Hello dear ones!!! Trying to stay on schedule, write once a week…ish. It’s THAT time again…time for a rant!!!
My friend T and I were talking and she mentioned that she’d been thinking about unfollowing some folks on Twitter; she followed them because they were crochet accounts, and suddenly one person is tweeting about being sick, how her head is all stopped up, and then talked about her mucus. Another one is about how her kid is feeling. Does anyone else find a few faults? *looks at crowd to see some hands raised* Good, some of you get it off the bat, I’m glad of that.
Let me start off by saying if your business is that you have no arms and you knit with your feet even though you have arthritis and have to wash your feet and keep them soft so you can knit, and you’ve got 2 kids to keep up with, and you sell your creations, then all of that can go in your posts, on Facebook or Twitter. That’s who you are. Own it. If you say you’re an artist, but then all your posts stop being about your art, then the folks who followed you for your art your art could stop following you…you’re not holding up your end.
I know folks get sick. I understand that there are many people who are very sick, and many with long term illnesses. I get, also, that folks like to share something about themselves, you know, give their business a personal touch. That’s cool. I tweet about loving coffee, horror flicks, warm weather, my husband and dogs…and if I’m feeling under the weather, I may tweet about it, though nothing too specific. If I’ve followed you on Twitter because of your art (music, paintings, sculptures, drawing, you’re a writer), unless your next piece of art is about or uses your boogers, DON’T TWEET ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!! Unless we’re friends somehow other than Twitter, that’s more than I want to know about you. I feel my life has been cheapened by reading tweets about your boogers. I don’t even really want to hear about my husband’s mucus, much less that of a perfect stranger, who I followed because of their cool art, which is now not all that cool, because you burdened me with knowledge of a bodily secretions. Thank you.
Even in a small, mostly online business, one must have a certain amount of professionalism. On Facebook, lots of people, myself included, have a personal profile, and one for business. That’s partly so that we can control who has access to our personal information. I am a bit different on my personal page, than I am on my business page. *whispered* I swear on my personal page, but try to conduct myself a bit more professionally on my business page. I’m more reserved on the yarny page. I don’t act at my day job, as I do at home (I swear A LOT MORE at home). Would you want to walk into a store only to hear the shopkeepers talk about being sick, and going into detail about it? Would you stay? Would you ask for the manager? Would you want to hear about their sickness daily? Wouldn’t you feel like you know waaaaaaaay too much information about someone you just wanted to buy something from?
I do follow people who have kids. I don’t follow anyone BECAUSE OF their kids. If your Twitter account is “Fiona’s Fancy Crochet,” chances are I’m following you because I want to know about your damn fancy crochet. I don’t want to know that your kid is sick or can’t sleep or is teething. I’m not saying an occasional tweet about how you’re not sleeping because your child is having trouble or is sick or something, BUT if I follow fancy crochet, I want to know about fancy crochet. If I follow Henry’s Horror Art, I want to see horror art, I don’t really want to know about your kid’s impetigo, colic, or eating habits. Again, a post now and again, something not too personal, is ok. Remember, someone could favorite a tweet daily, but chances are you’re still strangers, except you both like Cthulhu art or cooking, or sci-fi/fanstasy books.
This can all be solved by having a personal account and a separate business account on Twitter. You can say whatever you want on your own account, talk about your boogers and your kid’s weird skin patch, and having to pick up hairballs in the night from your cat. On your business page, you should tweet about things being rough last night so you didn’t get sleep, hopefully it will be a good day. If you decide to keep just one account, less is more when it comes to talking about your personal life. Think about it this way: When I see someone has followed me on Twitter, I immediately go to their page, I read their description and their most recent tweets, and that’s how I decide to follow or not. If your description says you’re an artist, and your last week’s tweets are about your foot fungus, I won’t follow you. If you’re a writer, and you’ve got blinding migraines, that’s different, what’s going on with you affects your creative process. A hooker (crocheter), with arthritis, likewise, can tweet some about the pain. Don’t make the bulk of your posts about your illness though. It can appear that you want people to follow you because of your illness.
I need to say, too, that the same goes for Facebook. It doesn’t cost you anything to have a business page, fanpage, etc. Do not make perfect strangers who want to purchase jewelry from you wade through the posts about your ear wax, your kid’s homework, and why you had to shave the dog. And again, you can lightly pepper your posts with bits about yourself. On my facebook posts I talk about my dogs, occasionally about the husband, my love of horror flicks, my health, my job… But it’s gently sprinkled in. People don’t ask me to make them a spawn because I have 2 dogs and like horror movies. I will admit to having unliked/unfollowed businesses whose posts began to always talk about their families… your business page should be for mostly business-related content. Otherwise people have to start deciding whether, or when, following you is worth having to sift through the personal stuff… and sometimes, it’s not.
I am not in any way saying that it’s not ok to be a mom who works at home and talks about being a mom and about the business. I’m not saying that you can’t be someone with a long-term illness who creates wonderful art, and talks a lot about your illness. I AM saying that there are people who won’t want to wade through THOSE posts to get to your art. I’m not a parent, and am really not all that interested in the children of strangers, so I’d have to decide whether or not your art was cool enough to have to put up with posts about when your kid came home from preschool the other day… maybe, but maybe not.
And by the way… Let me preface this by saying that I am not one of those people who takes pictures of their food. I just don’t get it. I may post about having a yummy meal, but not all that often. The husband loves to take pictures of his food and post pictures, but he also likes to cook…I do not. There are a lot of folks who do this, celebrities, chefs, foodies, average people… If you’re a chef, a baker, food critic… this is cool, and relevant. You just went out for a sandwich and salad and want me to see it? WHY??? I don’t care. I don’t care what celebrities, actors, directors, famous writers, politicians, bands, or presidents eat… not really. And if you’re a business, NOT related to food in any way, I really don’t care much. Yes, I do occasionally tweet or post about eating or drinking something particularly yummy, but it’s not the bulk of my content. I tweet about needing more coffee, something most artists mention… we like caffeine boosts, coffee, tea, soda… what have you. But my business is not food related, so there’s not a really good reason for me to post about food. (If I found a frog in my salad though, I’d tweet the hell out of that with pictures…BECAUSE IT’S CREEPY!)
I check out which posts get more attention, what content people “like.” It’s easier to check on your insights on Facebook than on Twitter and Google+, but I still do check on things. I wonder how often people check on things like that, how often do you look at your posts and think “hmmm, I posted a picture of my art, and 49 people liked/favorited it, but I posted that my kid is sick and I’m tired of finding boogers on my pants, and only 2 people liked/favorited it, and I was unfollowed by 4 people.” That would resonate with me. If you have a business account, and there are posts which no one likes… maybe you should ask yourself what it is about that post that NO ONE LIKES, and then don’t do that again.
So, what now? You’ve read this, and gone back and looked at some of your posts, and realized that you’ve got lots of posts no one likes? No one likes the ones about your kids? People don’t favorite tweets about the bedsores on your bum, even though you’re a bedridden artist? Change it… or don’t, up to you. Just know that your content is how people judge whether they’re going to follow you. I might just follow someone who’s an artist and a parent, and some tweets are about the kid, trying to keep up with a running kid and not being able to work as much as liked, with some posts about the art generously thrown in. I would not follow an artist whose entire last page of tweets was about a child being sick. That’s for your personal profile. I’m no guru, I have no specific idea what content is best for you. I know what posts get the most attention for my page, and I am always trying new things to see what effect they have on the number of views… Your posts are the advertisement for your business if you don’t pay to promote them… Make them count FOR you, not AGAINST you.
So, go to your pages, your favorite artists, business people…look at their content, the posts that lots of people like.., and also, look at what has no likes, no favorites… think about why, it’s good to check out what’s doing well, and what’s not. Remember that all this is just stuff that floats around in my brain, so maybe don’t take it deadly serious… But it probably couldn’t hurt to look at what you’re posting on behalf of your business… if it is too personal or not really business appropriate, you could be driving people, customers, away.
Keep it creepy!!!!!!!!!!!!