Friday, March 1, 2019

Tips to Keep From Being Legalistic about Social Media

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media stresses a lot of people out, but it doesn’t have to.

One of the biggest issues is that people tend to approach it with a have-to-do, legalistic mindset. Truthfully, because successful social media is all about relationship building, it works best when we treat it organically.

Because it’s easier to manage with a set of guidelines:
  • Be consistent.
  • Avoid self promotion.
It’s easy to get caught up in the to do list and forget the point.
They’re not numbers, they’re people.

We even begin to judge the worth of what we have to say by those numbers. Let me remind you why you’re doing what you’re doing. Why you sweat over a keyboard, struggling to find the right word. Why you risk rejection by submitting those carefully crafted words to editors, agents and contest judges.

We’re doing it because we want to make a difference in the world around us—a world made up of people. If all we’re looking for is higher numbers, we’ve missed the point. We’ve set a course that follows certain frustration and ultimate failure. So if it’s not for the numbers, then what’s the point? Why even bother with social media?

The point is what the numbers represent…the point is the individuals who can be impacted by what we write…challenged by what we say…changed by what we share.

When I get caught up chasing the numbers, the significance of what I’m doing diminishes. But when I step away from the race and concentrate on who I’m writing for and who I’m writing to, things fall back into place.

I’m first and foremost a writer. For me, social media is a tool. It’s the means to an end. It helps me find my audience. But when I begin to measure my worth as a writer through the numbers of social media, I’ve gotten off course.

My worth is not determined by my numbers.

For me, the blog posts that mean the most are rarely the ones that generate the highest numbers. The ones that mean the most are those that help someone, that connect the dots for an individual who’s hurting or help someone who’s frustrated finally see the light. It’s when I pen those words that I feel true satisfaction in my calling.

Here are some other things we need to remember:
  • It’s God who provides the reach, we only need to be faithful to do our part.
  • We build relationships one person at a time.
  • I remind myself that it’s not about me.

How about you? How do you avoid the trap of legalistic social media? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Our #socialmedia numbers are so much more – they’re people! @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)


  1. Interesting article Ms. Edie. With such an emphasis on "platform" in the publishing world, I can see how we could get focused on numbers and not people. Perhaps I'm too naive here, but I view platform building as a result of making real connections with people I might never have access to otherwise. Social media allows others to get to know me (the person, just like them) and it enables me to share my message with a much larger audience (i.e. cast a wider net). Most of all, it allows me the opportunity to bring more glory to God with my writing. Timely and informative post ma'am. God's blessings...

    1. Jim, that's definitely NOT naive, it's wisdom. Keep doing what you're doing! Blessings, E

  2. Edie, you have personalized a very prevalent and growing issue in the work world. As computer numbers become the focus- social media and more- people, relationships and common sense fade into the background. Thanks for the good reminder that we all need to tackle this individually and do our part to keep things on an even keel. :)

    1. Thank you! And thank you for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

  3. As a person who had to learn to like social media, keeping the perspective in place that it's about the people and is a tool for the message we can share helps me use it more frequently and more wisely. But I will always be learning and when I get weary of it, being reminded of that reason pulls me back online.

  4. Edie, your words at the Carolina Christian Writers Conference were amazing! I learned a ton of great info. Thank you so much.