Friday, March 30, 2018

Great Social Media Networks for Writers (And How to Use Them)

I am a socially awkward human. Small talk is my Kryptonite. The biggest social events I go to are comic cons...and those probably don't count as legitimate socialization.

Social awkwardness isn't altogether uncommon when it comes to writers. We're awfully good at writing dialogue (some of us are, at least), but not so good at carrying a regular conversation.

And that's unfortunate. Why? Because no matter what people tell you, writing is not a solitary practice. Writers need to be able to connect with others because we need: beta readers, editors, critique partners, support groups, readers, fans, and fellow authors who will answer all the writing industry questions that even Google can't help with.

How do we find all of these different types of people without dying from anxiety? Two words: Social Media.

Yeah, I know those words scare a lot of you. But they shouldn't. Social media has been hands down the most helpful marketing tool I've come across. It's helped me come into contact with some amazing writers (like the ones I've featured on #ChatWithIndieAuthor), given me awesome opportunities (like being the Live Events Coordinator for WriteOnCon or the MultiMedia Manager for Phoenix Fiction Writers), and allowed me to grow an epic, loyal following (as shown by my blog comment section, and reviews on Skies of Dripping Gold and Colors of Fear). Social media helped me do all of that in spite of my general awkwardness. If I can do it, so can you.

So let's talk about different social medias and how you can use them to boost yourself, your platform, and your writing.
Great Social Media Networks for Writers (And How to Use Them)

I'm going to break down five main social medias and what they're used for. Categories include: Networking (allowing you to make solid connections with followers, fans, industry professionals and gain new friends/followers), Marketing (getting people to read your books, blogs, newsletters, or simply marketing yourself as a soon-to-be author), Aggregation (a place where people can easy find all of your newest blog posts, publications, newsletters, podcasts, videos, etc).


Twitter


Best used for: Networking. 
Also good for: Marketing. 

Twitter is AMAZING. Sure, I know a lot of people hate it, but those people are wrong.

Okay. Kidding. Those people are simply people who haven't had the opportunity to learn how to implement it correctly. If you're one of these people, check out this blog post for detail on how to win at twitter.

About 90% of the connections I've made have been on twitter. I've found favorite indie authors there, been offered amazing writing jobs, strengthened relationships with followers, and had a lot of good laughs. If you can only join one social media, join Twitter. It will take some getting used to due to the fast pace, but it is well worth it.

Facebook 


Best used for: Aggregation. 
Also good for: Networking. 

Some would argue that those two should be switched out: That Facebook is best at networking and second best at aggregation. I say: It depends on how you use it. If you put most of your time into a Facebook page, Facebook is great for aggregation. You put all of your latest and greatest on that page and people will see it and stay up to date with all that you've been doing. This also often leads to good networking. However, if you put most of your time into Facebook groups, you can connect with a lot of amazing fellow writers. So which should you do? Both. Both is good.
Now, please keep in mind that a lot of people don't like Facebook. I'm not a huge fan simply because it's out of date. However, a lot of people still use it, which is why it's good to keep a good Facebook presence. It allows you to keep in touch with a different demographic that you may not be able to reach on Twitter. 


Instagram


Best used for: Marketing.
Also good for: Networking.  

Instagram is perfect for what I like to call brainwash marketing. You post cool, pretty pictures that make people think you're awesome. Throw in a few awesome pictures of your book...or maybe make sure that your book is in the background of a lot of photos. People start to like you. They start to like your book. They buy your book. You become rich and famous. All thanks to Instagram.

Okay. Maybe that's not quite right. But Instagram is definitely a very laid back way to market. It's also a good way to meet other writers by posting pictures of your writing (or day-to-day) life to help people connect with you better. Instagram is a great, easy, fun-to-use, and very calming social media platform that you should definitely consider.

Goodreads


Best used for: Marketing. 
Also good for: Aggregation. 

Goodreads is super helpful. Not only does it allow you to keep track of all the books you've been reading lately, it also allows people to follow you as an author and see what books you've published. The more people that add your book to their 'to-be-read' shelf, the more your book circulates around the web, thus attracting more eyes and more reads.

It's also helpful for aggregation because people can travel to your Goodreads page to see all of your publications. Goodreads also can connect to your blog so that all of your blog posts are connected to your Goodreads, too.

And it's just plain fun because you'll discover all sorts of amazing books. But be careful: That part gets addicting.

Pinterest


Best used for: Marketing. 
Also good for: Aggregation. 

I used to Pinterest. Still do, actually, though they're constantly changing the algorithm and format to ones that I don't like as much as the old ones. However, Pinterest is still incredibly helpful for marketing despite their constant algorithm changes. How? Group boards. Join group boards for writers, bloggers, authors, etc. Pin your latest works to these boards. Within hours those pins will be flying all around Pinterest and will continue to circulate until the end of time...or the end of Pinterest. Whichever comes first.

You can also create your own boards and pin all of your latest books, blog posts, interviews, etc there. That way new followers can check out your Pinterest account and see what you've been up to. 


Google+ 


Best used for: Marketing. 
Also good for: Networking. 

I have a love-hate relationship with Google+. Google+ Communities are a great way to get your writing circulating. They can also be a good way to meet other writers. And, supposedly, using Google+ increases your SEO (though I have no idea if that's true, so don't quote me). That being said, this platform seems to have a lot of trolls. And it also seems to be mostly dead. Yeah, some communities are very active, but a lot aren't, so it's kind of hit or miss. It's worth joining if you have the time, but if you have a lot of other good social media platforms on your hands, Google+ can wait.

Have questions or comments about any of these social media platforms? I'd love to hear them! If you're on any of these platforms already and want to be introduced to other great writers, here's what you can do:

1. Follow me on any of these platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads, Pinterest, Google+.

2. Send me a message, reference this post, and let me know you'd like to meet other writers.

3. Wait for my response as I introduce you to all the cool people.

You're welcome.

Have writing, reading, or writer's life questions? Use the hashtag #ChatWithHannah below or on social media to have them answered on my Youtube channel!


Related articles: 
10 Tips for Using Blogging to Build Your Writer's Platform


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11 comments:

  1. I don't use any of those platforms you mentioned but I blog on Wordpress and I think it's a pretty great tool for all three- networking, marketing and aggregation. If you like, you can visit my blog at https://magicquill17.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
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  2. LOL, I think you pegged Instagram perfectly with "brainwash marketing". A pretty picture can be very convincing... I do love it, though. It's a great place for finding book recommendations and staying on top of new releases.

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  3. Thanks for making the world of social media a LITTLE less scary :) Question: I've heard that Twitter is amazing for marketing, but my main concern with using it is that I do not have a smartphone or constant internet access. I only get online for sure once a day. Would you mind sharing your opinion- is that going to make Twitter less of a useable option?
    Many Thanks!
    Anne

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  5. Huh? Yeah, that was my reaction when I was told you can get paid good money to use Facebook. But I checked it out and I loved what I found.

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