Social media is a necessary evil in the freelance world. It seems as though if you’re not online in at least three different places, you might as well not exist. Even before you publish anything, you’re encouraged to develop a social media presence in order to have a built-in audience. So, on top of this blog, I took this sound advice and currently maintain a public online presence on four different sites: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.
Why those four? I had to be dragged to Twitter kicking and screaming something about how I can’t communicate in 140 characters, but I can’t deny that it’s effective in dispersing information far and fast. After several years of having a personal profile, Facebook seemed like a no-brainer. Goodreads was a way to connect with potential readers and an excuse to read and review more material. Instagram was a different way to be creative and find inspiration while generating new content, which is the reason it won over the other site that I considered making my final social media hub, Pinterest (Tumblr was also a runner-up). All of them I’ve grown to tolerate and even love using, especially Twitter, which took me the longest time to get the hang of.
What’s interesting is that, because these sites are all fairly different, my “personality” is also different depending on which site I’m on. It’s not because I’m being any less authentic on any one site or that I’m tailoring myself to the audience any more than I would, say, here. But your experience with Twitter Gretchen is going to be dramatically different from your experience with Facebook Gretchen. So, in order of when I joined each site in a public capacity, here’s what you can expect if you catch me on other parts of the internet.
Twitter: Twitter me is pretty prolific. I don’t tweet thousands of times a day, or even hundreds, but I generate far more content on Twitter than I do any of the other sites. My use of the platform is split pretty evenly between microfiction and microblogging. Because of the character limit, I find that I can actually be funnier: on the flip side, I also complain way more. I’m more interactive and engaged, both with other users and communities. Outside of the fiction, I stay fairly light and upbeat. It’s one of the two places where I post my blog updates.
Facebook: Facebook me is in an awkward limbo state at this time and therefore fairly quiet. I’m not in the position where I can take advantage of a lot of Facebook’s features, so it’s mostly an archive of my blog posts and occasional announcements. It’s mostly there for when I do publish something and want to get the word out to my closer friends, who are connected with me almost exclusively through Facebook.
Goodreads: Goodreads me is the stereotype of a bookworm: quiet, dedicated to reading, and keeps to herself. When I do say something, it’s usually important or something I feel passionately about and not directed at anyone in particular. This is another “in transition” kind of profile because, when I do publish something, I plan on making the switch to an author profile rather than a reader one, and other than keep updating it with books there’s not much I do with it.
Instagram: I’m still in my honeymoon phase with Instagram because I haven’t been on it for very long (roughly two months at the time of writing), but I’m much more prolific than I thought I would be. I do have the cat and food pictures that I swore on a couple of graves I would never post, but very few selfies (I have no idea how to make them look remotely attractive). I’m working on the #authorlifemonth photo challenge, which has been very fun. What surprises me the most is that, for a visual medium, I write a lot on Instagram, to the point where it’s practically a second blog. I’m also way more open on Instagram than I am on any of the other platforms: I used to be pretty private about the details of what I’ve written, but the aforementioned photo challenge has me talking about them, and as a result I’m getting more comfortable bringing these things up elsewhere.
So which one is my favorite? Twitter is an old friend to me now, but I have a “love at first sight” thing going on with Instagram at the moment that’s causing a lot of tension in our relationship. Basically, both of the sites that I didn’t expect to like are the ones that I’m loving the most.
What about you? Where are you online and why? And while you’re at it, let’s connect, shall we?