platform |ˈplatfôrm|noun1 a raised level surface on which people or things can stand: there are viewing platforms where visitors may gape at the chasm.• a raised floor or stage used by public speakers or performers so that they can be seen by their audience: earning her living on the concert platform.• a raised structure along the side of a railroad track where passengers get on and off trains at a station.• a raised structure standing in the sea from which oil or gas wells can be drilled or regulated.• [ usu. with modifier ] a raised structure or orbiting satellite from which rockets or missiles may be launched.• a standard for the hardware of a computer system, determining what kinds of software it can run.2 [ usu. in sing. ] the declared policy of a political party or group:seeking election on a platform of low taxes.• an opportunity to voice one’s views or initiate action: the forum will provide a platform for discussion of communication issues.3 a shoe with very thick soles: a pair of chunky platforms | [ as modifier] : yellow platform shoes.ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French plateforme ‘ground plan,’literally ‘flat shape.’
I do have a number of online platforms! Nine to be precise. Both personal and business related.
I find using social media platforms to be a motivating creative process and a fun pastime; it also just so happens to serve my business. Of course, I am a professional writer and I am constantly flowing with ideas and being inspired by what’s going on around me, so that helps make building communities that much easier.
I didn’t always feel that social media was for me. I have only had Facebook for about three years personally, and I have just grown into the others since then. Now I see it as one of the most important aspects of running a business.
I thought I would share with you how I use each platform. I do have a purpose for them – but often I like to hang my own rules and just freestyle it. And oftentimes, being intuitive about what I post gets me the best results.
You might be thinking about setting up some more social media platforms or you might be at the stage where you need to take stock and regroup about your current platforms. What is their purpose – for your creativity and expression and for the health of your business? How could you better use them?
I say, just ponder those questions as you read on.
Across all of my platforms I post what I offer that will bring in some bacon. That is, I post everything that I am selling or offering as services on every social media platform I have. It might sound like I’m selling out, but I balance “sales” posts with hearty value. All my platforms also give people a taste of who I am and what my values are. I like working with people who share my ideals. And who’ll pay me 🙂
Facebook – I use Facebook most frequently. It has my largest (and happily modest) following and I like to stay connected to the people in this community. I post twice or three times a week. This is where I post random bits about words, writing and grammar. It helps communicate that I am engaged with these things regularly. My Facebook posts are generally random things I come across in my own research or work and feel they’re too cool not to share.
Having said that though, I find that anything I post that is slightly more on the personal side, I get more likes and comments. So for instance, I posted a link to this about the difference in meaning between ambience and ambiance and got a like from my father (thanks Dad – I think he likes everything I post!). Then I posted this piece of on-the-spot-whimsy and I got 12 likes in an hour. So, personal seems to hit home best.
“It’s Friday afternoon and I’m still a bit jet lagged and I don’t wish to work in front of a computer!
So I’m down by the water, sipping a coffee and writing a children’s story in my new green pen.
The other thing I do with Facebook is encourage people to play on a Friday with a writey-wordy challenge. Generally this is just a bit of fun and keeps my page looking happy and relevant. Thanks everyone for playing!
It’s on Facebook that I also promote my e-Letters.
eNewsletters or Mailing Lists – The Ms Monk e-Letters are reserved for the special most things that I share. This is where I offer discounts, and extras like video tips and personally devised resources. I share my love for music and art here too. I think it’s where you get a more rounded understanding of who I am and what I am like to work with. It really is worth signing up. I’m pretty cool! 😉
I like to think about my blog as one part expression and storytelling and one part portfolio for all the wonderful clients I work with. Every single session I have with people educates me and I learn things that can be shared with others. I think people can get a lot out of hearing what other businesses are going through, doing, wanting and planning in terms of website and social media copy.
And – blogging keeps me writing! Blogging actually isn’t that hard and writing (writing anything!) is essential for a writer. Who’d’ve thought, eh? So I use blogging as a way to keep the ideas flowing. My posts may not all be perfect but at least I am getting stuff out there.
Instagram – of course, Instagram is picture driven and for a writing business, may not seem so necessary. BUT I actually love pairing images and text and thinking of cool new hash tags. #suchanerd Instagram is where I probably have the most eclectic community who are the least engaged with what I actually offer that will translate to sales. But I still find it valuable and a creative outlet to share with people in this way. You never know when it might also translate into a sale.
Twitter – This is one open platform where I combine all that I do work wise. All my Monk script stuff, my PhD stuff, my curatorial stuff, my personal creations and teaching stuff. Like Instagram it is probably not a very targeted audience that I’ve built. But, this is something that can change and I still find it valuable in its current form. I do get Favourites from a local City Councillor – bless him!!
Also, I have set up my accounts for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to connect so that I can post to all platforms in one go. Tricky!
LinkedIn – Lastly, this platform is probably even more erratic than Twitter as I combine my research and uni work into this too.
I post my offers to this platform as well, and actually, it’s translated into clients. People seem to recognise my diverse skills set and see that that makes me an editor/proofreader with holistic skills.
I’m not just about grammar and apostrophes! I am a creative thinker and tinkerer, have business knowledge, am an educator, story-teller, and work in the research arena. Again – I’m pretty cool! 🙂
So that’s all of my platforms. What are all of yours and how do you use each of them to their best advantage for you and your expression and also to build communities that will support your business?
Here are all my platforms again. I’d love for you to connect and I’d love to connect back and hear about what’s making your day in life and work.