The Tamagotchi. A faddish keychain-sized electronic game created by the Japanese in the 90s. The premise: an egg would appear on screen, hatch into a pet, and you would proceed to spend every waking moment nurturing it from baby to adult.
To avoid being labelled a “bad parent”, you had to carry it with you everywhere, give it snacks, discipline it and clean up its poops. But you couldn’t overfeed it or it would get fat and sick. Depending on your level of care, your pet could end up smart, hungry, sad or dead.
TAMAGOTCHI: THE GATEWAY DRUG TO TODAY’S SOCIAL MEDIA
Yep, social media, the modern-day Tamagotchi. It bleeps and bloops all day needing constant attention.
As I run an online business, I can admit social media is necessary, and it most definitely has its benefits. It is a great way for any small business to get their name out there. The personal interaction builds meaningful connections with others and helps gauge customers likes and dislikes.
But recently I’m finding it overwhelming trying to keep up with its fickle yearnings. Experts in the matter will tell you:
- “You must post regularly. The algorithm needs consistency”
- “Don’t post too much because the algorithm doesn’t like that either”
- “Make sure the colour scheme of your messaging is aesthetically pleasing”
- “You need to go viral”
- “Use tag lines, hashtags, stories”
- “Like this”
- “Share that”
Blah blah blah.
It’s overwhelming babysitting inanimate children whilst attempting to get a decent amount of art done. In the end I either give a half-hearted effort or I shove it in a drawer hoping it will raise itself.
I’m curious. How do you feel about social media? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Do you tolerate it as I do? Do you even care if someone’s Instagram profile has aesthetic cohesion?
Clearly my permissive/uninvolved virtual parenting has a direct correlation to my social media “children” pooping on the floor. But because I want to be a “cool mom”, I’ve decided to see if I can revive some of my ailing digital children.
But where to start? What to tackle first? Which child do I love more?
I’ve thrown mud at a wall for some time seeing what sticks. It seems interest in my work comes from a plethora of different avenues, so it’s hard to define the best place to focus my energy.
A search of my analytics, however, shows Pinterest drives a surprising amount of traffic to my site.
My first suggestion if you don’t know where to start is check the analytics across all your social media accounts. Determine the strengths and weaknesses based on your business goals. If something isn’t working start by focusing on that. If something does work, see what else could be implemented to make it even more successful.
I’m surprised Pinterest works so well for me given it’s the child I give least attention to. In fact, I never learnt to use it properly.
“What is Pinterest?” If you’re asking this, you’re likely from a generation that used corkboards. Remember when you would pin stuff to cork like: pictures of places you wanted to visit, stuff you wanted to remember, or the recipe for hot-dog fondue you cut out of the Reader’s Digest. Pinterest is like that. You can save information you gather from all over the internet, particularly things that are image driven, and “pin” them to your “online boards”.
This might help…
If you’re reading this blog post on my website, you will find on the left near the top, some tiny icons. If you were to click the ‘Share’ button you can pin this blog post, for example, to your Pinterest board or other social media account.
So yes I’m going to start my social media comeback by learning Pinterest. I’ve decided to do it by using the free ‘Pinterest for dummys’, more formally known as Pinterest Academy. (Academy sounds rather elite. I am dubious I’ll receive any qualifications worth putting on my resume.)
If you’ve used other sites that offer good Pinterest tips, especially if they are tailored to an art business, do let me know.
Where to start if you’re social media needs improvement:
- Remind yourself of your goals
- Check the analytics of each social media platform you use. Find out the strengths and weaknesses of each according to YOUR business goals
- Learn more about the platform you are using, start with a free short course
- Unlike real children, it’s ok to take a break from your social media children. It’s also ok to start raising them differently when they’ve already matured!
“Social media is a performance like any other form of entertainment, and acknowledging that is important” - Bryce Dallas Howard
That’s it for now. Trying to tackle every aspect of social media at once would be too overwhelming and puts me at risk of completely removing their batteries.
I’m off to find a good recipe for hot-dog fondue on Pinterest. In case you are interested, here is my Pinterest account “before” (September 2020). Provided I don’t get side-tracked with cat videos, I hope to report back in the future to share what I learned in my Pinterest journey.