Friday, October 04, 2013

A brief intro to social media

On October 12, I will talk to the El Paso Writers' League about social media, and this post will help me organize my thoughts. I'll talk about Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Goodreads and some of the related resources that have cropped up. My audience's knowledge level is mixed, so this will be a general overview.

So this is a draft of my outline, which will wind up as a handout as well. I invite anyone to comment, suggest areas I've missed, or correct any mistakes. Thanks!

Find friends by
--Typing in a person's name
--Typing in a category such as "people who read mystery fiction" (yields ~300,000 results)
--Typing in a location
Then click "Add friend."

Let people know your interests and accomplishments.
Post thoughts, news items, brags, photos; share what others post.
Comment on and "like" other people's posts.

Stay in touch with current friends, reconnect with old ones, make new ones.
Gain exposure as a writer.

Can take up too much of your time. Possible sales.

Send messages ("tweet") 140 characters or fewer to your followers. Others can retweet, so can you.
Can include links, photos
Follow others, many will follow you back.
Retweet for others, many will follow you back.
Your Twitter ID ("handle") begins with @ and is unique, such as @robertelee or @JaneSmith
Subjects denoted by # so you can narrow search
Useful examples for writers: #books, #ebooks, #mysteries, #fiction, #kindle, #novels, #poetry
Sample tweet:
     When Pigs Fly 100+ reviews & 4 stars on Amazon "hilarious"
     #humor #crime Not for kids

Always include a link in your tweets.

Reach potential readers. Possible sales.

Takes time.

List & evaluate books in your library.
Share info about your own books.

Reach potential readers. Possible sales.

Can take up too much of your time.
Overt self-promotion discouraged.

Internet Writing Workshop
Free email-based writing discussions, including various workshops.
Not a place to promote your work.

Post and share photos. Limited promotional possibilities, but fun.


sarah corbett morgan said...

I'd say that both Facebook and Twitter are great for networking. Most of my "friends" (other than family), are writers, both emerging and the more well-established. I've had several conversations with established writers and a few of those have led to writing assignments. Other connections with editors of literary magazines makes introducing myself through my essays easier. Yes, it takes time, but I think the time is well worth it.

Twitter seems to me to be largely a self-promo platform but I do follow some writers there and have had limited interaction, but I do not 'work' it as much as Facebook.

But here's the deal. Publishers, agents, and publicists want to know you have an active platform to sell your books.

You haven't mentioned Pinterest, Instagram, Tmblr, which I believe people are turning to more and more.

Just my two cents.

Bob Sanchez said...

Thanks, Sarah. I haven't used those last three much if at all, but I'll research and add them to my talk.

Beth Camp said...

The intro to Facebook might be a little general for a writing audience. Some authors are using a 'fan page' effectively, and I've enjoyed special FB groups (for example, poetry group). Pinterest is rather fun for collecting images related to books and I've seen several authors use this quite interestingly.In GoodReads, writers can join special interest groups (by genre, for example) seek reviews, and discuss writing issues in general (self-publishing, for example). Hope this helps. If I were in El Paso, I'd be there!

Bob Sanchez said...

That's good, Beth. I'll be sure to add that info.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Still not on Facebook, although with the launch of the IWSG Facebook group last week, I'm sort of on it.
Best social media is still blogging.