If you’d told me a year ago that I would not only have a Facebook account, but also a Fan Page, a Twitter handle and a blog to boot, I would have looked at you like you had three heads. (I was going to insert a picture of a three headed something or other here, but…well…just check Google images for ‘three heads’ and you’ll see why I didn’t!).
Anyhow…I’ve become fairly acquainted with Social Networking/Media. I am by far a pro, but I have learned enough to finally do a little post about it.
Also…My choices for Favorite Post Friday are listed at the bottom of this page as well as the Linky Tool if you want to participate!
Now..Here are some questions that I asked about Social Media at one time and I’m sure many of you have too:
1) Is a social platform necessary to get an agent or to get published? The answer is NO. But, if you were an agent or a publisher and you had to choose between two equally brilliant manuscripts for representation, one with an unknown author and one with a social following of hundreds or thousands, which would you choose? Word of mouth sells books.
2) Will Social Networking require much time? Yes. Heck yes. Time is required. Writing a blog takes time. Getting to know people takes time. Reading other blogs and commenting takes time. Tweeting takes time. So here is a warning: DO NOT spend more time Social Networking than you do writing. If there is no book, it doesn’t matter how many people in the world you know.
3) What is Twitter and why should I tweet? Ok. Let me say this: I would not have gotten as far on my manuscript as I have had it not been for Twitter. Twitter is not like your personal Facebook. Twitter is a resource. It is a method of connecting to other writers and a vault of useful links and writing advice. You will build professional relationships here and learn how it’s done. So if you don’t tweet, start now. Seriously. Go. Now.
4) I want to start a blog or website but I don’t know what to blog about or even how often I should post! Yeah? I didn’t either. Maybe I’m still learning. I blog about what I’m learning through this writing journey, but I also blog about books and other writers and social media and music and movies. I love these things. My advice is this: If you are a new writer and you want to blog, blog about what you love. A published author has a book or two or ten to center a blog or website around. We newbies are hopefuls. We are not experts. What we offer is knowledge from mistakes made and an insight to who we are in hopes that once we snag that agent or get that book deal, our followers will stick with us and become the foundation for our word of mouth. As for how often? That is up to you and your time constraints. I tried too hard…tried to blog everyday. That was not always realistic for me…mom of four. Try to choose some semblance of a schedule though, because readers like consistency.
5) Do I need a Facebook Fan Page? Well…though this is highly debated…I think yes. Facebook is such a personal form of Social Media that we need a way to separate the ‘personal us’ from the ‘writer us’. So yes. When? Whenever you feel comfortable calling yourself a writer. 🙂
6) Are there any rules to Twitter? Though they aren’t written in blood, there are simple social rules to follow when tweeting.
- Be kind. Always.
- If you want to say Thanks, don’t do it through a direct message. If someone has helped you, give them props.
- Don’t auto direct message people. Ick. It’s impersonal. If I am going to follow you, at least care enough to send me an original message.
- Don’t overdo Writer Wednesday #WW or Friday Follow #FF hashtags. If your mentions are 57 miles long and clogging my feed, I will get annoyed. So keep it simple. Make it special. Mention those that made an impact on you that week and I might actually follow them.
- Retweet for others! Social networking is about supporting others so that they will support you. Retweets increase their readership and show you were paying attention.
- Don’t complain constantly. Nobody likes a whiner. It’s just the truth.
- DO USE Hashtags…those little #*%^$*% thingies you see at the end of tweets. These make your tweet visible to everyone else viewing and using those hashtags. You increase visibility exponentially. Good writing hashtags include: #amwriting, #amediting, #amrevising, #amreading, #MyWANA, #writetip, #pubtip, #FF, #WW–to name a few.
- Try to follow back. I realize you won’t want to follow every person that follows you, but give it a good go. Remember…support.
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