How To Avoid Becoming “Click” Obsessed

Meme_S1E2_1Yeah I got nothing on this one. Still trying to figure it out myself. ;) I’m kidding. I have a few tips to share, but first I’ve got to make a few confessions.

I would love to say that Mhairi and I simply put up our freshly minted episodes online for all to enjoy and didn’t proceed to obsess, waiting for every like, share, comment and retweet to come in, like a dog waits for his bone, but that would be a lie. A big one. At least for me.

I spent endless hours clicking refresh to see how many people had watched. Who was liking our posts? Were they enjoying it? I even analyzed the stats to see how many of my Florida people were watching and for how long (by the numbers it looked like probably just my parents – yes I am watching you Florida people – ha!)

I guess the thing is when you create something you love, it becomes like your little baby and you just want everybody to look at it and love it too. Then when you add to that fact the very real pressure of knowing that if you don’t get those clicks and subscriptions up the industry folks will never consider investing in you, and you have a real pressure cooker of need my friends, one known all too well by all our fellow content creator friends.

You really don’t want to force your friends and family into watching and essentially doing your PR work for you, but at the same time you have this nagging truth breathing down your neck, and that is that in this new digital age of entertainment you really need them to. So you spend hours testing out ways to get people to click, trying to be endlessly fun, creative and clever, without being annoying (tricky dance), all in the hopes of that coveted experience of going viral (yes my friends, in 2015 going viral is a good thing).

When I say you can go down the rabbit hole, I mean you can go down the rabbit hole. It starts with a Facebook post here and then a Tweet there, and then, oh crap I forgot to post to Instagram, then, do I really have to create a Google + account too? Fine, what banner am I going to put up? Oh crap, now I need to put the google + link on my blog. The Blog!! Wait, who unsubscribed? Do the blog numbers really matter, or just youtube’s? Maybe I should just direct everyone to our Facebook page, oh but wait..the algorythms. Ahhhhhh!!!!

I spent months like this. I became a hermit and didn’t even know it because I was so busy being “social”. There were many days when I never even got out of my jammies because I had “so much to do” but at the end of the day I wasn’t even sure if I was accomplishing anything other than making myself depressed. The needle really hadn’t moved that much and this was no way to live.

Luckily salvation came through a realization of what actually does get results (which were witnessed first hand through watching my lovely partner Mhairi’s steady efforts and subsequent successes) and its an annoying little truth somewhat akin to the whole “if you want to lose weight, eat less and exercise more” thing that nobody wants to hear, but I’m going to share with you anyway, now…

Industry Tip #4

The best way to promote your show through social media is to be generous, be authentic and to make peace with the fact that its going to be a long haul.

Unless you are already wildly famous, a good, solid and engaged social media following doesn’t happen over night, it just doesn’t, and trying to rush it is only going to stress you out. So if you don’t want to go insane like me, you should just accept that fact right from the start, and then create a plan and work the plan. (meaning set a social media schedule of how many hours you’re gonna work on it each day/and also set a “I will not even look at my phone, I promise” schedule so that you can maintain sanity & keep your friends through the marathon that has become your social media life)

And then while you are on social media you should treat yourself like a guest who just showed up late to the party (because that party has been raging on long before you). Don’t just expect to pop in and start telling all your stories. You have to find out who is in the room first, say hello, listen to their stories for awhile and then you can share some of yours. (This is especially true of twitter, but if you think about it it makes perfect sense.)

If everyone is just talking and nobody is listening, then there are no conversations to be had, and therefore no genuine connections to be made. And if you don’t make genuine connections, there will be no engagement, so you will just be posting for no one.

And one last thing, you have to be authentic. People can smell a phony who is just supporting others in order to get attention a mile away, so if you’re not going to be authentic in your interest and support just don’t do it. The simple cheat to help yourself with this is to go ahead and find and follow all the people you would honestly be interested in listening to anyway. There are loads of amazing and interesting people sharing themselves on social media everyday, find the ones you like and create your online community by customizing your feeds using lists (If you don’t know how to do this, just ask, you’ll thank yourself.) This will set you up for a situation where you have endless info that you are quite happy to promote, share and talk about.

So that’s what I’ve got for today. And please let me know if there is a topic here I’ve touched on that you’d like me to go deeper with.

In the meantime, I will leave you with Episode 2 of Season 1 where Mhairi’s kitchen antics brought us treasured quotes like “Don’t just start punching your avocados” and “There’s really no point in learning to dice, just hack into it.”

12 thoughts on “How To Avoid Becoming “Click” Obsessed

  1. God HELP us Holly but I’m so happy to be in the trenches with you and Mhairi! Brilliantly expressed summary of our lives here in this post. Shoulders are dropping just reading your wisdom and experience. Thank you!

    • Hahaha. Figured you could completely relate. In the end I think we will look back at pride for our willingness to jump in the trenches.

    • Yes I feel as though we have created a ‘virtual office’ between all of us content creators around the world. Lovely to have each others backs in this Wild Social Media Game. Go forth and conquer darling, have a fabulous week!

  2. Oh Holly I just absolutely adore you! I soooooo wish you all the success that you soooooo richly deserve! Your hard work and commitment to bringing smiles to peoples faces isn’t unnoticed!

  3. This is a fabulous blog Holly… we have all been there and done that! It’s funny when you stop worrying about a RT or like they do sneak up on you! However I’ve learned that the key is engaging on whatever SM platform you are doing! I do a few accounts, as you know and one is more engaging than the other… sometimes out of necessity and time. The one that needs to build an audience I take more care and time in engaging with anyone who is engaging. Engaging is key… but it’s also not going to get you RT’s or likes on the posts you want unless people are interested in your content and want more of it! You are doing a great job with both… both of you!

    I know you are interested in transmedia… as am I and I think that to get more of your characters interacting on social media with each other and us would be a fun thing to explore! Though to your point about being authentic… we want to hear and interact with you Holly and Mhairi… so it’s really a very complex cocktail that gets results! Whatever… you are doing very well and we love engaging with both of you and want to hear and see more! Thanks Holly!

    • Thanks Heidi. You have no idea how good this is to hear. Mhairi and I did tweet in character for awhile there when we were releasing Season Two and it was so much fun but then we fell off. So many ways to go. Definitely think we will get back to that at some point. Particularly when the show part gets going again.

    • Thank you so much for such a thoughtful reply darling. yes it is a very complex situation and hard to navigate as all options can be effective but are also time consuming! so tricky to know which piste to go down when you have to think about how much time you can devote to each account. You are doing such a good job of kindly promoting artists and doing so with integrity and not just simply RT whatever comes your way. I always like to browse your feed and retweet from it as you have curated such a positive and encouraging selection from the mass of noise on twitter. Well done and thank you again for your thoughts and ideas. Have a great Monday! Mhairi xo

  4. This really is a very insightful blog Holly! I have been studying this whole situation and agree with you. I could write volumes in reply, but will not! I have really stopped obsessing about numbers of RT’s or Favorites or Likes, and etc. What I am trying to figure out is how to get people to actually click on the link or watch the video or subscribe or whatever. Not everyone has the ability to subscribe on YouTube… though it is very easy to do. However it’s really very easy for them to watch a video. I study what the people I care about are interested in and what they like. I am now thankfully just doing Twitter accounts and I do use many lists to curate my content. I love lists! I engage with people who mention or engage with the account and I am getting very good at figuring out which ones are our demographic and which might be interested and spend some time learning about our film. I have also been on a task to increase followers, quality followers when I can.

    I know you can also appreciate that when you have lags in bringing out new content it can be harder to keep the momentum going. That is when I started RTing others content, our cast and crew, our supporters, and content that works with the film and with the process and the journey. It’s really amazing when you start to see that they are watching and engaging with you too! I am a firm believer in not just having your timeline or Twitter feed all be your tweets! Too many filmmakers make that mistake. I also like to play and understand that what one account can strategically gain followers for other related accounts. I would love to understand how many unique followers a few of our accounts have as it is a very impressive number even though they look to have about the same amount individually.

    The biggest challenge in this very long journey… is the time you spend doing it! When we crowdfund it is a full time job and can be 18 hours of being live and responsive. Now I spend what I can and wish it could be more… but need to have a life and do other projects. Again the key is engaging and building an audience and our friends! Our supporters are our friends and we are grateful and very thankful that they have joined us along our journey!

    You are both doing a wonderful job with your audience building! Your content is brilliant! These vlogs and blogs are genius and conversing and sharing ideas with friends with content or just those who love your content is huge in building supporters, audience and friends!

    The first sentence in your industry tip says it all! Be authentic and generous… treat people as you would like to be treated, be grateful and most importantly relax… it’s a very long journey!

    • Thanks so much. So grateful for this dialogue. Was just scouting around on the Kaleidescope website. What an incredible amount of work you guys have done. Haven’t had a chance to dive into the blogs yet but loved all the Behind The Scenes pics and the synopsis of the film. Looking forward to seeing it when its done.

    • Thank you for such an affirmative response darling. It can seem one creates content in a void and will it resonate with anyone out there. So thank you for validating that we are on a path that has merit. In school in Paris our teachers always were emphatic about creating art/content that everyone can relate to otherwise it becomes self indulgent and pretentious, so its always been important to me to create work which has value and which can talk to people. I’ll echo what Holly said about what a great job you guys are doing with your work. You have such a generous spirit that really shines through your work and all your interactions online. I’m so glad we have found each other in this wild digital world.

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