First off – what is Social Media?
The quick definition is “Social media are primarily Internet-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings.” (from Wikipedia). So if you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Friendfeed, Flickr etc, you are using Social Media.
Why do people do it?
There is no answer to this Or rather there are many, many answers. There is no one reason why people use Social Media because everyone is looking for something different. It can be used to keep in contact with people. make contacts, share information and, yes – sell things.
Should writers use Social Media?
In my opinion – absolutely! But with every shiny new toy comes a price. It takes time to set up and build a community in Social Media. Unless you are Oprah Winfrey you won’t join Twitter and get 1000’s of followers on the first day. But if you are interesting, funny and generous you will build up a group of people you enjoy interacting with. The same is true of any online endeavour. Felicia Day (who, at the last count had over 608 K followers on Twitter) wrote a brilliant blog post about Twitter and that’s a great place to start.
And don’t forget that many Agents and Publishers are online and in the SM fray. They offer a truly valuable insight into the mechanism of book publishing and are replete with useful – nay essential – advice. You can follow Query Shark on Twitter (great advice about writing queries) or dive in and comment on the blogging Agents such as Janet Reid, Agent Kristen at Pubrants and the ladies at Bookends, LLC. [Note: when I say dive in and comment, I do mean read what they have to say, first! :)]
Agent Kristen published a post recently about the Power of Twitter. Her client, the wonderful Lisa Shearin, had a big boost when Felicia Day twittered about her love of Lisa’s books. Felicia had written about “The Trouble With Demons” and tweeted it, resulting in 10, 000 clicks to Lisa’s site. Now that’s a result!
It’s all about you
The best value you will get out of SM is be participating. You can sign up for 10, 20 or 100 different platforms but unless you take part you will never see the potential. It is all about you, but more than that it’s about you connecting with other people. And you truly will get out of it what you put in.
All about me!
If you want to find me, I have many SM places but these are the ones I frequent most:
See you there!