Thursday, February 14, 2013

Social Media: Finding your niche and expanding your voice

by Barbara Bechtel

Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nings, online classes,Pinterest, Flickr, Vine.....WHOOSH! It makes me tired just thinking of it. How do you find the right ones for you? What do you say? Let's talk about some strategies for managing and finding your authentic voice among all these.

Even if you're new to all of the social media or you're a seasoned professional, it's important to find your favorites and use them to your advantage. I've been doing some thinking over all of these and I've been pondering some of the following things:

1)Finding your voice.

Finding your voice is perhaps one of the most difficult parts to navigating online media.  Think of how you are in your day to day life. Are you the life of the party? or are you a wall-flower? Do you have a take charge type of attitude? Do you enjoy teaching? Do you enjoy learning? Are you a writer? Do you enjoy sitting down to record and document your work or your life? Perhaps you enjoy snapping pictures or consider photography an important part of your creative process. Maybe you love trolling the 'net looking for new projects or inspiration. This will be an important part of finding the social media outlets that are best for you.

2) Time Management.

For me, I want my social media time to be enjoyable. I want to interact with others and not feel like it's taking time from other areas of my life. Establishing a happy medium to that is becoming a very important key. Selecting 1-2 of my favorite outlets for interacting and letting the rest go and not worrying about whether or not I'm using to their best advantage is something I've been thinking about.

3) Take time to learn.

Many times we jump in fast to the new trendy thing without learning all the tips and tricks to really making it work to our advantage. This can definitely help especially when you are concentrating on 1-2 key areas. Visit your favorite pages and consider what makes you follow them or how you found them. It's not about duplicating someone else's strategy but more about why you find that inviting. As an example, there are blogs that I visit because I find their writing appealing, Instagrams I follow because their pictures are beautiful or inspiring, and Pinterest boards I follow because they are able to curate beautiful boards or collections. While this overlaps a bit on finding your voice, you found them because they had built a beautiful presence by finding their authentic voice through a specific platform and are using it well.

What obstacles do you have with social media? What things would you like to learn?


stacilouise said...

I think alot of it is trial and error too. Sometimes we can feel pressured to do it all.....but it doesn't work if you do a little bit of everything. Very wise words to help to best choose what is right for you.

Thanks Barb!

Mystic Indigo said...

I am primarily on my own website, facebook, (automatically tweets out so I don't have to deal with it) and Pinterest. I only try to pin my own stuff, though, as I am still uneasy about pinning using the pin button unless the owner of the content has one on their website.

crackers said...

THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!! I feel so overwhelmed with all of it......I loved what you wrote.

Unknown said...

There are a lot of social media options, but not all of them could be useful, so I agree that it's important to find the ones that would be advantageous in creating and maintaining a reputable online presence. The option to link one account to the other is quite helpful when it comes to time management and keeping consistency while being able to reach out to a bigger audience. Thanks for sharing, Barbara!


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