If you read my last post, you are already aware that I launched a podcast as a part of the brand new Premier Dance Network. Since that launch, I have had some very exciting things happen. At this very moment, Pas de Chat: Talking Dance is listed as "New & Noteworthy" on the iTunes charts ranking #49 in Arts and #63 in Business. We have had a few hundred downloads and I am really, Really, REALLY excited about it! Of course, I am happy to share this excitement (and continue promoting) on my social media networks; which range from Facebook (my most heavily used) to Instagram (next down the list) to Twitter (my least favorite). And, initially, I saw a mirror-reflection of my excitement in the number of likes, loves, and comments on my accumulating podcast postings. Then, perhaps, the most exciting thing of my launch week happened. Dance Magazine wrote up an article about both my podcast and my sister podcasts (which even included an image of me dancing). In my thrill and happiness, I shared this, too. As I sat back waiting for the scroll of likes to appear on the locked screen of my iPhone, nothing happened. A few minutes passed and making the assumption that there must be something wrong with my connectivity, I opened my screen and tapped on that trusty blue "F" app to see how many notifications I had. None. And nearly 24 hours since I posted, 6 likes. What happened?
I am no stranger to the string of events that happened yesterday. Each time that I have launched a new project (like this blog), I have to remind myself that there is a fine-line between sharing something exciting, using social media as a tool for promotion, and over-saturating my feed with excessive impersonal, promotional content. I have gotten pretty good at the wildly obscure balancing act that is engaging social media. But even experts like myself can fall victim to the circumstances they study and understand.
When I first started using social media back in the days of Myspace, these self-producing content systems seemed like the next best thing to living in the same house with all of your friends, old and new. It was engaging, quick, and direct. And being an artist at the young age of 21, who had lived in 5 states in 5 years as I finished out my training, it was a great way to stay in touch with my peers who also scattered across the country to pursue their passion and art. Once I got spammed off of Myspace and opened the pages of Facebook, I felt that it became even more personal. At one point, I remember watching the news and listening to a story about how social media was beginning to be used as a marketing tool for certain target markets. I remember turning to my Danya and saying, "I can't imagine Facebook becoming one giant commercial." Well, those days have arrived and passed. And for the most part, it is us every day people creating those commercials.
What is one to do when they have a great new project and they want to garnish excitement or support from their friends, family, peers, and acquaintances? By all means, don't be afraid to promote on all of your social media channels. But remain keenly in tune with the response that you get from your networks. If your first post gets 30 likes and a handful of comments, maybe give it a day or two before posting again. If you see the number of responses declining rapidly, even to your regular, non-promotional updates, you are likely posting too often about your project. If you find that you have overreached your friend's promotional limits, step away from sharing for a few days and get back to posting personal content. Remember, like me, most of us first joined these social media networks to connect with our friends. Get back to the basics and remind your friends that they are connecting with a person, and not a business or salesman/saleswoman.
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