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.
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.