Social Media Survival for the Smidge Over 50's

So here is a thing, I have searched high and low but I cannot find a ‘Book for Dummies’ on the subject of how to thrive and survive in the world of social media for the smidge over 50’s!

To elaborate ‘smidge over 50’s’will now and forever more be my age.  I have got this far, I deserve that.

So back to ‘Angstagram’ twits and tweets and the forever changing face of Facebook, just how to you even start to get your head around all of this? Well it helps to have an oracle and in this instance my oracle is my incredibly patient teenager, and yes such a thing does in fact exist, sometimes they just need cultivating and nurturing.

So armed with this and a nervous optimism, I started on the new journey, they refer to as book marketing.

I have joined many Facebook communities that offer advice and support to the ‘newbie’ writer and the folk I have spoken to have all without exception said that the writing is the easy part.

I have blessed on my writing journey with the many people including my lovely and willing teenager who have come forward and offered their time and expertise to get me off this particular starting block and into a comfortable jog.  But navigating this world is hard and complicated and quite frankly downright frustrating.

I was talking to my eldest son the other day and he said ‘Mum, this must be a nightmare, I have grown up with social media, so it is part and parcel of everyday life, but diving in at the deep end must be terrifying.  Yep, I think he hit the nail on the head there.  But the fact is though if we want to get ahead and raise awareness or build up a small business or sell a book we have put some of our very soul into we need to take the bull by the horns or should I say the Internet by the short and curlies.

The first piece of advice I was given by my cheerleading squad was to build up my presence over the many platforms and for me these were Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Once you have joined you need to comment and like and tweet and work on your profile.

Not only do I have to keep this up to make sure I don’t sink to the bottom of the abyss, but I also need to be able to understand who these particular sites appeal to and learn their language.  For instance, I have discovered that my Facebook followers love pictures of our kitten and her escapades or the occasional rant relating to current affairs, but the folks on LinkedIn may not respond so positively to that, and I have learned that putting on my professional hat when posting there has been a lot more effective. Then there is Instagram and well let’s just say I am happy to leave my oracle to post on my behalf and while we are on the subject of the sites that perhaps appeal more to our younger generation, please for the love of GOD if you want to protect yourself from seeing things you can’t unsee, keep snapchat at arm’s length.

We now live in a society where sadly it is easy to fall into the habit of measuring popularity by the number of likes a post gets or whether anyone bothers to comment. I am learning that this is indeed a slippery slope and I very quickly become disillusioned if this is the way I choose to gauge success.  In all seriousness at its worst this can actually be detrimental to your mental health and if you know anything about me – then I am all over this.

I am learning how to make a tiny dent in the business of self-promotion but what I need to concentrate on now is a way to do it healthily.

I was speaking to a friend the other day, I met her on my writing journey.  She is an author or numerous books and an amazing coach both in the writing arena and when it comes to being successful in building a presence in social media.  So when I am tempted to check my mobile or device for the umpteenth time for any uplifting comments, offers or invites, I let this this piece of her stella advice permeate my rather resistant brain.

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

This has become my mantra – so you best believe I have donned some very comfortable running shoes and settled into a steady pace.   The landscape has become less of a blur and I am starting to enjoy the scenery.  I am also pretty sure if I keep up this gentle pace I am guaranteed to arrive at my location, whatever or whenever that is a lot healthier and happier.

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