Author Instagram!

Screen Shot 2017-11-03 at 1.43.11 PM.pngSo I’ve heard there’s no point in Instagram for authors. But here is how it works for me:

1: First and foremost, I think of it as my shop window. People who love Instagram (and LOADS of people do!) look people up authors and people they are interested in and if there’s nothing there, then they often lose interest. So it’s a good thing to have. By having it, and it being a good representation of who I am as an author is worthwhile.

But while that remains true, who wants to spend a whole bunch of time on something like this if it’s not your thing? But Instagram is owned by Facebook and so a photo I would otherwise post to Facebook, I post to IG instead, and it goes to both instantly. So I don’t think of my IG time as IG time at all, but as HQ (Facebook Author Page) time.

I don’t get hung up on IG results and here is why:

Yesterday I posted this photo to IG:

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The photo received very little attention, in fact, it was so pathetic it only acquired 3 likes and no comments!

 

But remember that as I posted it, it went directly to Facebook as well!

 

 

 

 

On Facebook, it received 9 likes and 21 comments (some of them are mine, of course, but I can only really comment in response to other things). So the singular act of uploading ONE photo (which is also WAY quicker to load to IG than to Fb by the way) in total got 12 likes and 21 comments!

I killed 2 birds with one stone, and to be fair, there are days where a photo falls through the cracks on Facebook, but gets loads of attention on IG.

I could totally just add it to Facebook only, but instead, I may as well hedge my bets right. And not a second of my precious time is lost in the process.

So if you don’t have Instagram, or you do and you are concerned it’s a waste of time, I don’t think it is if you use it simply as an upload method … 🙂

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

Tribe Talk 001

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.15.18 AMIn case you’ve missed it, I’m passionate about tribes, and working within and through them. So I thought I’d do a series on how they work for me, and with November being Author Blitz month for me, I think it’s a great place to start.

So I spent this morning explaining a little bit about social media, how I use it, and its role in tribes and villages.

You can watch the video HERE.

In a nutshell, it explains the following:

•It explains villages and tribes…

•How we are just millions of dots randomly spread everywhere. Nowhere near the highways.

•That there are virtual highways, and if we organize ourselves well, we can place ourselves along them.

•If we jostle, shout & push, we will get nowhere, but if we collaborate we will more likely find a place.

•But we tend to congregate now in bunches of our own, selling to each other and getting nowhere.

•Instead of a butcher, a baker & a seamstress, we are a row of authors, or a row of bloggers/fitness instructors/artist/etc. Our numbers aren’t putting us on the highways!

•Tribes, villages & Shopping centers work for a reason and we need to go back to them… But lets first look at the shop itself.

•Here is what they look like:

◦Home

◦Back of House

◦Back doorstep

◦Front of house

◦Shop Window

◦Lamppost

•They are slightly different depending on what kind of shop they are. Coffee shops are all front and barely any back. Dry Cleaners are all back and hardly any front. This is more than just space, it is also atmosphere and wanting to be there. Compare Starbucks front where it is all about the experience to dry cleaners who are notoriously grumpy.

•Do you simply provide a service regardless of how grumpy you are or do you need to draw customers in?

•This can feel overwhelming, but it needn’t be. This is what works for me:

◦I understand how these different parts work and why. I don’t waste time trying to make any of them be something they aren’t.

◦I have a strategy so that as I am working on each piece of the puzzle I am not stressing about the rest!

◦The pieces speak to each other! (e.g.: IG automatically posts to Fb, Blogs to Twitter and Fb etc)

◦Context is something you’ll hear me talk about a lot. I don’t try to do all things all the time. I spend time in each context and set it up well. No one puts posters on lamp posts every day, but now and then they pop out and check/replace them …. etc.

•We all belong to a number of villages. In the olden days we belonged to one and one only. It was physical, but it was also spiritual, educational, emotional, everything. But then people started moving to the city where they could choose their village and belong to a few. Study in one, live in another, work in a third and even worship in a fourth. It is a good thing for the most part but can also be lonely, fickle, & unreliable. The option of leaving means these villages can be unstable.

•A baker does not set up shop in a town of bakers. He sets up shop in a town with NO bakers… and lots of hungry people! In the olden days a bad baker who was the only baker still thrived. Now one has to be the best baker or people move on. And setting up against other bakers is asking for disaster.

•People in villages walk past our shops if they are shopping in other places. We need to belong to communities or tribes that will see our shop windows or our lamp posts when they are “surfing” their High Street. The villages/tribes that I belong to are:

◦My health community

◦Church

◦Expat

◦Neighbours

◦Old school buddies

◦Art associates

•But I need to reach beyond them. I need to have those in my community share my stuff so that their tribes can also see my stuff. And people hitting “like” through their newsfeed is not support that goes beyond them-and-me. Just last week I tagged a friend to show her a post she really needed to see as it was about her. She “liked” my comment but still did not take the action she needed to take (she didn’t even read it!). Click farms and Like farms have killed “like” as a support measure. We need “Comment Ambassadors” who aren’t bakers, to comment and share our content so that their tribes see it, more of my tribes see it, and those people passing by can see that it has a level of earthly worth.

•I’ll do another video on what this looks like and how to get it as soon as I can, as this is getting a bit long… so comment below as many questions as you like….

——————

•THERE ARE SOME BASICS HOWEVER:

•1: If people can’t find me at all, or they do and I have nothing to show, they will keep on walking past. You can’t change that fact.

•2: I need my shop fronts & windows to be active, clean, inviting, inspirational, warm, welcoming, and interesting.

◦IG

◦Fb

◦Website

◦Pinterest

◦YouTube

◦Goodreads

◦Amazon

◦The Mighty

•3: We cannot expect a place on the internet highways unless we collaborate, share, interact, and earn our place.

•4: Product/content is King!! Unless our products are brilliant, no formula in the world can make it a success.

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Where you can find and follow Jennifer:

YouTube |Blog | The Mighty | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

@JPeaSmith

Why Have Social Media?

img_7836(Repost from my old blog from when I started Twitter):

All of us have different reasons to having any kind of social media and for me it is to promote my writing (blogging and upcoming books on my personal growth/abuse story) and my art that I do for therapy and enjoyment.

A lot of people have asked me since last week why they should bother with Social Media. The simple answers are that they are the way that people are communicating out there these days. If you don’t want to live under a rock forever, then at some level these can truly add to your life if you do them well and simply. Secondly, they create what is known as your “online presence” and if you write, blog, create, build, have your own business of any kind, then any forum that you are publicly a part of, can be your greatest advertising tool; for free. Now that I am on Twitter and Instagram I rarely pass a shop, a cafe, a plumber or a restaurant without seeing their social media connections posted in a corner somewhere. Like it or not, it is the way of the future.

It can also be a lot of fun. I was in a cafe a month or so ago when the heaven’s opened up and not only was there a huge and sudden downpour, but a massive gust of wind. The whole thing lasted less than ten minutes but people raced in from outside and even inside water was pouring in through air vents and we were all desperately trying to get out of the way of water blowing in. It was quite fun even though it was a hassle and when I posted a pic on Instagram the next day it was fun seeing the pics that others had taken too, all tagging this little cafe. It was a good moment for them and the whole atmosphere of the stories and photos made a good show of community and I am sure was a free bit of advertising for that establishment.

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-2-29-21-pmOne of the biggest questions that I get asked about WordPress is how to get our blogs out there to be read and heard and talked about. Simply put, social media is the way to go. If you open your WordPress account and hover over the top left corner, a black box will pop down like this.

Right down near the bottom is the word “Sharing”. If you click on that you will open your sharing options. These sharing options are a “once off” effort that you don’t have to think about again. At the bottom of my post here you can see buttons that people can share this on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. This allows others to share your post even if you don’t have any social media. Here you can very quickly and easily add buttons to your blogs

 

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-2-33-41-pmOn the other hand, if you want to automatically share your blog post with others, then when you are writing your post, you simply click on the downward arrow to the right of “Sharing”. This is a a different kind sharing. This is your connection to automatically share your post on which ever social media YOU want to share it with.

So for example, when I press “Publish” when I have finished writing this post, I have connected to both my Facebook Page and my Twitter accounts (both). So I don’t even have to open either platform and nor do I have to click anything. This box has a button to connect (or disconnect) any social media you have which from then whenever I blog, I Tweet and Facebook at the same time! There is even a box to include a few words of your choice, and if you don’t customise the message that is fine too because it will just use your blog heading🙂

Sometimes you might write a post that you don’t want to share on Twitter, you just click on the box and as it shows up everything that it is going to do, all you have to do is un”tick” the box you don’t want it to go to, and next time it will revert to sending to all your social media platforms.

Learning Instagram:

(Repost from my old blog from when I started Twitter):

Instagram (IG) is an interesting platform. I have heard two very different stories about the effectiveness of Instagram and there appear to me to be two very strong camps. The first of course says that if you want to get yourself, your writing, your blogs out there, then you need to use all platforms of Social Media and that includes Instagram. The other school of thought is that yes, you should be using all the platforms, but that Instagram is a waste of time. Use Instagram for your family and dog pics, and everything else for your writers profile.

It is now four months since I started my Writer’s online presence and I have to say, that in terms of bang for your buck, Instagram is hard work. Twitter (0nce you get your head around it) can be fast, simple and in the moment. Your wording is limited, you don’t need a photo, and it is relatively easy to keep up with what is going on. It is easy to “find your tribe” and to connect with a community.

Instagram on the other hand I have found to be much slower. It is all about the photos and you need good ones for people to see you. Once you find your tribe you can definitely build community, but with the same amount of interactions my community on IG is about a 1/4 of the size of my Twitter community and each post takes way longer to put up.

I feel (rightly or wrongly) that my IG community is much more intimate, but I don’t feel as though I am getting my writing or blogging out there much.

So why have I stayed? MY Facebook Page is going slow because I have not been putting much effort into it (but plan to) and what I am enjoying about Instagram is that I link it to the Facebook page. So that even if not much is happening, I am adding pictures and content to my Facebook page every time I Blog, but also every time I take a photo.

To sign up for Instagram simply look up Instgagram.com (or click on that link) and once you have clicked on the sign up button, you can again follow the very basic prompts. It is very much the same procedure as Facebook and Twitter.

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Enjoy! 🙂

Instagram! Where have you been all my Life???

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I started an Instagram account a while back, but never really knew what to do with it. It always amazes me how something can be wrong at one point in our lives, and yet the exact same thing is “oh so right” at another time. Instagram is a perfect example of that for me. When I joined it somehow it felt pointless and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. So I just left it and I guess somewhere along the line it just fell off the shelf and was added to the detritus on the floor with all the other irrelevant trash of my life, destined for decomposition…

Then last week I decided that if I am going to finish writing my story and I want people to read it, then I need to engage with the world out there more, I need to share who I am and what I do, and so with great trepidation I gave in and opened a new account only a couple of days ago. What a world it has opened up for me! I LOVE taking photos of the things I see that I find beautiful on all kinds of levels and they seem to be different to the things that others notice and take photos of … the paint all over my fingers, the ceiling above me, a secret nook…

And so while I have always captured these things, I had no idea what to with the photos… and I have tens of thousands of them on my computer and about three thousand of them on my phone. I am in love! I have a LOT of catching up to do now… not just today and tomorrow, but I am tempted to put ALL of those old ones up as well! Throw back Thursday might have to be the day for all the old ones, or can I just put them up randomly?