Philly Creative Guide

Guest Columnist

Marilyn Moran

Using Social Media for Creative Inspiration
by , 1 Aug 2010

Marilyn Moran is a Freelance Internet Marketing Consultant specializing in Social Media Marketing. With more than 15 years online experience and over 10 years in developing & marketing websites and Internet communities, she has spent the past 4 years focused on Web Strategy, Search Engine Optimization, and Social Media. She is an officer in the Philadelphia Chapter of the Social Media Club and sits on the Board of Directors for Philadelphia Area New Media Association. She is active on social networks such as Twitter (follow @PhillyMarketing), Facebook, and LinkedIn - just to name a few.

Hey you, reading this! Chances are you're probably on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. Some of you may be on all three. Others, like me, might have a bona fide Social Media addiction - a topic for another time perhaps.

Using Social Media for Creative Inspiration

Here we are well into 2010 and Social Media continues to be a hot topic everywhere. Social networks and social tools have become focal points for people to share news, exchange ideas, and discuss any variety of topics. According to a recent Nielsen study, 75% of all active U.S. Internet households visited a social networking site in May 2010. People are using social sites personally to network with friends and family and also for business and professional reasons. Creative people are using social sites to showcase their work, connect with potential collaborators, and as a spark plug for their creativity.

Social Media and social technology has facilitated the instantaneous ability to tell a story, stimulate conversation, and draw inspiration. It couldn't be any easier to publish in real time and get immediate feedback - in the form of comments, likes, votes, and so forth. Any way you slice it, you cannot deny Social Media's impact on the creative process.

On the flip side, navigating Social Media can be a daunting venture; we're often overwhelmed with a constant onslaught of images, messages, links, and other minutia. If we allow it, these shiny objects can also hinder the creative process. The ability to overcome distractions and focus on important or relevant information is vital in using Social Media successfully for creative inspiration and creative collaboration.

Using Social Media for Creative Inspiration

With that said - how can you funnel your creative vision and effectively use the social platforms to spark and nurture creativity and forge creative relationships?

  • Find Your "Tribe". A tribe is essentially a peer group centered on a shared interest, vision, story, or purpose. Seek and join supportive networks, groups, and online communities that are all about your creative passion. Finding the right tribe can help you stay focused, interested, and committed to your creative endeavor.
  • Observe The Culture. Social platforms allow us the unique opportunity to observe human behavior and listen to conversations about topics that we are passionate about. When you join a new group or community, take the time to learn and understand its culture. Yes - every online community has its own culture which includes rules, etiquette, and (in some case) language. As creative people go, we often march to the beat of our drum, but we must always remember to remain patient and civilized.
  • Participate In Discussion. Taking part in community banter can be enlightening and energizing. Tapping into the collective brain power of the tribe can spur imagination and motivation.
  • Ask for Help or Feedback. Don't be afraid. Sometimes the simple act of asking for advice or an opinion can help you break through on a creative endeavor. Keep in mind feedback may not always be positive or exactly what you wanted to hear. Be open to hearing new perspectives.
  • Don't be Needy. Sure, we'd all like to be the center of attention, but this is an ineffective approach to being a part of a creative community. Aim to strike a balance of giving to and taking from the community.
  • Agree to Disagree. You'll find that even in a niche community, you won't always see eye to eye with some people. It's best to agree to disagree and move on. Internet arguments (also known as "flame wars") won't get you anywhere and certainly won't help your creative cause.
  • DYI. If you feel that existing social networks or communities aren't meeting your creative needs, the tools are there to build your own! This is often a time-consuming endeavor, but it can also be very rewarding.

Using Social Media for Creative Inspiration

In summary, don't be deterred or overwhelmed by using Social Media and social networks for creative inspiration. Finding the right creative community can be fun, informative, and professionally rewarding. Brought to you by: Marilyn Marketing

Print Article Brought to you by: Marilyn Moran | Freelance Internet Marketing Consultant

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