ALL THIS SOCIAL MEDIA and Still Nobody’s Asking Me to Dance

Why it’s okay if you aren’t Twittering/Facebooking/meta tagging/Stumbling/LinkedIn or otherwise filling your social media dance card this week.

A quick sidestep from social media (Facebook 25 Random Things topic) to social media in general.

Sometimes I beat myself up that I’ve been slow to use social media to promote my art.

Other times I’m glad I didn’t get sucked into the whole thing with “meta tags” and “SEO” and that other crap.

I’m blessed to have a net-savvy husband. (When asked what he does, I just reply, “He’s an internet visionary.”)

He’s not only responsible for my lovely web site, he’s also guided me
on my entire online journey the last ten years.

By that I mean he told me from the start that whatever I said or did online would stick around for a long, long, long, long, LONG time.

From my very first email correspondence, my earliest postings to usergroups, then email lists, forums, blogs and now Twitter and Facebook, I have always been hyper aware of what I say, how I say it, and who I’m saying it to. (Or as Lily Tomlin would say, ‘the party to whom I am speaking….”

I’ve taken advantage the internet gives me to stop and think before I post; to reread what I’ve written before I hit the send button; to consider my flow of thought before I publish an article. I sort through my words to make them more clear. I wait til anger has passed before I react to a snotty remark. I ask myself what my intentions are before I jump into a discussion.

Saying what I care about. Sharing what I’m trying to do. Not just talking the talk, but walking the walk.

Telling you what tribe I belong to.

So I’m always amazed at people who flame others on discussion boards; people who spam their entire email list with warnings about AIDS-infected needles stuck in gas station pump hoses; people who try to leave spam on my blog comments; people who think they can boost their web presence over bajillions of other web sites by using clever tags and search terms; people whose only correspondence with me is to get me to buy stuff from them.

Here’s an IttyBiz blog post on why social media is dead.

Naomi Dunford states that broad, untargeted, shotgun-style marketing has destroyed a lot of what used to work with social media.

In a recent telephone seminar, Naomi said, “Integrity is the coin of the internet.” (And we know Naomi’s cool because, hey! she and I wear the same glasses…)

This is what my husband hammered into me from the very beginning, and it’s still true:

People will respond to my authentic self.

And that’s why a boring everyday I-had-eggs-for-breakfast style blog won’t work, too. Nobody cares if I have chickens…

…unless I share with you a valuable story about what I learned when I twisted my knee chasing my chicken.

I don’t care if I have 10,000 hits to my website, or 10,000 blog readers. I don’t care if I have the world’s attention.

I just want to find my tribe.

I want my tribe to find me.

As people come by your online presence, they will either be attracted and intrigued by who you are and what you offer–or they won’t.

People who agonize about manipulating content and tagging to get mega hits are fishing with the biggest net they can find. It’s purely a numbers game.

Maybe with certain kinds of product, that will work for you. But what I what to accomplish is not about a numbers game.

So don’t stress about what the latest social media hotspot is, or how to stand out among 20,000 other Etsy artists. Quit talking about how to drive traffic to your website.

Instead, treat each venue as a way to connect with an audience that would care about you and your work.

Use each venue as a way for the people that care, to stay connected to you.

Do what you can, in a way that is authentic for you and your business. Be who you are. Make the work you are proud of.

And dance like nobody is watching you.

Because then you don’t have to wait for somebody to ask you.

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7 Comments

Filed under art, business, craft, Etsy, marketing, networking, self promotion, social networking

7 responses to “ALL THIS SOCIAL MEDIA and Still Nobody’s Asking Me to Dance

  1. Nancy

    I guess I missed the debut of your new look? Like it.

    I have to admit I saw the words “social media” and haven’t continued reading. But because I know there’s important wisdom in your posts, I’ll give it a try.

    Personally, I’m thinking of starting an “Anti-Social media movement…

  2. Nancy

    OK, I read it and you have truly valid points (as usual). Beyond being annoyed by it, I think all this total connectivity isn’t healthy.

    I read your blog (hey, how did I miss your chicken dance??) because you’re a terrific writer and your insights as a working artist are valuable. But if you gave me 135 updates throughout the day about what you were doing, I’d tune it out. And I’m grateful you get that ;-).

  3. I love this post, and I also love that you are on Twitter. (I was embarassed to see that I hadn’t been following you, though. All fixed now.)

    I appreciate the thought and the quality that you put into your posts.

  4. Great post! And we must have the same husband as mine has also guided me for the last 10 years with his his wonderful sense of business or words of wisdom when I will listen. Sometimes it takes a couple tries before I pay attention, but when I do he is always right. Think, re-read, wait and think again before posting or re-acting to anything! Thanks for being such a great working artist that we can learn so much from.

  5. Couldn’t agree more, and I think you elucidate a lot of concepts we’re all struggling with. It really is a question of WHO you reach, not how many people you reach.

    However, I don’t entirely agree with your assertion that “People who agonize about manipulating content and tagging to get mega hits are fishing with the biggest net they can find. It’s purely a numbers game.” As it happens, I have an SEO background, and trying to capture relevant searchers through tagging/titles/other SEO elements is about reaching your tribe, i.e. people who are searching for what you’re talking about. It’s not entirely a numbers game, and SEO wouldn’t be such an enduring tactic if it didn’t help cultivate relevant audiences.

  6. Point taken, Marianne, and thank you for your insights.

  7. Nancy–thanks for sticking with me re: reading the post! :^) And I promise not to Tweet you 135 times a day. EVER.

    Hello, Dennis, nice to see you here! And I’ve been following YOU on Twitter, though it’s hard cuz I’m not fluent in the HiTech language. :^)

    My goodness, Deb, I hope we don’t have the SAME husband–that would be wrong!! :^p But glad to hear yours is as wise as mine is. (Usually is.)

    To follow up on Marianne’s point, I should add, thoughtful, APPROPRIATE tagging is good, blast tagging is not. Glad to know you are in the former camp. Some people I know, aren’t. :^)

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