Making real connections in a social media world

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  How do I make real connections to real people with the chaos and constantly changing social media platforms?

Long lost are the days of keeping and having a thriving blog with an active community of followers.  I’ve met so many amazing creatives throughout the last 10 years (my blog will be 10 in October). We would visit each other’s blogs, leave encouraging words and support and build relationships. I still keep in contact with a handful of these people, but now it is through fleeting little nuggets of info on FB, instagram or twitter. I am completely guilty myself of not visiting blogs anymore. Sadly, many of them have had no posts for a very long time. I myself, have not been able to keep up with my own blog. It’s sad. I miss my friends. I miss those connections!

Are we shooting ourselves in the inter-web foot, by losing these connections looking instead for a simple thumbs up or heart?

I know. It’s hard.  Keeping up with everything will leave you with your head spinning. Truly it will! That is why I am trying to streamline and eliminate the unnecessary. I have to if I want my creative business to truly work. We simply cannot do it all.

Facebook is at the top of my list.  I truly and deeply dislike Facebook.  I have been putting it in the category of ‘necessary evil’ for a really long time.  I know a lot of people really love FB. This is not a slight against you, I promise.  It just doesn’t make sense for creative business owners like me. Here’s why:

1.  It’s a time suck.  If you have your own business, you need never go on to FB.  Lots of valuable time will be wasted there when you should be working on your passion. I never look at my FB feed and I rarely post there. So, please don’t ask me if I saw your post. I didn’t.  Not because I don’t like you. It’s because I don’t have time and I know the trappings of FB. Any posts on my personal feed come from select photos from my Instagram and a few event updates. Mostly, they are food, dog and kid related, because it is one way to connect to my mom, other family members and local friends.

2. Your photos and info are not your own. Everything you put on FB is kept FOREVER in their archives.  All of your photos* belong to them too. Yes, it’s true.  And they know everything about you, that is, all that you are choosing to share and everything they gather from your searches on the internet.  They are mining all of your info and using it for advertisement focused on your individual likes and dislikes. Google does this too and it just really creeps me out. I understand they need to do this to be a profitable business, blah, blah, blah, I just don’t like it.

*Side note about photos and art. Although I am not super worried about my photos and art being on FB, I still feel the need to exercise caution.  Almost all photos I post there are through Instagram (which is also owned my FB, btw) which means they are small and poor quality.   I put my watermark on all artsy photos whenever possible.

3. Not everyone will see your posts.  FB uses an algorithm to calculate who gets to see your posts. This will be happening on Instagram now too.  Did you know this?  For example: I have 2700 followers on my FB biz page. On average, only 300-400 people will see what I post there. That is about 12%.  TWELVE PERCENT! This means, a whole lot of time and energy and very little views. Another time suck.  In order for more of MY followers to see MY work, I have to pay  to “boost” my post views.  I did try it a couple of times. It increased my likes & page views, but there were very few click throughs or purchases.  Which leads me to my final reason….

4. My sales have not increased with the use of FB. As an experiment, I made it a goal to increase my followers on my biz page by 1000 in a year. I went from 1100 to 25oo. How did I do this? I posted a lot. Two-three times a day with lots of inspiring quotes, lots of process pics (showing the progress of an art piece) and a few art sale posts thrown in for good measure. What I realized, was that it wasn’t really increasing my sales. I would get a few sales here and there that came from FB, but nothing that made me want to continue the amount of energy I was spending. Likes are fine and dandy, but they don’t really pay the bills.  I’ve since slowed my posts to 1-2 every few days which is much more manageable when you are trying to create.

Where my sales have increased is through my local efforts.  Doing art shows and meeting real people who can meet me and see my art in person, this is where the magic has been happening.

All this above to say, I am not leaving FB.  Instead you will see a HUGE decrease in efforts on that platform.

As for other platforms?  I’m not keen on Twitter because I’m a visual person.  I’m also investigating MeWe.

What is the golden answer? I’m not sure. For now, Instagram seems like the prime choice, which it actually is for me–except that it is owned by FB and they are desperately trying to monetize it further, which means more changes are coming.

It will have to do for now, because it’s pretty, quick, easy, fun and truly a place to share my art and bits of life, without getting constant notifications from FB to boost my post. So, you can follow me over there if you are interest in what I’m up to: @regina_creativekismet

In a magically perfect world, I would bring everyone back to blogging along with an Instagram type platform not owned by FB.

Would love your thoughts on this topic. What platforms do you love the most and what do you think about periscope?

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