Ahh social media. There is so much to love! So much time to be wasted! And so many pictures of cats to laugh at!
I really enjoy using social media, some platforms more than others, so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts about them and how I use them to promote my blog.
I know heaps of people complain about their page's reach and the algorithms that keep people seeing your feeds. But hey - it's a free service. Mark Zuckerberg owes me nothing. Now that it's a public company, the only people he cares about keeping happy is his shareholders. So changes will continue to happen, but I'll roll with the punches and I'm sure no one will leave Facebook because of it!
Another great thing is that it is a way for people who don't follow blogs, like many of my family members, to see what I'm up to without being subscribed to Google Reader or an equivalent. And it can be tricky to comment on the blog sometimes, so people can leave comments on Facebook instead.
I would have to say that Facebook is my favourite social media account, but that is really because of the people who 'like' my Sew Delicious page and interact with me there. It's fun.
Over the summer and Christmas break earlier this year, I took a big break from social media in general. I pretty much stopped looking at Twitter...and I've never really returned. I find it impersonal (but weirdly, whole private conversations can go on in your feed and you can watch them unfold) and to be honest, a bit nasty. Have you ever followed a hashtag during a TV show, particularly a reality show? Wow. Negativity, judgy comments and just plain old meanness. I was sick of it.
I still use it from time to time - I have my facebook page connected so when I update my status it will tweet as well. I also occasionally share instagram pics to Twitter as well. I find that the creative groups I follow and are part of are using other forms of social media anyway.
Do you like Twitter? Do you think I should give it another chance?
Pinterest is a social media site, but I don't really use it for networking and sharing. There are not a lot of ways you can promote your own work like the other social media sites. People can follow me, and repin my pins, however it is really up to others to pin and share the content on my blog, and I can't easily control that. You can make it easier by adding a 'Pin It' button under your images, or even that new fancy thing where you hover your mouse over an image and a 'Pin It' symbol magically appears. (I want that!! But I fear the HTML coding would do my head in!)
So I don't use Pinterest to promote my blog much, although I do have a board called "Ring My Bell" where I pin some of my creations. I prefer to use Pinterest to follow others and find great ideas. I use the search function like a search engine when I'm looking for something particular. I have found some lovely blogs via Pinterest and I have made quite a few projects I've found on there.
I was very late to the Instagram party - I only joined late last year. But it has quickly turned into a big favourite of mine! I love scrolling through my feed full of stunning pictures of fabric, quilt blocks, works in progress, delicious food and just generally lots of creative goodness (and the occasional cute kid!)
If I have something happening on the blog, like a tutorial or like my Sweet Pouch Swap earlier this year, I will promote it on instagram using screenshots, but I only do that occasionally. The hashtag for the swap was very active, which was fantastic.
I also love the different options that are out there on the web to print your Instagram pictures. Earlier this year I was contacted by the people from Poster Candy, asking if I'd like use my Instagram pics to print a poster. Ummm yes! I had this vision of using lots of my sewing project related pics and making a bright poster to frame and hang above my sewing space. So I did. And I love it! Whenever I look at it I see projects I've made and loved and it gives me a great sense of achievement seeing them all together like that.
It came out great (although the frame I bought is slightly too tall so I will get another one) and I am hoping to use Poster Candy again later in the year when we come back from an overseas holiday we are planning - it would be an awesome way to collate your holiday snaps.
I use flickr a bit too - it was fantastic during the Sweet Pouch Swap. I don't visit often, but I have joined a lot sewing groups on there and I find a lot of inspiration in those groups. Flickr was where it all started for me. I started browsing in groups like "Sew Mama Sew", and found pictures by a few bloggers, particularly Suz from Sewpony. The rest, as they say, is history!
This is a really new one for me. I joined Goodreads because I ADORE reading so I thought it would be a good place to find info on books. Also I wanted to join Marissa's (from Rae Gun Ramblings) YA Literature book club. So I'm not really networking as such on there, or writing reviews, but I enjoy participating in the book club. Marissa loves all the same types of books I do, so it's been great reading through the group topics and getting recommendations for other titles I know I will like.
So there you have it. Apart from going hand in hand with blogging, I also think social media has made my experience as a stay at home parent better. I can connect with friends, other parents and communities that interest me while I'm at home with my children, and I think it has helped make it less of an isolating experience, which it can be at times. Don't get me wrong - I still value and cherish my real life buddies and spending time with family and friends, and the number of bloggers I've become real life friends with is a testament to that. But I think it has added a dimension to making being at home more enjoyable for me. Social media and blogging has enabled me to create and grow Sew Delicious, participate in wonderful creative and blogging communities and meet a lot of awesome people, for which I am grateful.