Here’s how I use social media in order for it to work out. My premise is that it is impossible to bring your friends and family along to a new platform. You need to find new friends. The only way to do it is to find people you share an interest with, and letting them know that you share their interest. The second step is important!
Make sure you have a profile that tells people what to expect.
Hashtags are important so that similar minded people can find each other.
Write an introduction. Write a post and use the hashtag
#introduction on Mastodon or
#newhere on Diaspora. Say who you are and what you’re interested in, and use more hashtags.
Post this introduction and pin it to your profile, if you can. Your introduction will now be the first thing people see when they visit your profile. After a while you are of course free to pin a different post to your profile. I recommend you start with your introduction, however.
Write another handful of posts. When people visit your profile, they need to see that you are interested in the things they are interested in. Your introduction is a start, but it is not enough.
Don’t just share some stuff other people have written. If the things you shared are interesting, visitors will follow the authors of the posts you shared instead of you. You need to write your own posts!
Start interacting. You can mark something as a favourite (heart, star); you can find posts you like using searches for hashtags, or by looking through timelines, and reply to these posts; and if you really like something, you can share it (reshare, boost).
How do you find more interesting people to follow? Look to see who your favourite folks are following. You can find them via the profiles of the people you are following.
Keep following people: You need to keep finding more people to follow in an interest based network since people will be dropping out all the time. Your relatives and friends from school don’t disappear as quickly on Facebook, nor do journalists and news outlets disappear on Twitter, but in the more interesting and interest-based communities, that’s simply how it is. You need to replenish the pool and keep finding and following more people. They’re everywhere.
For more information, check out How to Mastodon.