Welcome to another Writer Wednesday! Yesterday I was lucky enough to meet with my writing partner at our local Panera. For many months now, we’ve been meeting for two hours a week to write and talk about the writing business. Due to family obligations and life in general, it had been a few weeks since we were able to get together. So I truly enjoyed seeing her yesterday. Though we didn’t get much writing done (catching up on writer chat) , we talked about another important aspect of the writing life – social media.
Gone are the days of writers holing up in their turrets all day and cranking out novel after novel. Today a writer who is serious about succeeding in the publishing industry has to have a presence. Though many writers make public appearances at book signings, workshops, library events and more, making an ‘appearance’ on various social media platforms is just as vital, if not more.
Most writers are already familiar with the most popular social media places like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. Some writers who like to talk ‘in person’ to their readers and followers use YouTube and Snap Chat. What I’m beginning to learn myself is that, like many things in life, it’s not the quantity that matters but the quality. More doesn’t necessarily mean better in this case.
You may have already found this out, but spreading yourself thin often wears you out as a writer. Keeping actively involved on too many social media platforms can lead to burnout. You may find that instead of looking forward to your time on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you go, you have to force yourself to log on. Many social media and marketing gurus advise that you find what you like and do those. Don’t force yourself to be active in places you don’t like or enjoy. Not only will it become a dreaded chore, but your dislike for it will show through. People are great at picking up vibes online.
When you find the places you like, put some time and effort into it. Offer your followers, potential readers, something worth spending their time looking at. Work at it and perfect your communication skills. I go through my Twitter news feed daily. If you’re on Twitter for any length of time at all, I’m sure you’ve seen tons of ‘buy my book’ posts. And yes, when it comes down to it we writers are on there to sell our books. But this ‘in your face’ method rarely results in sales. If anything, those posts are passed by in favor of posts that do more than push a book – they engage.
It’s all about relationships. Building a relationship requires time and an interest in what your followers are interested in and care about. Posting about the latest movie you saw, the new puppy your family adopted and other goings on in your life draw people to you. Asking your followers for book recommendations or what move they recently saw leads to conversation. People love to talk and after all, isn’t that what they’re online for? People, readers, love to know that behind the writer is a person just like them. Posts that share your every day life make people interested in getting to know you. Like any relationship, this takes time. And along the way, after your followers get to know more about you as a person and a writer, they’re bound to pick up one of your books. And another book. And another book. And so it begins.
Where do you spend your time on social media? What have you found works and doesn’t work for you? How are you working at building relationships with readers on social media? Share with us! We can always learn something new from one another.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll join us again for the next Writer Wednesday!