Business Tip for Culture Makers #301: Use Social Media Posts To Refine Your Ideas
What if the marketing obligation to create social media posts could actually be used as an idea-refining practice?
A lot of times, in entrepreneur and even activist circles, social media gets a bad rap.
We get overwhelmed and burned out by Instagram rabbit holes, and worry that our social media activities eat up valuable time in which we should be working with other people and growing our bodies of work…
…not adjudicating conflicts on Facebook.
But what if crafting short social media posts actually helps you get more clarity about your own work and even advances your own thinking?
I find that writing short social media posts advertising my longer blog posts and essays actually improves my blog posts and my thinking.
It forces me to parse tangly, complicated ideas — ideas that are still nascent, whispering and jangling around in my own head — into comprehensible, useable messages.
Here’s what I mean.
Previously, I wrote a Business Tip for Culture Makers about how opt-ins are not mandatory in online marketing, and how maybe we should be suspicious of them because they arguably contribute to the degradation of consent in our wider culture.
I wrote the post, and it was a little rambly and all over the place, and didn’t really land the plane.
Then I wrote a very short Instagram and FB blurb promoting the post, and suddenly the whole thing came into focus.
Forcing myself to explain what the longer essay was about in a short social media post gave me radical clarity — and copy! — about my idea. I suddenly knew better how to explain myself.
I then went back into the post and reorganized it and added some more copy, some headings, some more examples.
The second version of that culture-making business tip was so much clearer and more effective.
Here’s the process for using social media as an idea-refining practice:
Write long blog post –> Write short FB or Insta status explaining what the blog post is about –> Get enhanced clarity about the blog post + a more concise explanation of its essence! –> Return to the blog post and rewrite/edit it –> publish the blog post and the social media updates –>Voila! Your idea is better and it is reaching more people.
The the exercise of writing a promotional social media post improves my thinking.
So rather than poaching time away from my work, my social media efforts actually advance my own thinking and improve my ideas and my work in the world.
Writing a social media post adds to my body of work rather than detracts from it.
Bonus: because I actively promoted this Business Tip for Culture Makers on social media, my piece was read by three times as many readers as it would have, otherwise. Hopefully it helped them and moved our business-building and culture-making work forward.
When I use social media like this, as an integrated way to nuance my thinking and improve my work, then social media isn’t a time-suck. It is a refinement practice.
Instead of being a tedious task that takes time away from your work, you can use your social media to refine and improve your work.
Promotional social media posts can be an idea-refining practice.
So sally forth and refine your work while you promote it!
This Business Tip for Culture Makers is part of a series.
Want more? You can find them here.