Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Social Media Strategies...HELP!!!

Sunny Frazier’s Novel Spaces blogpost, “Why you got that rejection letter” was an eye opener for me. You see, when I first wrote my books, my aim was anonymity to some extent. At least I wanted to keep my personal and professional life distinct from my writing life. It came immediately apparent that that was not to be. Liane invited me to participate in this blog. I had never blogged before, and I wasn’t even sure I knew what a blog was. But I accepted the invitation and it opened up a whole new world to me. Then I got a Facebook page, mainly for contact with readers, and LinkedIn profile.

The problem is I still don’t know how to effectively utilize the social media. Yes I have the Facebook page, but I find it unappealing to log on and read “friends” posts of what they had for dinner last night or their high scores on internet games, or see a million and one invitations for Farmville or Cityville or offers of alien cookies. I got sick of people I know personally airing their dirty laundry about their relationships and venting about how life screwed them. I hear people talk of spending hours on Facebook just hanging out and not writing. I have the opposite problem. I have to make an appointment with myself to log on, and I have a hard time posting updates. It’s even worst with LinkedIn and I would not know what to post on Twitter if I had an account.

So here is where you come in. I would like tips on how to best utilize social media to market yourself even if you don’t have a published book or one ready to hit the market.

How can we make Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, Twitter work for us in getting our names out there?

What is your personal strategy?

What blogs are the most effective in accomplishing high profile name recognition?

Whether you are a published author, aspiring author, Indie author, agent, publisher, publicist or reader please let me know in your comments what social media strategies are most effective for promotion and name recognition.


Charles Gramlich said...

I don't do twitter. I spend time on facebook but not that much. I tend to take the approach that 90 percent of what you post on facebook should be related to strengthening connections with people and not trying to specificall sell them something.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

No twitter for me, and as for Facebook, I basically use it to keep track of other writers, but even then, I find it to be way too much self-promo. I like blogs / web sites that do a bit of self-promo, but focus more on advice, recommendations, and even a bit of personal info. I think the key thing for blogs I follow is getting a sense that the host has manners, is a decent person etc.... Good luck and nice post!

G. B. Miller said...

I've been blogging for a little over four years, and for the majority of the time, the focus has been about 80% me and my outlook on the world and 20% about writing.

Since I was able to sell my first book, I've been slowly trying to retool and make it a little more balance without turning off my readers.

I've also started participating a little in a few forums, but I'm having a problem in dealing with heavy saturation of YA writers, so that has a tendency to keep me away.

I did reactivate my Facebook account, mostly because my publisher is heavy into social media, and I'm also retooling that as well.

BTW, for those who are interested in making a connection with an aspiring writer, I can be found on FB under my pen name.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Thanks Sean. I pretty much use facebook in the same way that you do, but it quickly becomes overwhelming with notification of "you're related" and every other non-sense. I really want to find a way to make it more effective as a marketing tool rather than just a socializing tool.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Charles, that's a good approach to take though it would probably not do too much for marketing.

BTW Sean, if you are looking for a blog host who "has manners and is a decent person..." you've come to the right place. Novel Spaces is a great blog site and we're all decent :)

Jewel Amethyst said...

G, nice demonstration of marketing by using comments on a blog post. Good writers always advise to show rather than tell; you just showed.

Good luck with your writing.

Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Thanks Charles! I have been following this site for a while now, and really like it.

Eugenia O'Neal said...

I recently started a Twitter account - I'd actually gotten one about three or four years ago but then forgotten about it. I like it! I'm following a lot of news sites and a lot of interesting people so I'm hearing about all kinds of things I wouldn't have known about if I weren't on there. My strategy with Twitter is to mostly confine myself to retweets and interactions with people. Every couple days I might post something about one of my books. (I also briefly flirted with Twitter Fiction and probably will again.)

When I'm working on edits, I'll usually keep the Twitter page open and then post something whenever I take a break from editing. If I keep it open when I'm trying to write, well, let's just say I don't get much done because it's so absorbing.

I'm on Facebook and there I let a bit more of my interests show. I do a lot of news, history, culture, Caribbean, type posts. I post about writing or about my books but not that much. I'd say it's 70% other stuff, 15% writing life and other authors, and 15% my books.

I also blog which I enjoy. I try to write two or three blog entries at a time when I'm in the mood and schedule them in. I participate in a weekly meme, Snapshot Saturday, which is great because I see pictures from all around the world. I'd like to do more memes as they're a great way to socialize, meet other bloggers, etc. but I haven't worked in the time yet.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Nice strategy, Eugenia, what are memes?

William Doonan said...


A little of this, a little of that...the folks that do social media best seem to follow some basic rules:

1) get out there - comment on other people's blogs, make friends.
2) don't just blab about your book - instead, talk about what the book is about, what's interesting about the topic.
3) when you blog - don't try to sell your book - instead, go back to points 1 and 2. Make friends.

The more I've become involved in this, the more I'm convinced that relationships create interest in what we've written. Books are sold one at a time.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Thanks William, for that bit of solid advice. I know some blogs have greater impact for writer visibility than others, any tips there?

William Doonan said...

I wish I did. I know it's possible to check the readership of different blogs, but ultimately I think it comes down to which blogs resonate with you. I have about ten I check every day, and another ten I check a couple of times a week. Plus, I post once a week on my own mummy blog, and twice a month here on the wonderful Novel Spaces.

Liane Spicer said...

Jewel, I'm no expert, but here's my two cents anyway...

My five-year old personal blog has become semi-dormant since I've been involved with Novel Spaces, but I've found building and maintaining a blog and participating in group blogs have brought me the most meaningful connections. The thing is, I loathe the very idea of selling oneself, so I did little to no actual marketing on my blog - and actually felt a little embarrassed when my blog pals went off and bought my book. How did I find my blog mates? By commenting on blogs like the now defunct Romancing the Blog. When you do that people who frequent there mosey over to your blog, and some of them stick around. I posted about my publishing journey, my life, and about books and writers I like. And those memes were always fun! To maintain the momentum, though, you have to reciprocate by visiting and commenting on the blogs of people who frequent yours, which is very time consuming.

I've found Facebook to be overrated, but then I'm probably doing it wrong. Whereas with a blog the people who stick around are those with whom you strike a chord, on FB all sorts of people befriend you and then you never hear from them again. I have no problem posting promo for friends' books on FB, but aside from using my cover as an avatar for years I did little to promote my own. The reason is that I hate when people try to sell me things, so I hesitate to do the same to others.

Twitter I ignored until a few months ago when I started a micropress. Still need to figure out how to use it effectively, and still don't understand what all the fuss is about. Most of the time I use it to, yes, tweet writer friends' promos.

Eugenia O'Neal said...

Actually, every now and then I cull people who have never liked anything or who have never commented on my posts. This has left me with a growing core than I interact with quite frequently - will they go out and buy my books? I don't know but they certainly would never have heard of me if it weren't for FB.

Memes are group blog posts - come over to my blog on Saturday and you'll see the one I do - Snapshot Saturdays. I've met a couple people that way who've put Jessamine on their reading list and I used to be involved with Cat Thursday and now that blog host is a FB friend. Every little bit helps.

Jewel Amethyst said...

This is definitely a wealth of information. Thanks Eugenia and Liane.

Eugenia, I'll be visiting your blog on Saturday.

I haven't done a personal blog, though I have contemplated it. But I will definitely employ some of the strategies suggested here. I know anyone new to this profession or deciding to write or publish a book would benefit from all the comments.

Lynn Emery said...

After not doing much of anything on Facebook, I spruced up my page- which is different from having a personal profile page. I'm finding that more worthwhile and it's easy to promote a post about my books. Not sure if this has increased sales. It's too soon to tell.
With Twitter I post what interests me far more than posting about my books. With both I post about things I enjoy - inspirational and funny quotes; interesting news links; book related news and quotes. Facts related to my books - like Louisiana history or cultural topics. Bottom line, do what you enjoy in between posting news about books releases. If you don't like posting on social media, don't force yourself to do it. But try to find out what you like about it and do that!

Sunny Frazier said...

Okay, Jewel, here's the down and dirty on Face Book:
Don't read what others are jabbering about. If they have time for that nonsense, then freely notify your FB friends of every time you blog somewhere. By copying the URL, it will minimize it and put a nice picture up.

Don't Tweet. Let others do the work. I follow several bloggers who regularly list the tweet subjects. I go through and only read the ones that interest me. These are all writing tweets, btw.

The trick is to be a bottom feeder. Other people are doing all the work for you--you just need to figure that out.

Join my marketing Posse. I will lead you to articles that will help you market, get you in touch with reviewers and interviewers. It's free. Just tell me it's okay to put your email addy in my list (it's private). I basically hold your hand and act as a guide to this very strange landscape of marketing.

Jewel Amethyst said...

Thanks Sunny. I will definitely take you up on that!

Masako Gun said...

How is your social media campaign going, Jewel? Social media platforms may be a bit hard to understand at first, but it becomes enjoyable once you get used to them. As for me, I always try to engage with my visitors. I welcome comments and criticisms, as long as they’re not offensive. I have also found e-mail to be useful in updating visitors. :)