If you follow along with me here on the blog or on Instagram, you might have picked up on the fact that I’m passionate about how to use social media effectively. I’ve shared a bit about social media mission statements and what boundaries feel healthy to me. But the question of how to use social channels for good is something that I think about often.
Since starting this blog, I’ve met some wonderful friends through social media! It’s amazing that these outlets have the potential to connect you to kindred spirits! Natalia from Sweet Heritage Company is one of those social media friends, and I have loved learning from her about blogging, motherhood, faith, and creativity. Natalia was kind enough to do a blog swap interview with me, and I’m so excited for you to read her thoughts on using social media well.
How has your social media involvement changed since you first started blogging?
Now that I think about it, it’s changed a lot! My blog started as more of a hobby, but I knew I wanted it to grow into something more. I didn’t necessarily want to spread the word about it from the get-go because I was still figuring it all out. I did want to connect with potential readers online though, so I could better understand their day to day joys and struggles, and write with real people in mind.
My goal is to write like I’m talking to a friend — offering both practical ideas and grace to moms who want to find time for their own creative outlets in any season of life. I honestly don’t think I could scale my blog to the level I’d like to without social media — not just for gaining followers but by really getting to know the readers.
Now I feel freer to talk about a new blog post or promotion. I’m working on expanding my comfort zone for doing videos on Instagram stories, because that’s something I love on other accounts and know it makes me feel more connected!
2. How do you balance time on different social media platforms?
I love how each platform offers such distinct benefits. Right now, I’m all about Instagram and Pinterest but will likely focus on Facebook in the coming months.
When I tried to be very organic with Instagram, posting as I was inspired, it actually left me feeling anxious & distracted — spending more time trying to get a good shot or writing captions. Now I plan posts out more with a preview app, and have a margin to create in without feeling behind.
Pinterest is sort of lumped into social media, but it’s really a search engine. For me, it’s been a great way to pursue growth online while taking a breather from the usual anxiety triggers like comparison on other platforms. Plus, using Tailwind to schedule pins and connect with similar tribes who will share your pins too makes it super efficient.
Because of these differences, I’m certainly not on them all every day. I absolutely know engaging more and more will allow my blog to grow quicker, but I’m very aware of setting reasonable expectations too. I want to be able to maintain the standard of consistency and quality for readers to remain engaged, so I’m mindful to grow slowly on purpose.
3. What’s been your favorite part of growing your blog through social media?
Well, obviously connecting with other women who inspire me and being able to support each other is one of the best parts!
It’s been great to practice writing with slightly different purposes in mind and be creative in other ways on social media, rather than on the blog. It’s all a learning experience — and really helpful to test an idea out to see the response before spending too much time on it.
4. Can you describe how you find a healthy balance between being fully present as a mom and staying connected online?
Oh golly — it’s tricky, for sure! For those reading who don’t know, I have two boys, ages 2 & 3, and they’ve outgrown nap times.
There are some basic practices that help like turning off notifications, only checking the phone at certain times, and planning posts ahead of time so I’m not scrambling or distracted.
The more significant habit though is giving the boys quality attention first, and getting into a rhythm of going back and forth. It’s true in small ways throughout the day, but also when I’m planning to spend more time for an upcoming launch I’ll allow days of margin before & after when it’s all about the boys.
Simply five to ten minutes of quality play time together can be more satisfying to them than I often expect. Doing a puzzle together, then encouraging more independent play while I complete tasks or jump online, reading a book together…small spurts of back and forth are what work best in this season. It actually feels like a slower, more satisfying process than it might sound.
At the same time, I’ll tell them what I’m doing. I explain how I’m working online — they understand what that means and how it helps our family too.
5. What are a few flags or signals that you see in your life when you need a good break from social media?
It’s often just general discontentment, feeling uninspired, or frankly, annoyed. For me as an introvert, I really feel better if I get some alone time and read a book for at least fifteen minutes each day. That usually means I’ll need to set my alarm so I can wake up early before the kids.
When those needs are addressed, I can enjoy the benefits of social media more easily and have a more keen sense of when I’m reaching my limit.
6. Based on your experience, do you have any advice for those looking to get more involved in social media while maintaining healthy emotional/mental boundaries?
I’ll start with the most simple way: don’t log on first thing when you wake up. It literally puts your mind into response mode and uses precious decision making energy & creativity, whether you feel it or not.
And my thoughtful answer…Try to work at whatever you’re doing with excellence, but also, don’t take it too seriously. It’s a pretty awesome time that we live in, to be able to connect with anyone and reach those who care about the things we’re passionate about too. Styles, trends, and opportunities seem to be changing even quicker with the rate of technology though, so keep your bigger mission in mind, when the typical standards of success on social media are distracting.
Final thoughts from Natalia on effective social media…
I’m so glad to be included on this topic and have a chance to write about using social media well.
More than once, I’ve been relieved when I think back to my high school years — that Facebook wasn’t around yet. It was just gaining popularity in my later college days. I have such compassion for the younger generations who won’t know a world without it and feel an expectation to have at least part of their lives on display.
It’s obviously changed our culture and I feel strongly about using it wisely because there are so many great benefits. However, there are profound concerns that affect our daily lives, like anxiety, depression, and loneliness, as well as consequences that we may not see for years to come.
With the intention of being mindful about using social media positively, I’ve created a quick three-day email series. Some simple action steps each day paired with biblical wisdom to help us approach it with thoughtfulness. I would love to continue the conversation — click here to read more and sign up for the free series!
Don’t forget to connect with Natalia throughout her various social profiles and over on her blog!