Monday, March 12, 2012


Screenshot of my Facebook biz page
Think of your social media learning curve as simply an extension of your promotional efforts as a writer. It doesn't take long to get the hang of one or two sites. Remember it's a conversation that is 90% about others.

When you're comfortable with, let's say, Twitter and Facebook, you need a plan for reaching your potential readers:
  • Learn the demographic of your readers - which blogs they read, which associations they belong to; and which social media platforms they prefer. (Facebook, Goodreads, Kindle Boards, for example.)
  • Bear in mind that most mainstream journalists and broadcasters can be followed on Twitter.
  • Then target your readers by getting to know how each platform works and join the top three, one at a time.
  • Know why you want to be active on social media. Is it to assist fellow writers in your genre or about your subject, or simply to promote yourself and your work? Preferably, shoot for the first two and add a smattering of the last.
  • Figure out what you want to share -- words, images, videos, podcasts, etc.
  • Figure out how to share -- on your website, blogs, Facebook biz page, etc.
  • When do you want to start the process? Preferably well before publication - standard practice is three years ahead, but a minimum of six months.
  • What should your timing be? One blogpost a week? Five tweets a day?
  • What's the best time of day to be active? Twitter - 9am and 4pm. FB - 8-9am and after dinner. Blogs - am; Thursdays and Fridays are considered the best days of the week to blog, not weekends.
Once you get active, social media can quickly suck your time away. Set limits. I can manage FB in about 20 minutes a day or less for my biz page and I do it first thing. I don't go to my personal FB page until late in the day when I'm too tired to write. Twitter is faster and I usually go on three times a day - morning, before or after lunch, and after dinner.

Above all, get started if you haven't because acquisition editors and agents expect it.
English: Graph of social media activities
Image via Wikipedia
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