Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Does Social Media Help Your Writing Platform?
We can talk about this topic until the cows come home. You have to be old and pre-social media to understand that one--which means, take my viewpoint with a grain of salt. I didn't even have a computer until I was married with four kids, because before that, computers filled entire rooms. Ok, so you know where I'm coming from here.
Everywhere I turn, I am reading about Pinterest, Blogs, Facebook, Goodreads and how they help your platform. But if you're writing, you have to take time away from that to engage. Ugh! What's a shy writer to do?
I admit I like interfacing on Facebook and Pinterest. Two slightly different forums, but because I wanted to be a newspaper features writer (and was a sports editor/writer in HS,) this sort of satisfies that aspect of my personality. It's like having little features in a daily newspaper only you don't have to wait for the letters to the editor! Instant feedback!
And I like Goodreads because it satisfies my need to organize my reading, or at least keep track of some of it. I will never get to the end of my TBR piles (by my bed, nightstand or on my Kindle) but it makes me smile to see the books I'd like to read as well as the ones I have read. Books comfort me.
On Facebook I try to give a shout out to my friends as they promote their books. I've influenced a great deal that way because I have a lot of reader-only friends who have asked me for reading suggestions since my days of writing my book review column in a Christian magazine.
And I have a lot of pins of books on my boards--if I haven't pinned your book, just let me know. I cannot possibly keep up, but lately I've tried to click on links I've seen on the ACFW loop and other places. I never purposely avoid authors/books--I love you all. And I especially have tried to pin all of my Hoosier ACFW friends, but I do get overwhelmed. You're a productive bunch! I also am trying to do my own writing. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed there too. I"ve helped so many others--like helping (shades of being a mom, I guess!)--that I know I need to say no more. (And that hurts me! Ouch!)
I just put up my own "author" page in anticipation of having writing in the public, all the while I'm trying to "like" others' authors pages too. (leave me your link on here or Facebook and I'll reciprocate.) It was rather intimidating to me. I can get that deer in the headlights feeling just looking at my page. Yikes. And choosing your header can be hard to do, but it's not set in stone. Get creative and you will soon be at home and so will your readers. I've seen some great author pages and some that are not so great. One piece of advice says to not put your friends' books on your author page--save that sort of thing for your personal page. But it's up to you.
So, is it helping to be out there? I don't have a book out, but I am noticing I can really influence readers and get people engaged in topics/photos, so yes, I do think your efforts are working. I guess remembering The Golden Rule, being kind and helpful to your readers will be what they remember more than anything else.
What kinds of things are you doing? What works for you? What turns you off when (where you inwardly groan) you get on your Facebook page and see posts? What kinds of posts work best on blogs for you?
Whether we like it or not, social media is a part of the marketing strategy. You become the product. Just jump in! (And be my friend on Facebook! :D )
One more thing--I just got a timer and my next step is going to be timing each of the things I want to do on the computer. I'll let you know how that works out.
http://wheniwasjustakid.blogspot.com has a list of authors and kid interviews I've done, which get hits even years later. Email me if you want to do an interview! I will be featuring Deborah Dulworth and Linda Hanna, Indiana ACFW authors, on When I Was Just a Kid starting on April 15th. Be sure to check that out.
Be sure to leave us your links!