I don't know about you (and maybe it's the witch in me) but it feels like something has shifted in the digital world. And as far as content and content creation goes, I feel like a lot of us are—for lack of a better term: Over it.
And while that’s all fine and dandy, a lot of us are still forced to rely on social media to help us spread the word about our services, products and business (Yay Capitalism!). It’s safe to say that in 2022, social media feels more like a necessary evil than the once innocent pastime it was when it first came on the scene. I equate our combined digital dispiritedness as more of a creativity burnout than anything.
Between having to show up on Instagram and make reels *screams externally* and then jump over to Tik Tok to regurgitate the same nonsense you forced yourself to create on instagram (only with Tik Tok’s much smoother and more innovative user experience) and then tweet about it to your 125 followers on Twitter—Holy shit. It’s no wonder we’re sick of “creating”. There’s NOTHING creative about it! These social media outlets have effectively turned the joy and spontaneity of content creation (RIP Vine) into a sweatshop of half-assed 30 second videos of all of us doing (insert random activity here) to the Kate Bush classic Running Up That Hill. It’s exhausting. It’s derivative. It’s uninspired. It blows.
Now, this isn’t supposed to be a post about how content creation sucks. Even though it’s definitely coming out that way—What this post is supposed to be about is the NEW rules of content creation. As the social media game changes, I’m afraid so do we. I’ve effectively built a very engaged following over the course of two years and what I was doing when I started is not what has been working or will continue to work now. If you’re looking for tips to blow up overnight or “go viral” the following advice is not going to help you so be forewarned.
These tips are for the defeated and disenfranchised. The brilliant creators and artists who have been reduced to dancing monkeys for the Al Gore Rhythms™ sick entertainment and want to get back to feeling like a REAL person in a virtual world.
Rule #1: If You Hate Your Content, So Will Your Audience
The key way to avoid this? Make shit YOU think is cool. Make what YOU think is funny. Not only does this stick it to the algorithm, it also makes your life much easier. How? Well now you’re not constantly trying to guess what your audience wants from you. And even though I’m sure lots of people will zombie chant to give your audience more of what they want and less of what they don’t—Showing up everyday to create something for someone else is not sustainable. If you know that you created something that makes you smile, you’ll feel good about it.
Rule #2: A Little Spontaneity is Good, Too Much Will Kill You
I don’t even want to know how much time I’ve wasted on social media, my ancestors will roll in their graves I’m sure. While I love an air of spontaneity with my content (and you SHOULD leave some room for it!) I find that the sweet spot is somewhere between religiously planned and hope for the best. Pick the two three days of the week you want to put something out there and show up those three days for 30 minutes. I’m serious. If you’re finding that you’re spending WAY too much time scrolling, I promise you you’re doing it wrong. Have a goddamn schedule. Stick to it.
Rule #3: Give Proof That There is Life On Mars
Remember when we used to only post photos of our lunch with the caption: #yummy? Those were the fucking days. And you know what? This is a petition to bring that back. It’s okay if you just want to share what you’re doing today. Post a picture of your lunch. Remind your followers that hey! There is a REAL personal behind this account. Will it “convert” or make people buy your products? Maybe not. But maybe…just maybe, they’ll comment on the fact that they too prefer a sandwich on a bagel over plain bread and a hint of the “social” in “social media” will blossom.
Rule #4: Get A Life
Social Media might be crucial in helping you sustain your business, but it’s OKAY to step away sometimes. In fact, I highly encourage it. The truth is, we cannot create all the time. Creativity is about inspired action. Not consistent busy work. I’ve stepped away from my socials so many times and come back without missing a beat. Make time for life. For play. For rest. As much as social media takes of our time, nothing interesting is happening there. The REAL interesting stuff happens outside. So don’t be afraid to walk away.
Like I said, these tips might not help you get thousands of new followers, but I do hope that it helps you feel a little better about co-existing peacfully in the real world and the social one <3