So, last week I did something pretty drastic with my social media life. I cut myself off from a good majority of it.
Twitter? I'm done over there, and it's been a long time coming. I had turned it into a place to push automated content about two or three years ago, and I wasn't doing any interaction there except to reply to people's tags. Over the last six months, I decided to pay attention to the numbers and see if my automated content was getting any retweets or engagement. The analytics don't lie. None of it was reaching people. So, I killed it. I put up one last tweet and turned off all the channels that lead to Twitter.
LinkedIn? I don't know many people that actually use it for social media. So I disconnected it from Buffer and I stopped sending it blog posts. Done!
My personal Facebook? This was a tough one. I could spend HOURS on Facebook, looking at my timeline, reading depressing stories about the state of our country or planet, and agonizing over the depressing, uninformed, and frightening comments from people who are dumber than boxes of rocks. It got sad at times, and I noticed how it was bringing me down. So, I put up a notice there that I'm taking the summer off. I'll pop back in and share photos on Sunday, like I do here, but that will be about it for now. I'm staying away from my timeline and just checking in on groups. I even set a daily limit of 1hr 30min for the Facebook app, and I'm staying way below that threshold.
What am I concentrating on?
This paring down of social media has led me to double my efforts on two other channels: my Facebook Page and Instagram. I'll come back to my Facebook Page some other time, but today, I want to talk about Instagram.
I'm really enjoying Instagram! I have enjoyed Instagram for the past few years, but recently, spending more time there and concentrating on content for it, I realize just how much better it is for someone like me.
The pluses of Instagram include…
Fewer news stories. Yes, I can follow news organizations like NBC or CNN or NPR, but I don't. And since reposting those stories is not something that people easily do on Instagram, I'm a lot less likely to run across them. I use Flipboard for news. It's out of my social media.
Everything is more personal. Social media was supposed to be about connecting with other people. Facebook started out that way and quickly evolved into something else. Now, on IG, I can concentrate on my friends or celebrities or hobbies where everything pertains to our lives and our passions.
Everything is visual. Sure you can put text on an image, but that's less likely to click with people. What connects with people are photographs and videos. This reminds me of my Flickr days, and it's something that speaks to the filmmaker inside of me.
This minuses of Instagram include…
Too many sponsored posts. I am quick to hide ads on Instagram, especially if they are poorly done. I don't want to see them and I try not to give them my eyeballs unless it's really engaging. I'm much more likely to ignore a sponsored post on IG than on FB.
Too many “influencers.” I unfollow all the fake people or the accounts masquerading as celebrity accounts, but they really sell t-shirts. Look, we see through this shit. We are not dumb. I can tell when you're faking your life and you're trying to sell me on a resort or a product. “Real” is what counts on IG.
Too many people flooding hashtags with irrelevant content. I follow a few #knitting hashtags, and I can't tell you how many non-knitting posts I see in there. Guess what? I block you if I keep seeing you post sewing or makeup posts in the knitting hashtag. BE RELEVANT!
What am I doing on Instagram?
I've decided to approach Instagram in a new way for me.
First, I made it a business account and hooked it up to my Facebook Page so I could finally bring my personal posts to my S. J. Pajonas Facebook presence. That was a big shift for me. I wasn't sure I wanted to do it, even. Instagram had always been “just for fun.” But I ran a trial period over February to May of sharing my Instagram posts on my Facebook Page to see how they did, and people liked them! It seemed that my FB audience wanted something more personal from me, and Instagram was the way to go.
For my photo feed on Instagram, I'm sharing personal pics that show what I get up to including writing, cooking, knitting, running errands, and anything I might spy while out and about. This is not much different than what was there to begin with, and it's what you all see in the Sunday Updates.
For my Stories on Instagram, this is new territory. I've never really used them before and also never paid attention to them. But now, I'm turning a more critical eye to them. I'm watching what other people are doing, and I'm taking notes. IG Stories almost feel like “live blogging” so that's how I'm going to approach them. When I used to jump on FB and tell people what I was doing or thinking, I'm now going to use Stories for that. Today, I was simmering up some seaweed and I wanted to show it, so I put it on my Stories. I need to figure out better ways to edit these things and show that they're mine, like with a branded color scheme or something, but I'll figure that out, I'm sure.
Are you on Instagram?
I have a ton of friends who are on Instagram but I haven't really connected with my blogger friends or my readers. If you're on Instagram, I'd love to connect!
Over the next few months, I'll be experimenting a lot there. Please let me know if you love something I've done, and I'll be sure to add it to my arsenal to do again!