As 2019 swept in, so did, no doubt, a roster of social media–related resolutions. Based on what I’ve seen already this year and in years past, I’m guessing many of them revolve around two concepts: dedicating more time to establishing or maintaining one’s presence online, or the polar opposite, spending less of one’s day scrolling through the feeds.
If your personal goals include setting reminders to post more or to take more breaks, you’re definitely not alone. I’ve seen both approaches with mixed success: A friend who resolved in 2018 to post more on Instagram ended up forgetting throughout most of the year only
to double down to make up for it come December; another who swore to take a lengthy social media break lasted for like, three days tops. But for those counting on platforms like Instagram to gain exposure and make connections with colleagues and potential customers—a small business, independent jewelry designer, or a budding new entry into the world of jewelry influencers, perhaps—these reminders can be necessary.
1. Strive to Be Authentic
Sounds pretty straightforward, right? But each time you use a filter, Photoshop something out, or craftily calculate the perfect scene, you’re not exactly being forthcoming. I’m not saying don’t do it—quite the contrary, actually, as we all do enjoy a pretty picture to double tap. But consider sharing honestly through your captions, go behind the scenes in your Stories, or, yeah, post the most completely imperfect picture now and again. Whether you’re giving a firsthand look at your bandaged workbench fingers (crafting beautiful jewelry is a dangerous business), brainstorming the ultimate store display window (from concept to creation), or sharing newly polished lookbook photos, a little down-to-earth detail, however you choose to share it, will go a long way when it comes to connecting with followers.
2. Be Kind to Yourself and Others
Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are notorious for their ill effects on people’s psyches—they make it almost impossible to not compare yourself to others, and often are places where conversations via comments can turn ugly pretty quickly (leaving no one feeling positive). Resolve to treat everyone with respect this year, even the ones who have nothing good to say. Respond to your comments—the nasty ones, too—honestly and compassionately, and don’t fall into the troll trap that leads to an all-out argument. If your thoughtful (and firm, if necessary) reply results in more combative language, blocking bully followers is quick and easy. Because no one has time for that negative crap. In that same spirit, unfollow the accounts that don’t bring you joy: If you’re constantly logging on and feeling inadequate for one reason or another—whether it’s industry related or something on a personal level—give yourself permission to move on. If you’re worried about upsetting someone or straining a professional connection, Instagram offers a mute option that keeps you following an account while keeping their content from showing up in your feed. Win-win.
3. Set Reasonable Goals
If you’re an independent designer running a business, sure, social media is an invaluable tool (this is true no matter your business model). But there are also expectations inherent with its use that can create a huge amount of pressure for people. So that individual who’s spending time concocting design ideas and turning them into tangible goods, signing up for trade shows, hustling to network, and live some semblance of a personal life can’t be too hard on themselves if they forgot to post a photo or clever thought today. Platforms like Instagram come in handy in all of those instances—sharing designs, life’s moments, meeting new people—but if being active on it becomes a chore that makes you feel lousy, it’s time to rethink how you use it.
4. Go Pro
If you have the time and resources to do so, setting aside a budget for social media advertising can help you do big things this year. Whether you choose to spend your ad dollars on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or elsewhere (each has its different strengths), that extra oomph—if you’re feeling prepared—may result in not only new connections, but also sales. In addition, if you’re a retailer with big social plans this year and not enough hands to make your goals possible, think about bringing a new member to the team and creating your very own social media department. It’s partially how I got into the jewelry business, and I’m forever grateful—so there are others out there looking for the same opportunity, if you have the means.
Don’t forget to follow @jckmagazine on Instagram this year—and let us know which accounts to follow in the comments! We promise to do our part to keep your social media experience a pleasant one in 2019 and hope you strive to do the same. Happy New Year!
(Top image via: Canva)