It sounds old to say things like, “Well, in my day, we didn’t do …” but that’s often how I feel about social media. I did not grow up with the idea that we should spew every waking thought into the void in the hopes that someone out there would like it. I’ve never been in a place where I thought what I had to say was of interest enough to clutter up the internet. Yet, here I am: writing this blog. It will go off into the void and I’ll be disappointed if I don’t gain a follower or like from it.
Honestly, every time I sit down to write an entry or post to Twitter, I have this internal conflict. Why am I writing this? Is it unique? Does it have purpose? Should I post personal feelings? Stories about my life? Take a political stand? My initial reaction is, no. No, I should not do any of this.
Unfortunately, I’ve read that social media is a necessity for artists of all types now if you want to be successful. I’ve read it in guides for visual artists. I’ve read it in guides for musicians. It’s just accepted now and here are some “tips” that I’ve read in my brief research:
- You should post frequently, but not too frequently. Maybe three to five times daily.
- You should time your posts to coincide with peak viewing times.
- Use hashtags.
- Share across multiple platforms to increase your potential audience size.
You get the idea. If you don’t, just search up “how to social media” and you’ll find plenty of guides, videos, and words of advice.
Anyway, why am I writing this? It is a business decision. Being an independent artist means you have also chosen to be an independent business owner. As a business, I have to market my goods and services to consumers and social media is a good way to connect to potential consumers. That means, I have to market my brand which is me. Therefore, I have to do this, in the hopes that you’ll find it, like it, and want to support my work.
If you struggle with social media the way I do, I’m truly sorry. I have no advice to help you with that. Every post is hard for me – every single tweet is an hour long struggle of “now I’ve written it, should I post it”? I’ve deleted more drafts than I’ve actually posted. Every blog entry I put together is a week long struggle of editing and wondering how it could be perceived by readers. Often times, I go through this struggle only to hit “publish” and then get informed by some English major I know that I messed up a word!
But hey, I manage to get through it, so I’m sure you can too!
P.S. I had a thought writing this entry: If you’re an open book to the world, how do you differentiate between the world and your closest friends?
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