digital citizenship as a writer
Businesses have social media strategies because they know that in today’s industry, this is required to thrive. A writer is her own business and plays every role within, such as marketing, sales, content management, technology, and even wellness coordinator. Social media matters to writers, too. At least, it should.
I created my first webpage in high school. It was 1995. I joined yahoo and geocities. I created a website for my cat because I had to post so many pictures for a class assignment and that was an easy subject to take a bunch of photogs of. After learning the HTML well enough to post content, define columns, embed links, and even throw animated gifs all over—it was the 90’s, after all—I then pulled out my giant sketch pad to draw up a plan for my personal website. The introvert in me saw the web as an easy place to post all about me.
Today, I own my name as my website. I have active profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. I’m an active member of Reddit. I follow myriads of blogs. I write my own blog (besides this one).
I am being my own sales person, as taught to me by Daniel Pink (who has EXCELLENT books).
Here are a few things I’ve gleaned from each different internet world I am a citizen of:
Twitter: I follow tech leaders, writers, local politicians, friends, and a few shopping/deal accounts. From the tech leaders, I’ve learned interesting facts such as the most social-media-influential K-12 leaders. I also use their content to find interesting news and facts to share for the companies I write for as a freelance writer for Social5. From the writers, I find tips, clever thoughts, and news about their world. With local politicians, I can actually follow what’s happening at the state capitol building better than trying to dig through the news. Friends don’t post a lot. The deal accounts helped me find a great deal on a wooden train set for my toddler. Thanks, SlickDeals!
Facebook: I recently started sharing most of my personal blog posts to my Facebook account. It felt odd because I felt like I was bullying my friends into reading about me. But guess what? They can just scroll on past the post if they aren’t interested. I’ve had some surprising responses from friends that I wouldn’t have bothered with my personal blog otherwise. One was a very helpful suggestion for some tips to deal with sciatica during pregnancy, which is just the help I need lately.
Instagram: I haven’t used this account for much more than keeping in touch with friends and family. But, friends and family are important. I love sharing exciting personal news via this platform and getting comments. Lately, I’ve found another benefit: following an account from a company, EducateEmpowerKids, whose goal is to teach parents how to educate their kids about sex. This is very important to me as a mom of a toddler boy and a girl on the way.
LinkedIn: This is my resumé online, in addition to my actual resumé (which looks much fancier than LinkedIn, btw). It’s one of the easiest ways to sell myself, once I take the time to write out my job history well and connect with coworkers, friends, acquaintances, and industry leaders. I haven’t untapped its full potential, such as sharing articles or using it for job searches, but others with that experience have and you can google them to find tips.
Reddit: This community is amazing once you learn how to use it best. I could write an entire post about how to get started in Reddit. Do you think I should? Perhaps I should. I mentioned it in another post about gleaning writing prompts from the site. Reddit keeps me up-to-date on local, national, and international news, the latest rumors or happenings in technology, bad jokes, or silly memes, and specific topics that are most interesting to me such as gardening, home gyms, and DIY projects. It’s all about the subreddits (communities) that you subscribe to. You’ll often feel overwhelmed with all of the content thrown at you once you join, but get the hang of it and it’s a beautiful thing. (I also like to turn on the NSFW filter because, you know, it’s the internet and things are often messy. I don’t need messy.)
Following Blogs: I posted about many of the blogs that I follow over on my personal blog. I follow a lot of blogs, for news, for my job, to keep up with friends, and for entertainment. Find excellent blogs that interest you and keep up with them. Find blogs that expand your knowledge, blogs that make you laugh, blogs that speak to your interests. I like to use the app, Feedly, to keep on top of the latest posts from the most interesting blogs for me. It’s the best option out there, ever since the sad, sad death of Google Reader.
- You’re writing
- You’re writing
- You’re writing
So get writing. Be your own sales person and put your business, which is you, out there on the internet. Do you know how it helped me? Getting me work as a writer. Imagine that.