Almost all social media platforms now have algorithms that determine what you see in your feed. Interact with a post by liking or commenting and you’ll see more posts by that account. Over time your feed will become catered to your preferences. This works great for the social media platform because it can then also cater the ads you see, and it can be great for you, too, because you’re more likely to see posts from accounts you care about. But the algorithm isn’t great for discovery. If you stick with the same set of social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram, for example) the chances that you’ll stumble on new voices and new perspectives decreases over time.
And yet to stay interesting on social media you need to share new voices and new perspectives. Be the first person to share a gorgeous tutorial or a controversial article and your followers will show their appreciation for your curation skills by sharing and commenting on your post. Overtime they’ll begin to look to you as a source of great content and your social media following will grow stronger.
So, how do you find interesting content to share? You gotta get creative. Here are five sources I turn to frequently to find interesting craft content to share on social media.
LinkedIn gets such a bad rap. I think it’s because they send you those annoying emails every time someone wants to connect (I turned email notifications off long ago). I think most people see LinkedIn as a place to park your resume and never look back, but did you know that LinkedIn has a newsfeed? I had no idea until I installed the app on my phone a few months ago. One day in April I randomly opened it while eating lunch and the first item was an announcement from Creativebug CEO, Ursula Morgan, that JoAnn has bought a majority share in the company. I dropped my salad and literally ran to my computer to get this post up on the Craft Industry Alliance blog and ever since I have a Pavlovian response to LinkedIn; if I open it there will be some interesting nugget of information for me. So far it’s proven true. I find something useful and interesting there on a daily basis.
I first learned about this app a few months ago when I heard an interview with the company’s CEO, Mike McCue (he was interviewed by Kara Swisher, my all-time favorite person). I decided to download it and play around. You input a few topic areas you’re interested in (mine are “sewing,” “quilting,” “Etsy,” and “Instagram” right now). Flipboard’s curators fill up your topics with interesting links that you can then flip through. I’ve found at least a half-dozen valuable links on Flipagram including this one showing Ellen Degeneres’ new fabric line for JoAnn.
I’m going to just admit right now that I’m in 80 private Facebook groups (and I just pared them down). That’s sort of lot. I participate in each of them from time to time, but I mostly just read. The groups I’ve joined are populated with my target readers and customers and their posts and comments and links are so informative. Through these groups I not only find great things to share on social media (and interesting questions to pose to my own followers), but I also get story ideas.
I’m sure you’re well aware by now that I love email newsletters. I subscribe to maybe a dozen and through those newsletters I find excellent links to share. Crystal Moody’s newsletter is about daily creativity. Ann Martin shares paper projects that are not-to-be-missed. Carolyn Friedlander’s newsletter is full of visual inspiration for sewists. Jessica Skultety’s brings me modern quilting articles I would never have found on my own. Most days of the week these thoughtfully curated emails land in my inbox giving me interesting fodder to share.
Can you blame me? I love those social media platforms that everyone hates (I recommended LinkedIn! Can it get any worse?). I sincerely love Twitter and always have, but I completely understand why many crafters shy away. It’s fast. The posts are short and not super visual. But Twitter is a different feed (and they actually give you the option of turning the algorithm off, which I’ve done) so it’s great for discovery. Follow interesting people and read their tweets, and more importantly read their retweets, and you’re bound to stumble on interesting nuggets worth sharing, even if you end up sharing them elsewhere.
Does this mean you need to immediately jump into all these platforms and spend your days reading all this stuff? Of course not. But if you’re tired of what you’re seeing and want to read more widely, try one or two and see where it leads.
Have I missed something? If you often find good links somewhere I didn’t mention (or have a question about one of those I did) please share.