Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cleaning Out My Social Media Closet Isn't So Easy.

Writing about social media started with a shock. I couldn't believe just how many social media sites I'd accumulated over the last 10 years.  And the list kept piling up.  Since then, I've been looking at social media in a different way.  I'm trying to make it less about following the herd and more about following my heart.  

Some sites just pile up like bags of old clothes.

Having a wonderful conversation with a new friend, Jo, I compared old, used social media site accumulation to boxes in my closet.  Some are used to store things I will use again, others need to go.  I've been doing both over the last year.  Some sites like LinkedIn are gone for good.  Others like Twitter and Pinterest, I've stopped using but stopped short of tossing out completely.   

Twitter is a site my husband and son use constantly but I don't.  I don't even remember my log in or password. I don't even have it on my phone or pad anymore.  I always wonder if I will use it and if so, should I keep it open?  So it's like those old clothes that you keep, because you think someday you'll feel like wearing them again.  

Some sites are like a box of old pictures.

I like the idea of Pinterest, but I've just lost interest.  I've made some fun Pinterest boards, including my own art.  I've left it open and I still get notices that others have re-pinned my images.  That's nice to know, but not enough to make me want to go back.  Kind of like that box of high school yearbooks in the attic sitting there gathering dust.   

Some sites are like garage sales but a lot more work.

Etsy is another social media site that isn't a social media site, officially.  It's officially an online artisan marketplace.  A place to buy and sell handmade products for a small fee.  It sounds great, doesn't it? You put pictures of your work in your 'shop'.  Then wait for the sales to roll in.
Or not.

I spent hours putting together all the pieces for my Etsy shop.  Posting pictures of my studio and pieces. Writing my shop 'story' and policies and shipping statements.  I paid my fee per image.  I re-arranged and re-ordered and renewed it all for over a year.  Nothing.  Not one sale.  Not a good feeling at all.  

Then I started asking other artists about Etsy.  Some had the same experience I had.  Others did sell work.  But, the ones who sold, spent a lot of time on the site.  They 'liked' other shops, posted a new image a day for weeks, commented, tagged and re-tagged their pieces. Just posting their pieces got them nowhere.  It would be like having a garage sale and in addition to  putting up posters, you knocked on everyone's door in your city for days and weeks ahead.  I have a good work ethic, but that's just way over the top.

I like the idea of Etsy just not the actual truth of Etsy.  Especially now, when it's evolved from handmade art from artists to imported goods sold by import companies.   I haven't renewed my Etsy images.  I figured my shop would disappear and that would be the end of that but to my surprise, it's still there.  Kind of like all those stacks of empty bags and boxes I carefully fold away for 'someday'. 

Maybe it's time to let go of someday and recycle for today.

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