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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, July 10, 2015

Social Media for the Antisocial

The movie Chef is entertaining if you like family-centric feel-good comedies or if you're into cooking; I wouldn't ordinarily recommend a film on this blog, especially one with little conflict and a happy ending. I mention it because Chef's treatment of Twitter demonstrated how one is supposed to use that tool for self-promotion. I doubt that Twitter would work for Curio City; I don't know how to attract followers or care about following anybody. I don't think in 140-character marketing bites. I don't even know my Twitter login. Once in a blue moon I get an email saying that somebody mentioned "me" (@CurioCity) in a tweet, but they're invariably talking about somebody else who uses my name.

Anyway, in spite of all that I think I "get it" now, although I doubt that an antisocial person like myself could profitably exploit Twitter. That ship sailed long ago anyway; I've read that it's sinking financially and won't survive unless they can figure out how to squeeze money out of their billion users. If they screw that up, the rats will desert. 

Facebook used to kind-of, sort-of work. My posts reached nearly 200 followers before Facebook starting blocking businesses a couple of years ago. Now one must either buy advertising -- which failed two expensive tests, one of them run by a third party -- or pay to "promote" one's post. My blog posts and email newsletters automatically get exported to Facebook (and maybe Twitter, too, I think) and I still post manually to announce coupons and new products. Thanks to two likes and one share, my last Facebook post actually reached 48 people (compared to the usual 20 or so). Forty-eight people is a lot. So Facebook isn't a total waste of time...just mostly a waste of time. 

That leaves Pinterest. I don't quite know what to make of Pinterest. Pinterest seems needy. It courts me with come-hither emails whose gist seems to be "We figured out how to trick you into giving us money!" Their "promoted pins" smell suspiciously like paying Facebook to boost a post...that's never going to happen. "Buyable pins," their latest gambit, only work with Shopify or Demandware, whatever that is.  

I've been threatening for years to suck it up and force myself to learn Pinterest, yet somehow I never do. I have an April email called "Step-by-step videos on creating pins and boards" in my Inbox. I created some boards and posted some products long ago and they apparently get "pinned" from time to time, so I do know the basic mechanics. I just don't understand the social aspect. Who goes to Pinterest to look at stuff, and why? I think that I'm supposed to pin other people's stuff to my boards, but I don't understand the etiquette of pinning somebody else's content or how that works to my advantage. Are they supposed to reciprocate? Am I supposed to contact them when I pin their stuff to my boards? I don't understand the motivation.  

Every time I do try to force myself to look into it, I quickly glaze over and wander off. Free advertising is my only interest in Pinterest. I just want to sell stuff. Tell me how to sell stuff.


No post next week because I'm closing for vacation. "Closing" means turning off my advertising, posting some warnings about shipping delays, and ignoring my phone for a week. Naturally I'll be checking email daily; there's no such thing as a day off, let alone a week.

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