"Carpi Diem" means experiencing everything as if it's your last day. All eyes are (or seem like) they are on you, like a bright spotlight! I understand why that scenario creates anxieties at first. These worries are troubling and are not everlasting. An example of embracing creativity, new opportunities, and knowledge is social media.
What is social media? The definition is interactive technologies that allow the creation or sharing/exchange of information, ideas, career interests, and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
We know the definition of social media, but what are examples? How do we use it and make it more personal?
In this article, I will give you some advice to find the answers for yourself.
There are plenty of examples, but I will use Twitter as a personal example and Instagram as a promoting example.
Examples of Social Media:
Twitter is a website and app that was made in 2006 and has only improved through the years. It may not be the most current example, but teens and young adults use Twitter. The app and website is a micro-blogging website and app.
How can we interact with Twitter? This app and website is basically a personalized blog online! Using this website, like many others, requires rules that you have to follow. Respecting the content of others, using appropriate language and interactions, and using tweets within 280 characters.
I am aware that 280 characters are not enough to say everything you want to. A solution to this is adding another tweet to the original.
A hashtag (the max is 15) brings people into a conversation. This simple interaction creates traffic, where people see what you say or vice versa. Traffic is a wise idea if handled well.
Note - Be careful of using hashtags unrelated to anything that is not related to your statement or a topic that is considered spam.
Of course, getting followers and having everyone see you are great, but sometimes, the numbers can get to your head. We all want to be seen. If this has happened to you or others, don't be too hard on yourself or them. It happens to everyone and is so relatable.
How can you interact with others besides using a hashtag? You can add colors or an animated picture (like a GIF) to your tweet to develop more liveliness. The sky is the limit!
But what does this have to do with Instagram?
Instagram is another app and website you can use for social media.
Instagram is an American photo and video sharing social networking service created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. In April 2012"
You can use it as a creative to share your life, thoughts, creations,
As great as creativity is, we also need knowledge regarding using these platforms. You don't need a class (although I highly recommend it, like Hubspot, because it is free and self-paced), but that choice is up to you. Sometimes, you need someone to guide you. Sometimes, you need some good old trial and error to get clarity.
I will give you some advice to get this clarity and send you on your way to creating something true for you online.
1. What are your reasons behind making a name for yourself online? Is it to express yourself, to join a community or two? To promote a product? You need to figure this out before anything else. Trust me, it would make it so much more focused, enjoyable and cause less stress. If you are drawn to more than one thing, try them all out. If this includes research, that's OK.
An example of this is personal to me. I wanted some type of connection. I am very introverted and struggle to communicate confidently. I found an outlet to do this: writing. I started at age 10 with short stories. I read those back, and they were definitely cringe-worthy fanfiction. This is what I have wanted to do for the rest of my life. If I give hope to someone through my writing, then I am a happy camper!
2. Once you have figured out why you want to join social media, you can start experimenting! I joined groups online to find writers I could connect with. I use authors to learn from their mistakes and their victories, so I would have some idea what to do because, back then, I had no idea. I joined Facebook, Twitter, and eventually Instagram. Where I have so much support as a writer and self-published author.
3. Use an eye-catching, transparent, and appropriate photo(s) and create a stellar bio. These things are so important. These are the first things people see, so make it count. Use sentences and be authentic. Why is this important? Using this strategy, people are aware of what your page is about, the content, and it helps them decide if they want to interact with you.
An example of a bad bio is from my personal Facebook page: A girl who likes reading and writing. Loves her dogs. Sure you know I like these things. Considering that I'm an author on Facebook, it gives you no clues about what I write, which is a problem if I want to sell books.
A better example would be this: I am an author who scribes short stories for adults and young adults. Or if you want to be more specific: I am an African American female author with anxiety, depression, and cerebral palsy. I write to spread hope, pure love, and courage through my stories. Do you see the difference? One is more specific and clear while the other isn't.
4. If you need content, using what you have can be a good strategy. For photos and videos, you can use natural light and your phone's camera to get them. For editing and creating posts and videos, for example, you can use apps such as Canva.
5. Be present. Go back to step #2 and 3. Using the communities you have joined, show them you care. By commenting, sharing, mentioning, and/or following.
What does this have to do with Instagram? How can you use Instagram for creativity and connection with others?
As stated before, Instagram is a vivid, growing online community.
There are many ways to connect with others. You can use my tips as examples.
A personal and business-like Instagram example:
Being part of the author community is like being in the middle of being passed a torch. If anyone is unaware of what I mean, basically someone is holding a torch to a certain point, then they pass it over to the next person, and so on. You hopefully have learned what you like to write, your writing style, your muses, etc. If you haven't figured out these important elements, you may want to figure this out first!
The author industry is wonderful as much as it is competitive. Especially because you can easily sell your books online, which is how most authors begin their career or hobby. You have to remember your answers to step #1 and remember that when times get challenging and discouraging because it will. You may feel like quitting, but I don't ever want anyone to quit just because something is hard temporarily. If you stick it out, you may get the results you want but not right away.
Why did I want to start a business?
Why did I start a business online? I wanted a connection. I wanted hope despite everything around me. I wanted real friends and love. I wanted a purpose. I started at age 10 with short stories. I read those back and they were definitely cringe-worthy fanfiction. Then they just got longer, deeper, soothing, healing. I was home. I decided this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and to share them despite being scared like hell. If I give hope or make someone dig deep within themselves and feel safe, I am a happy camper! Sure, the numbers aren't quite there yet, and, yes, I haven't been promoting as much as I should be because of anxiety, but this isn't just about me anymore, it is about my audience. I'm the type of person who likes to take the time to give it all I've got, because not only do I deserve that, my audience does too. So, if that means making a newsletter and a website with an author page and slowly building confidence and skills, that is actually what I'll do and the money will follow... eventually.
I hope these tips help you! Now go find your voice online. Have some fun experimenting. I wish you guys the best of luck.