Sunday, June 5, 2016

Social Media - What Is It Good For?

Lately I've been spending most of my effort on just getting well again - many of you already know that the girls and I have been sick offend on for about 4-6 weeks now - but the enforced downtime hasn't all been wasted. I've been thinking hard about what summer will mean for my productivity recently, and that has led to me creating a sort of shedule that will hopefully work for my career AND my family as we move into the summer months.

The summer is a mixed blessing for me as a working mom - my work life suffers majorly when my kids are constantly underfoot, but it's also nice to enjoy hanging out with them a little more as they bask in their break from the daily rigors of school life. Still, the show, as they say, must go on, and I can't just quit for the summer, right? So I've been tweaking the productivity apps that keeping going, changing up my routines, revising my goals ... and of course, still writing my way through Selkie II.

How do my changes affect you? Like this:

I used to use an app called Fabulous as a sort of improvised Habit Tracker, because I couldn't find an actual Habit Tracker that I really liked. When I was bullet journaling on paper last year, l had a basic habit hacker drawn in at the beginning of each month, with grids to color in for accomplished tasks and a color code for mood tracking. Somehow, Fabulous became a work-goals/self-care sort of checklist, and while the self-care part was great, the work stuff became more than a little redundant, especially since I'm now using a time tracker called Jiffy as a sort of improvised time clock. Jiffy lets me break my work hours down to separate tasks, too, which lets me know at a color-coded glance whats working for my writing life and what isn't.

One thing that isn't working is wasting too much time on social media. Until now, I've been logging around 15 minutes a day on Twitter, Facebook, and lnstagram, just seeking out interesting posts and interacting with users of those platforms. Mingling, you know? So an extra minute here, just looking at one more thing there ... and I've lost 45-60+ minutes each day. I also have made a point to be active on my own profiles, with a new post every 3 days to Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Google+. Same post, 4 platforms, so no one ever missed anything or felt left out, right? Honestly though, it started to feel like a chore, and I know you don't want that anymore than I do. Besides, why follow me on Twitter if you're just going to see the same thing you just saw on Facebook - I hate when people do that! But I found myself doing it.

No more; changes are coming that will make my time more worth spending, and your experience more full of original content on all of my platforms - because while I truly believe that my time spent interacting with my readers is time well spent, no one really needs to log an hour a day on social media - especially if that hour is emotionally draining on me AND my followers. 

For an introvert like me, that daily hour was truly draining - that much interaction feels unnatural to me as a quiet person. But also, I truly had begun to feel lost in the crowd, hidden under a pile of algorithms and screaming to be heard in all the noise. The hard truth is that it's ineffective, and I much prefer to speak here for the most part anyway, where you can come listen to me on your own time - at a normal volume and in what feels like a more personal setting.

So, to that end, here's my new social schedule, complete with links so you can follow me to see what I'm up to each day on whichever platform I'm on. (schedule begins on June 6, 2016)
  • Day 1: Twitter. I'll interact with pages I follow, participate in Trending conversations, post book stuff, teasers, or personal news - whichever most fits me for that particular day. Be sure to follow me, and feel free to retweet anything you relate to especially, favorite my tweets if you like them, and send me replies and direct tweets so we can get to know each other.
  • Day 2: Instagram. Again, I'll interact will pages I like and conversations I relate to. Maybe I'll share a photo of my view that day, or one I found online, or even one I created myself. Maybe it'll be a book quote, a song quote, etc. As with Twitter, make sure to follow me, like my posts so I'll know you're there, and comment on my photos so we can chat together!
  • Day 3: Facebook Author: Facebook makes it a little more challenging to actually interact with other pages from my author page, but I will still be posting relevant content on my own page. I hope if you haven't already, you'Il come like my page, and be sure to turn on the notifications - or jump through whatever flaming hoop Facebook is asking everyone to jump through these days. When you see my posts on Facebook, make sure to like them; this tells Facebook that you WANT to see my content. And don't be afraid to leave comments for me, too - I love them, and I always try to answer every singe one.

There are adjustments coming to my blog and newsletter, too, so stay tuned for my next post, where I'll outline the next upcoming change. In the meantime, check out this list of all my social media presences and how I use them. You'll find a new one there that I think you might be interested in.

Happy Reading,
B.

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