Social media has given us exciting and inspiring platforms for sharing our creativity online, but how do we use it confidently – and keep having fun?
Have a happy, healthy social media life
To post or not to post? That is the question, not penned by Shakespeare, of course, but contemplated by many of us in our social media age. Plus, how much should we reveal? And how do we keep it enjoyable? So. Many. Questions.
Social media has opened whole worlds to us and our worlds to others, but it’s left us with lots to ponder. Understandably, all these queries can leave us feeling unsure when it comes to sharing online. Well, no more! We’re ready to take back control of our social media lives, to feel comfortable, empowered and happy when posting online. You with us?
THE BIG REVEAL
As makers, social media seems custom-made as a great place to share our crafts, whether we’re selling them or want to showcase the hobbies that bring us joy. Instagram alone is full of awe-inspiring makes and personal posts from the people behind the products. But how much is too much when it comes to sharing?
Artist, author and illustrator Lisa Congdon ( www. lisacongdon.com) and Tara Swiger ( www.taraswiger. com), who o ers advice to handmade businesses, both agree that our followers want to know a bit about us as well as our crafts. Tara suggests taking time to plan the direction of your social media and listing what you do and don’t want to feature – something you can revisit, even if you’ve had an account for a while.
Meanwhile, Lisa emphasises that a comfortable level of sharing di ers from person to person – it’s all about doing what’s right for you. Listen to your gut but be brave too. “What I usually like to remind people is that if you have a sinking feeling you’ve shared too much after a post, maybe you have. On the other hand, maybe you’ve also just shared something uncomfortable that will connect you to people who deal with the same issues or anxieties.”
Lucy Nicholls of fashion and lifestyle blog Shiny Thoughts ( www.shinythoughts.net) takes a pause before posting. “I sense check before I post a caption as to how I may come across to people such as my old school friends or my director at work.” Want a second opinion? You could also show content to someone you trust and ask for honest feedback before you post it.
Sometimes it’s all about context. If you don’t want to reveal too much day-to-day, you could take part in an Instagram challenge, using its prompts to share more about yourself during a set period along with other makers. Instagram Stories are a great forum for sharing more about yourself as well. “I love Instagram Stories because I can share bits and pieces of my life for short 24-hour periods without overwhelming people with that kind of stu in my regular feed,” says Lisa.
It can be tricky to find a happy medium when it comes to the frequency of our posts, particularly when we feel pressure to keep up with the social media Joneses. There are ever-changing algorithms to consider too…
Lisa has a refreshing approach to this: “Honestly, I don’t pay very much attention to the algorithm pressure.” Tara agrees: “Focus on engaging people… and don’t spend time gaming the system.” Both make their own rules that work for them, with Lisa posting nearly every day. “It’s part of my business practice and so much a part of what I do that it’s as habitual as brushing my teeth.” Tara tries to post daily, Monday to Friday, so she’s consistent and can connect with her followers. “But if I feel poorly that day I don’t fake it.”
Remember, it’s fine to take a breather. Lisa pays attention to how social media makes her feel and has a break when she needs it. And, Lucy reminds herself it’s about posting content she’s happy with, not posting for the sake of it. For her, success on Insta is about “the quality of your content and the stories you tell”.
Hold on to your sense of enjoyment and it’ll shine through. “For me, creating a curated gallery of my life’s colourful moments is what brings me the most joy,” says Lucy. Tara agrees: “I love Instagram best when people are having fun with it and posting what they love, so I know the same must be true of my feed.”
After all, whether you’re a ‘Grammer, Snapchatter or Facebook fan, you deserve a happy social media life that’s packed full of inspiration and enjoyment.