Stop Counting – Start Talking

I’ve noticed another rise in my Twitter timeline of people doing follow loops and what have you, and that’s awesome! It’s nice to see people working together to help their follow Twitterers expand their network.

For some people, maybe it even works!

But I also notice a rise in tweets about how difficult it is to gain traction/make solid connections.

I’ve written a few posts here about networking on social media (though, goodness knows, I’m no expert. I’ll often disappear from my accounts for months at a time when I no longer feel like putting in the effort), but a conversation with a fellow Twit today (is that the appropriate noun?) got me thinking about what my goals/priorities are on social media/with other authors, so I figured I’d share them.

When I first joined Twitter back in the age of chronological feeds (*sigh* weren’t those the days?), I had the great luck of falling in with an amazing group of people. One of them because my mentor who encouraged me to self-publish and walked me through the process. Another I’ve met in person a number of times and have helped walk through the process myself.

Since that time, I’ve made a handful of similar connections. Not a huge number. Maybe one per five hundred people I’ve connected with, but enough to make me enjoy it.

I do my best to offer encouragement, to offer my experience in the hopes that it’ll help others, and to cheer people on as needed.

On my last day in the Byward Market for the year, I had the pleasure of meeting a debut novelist. She’d just released her book a few months ago, self-published, and has plans for the rest of her series. Although the sales that day were slow, I had a blast talking shop with her, answering questions, sharing some of my pitfalls and warnings, and generally just trying to pass along whatever wisdom she thought might be helpful.

This is my goal with social media. To encourage, motivate, and connect with like-minded people. Whether the numbers are big or small doesn’t matter–what matters is what you’re able to offer back.

It’s what keeps me returning to my Twitter account in spite of the dumpster fires.

What about you? What is your favourite part about social media? What are your goals?


Finding Your People

I chatted a few posts ago about using social media to network, and how it can be a great way to find like-minded people.

Social media, the use of hashtags and groups, can certainly introduce you to people you never would have met otherwise, and those introductions can lead to endless amounts of support and opportunities that can change your experience in your chosen artistic arena.

But I’ve noticed a returned trend in some of feed that really disheartens me: the obsession with numbers.

The number of followers you have doesn’t matter.

The ratio of followers : following you have doesn’t matter.

Do you derive pleasure from having your chosen people in your feed? Good! Keep them! Your feed is yours to curate. It’s how I’ve managed to keep my temper and my mood level despite all the nonsense in the news.

I’ve seen people try to play guilt games with people who unfollow them, and personally I feel this is silly. If their feed/interactions with you don’t bring you joy, you are under no obligation to continue the connection.

That is the joy of the internet. Set your own boundaries, decide the tone/mood/quality to want your timelines and feeds to hit, and be merciless in maintaining it.

Last year, I wiped out my Facebook profile. I had to keep it to host my author page, but my profile is down to 0 friends. I regularly clear out my Twitter follows, and will soon be doing the same with my Instagram.

Think of it as spring cleaning. The joy of logging on to your various accounts with the dread of what dumpster fire you’re going to walk in on.

This is how you find your people. The ones who matter to you; the ones who can educate you or learn from you; the ones who become a bright spot in your day when your job/hobby/passion (pajobby? COINED IT.) is driving you up the wall.

So if your feed is starting to bring you down, it’s time to Marie Kondo that following list and make your world a personalized, happier place.