article written in collaboration with Kimberly McGuinessReading Time: 6 minutes
Hi my friends! Today, I’m writing for my series, “For Creatives“, where I share tips, tricks and advice to make your crafty journey more fulfilling. In my last edition, “Overcoming the Fear of Sharing”, I talked about the fear of sharing content on social media.
I also asked my awesome friend, Kimberly McGuiness, who is an amazing artist and owner of her online shop, Kimberly McGuiness Art & Design to share her input as she uses social media to grow her business. I’m really excited to share with you her advice. Be sure to check out her art, she is so talented!
So, sit back with a cup of coffee, feel free to take notes and hopefully you will find this information helpful!
Let’s get started!
Sharing WAY too Much
I remember when I first opened my Facebook account many years ago, social media was the new thing and I stumbled for a long time not knowing how to best use it. At the time, it was very different and I made a bunch of mistakes. I shared way too much, at least for me. I’m an introvert, probably extreme, but my content was TMI.
You may not know this about me but I’m a big gamer. So, I used FB to play games and met a LOT of other gamers along the way. It was fun but it became almost an addiction and I had to stop. I also ran a food blog for 3 years and used FB for that. I’m self employed and I was sharing that.
When I got upset about something, I used my account to vent. When I opened my FB Business page, I kept flip flopping with my content. It was like one day I was a food blogger and the next, I was a network marketer. All big mistakes! No one knew what my brand was all about. I ended up removing all my posts and all the games.
Time to Start Over
By the time I realized how I wanted to be portrayed, the damage was done. People who might never meet me in public got a mis-direction about me and what I’m all about. It took time, but I changed my image.
I first determined how I would use my personal profile vs. my business page. For my business page, it was about picking a specific niche/industry/type of content and sticking to that. On my personal profile, I quit posting from it altogether. I’ll explain in a minute.
When I sat down and really gave this some thought, cardmaking kept coming into my head and though I’ve done other things on my page like Kim’s Earrings, which wasn’t successful, I knew I needed to go back to my roots and that’s making and sharing my cards. Some lessons learned take awhile!
So, I chose to post only on my business page, not on my personal profile. I have friends who like to share what they’re doing daily in their personal life on FB and that’s perfectly fine.
For me, I no longer wanted to share day to day personal details about my life. I’m much more comfortable discussing how crafting is my outlet that helps me deal with PTSD and depression from my blog and business page. I enjoy encouraging others who might also have some mental challenges.
So, what are My 10 Things to Avoid doing on Social?
So after stumbling making a bunch mistakes and starting over, these are my lessons learned:
- Avoid posting dirty laundry. Some things are just too private and too personal to share with the world. And, unfortunately I’ve seen all too often posts that are just not appropriate. We don’t know whose looking on the other end. And, even if the originator deletes that post, someone saw it and could have taken a screenshot. So, if you’re unsure if you should share something personal, don’t post it.
- Don’t use social to blast someone or a brand. Arguments happen all the time and I’ve seen people calling each other awful names in comments all over social. This, in my opinion, is so unncessary and it’s a quick way to kill your business. Even if someone wronged you, don’t return the favor. It takes way too much energy that you can use more effectively elsewhere.
- Don’t mix your content. Don’t do what I did. If your brand is all about puppy food, then don’t post about the latest make-up foundations. You can easily create separate pages for all the industries you’re involved in. This way each page is all about that one niche and it won’t confuse your audience.
- Do NOT reply to haters. Because we are content creators, unfortunately you’ll run into people who give you the thumbs down or worse call you out. But don’t waste your time replying to them. The only time I would recommend responding is if; (a) you need to explain a process from your business or; (b) you’re dealing with a customer order that didn’t go as planned. Other than that, remove nasty comments and/or set up parameters to block these trolls especially if you’re running a social media group.
- Don’t post without checking your facts. I don’t declare to be an expert in my field so there are many times I have to research before I publish my content. And, believe me someone will point out a mistake and leave a comment. Try to be as accurate as possible.
- Don’t get caught up in the numbers. This can really stress you out if you become obsessed with your likes and dislikes, just focus on publishing good content and engaging with your community.
- Limit the amount of time you’re on social. It’s so easy to keep scrolling and before long, hours has passed by. I recommend setting aside maybe 30 minutes in the morning and another in the afternoon to get caught up replying to comments and engaging with other posts. Use a social media scheduler so you can future plan your posts. Time management is key so you’re not spending your whole day promoting and little time producing.
- Don’t compare your content/product/craft to another creator. This is another one of my mistakes. You are unique. I am unique. If you and I made and posted the exact same things, that’s boring. The wonderful thing about having so many niches is to see how all of us use them. We can certainly learn from and inspire each other, but we should always have our own way of creating.
- Don’t be deceptive. Own your mistakes. Keep your brand real in front of your audience. Your followers will certainly respect you much more for being truthful rather than passing the buck or misrepresenting yourself or your content.
- Don’t use social platforms for complaining. Negativity is all around us and nobody wants to be around a person who is 100% a killjoy. There are better ways to voice an opinion. I think it’s okay if you want to mention a problem you’ve had with a product or a service, but offer some possible solutions or a workaround. This kind of engagement is bound to help your followers rather than just complaining.
I hope my tips will get you thinking more about how you want to come across on social media. It’s so important that your brand really represents you in a positive way.
And, Here’s kimberly’s 5 Points:
1. Don’t let social media set your daily schedule. You really do have a life outside of social media and more important things to do. Do set a timer, social media can suck the time away from you in a hurry and then you get mad at yourself for letting that happen.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others on how well they are or are not doing. No need to pass judgment when you may not know all the facts 100%.
3. Do set a plan for your time on social media and what you plan to post. Use automation tools to help schedule those posts. Then just answer any questions and/or acknowledge a comment.
4. Don’t just love and like a comment with an emoji. If someone takes the time to comment at least take the time to say “thank you”. Kind words go a long way and it’s something we are missing in today’s world, more kindness.
5. Don’t post about your life drama or get sucked in by others’ drama. It’s an emotional vampire and it’s not a good place to be or a good use of your time. Remember once it’s out there, IT’S OUT THERE!
Her advice is so good!! I didn’t even think about the emoji. I have a wonderful friend who shares all my content to her account and I have been in a hurry sometimes that I responded with a ❤️. I will be correcting that in future!
Below are links to other resources that might help you too and if you made it this far, thank you so much for reading! Leave me a comment and let me know if you have a point we didn’t cover in this article or tell me how you use social media for your content 🙂
- “29 of the Best Free Content Calendar Templates – Social Media Strategies”
- Hubspot, “The Social Media Content Calendar Template Every Marketer Needs [Free Template]”
- This article was written in 2018 but still holds true today, “Tips for Responsible Social Media Use”. Article from the American Dental Education Association