Return from Lenten Leave from Social Media and a Visit from a Social Media Guru

Google Images via treecommunicacion
Google Images via treecommunicacion

On February 16th I announced my intention to honor the Lenten Season by stepping away from social media. I began my “leave-taking” on February 18th. I returned last week having been away for a total of seven weeks. Here’s what I can share with you:

  • I do not regret one minute away from social media.
  • I breathed easier, wrote more, spent more time with my family, and found rich blessings in everything I saw and heard.
  • I missed my social media connections, and I found myself thinking about taking a “peek.”
  • I enjoyed a few days writing in unbroken time and solitude at the Willamette Writers Writing House; more about this in a future post.
  • I delved into books dealing with the legal aspects of the writer’s life, the intricacies of grant and fellowship application writing, traveled the writing journey of William Least Heat Moon in his new book, Writing BLUE HIGHWAYS: The Story of How a Book Happened, and finally read Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See.
  • Together, Bob and I focused on the Lenten message in our morning devotionals.
  • Bottom line, I relaxed a lot.
Frances Caballo
Frances Caballo

And then one day I stepped outside my usual box called “Comfort Zone” and emailed my friend (and probably yours too), Frances Caballo, the mastermind behind Social Media Just for Writers. My email had one purpose behind it. Ask Frances to help me!

I have always stumbled along creating my blog, creating accounts on several social media sites, attempting to understand what I’m doing on each of those sites, and questioning if my blog was as user-friendly as possible. One of Frances’s many talents and services is analyzing social media profiles and pages and providing you with a written assessment and the next steps you should take. I knew I needed Frances to work with me to improve.

Frances looked at each of my social media accounts and my website, within several days provided me a typewritten assessment with suggestions about social media and my site. Her tips were outlined with clarity and the benefit of technological experience I don’t have. I am a happy social media camper and blogger now. Because of Frances, I’m moving through my postings to each account with ease, scheduling using HootSuite and Buffer, and I’ve updated my blog. Here’s a testimonial from me on Frances’s site.

And now here’s a word from Frances:

I can take a more in-depth look at your social media. For $297, I will examine your social media profiles and pages closely and write an assessment and next steps for you to take.

Your audit will include a complete review of:

  • Your Facebook page posts and About Section
  • Keyword placement on your LinkedIn profile and a general review
  • Analysis of your tweets and tips to improve engagement
  • Suggestions on how you can get more out of Google+
  • A review of your Pinterest account with suggestions for new boards
  • A review of your website and blog with ideas for improving them

Perhaps you already have someone like Frances working with you on these issues. However, I am so pleased with the work Frances did I could not help giving her a shout out on my blog.

15 thoughts on “Return from Lenten Leave from Social Media and a Visit from a Social Media Guru

  1. Susan, it is good to be back. What is stated above about Frances and her fee is verbatim what she gave me to include on my post as a “plug” for her service. You’re right–it doesn’t get much better than it was these past weeks, and in fact, it is tempting to push everything else aside and let life just be.

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  2. Sherrey, I’m very glad you’re back . . . It’s interesting you posted Frances’ fee . . . I think you’re incredibly adept at social media. Anyway, I love the idea of you and your husband cuddling together, shutting out the distractions of the outside world. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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    1. Susan, it is good to be back. What I stated above regarding Frances and her fee is verbatim what she gave me to include as a “plug” about this service. You’re right–it doesn’t get much better than it was these past weeks. In fact, it is tempting to push everything else aside and let life just be.

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  3. Sherrey, I love reading your report on your sabbatical. I just scheduled my own report for tomorrow morning, so I know how hard it is to reduce all those weeks to a few main themes. But, as always, you did it well.
    Sounds like it was a good time to do some meta-thinking about and reframing of your social media presence. I need to do the same thing. But first I still have to decide the nature of my next project.
    Welcome back, and thanks for the suggested guru. What would be really helpful would be a blog post on your “before” and “after” of some of the items Frances helped you improve.

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    1. Shirley, look forward to reading your sabbatical report. It was a good time for some meta-thinking not only about social media but about platform and determining my audience and directing my social media conversation in the direction of the book.
      And there is a post in the making as a guest spot on Frances’s blog in the near future. I will delve into greater detail in that post about the “before” and “after” persona of my social media activities.

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  4. You are always very deliberate and mindful about everything you do, so admirable! I should probably do a social media spring cleaning, but right now I am pushing to get at least half-way through the first (yes, I said FIRST) draft of my memoir in my online memoir course. I’ve concluded that blog posts are like writing an essay, and memoir writing, more like a doctoral dissertation with stories.
    I’ll be looking forward to your post about the Willamette Writers Writing House.

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    1. Hi, Marian! Deliberate yes, but mindful is questionable. At the same time as the social media cleaning, I was working on my third draft of my memoir. Getting closer and closer. Your description of blog post writing vs. memoir writing is accurate!

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  5. Welcome back, Sherrey! Congratulations on a productive and restful retreat. Your shout-out about Frances is very helpful and entices me to do the same. Thanks for sharing. Your blog is exceptional!

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    1. Hi Kathy! Welcome back to you as well. It seems that the retreat just ended and life today was boisterous in every regard. I just printed out my third draft of my memoir. Worked on it during the same period as Frances’s assessment of my social media and blog. Working with Frances is a grand experience. Knowledgeable, energetic, and bright woman!

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    1. Sharon, thanks for stopping by with a warm welcome back. Frances is delightful to work with, and so bright and knowledgeable about the ins and outs of social media.

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  6. You just appeared on my email. i’m way behind you getting into social media slowly as it overwhelms and stresses. Am starting the process of self-publishing a Seattle-based memoir although I’m an East-Coaster.

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    1. Paula, glad you stopped in. Social media can be overwhelming and stressful. Take tiny steps at first and get used to just one of the many sites available to you. Since I’m in the Pacific NW, I’m intrigued by your Seattle-based memoir. Keep me posted.

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