What social media can teach writers

plate of noodles and roasted cherry tomatoes
(Photo by Sharon)

You might wonder what food has to do with social media. And writers. I’ll get to that.

Debbie Johansson posted some suggestions — 3 Things Social Media Can Teach Writers — a few years ago. Her advice actually stands the test of time. I especially like number three, do what feels comfortable.

I’ve been thinking about social media a lot lately, mostly because I’ve just taken on the job of social media officer for Sisters in Crime Chicagoland. And I’ve become website “updater” for a local theater group. But these are hardly my first forays into the online world. This post marks the end of my tenth anniversary as a blogger. In fact, my experience goes back to AOL and The Well, both accounts I’ve long since given up. But I learned a lot during the pre-web, internet bulletin board days of screechy dial-up connections.

For one thing, I learned being online is a great way to be in touch with people who are nowhere near my pretty rural outpost where getting out of my snow-drifted driveway has always been a challenge this time of year. The best change to come from covid, as far as I’m concerned, was the proliferation of work-from-home options. But when you are at home most of the time, social media is a substitute for the coffee klatch, the water cooler conversation, the quick lunch with friends.

That, I think, is the key to Johansson’s advice to “keep it personal.” I know some people whose real lives are reflected almost completely in their posts. And as an occasional food writer, I’ve probably shared more meal photos than are strictly necessary. (I told you I’d get back to food.) But I enjoy good eats, at home or away, and I don’t mind sharing those with my friends. I even shared recipes at work. Maybe I’ll share a recipe or two here sometime.

I also had a column about travel, which led to my last couple of Midwest travel posts.

And that’s the other key to being real in social media — regardless of the platform. Share what you like and your readers may actually become your friends.

Happy New Year to you! I hope you have wonderful 2023!

À bientôt.

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