Writers: Are You Getting the Most From Social Media?

Everywhere I go, the words “social media” buzz through the air. Writers rev up to crisis mode as they scramble to get their social media networks up and running. What’s a serious writer to do?
Writing Tip for Today: If you’ve started a blog, that’s good. But you can’t stop there. And you can’t let your fear and overwhelmed feelings stop you from plunging into the virtual world platform: social media. Here are some answers to FAQs:

  • Make Connections. Use social media to CONNECT with potential readers, not as a taco stand with your only aim as sell, sell, sell. The idea of connections should be uppermost in your mind as you begin your journey into Facebook, Twitter and the rest. Readers are smart and don’t want to be herded or pressed to get extra guacamole with their purchase. Plus, readers are people, like you. You’ll have the easiest time connecting with like-minded writers, but don’t limit your circle of influence to other writers.
  • Be Relevant. Readers of blogs, Facebook posts and tweets need and crave content they can use. It’s fine to announce your new book or promo, but be creative. Think about what you want when you visit an author site. Is it a sneak peek at a work-in-progress? Or a contest? Or some sort of discussion on an important issue you deal with in your writing? Learn to connect, but learn to offer the reader something in return for that connection.
  • Get Coordinated. Not as in clumsiness or wardrobe, but as in making it easier to keep those connections alive. Sign up for one of the “dashboard” sites such as TweetDeck (free), netvibe.com or Hootsuite (free for 5 networks, then a nominal monthly fee). The reading public forgets quickly, so if you have one central location from which to tweet, post or other interfaces, you may be inclined to keep up the good work you started. And no, this doesn’t mean you have to tweet what you ate for breakfast. Ask intriguing questions, or take a stand on something. Run a giveaway, do a guest interview or provide factoids related to your writing. Anything to keep your name in front of your readers–but be polite and don’t spam. Those who “blow up” others’ pages with cute pics or sayings get as tiresome as the what-I-ate-for-breakfast tweeters.

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About Linda S. Clare

I'm an author, speaker, writing coach and mentor. I teach both fiction and nonfiction writing at Lane Community College and in the doctoral program as expert writing advisor for George Fox University. I love helping writers improve their craft and I'm both an avid reader and writer of stories about those with wounded hearts.

5 comments on “Writers: Are You Getting the Most From Social Media?

  1. I’m working on getting a following on Twitter–time consuming but fun too! I’m discovering all sorts of interesting people, talents and interests out there.

    Aloha, Linda! –Cheryl

  2. Cheryl, I’ve been working on my Twitter following too, and I recommend joining Klout to see exactly how your efforts are going. It was very informative for me to see in a graph that I was using FB well but almost totally ignoring Twitter. Since my FB pages are almost all other writers, I have been working to gain potential readers from Twitter. Thanks for a good comment! Aloha to you too. (Don’t I wish!) Linda

  3. Thanks for sharing this, Linda, it’s another clue to the mystery for me. I’m one of those who is still trying to learn the “language” of social media. For instance Klout sounds like something I wouldn’t want to happen to me… now, it looks like maybe I should. Hmmm…

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