Saturday, March 26, 2011

Social Media

Today's post was inspired by a discussion going on in my writing group at Dave Farland's Writing Groups. One of our members, Justin Jeppesen, who is new to the Twitter thing (me, too) asked for some suggestions. I'm going to share Robin Week's response because it's so good:

For Twitter:
  • Participate in the hashtag chats, like #yalitchat and #askagent (when you see one going, click on the hastag and it will take you to a screen where you can see what everyone else is tweeting with that hashtag)--everyone there will see your tweets and you'll pick up followers that way.
  • Comment on others' posts, start up conversations, etc--don't just tweet about your books: be interesting
  • Follow the people you'd like to have follow you--an email is sent to everyone you follow (well, depending on their settings) and a lot of people will auto-follow or will at least check you out for a possible follow if you follow them first
  • DON'T connect Twitter to Facebook--it is annoying to those who follow you in both places. Use Twitter for little things and Facebook for larger things and, for huge things, post separately on both.
For the Blog:
  • Have a regular schedule of posting, so your followers can anticipate your posts (I've just started posting Tuesday night and Saturday morning--if I can keep it up for a few weeks, I'll post my schedule on my blog), too.
  • Interesting titles, to entice followers and others to read your posts
  • Participate in blogfests--those are when you register your list your blog on the host's blog with the other participants and then do something specific with your own blog--there's an April A-Z blogfest going on in April, if you're interested: posting every day but Sundays in April--then everyone is encouraged to visit the other blogs in the fest
  • Tweet about your new blog entries (this is where your interesting titles come in) with a link to the blog post
In General:
  • Social media is SOCIAL--you need to get out there, comment on others' blogs, comment on tweets, etc. Elana Johnson (who has almost 2000 blog followers) went through a period where she commented on 50 blogs a day!!
  • Don't diss others--everyone can see your tiff and no one thinks you're cool when you're whining
And as Robin also suggests, you can check out Beth Revis' post on this topic here.

How comfortable are you with social media? Do you find it difficult to balance all the other aspects of your life--like writing--with the time it takes to Twitter, Facebook, Blog, etc.? How are you making it work for you?


  1. I'm trying to figure out my comfort zone with social media. It's been hard, I'll admit. At this time I'm not interested in Twitter or Facebook, but am not closed to either in the future.

    I do enjoy blogging, but trying to find a balance between generating posts, real life demands, and my writing can be overwhelming at times. I'm trying to blog the way I enjoy blogging and not the way others say I have to blog (if that makes sense). It's definitely a learning process.

  2. Hey, thief! :) You could at least have corrected my verbage to make me sound intelligent and stuff. :P

    Seriously, though, I wrote that right before I found Beth Revis's blog post. She says it with a lot more detail and with fewer editing issues. Go read hers. :)

  3. Some writer friends of mine can't seem to balance social media and writing. Because of that I think it's also good for writers to remember that they are writers first, and marketers second. Of course all work and no play makes jack a dull boy and jill a dull girl, so write and then play on the social media sites!

  4. Suzie, that's partly why I haven't made an effort to search out the hashtag chats. I can get Twitter on my smartphone, so I check it or post when I'm between things (like waiting for a meeting to start, or at a doctor's office, etc.) The networking aspect of can't be dismissed either.

    Robin, I warned you. And I thought your stuff read well. Don't be so shy. =D

    Tombstone, I agree that it can really call to you when you're struggling with your writing. And it can seriously suck away all your free hours. I try to treat it as a reward for behaving myself and working first.

  5. I blog, and I FB occasionally. Most of my social networking is through followers (Thanks name-sake), people who comment on my posts, and blogs I follow. One of the things I love about blogfests is I get to see a wide variety of writings from people I interact with on a consistent basis. I learn more about their writing styles/voice.

    I'm not good at social networking b/c of my day job. I focus on that, and my own writing, and try to get to blogging/posting.

    50 posts a day? Nope, I doubt that will ever be me. I give myself about 2 hours in the evenings to read/comment on as many as I can in that time. sometimes its a lot, sometimes its only one or two posts.

    I do believe social networking is important though. Whatever a person is comfortable with, thats what they should consider doing.


  6. Great post - so helpful.
    I should be doing more of the things in that list!

  7. Great tips! It is hard to keep up with everything with a day job, family, and your own writing for sure. Some people must have some superpowers to be able to do all that!

  8. Great advice. I don't find it too hard. I have a schedule time for it and then I shut it off. I think if I worked full time it would be harder because I'd probably want to put most of my time into writing.

  9. I’ve been into blogging for quite some time and this is definitely a great post.Cheers!

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