Thursday, August 9, 2018

6 Tips to being Genuine Online by Becky Wade | Guest Post

Striving to be genuine online? Here are 6 tips from author Becky Wade!

It's challenging to be genuine online, isn't it? When we interact via cyberspace, we're robbed of several aspects of face-to-face communication. We can't read the other person's body language and they can't read ours. We can't hear their tone and they can't hear ours. Often, we're not communicating in real time.

We can respond to the strangeness of online communication by saying nothing because we're too shy to put ourselves out there. We can post about the mundane because we have no idea what else to say. We can beautify our lives so much that the things we present via our feeds don't resemble our reality at all. Or we can make an effort to communicate our genuine selves and begin to establish real connections as a result.

I entered the world of social media in 2011. Since then I've observed (because I follow numerous people) and experienced firsthand (through my own posts) a few things that seem to lead to greater authenticity....

6 Tips to being Genuine Online 

1. Follow your passions. 

What are you passionate about? I'm a writer, so I'm naturally passionate about books, reading, and writing. However, I can dig deeper by asking myself follow-up questions like What is it about my books that people connect to? Answer: Romance, faith, humor, family ties, hunky heroes, charming settings. As easily as that, I've generated a list of things (I'm naturally passionate about) that I can discuss on social media. A reader might ask herself, What is it I love MOST about the books I read? Maybe her answer is: powerfully brave young adult heroines in alternate worlds. This reader will find a like-minded community and present her authentic self when she posts about YA books, alternate worlds, powerful heroines.

2. Follow your expertise. 

Do you have a flair for home design or photography? Are you a homeschooling mom? A painter? A foodie? A crafter? You can bet that there are plenty of people eager to learn from you. Share what you know! Offer tips. Become a helpful resource.

3. Don't just post the good stuff. 

We bond with people who are humble enough to be vulnerable, don't we? Share the picture of the soufflé you baked that didn't rise. Share the family photo in which three out of four people have their eyes closed. You'll bring laughter to someone else. And that person will feel that they know you just a little bit better.

4. When needed, use more words. 

In general, it's best to keep the captions of our posts short. Otherwise, people will skim or skip. But there's a time and place to share your heart more deeply. Maybe God is doing a big work in your life that you feel led to tell others about. Maybe you're confronting a major heartbreak or struggle. To do justice to what you're experiencing -- to be genuine about it -- consider writing a blog post. Or a long Facebook note. Or a lengthy Instagram post.

5. Use stories. 

Develop an eye for the small moments of beauty, humor, sweetness, and quirkiness that populate your day. Then practice sharing them through the "stories" feature on Instagram or Facebook or both. People will get a true glimpse into your life when they're able to see the things you see.

6. Use live video. 

Live video enables you to have an actual conversation with your followers! They can comment and ask questions. You can converse and respond. All those who watch the video (even at a later time) will get a clearer grasp on who you are -- your mannerisms, the sound of your voice, and all the other unique things that make you YOU.

The world is eager for connection! Through your online presence, may many find a friend in you.

Do you have suggestions about how to be genuine on social media? If so, I'd love to hear them!

Becky Wade is a California native who attended Baylor University, met and married a Texan, and settled in Dallas. She published historical romances for the general market before putting her career on hold for several years to care for her three children. When God called her back to writing, Becky knew He meant for her to turn her attention to Christian fiction. She loves writing funny, modern, and inspirational contemporary romance! She’s the Carol Award, INSPY Award, and Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award winning author of My Stubborn Heart, the Porter Family series, and the Bradford Sisters Romance series.

Connect with Becky:

Falling for You

A thoughtful rule-follower by nature, Willow Bradford threw caution to the wind four years ago when she entrusted her heart to quarterback Corbin Stewart — then suffered the consequences when their relationship fell apart. Now that a decades-old mystery has brought them together again, they'll have to confront their past and the feelings they still harbor for one another.

Purchase: Falling for You

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