Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Health Blogging Tip Tuesday!

Tip Tuesday! Have you mastered the hashtag?  Figured out the Instagram algorithm? Or maybe you have a few tips to increase your blog followers.  Whatever it is, share your expertise with your fellow HA’s- it’ll only make our community stronger!

I feel like a broken record on some of these prompts, saying I haven't mastered anything. But that's the case. But I don't like the terms "mastered" or "expert" or, oh god, "guru" - please don't ever call me a guru. What I have is my own life experience to share, a lot of empathy for others going through similar things, and the ability to try not to judge but instead listen openly (unless you're stigmatizing, or judging others, then I'll have something to say about it).  My strategy is to  not stick to one thing too stringently, because I like to reach different people in different ways and having just one prescribed formula for everything I have to say as an HA doesn't seem to work, for me at least. But here are a few things I do try to do consistently. 

  • Hashtags. I tend to use the following (when they fit and are applicable to said post/share/tweet/etc)
    • #mentalhealth 
    • #chroniclife 
    • #cyclothymia
    • #spoonie 
    • #moodcycling
    • #stopsuicide
    • #anxiety
    • #depression
    • #20x2025 (this is used by AFSP for posts related to suicide prevention. I use it less, but when I'm referring to my suicide prevention efforts specifically I do). 
    • When it relates to being an introvert with anxiety, social anxiety, I also use the following:  #introvert, #INFJ, #socialanxiety
    • I've recently been using hashtags for my new Spread Hope project, but that's more in an effort to get it out there, not because I think tons of people follow them. Those are (as of now, this is brand new): #SpreadHope #SpreadHopeProject #SpreadHopeSaveLives #SpreadHopeStopStigma. 
  • Twitter chats. I try to participate in a variety of twitter chats on chronic illness, mental health, and HA topics. These include chats such as HAChat, MHChat, SpoonieChat, PatientPrefChat. There are others that I hope to/plan to/would like to participate in but haven't gotten to. And if you have suggestions for chats, I'm all ears! 
  • Varying my social media modes and times. The bottom line is, there are HAs, and people looking to interact with them, all over the world. And they probably don't all love the exact same types of social media or get online at the same time. If I simply used a set schedule, I wouldn't be interacting with half the people that I do. While I use some (twitter) more than others, I am working on branching out and finding ways to best use a variety of medium. 
  • I combine personal "me" stuff with HA stuff. There are pictures/posts about my dog, my family, my travels, as well as my advocacy efforts. I find people like dealing with people, flaws, daily life, and all. Plus, maybe what catches someone's attention is a picture of my dog, and then they'll from my other posts that I, too, battle depression like they do, and we'll connect over both our love of dogs and our health battles. Which we may never have done if I hadn't posted a picture of my dog, with the hashtag #dogmom, which they happened to search that day.
  • I try to interact almost as much as I post. Whether it's a like or a favorite/like, a reply, a retweet, a share, etc, I feel that, especially when it comes to interacting about such a personal topic, you get what you give. I can't expect everyone to care about what I'm saying/posting/gramming/etc if I don't care about theirs. The social part of social media is key. 
That's what I have, folks. Nothing profound, I know. But it's what (works kind of) for me, and what keeps me advocating on social media. 

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