giving up on it all together. In it’s place I’m slowly building a more reasonable, well-planned (but no less exciting) dream, piece by piece.

In return, I present to you…

My sanity.

And I, hereby, give you permission to retain the same. You deserve it.

Tame Yo-self!

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