From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Monday, October 21, 2013

Thinking of Social Media as an Artistic Outlet

In my last post I mentioned that author marketing/social media ing can take as little as ten minutes a day. I've made similar statements before, and I'm always a tiny bit surprised by how many commenters say they're not sure that's possible, or aren't sure how to make that work. I want to say a quick something about that and then expand on a related idea.

So, the ten minutes a day social media thing is absolutely possible. Yes, that's probably minimum level and you're not going to write a genius blog post in ten minutes, of course. But think of it this way: keep a spreadsheet of all your social media accounts and the type of thing you want to post each day, topics, ideas, etc. For example, for Twitter I might have 'highlight a fellow bloggers post' on Monday, 'ask a writing question' on Tuesday, 'post a funny cat video' on Wednesday, etc. Something like that for all your social media accounts. Then, on really busy days, you can whip through that spreadsheet and post whatever you can in ten minutes. On days when you have a bit more time you can work on writing blog posts and leaving thoughtful comments, spending more than your base ten minutes.

There's that. Okay. New but related thought. I hear a lot of writers talk about how managing social media stuffs feels like a duty and a chore. It can be, for sure, but I think actually one of the best ways to look at social media is as an additional artistic or creative outlet.

Think of it as creating art for a specific platform, then just publicizing on that platform. Think of the platform set up not as restrictive, but as a tool or place to base your ideas. This means that you use the specific platform to express your artistic self.

One of my favorite examples is from Pinterest. Australian blogger Tiffany Beveridge created a board highlighting the adventures of her "Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter." So hilarious and cute and fun, and I'm sure Tiffany had a blast doing this. Fairly simple and easy, just a fun and uber-creative way Tiffany found to express herself using Pinterest. And now she has a book deal. Same with the Tumblr user who posts Texts from Dog.

I myself am having a fun time experimenting with Tumblr, trying out my own photography comic in somewhat the same vein as A Softer World or Tiny Ghosts, just on Tumblr. It's called A Fountain Troubled (points to anyone who can say where that comes from?). Here's something I posted.

Often I just use pictures I have on my phone and edit them and put them together with Fairly easy and simple and a fun creative outlet. I also have some ideas brainstorming for a Pinterest board idea that I have. And don't even get me started on the possibilities there are with YouTube, although that's probably a whole different more time-intensive thing. My point is, this can be a fun way to be artistic, but not just that, this brings you to the attention of all the people using that site, which is what social media marketing is about, isn't it? Best of both worlds.

The hitch in this way of looking at things, I think, is that some platforms, like Pinterest and Tumblr, lend themselves to this kind of thing much better than others. Even Twitter I think you could do some fun things, but with Facebook and Google+? Those seem more straighforward, and harder to manipulate artistically in that kind of way. Probably not impossible, but harder. And I'm not saying we all have to be artistic geniuses on every platform out there, but this might be a fun way to expand your social media horizons: to pick one social media platform to add to your tool belt and to use as a form of artistic expression in this kind of way. If you have already, or if you create one, please let me know so I can check them out and share them.

Does this make sense? I hope this doesn't scare/intimidate people, that was not my intent. I just think social media can be really fun if we look at it this way. Because we're artists after all, right?

What are some of your ideas that you'd be willing to share? What are some ways we could use sites like Pinterest and Tumblr and Twitter as artistic outlets, and can you think of any good examples?

Sarah Allen


  1. I'm not on Pinterest or Tumblr, so no idea.
    If social media becomes a chore rather than fun, then it shows. Which means not only are you miserable doing it, but your efforts are making it worse.
    I spend several hours a day, but I've found my groove and I'm happy with it.

  2. It's visiting other blogs and reading posts that takes up most of my time. It's not a chore, it just takes ages.

  3. Goodness, you're organised! Apart from my blog, which I try to keep up to date, I only have Twitter and that's used as a tool, to communicate with other professionals, whether writers, teachers or librarians, and to note my updated blog posts. One of our students who is also on Twitter actually noticed this. :) "Miss, you use it as a tool!" A lot of our local writers use it to communicate at times when they're desperate to talk to someone who understands. Others just feel they haven't the tie - ten minutes on Twitter can turn into hours and they'd rather be writing.

  4. I stick with Twitter and Facebook and Blogger. Its hard to keep up and I do want it to be fun.

    Great post as always, Sarah.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  5. I stick with Blogger because I'm not sure I could manage more than one thing at a time right now!

    I do love the ideas that Pinterest generates. A photo I found on the humor page (of all things) sparked the idea for my WIP :)

  6. The spreadsheet idea is really good. There are days when I realise I've neglected Twitter entirely, but got lost in far too much Facebook. I love the idea of ten minutes, but I find one thing leads to another and before I know it, it's lunchtime!

  7. I'm just starting to get into tumblr. It's fun!

  8. For me, creating my own posts isn't the hard part. I enjoy doing that. Well...most of the time. But if I want people to visit/read/comment on my blog, I owe it to them to return the favor. That's where the time-consuming part comes in. It's a bit of a Catch-22.

  9. My relatives who use all sorts of social media have asked me to participate. It took me a long time to go on FB. I do not know if I am ready for the big leap to the others.

  10. I'm on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Pinterest. Each one conveys my different interests and attracts different audiences -- this is what I like about them. When any of them feel like a chore, I just take a vacation. This usually does the trick.

  11. Interesting post...

    I've see authors post related items on Pinterest (like regency authors posting images of period clothing). I also like what Carrie Butler did. She made graphics that had eye catching images and quotes from her books and posted those.

    As for me, I'm doing well to find the time to blog. LOL


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