There And Draft Again

A Fellowship of Fantasy Writers

Social Media for Writers May 10, 2014

Filed under: Publishing,Writing — thereanddraftagain @ 5:43 pm
Tags: , , ,

By Sofiaperesoa via Wikimedia Commons

Hi everyone!

Whatever publishing path they’re on, writers are advised to have a “social media presence” and to create an “online platform”. Some are very successful at it, others find it more difficult. If you belong to the second category, I’d like to share a few ideas to help you make the most of your online presence.

Keyword #1: Content

This is the basic advice for social media beginners: if you want people to follow/like/suscribe to you, you have to offer them an information or an experience that they will value. The best way to do this is to ask yourself: “is this tweet/post/video/picture going to be of interest for my followers?”

Keyword #2: Consistency

Another good way of building a following is to post regularly, and often. I’m not suggesting a rigid posting schedule here (I certainly don’t have one!). But posting on your blog 2-3 times a week, tweeting 8-10 times a day or pinning pictures on Pinterest once a week can work wonders to help you become a familiar online presence.

Keyword #3: Focus

Pick a few topics that you’re passionate about. Pick a few social media services. Writers, if they want to write, can’t spread themselves too thin online. It’s important to choose a few ways to interact online, and to stick to them. It’ll help people understand your “profile”: who you are and what you’ve got to offer.

Keyword #4: Fun

Social media shouldn’t be a chore for writers. I set aside about half an hour every day to check/update my favourite sites, and it’s always a fun moment of my day. If you’re forcing yourself to build a platform and your heart isn’t in it, it’ll show and it’ll be a waste of your time.

Keyword #5: Network

Social media is about networking: it’s about doing online what people usually do in real life, i. e. chatting, sharing ideas, sharing good practice, sharing silly/funny things, sharing news, socialising. You find people who share your interests (readers, writers, etc.) and you interact with them in a friendly/polite way until you become friends or at least acquaintances. People are much more likely to buy your books or listen to what you have to say if they know and appreciate you.

Keyword #6: Etiquette

There have been numerous posts on the topic, but it’s important to be reminded of bad practices, in order to avoid them. Spamming, trolling, general bad behaviour online are a surefire way to burn bridges for writers. The best way to know if you’re “doing social media right” is to ask yourself: “would I do this to my neighbour in real life?”

What’s your favourite social media service, then? I’m a big fan of Twitter (to chat with people), Pinterest (to create boards for writing inspiration), Tumblr (to share visual content that I like). I don’t use Facebook very much anymore (do you still do?). And I’ve never tried Google+, Instagram or Youtube.

So tell us about you and social media in the comments!

EM Castellan

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One Response to “Social Media for Writers”

  1. Alex Hurst Says:

    I haven’t been able to get into Twitter, mainly because a majority of the people I follow only bookspam my feed, until there’s no real interesting content going on (unless I’m following a hashtag). I suppose my experience would be a lot more fun if I ended up getting a program like HootSuite to manage my feeds, but I haven’t had the energy to get into it.

    My blog is the main place I am building my brand. I meet people through Facebook groups (I need to get closer to readers than writers, though, which is a big problem with a lot of social media venues. Writers tend to gravitate towards other writers, and I don’t know how effective that can be for sales.)

    I love Pinterest, and I’ve had -great- success with it when I use it simultaneously with relevant posts on my blog (Book cover artists’ images linked to their interviews on my blog, art for famous literature that I’ve reviewed, etc.)

    I don’t use Tumblr enough. I like Tumblr, but I feel like I’d need to curate a bunch of reaction gifs to make something special of it, and I’ve seen the community turn vicious over very little (so many wonderful accounts, closed, after a troll-bash).

    G+ is a good bookmarking website, but that’s about all I use it for, haha.


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