Yesterday, I posted a coupon deal, for my daughters track team, on Facebook. I used humor, it was long, and full of great deals. There was zero response. I believe the same thing would happen if I tried to sell them art or anything that I was up to. Reason being, most of the people I am friends with on there is by coincidence. We happen to work in at the same place, we happen to go to school together, we happen to be born in the same family. Few of them would I consider my friends. I think that is the normal social media experience though. I know less than ten percent of people who read a social media post are likely to interact with it. So if ten people see it, one might hit the like button. I am sure more than ten seen it.
I am not trying to sell anything on Facebook, but if I were, then I would need a larger number of people to be my friends to get somewhere. But here is the thing I woke up thinking about; should I be mad at my friends and family for not even hitting like on my post? Maybe, but maybe they don’t understand algorithms and that just hitting like will make the post more prominent. My expectations were low on any coupons being sold, but high on the lol’s.
Now let us apply this disappointment to the creative life.
There are two kinds of people I see on their phones, the ones scrolling through social media and the other playing a game. Most people aren’t creating content. Most people aren’t like us trying to do something creative. What that means is they don’t understand that by not hitting like they don’t get to see more of the stuff they liked, but scrolled past. Now the solution for us isn’t to get mad at the algorithm, but to get better. We need to cultivate our audience and let them in on what they need to do so our content doesn’t get buried.
Sometimes the problem isn’t social media, sometimes the problem is me. Because what I need to do, and maybe it is what you need to do too, is get out there.
What we really need to do is leave our house and go where the crowds are. Not just any crowd, but ours. Go in search for our tribe. You may have to go to a writers convention, a comic book convention, a sales convention, a social media convention, a film festival to find them. Or you might have to take university classes to be exposed to people with the same interest as you have. Here is the thing the biggest fans and influencers are also creators, they will support your work and tell others about it.
Don’t chase people who don’t care about what you are doing and don’t get mad at them for not being interested. We are creators, we don’t need the popular vote, we just need patrons who love our work. It is up to us to find them.