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how’s social media working for you?

making-a-living-column-headerMost of us have a love-hate relationship with social media: sure, it’s a great way to keep up with friends and family, an awesome venue for checking out how badly your ex-whoever’s life turned out, and a “free” method of advertising for your products and services. And sometimes the reality for many of us is that social media ends up being a time-suck, a rabbit hole of epic proportions, and/or a place we visit and end up feeling less-than for all that we’re not doing with our lives. Mabel recently asked a few people how they’re feeling about social media, and how it’s working for them and for their businesses.

Social Media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and etc—do you find all the work you put in to promote yourself on these sites lives up to its “promise”?  Does it bring you clients, customers or what you need for your biz? OR, do you feel it’s over-rated, and there are too many voices clamoring “notice me”, for your work to really be seen?

Deb-RobertiI have spent days putting together a Facebook or blog campaign just to have it fall flat and then a week later, without my doing anything at all, someone on the other side of the world will Pin or Facebook a link to one of my web pages and blammo, normal revenue will quadruple for 48 hours, and then, pfft, it’s over until the next time. Love-hate, absolutely, but unless today’s children turn into Luddites, social media will never EVER go away. It will just continue to change names and form as kids jump from one app to the next to escape their parents. Good to try and make some money off of social media’s mysterious stupidity while you can as long as you spend most of your time doing what you love, I say.

Deb Roberti is a  bead jewelry/pattern designer and publisher at AroundTheBeadingTable

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CMMMy feelings about social media exist in a decidedly “mixed bag” category. If I didn’t rely on it for my work, I would likely not even use it. But social media is a great way to promote and share work, and when I really set my mind to spreading the word about something, I find it very effective. At the same time, I usually feel like social media is a great big auditorium full of people, and anything I post is the equivalent of me walking into that room and yelling, “Hey everybody, look over here AT ME!” I’ve learned to laugh at that image, but I’ve never been able to fully shake the uneasiness.

Christine Mason Miller is an author, artist and explorer who can’t wait to shout into the virtual megaphone about her next creative projects.

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Lisa-OcchipintiThe internet is a profound tool if you think of it as exactly that—a tool. It has been an amazing device for my work: I got a commercial commission from Johannesburg, made an artist friend in Milan and began a conversation with London blogger. Connections are made that in no other way could have occurred. For that I am grateful and in awe of its reach and potential. But alas, like anything, it has its limitations and is best consumed in moderation. I don’t believe it is a replacement for experience. I think keeping true to yourself and maintaining perspective is necessary in the silent scrolling cacophony of social media.

Lisa Occhipinti is an artist, author and designer.

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JonathaI have a fraught relationship with social media. On the one hand I’m suspicious and cynical. There’s a quantity means quality sheen to the internet that’s hard to deny. Millenials are coming up with crazy clever Youtube identities and garnering huge followings. “Going viral” is the be all and end all. Where that leads? Not sure.

For me and my business, it’s a painful juggling act. And keeping up is just a new part of my job along with writing songs, plays, recording, and touring. So I have lots of “fans” on facebook. That’s great access. There are the graphs and shares and thumbs up in the back end of the app that I can access every week to see how I’m doing. But what does it really mean?

Was the funny FB post the reason my last show sold out? Was it the email blast with the cute photo? Or was it Instagram, the #throwbackthursday with my awful 5th grade haircut? It reminds me of the David Letterman/Paul Schaeffer schtick: “Is this Anything??” I’m still working on finding out. For me, a balance that feels honest is key. My goal is to commit to regular posts and tweets, but only if they feel organic. Then I can get back to writing songs!

Jonatha Brooke has been writing songs, making records and touring since the early 90’s.

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Have something to add? An experience or feelings to share about where you’re at with Social Media these days? Please share your stories here in the comments or on the Mabel Facebook page.

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AND please submit questions that you’d like to see the Mabel Community answer  in this Making a Living • Creating a Life column to:   info@mabelmag.com, subject line: Mabel Community Question

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