Woo hoo! I’m back from an Immersion Master Class with Margie Lawson, and my brain is is so stuffed with all kinds of writerly goodness, I just don’t know what I want to start on! *smile*
So while I’m playing catch up from being away, I’m very excited to have one of the first people I met when I began blogging: Tina Moss! Tina is and has always been incredibly helpful, and one of the first people I know I can go to when I’m struggling with a scene or a plot issue. I love, love, love her and I’m so happy that she agreed to come over today and talk to us a little about social media and what happens after you hit that ‘create account’ button.
You signed up for Twitter and Facebook. You tweaked your blog or website design until it is more colorful than a rainbow. You setup your author page on Goodreads. You even dabbled with Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Triberr, etc. Your accounts are linked, activated and ready, but one question remains…now what?
Each social media site offers a slightly different cup of tea.
- Twitter allows for instant communication with people over a variety of topics.
- Facebook lets us sort our friends, view their updates, and post all kinds of information.
- Goodreads lets us interact with a community of readers, both in discussion groups and through reviews.
However, the common thread amongst all of these social media platforms is…interaction.
To help you navigate the murky waters of the social media oceans, here is a list of seven important points to remember for writers interacting on social media venues.
1. Don’t be a self-promo spam bot. If all of your updates, blog posts, tweets, etc, encompass a link to your newest book or a post about your work-in-progress, you’re missing the point. Limit those types of messages. You can certainly put it out there, but if that’s all you put out there, no one will be listening.
2. Don’t beg. Sticking your tongue out and panting only works for dogs. It will not win you bonus points. Likewise begging people to like your page, follow you, or buy your book will not help your cause. As in #1, you can have this some of the time, but if the majority of your feed is begging, you need to change it up.
3. Keep your clothes on. Remember that the internet is a BIG place with lots of prying eyes. Would you take your clothes off in the middle of a public place? No (and I hope the answer is no)? Good, then don’t do it on the web either. Be careful what you share. Privacy is important.
4. Trolls and bullies belong under bridges. Don’t engage in flame wars. You are a writer – either already published or pursuing a career. Maintain a professional demeanor. Don’t yell at reviewers. Don’t respond to negative comments. Be the bigger person. You don’t have to be a pushover, but be respectful. When you can’t engage on a civil level, stay out of it.
5. Give more than you receive. Ever hear the expression, “Do unto other as you’d have them do unto you”? This applies largely in social media. If you want someone to feature you on their blog, blurb your book, like your page, retweet your post, then you’d best be doing these things for others. If you don’t want to help others, don’t expect their help.
6. Form true relationships. Don’t be a follower, be a friend. You cannot do this for everyone as your followers grow, but make the effort to talk to people. If someone messages or tweets you directly, respond to them. Get to know people and allow people to get to know you.
7. Be yourself as long as you’re not a jerk. You can be a ballsy, out-of-the-box, zany writer, but don’t be the person to hate. Chuck Wendig is a great example. He tells it like it is with direct and humorous language. Not everyone will like his style, but he’s honest without being cruel. No one likes the bully, and most people can tell when you’re phony. So get out there, interact and be your best self.
What do you think are the key points for writers engaging in social media? How do you interact on the web?
Tina Moss is a writer of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and historical romance. She lives in NYC with a supportive husband and alpha corgi, though both males hog the bed and refuse to share the covers. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching cheesy horror flicks, traveling, and karate. As a 5’1″ Shotokan black belt, she firmly believes that fierce things come in small packages.
Melinda here! Tina hit every single, important point about social media here. The one point I’d like to reiterate is #5: Give more than you receive. That is my #1 personal rule, and I always strive to give more and be more, and I truly expect nothing back in return. As long as I know I have been there, and am there for my fellow writers, that’s all that matters. When my name is mentioned, I want the following to be said right behind it: “She’s so incredibly sweet, kind and helpful.” That’s something I think we all should strive for in this day and age.
Thank you again to Tina for joining us today! Please leave a comment and take advantage of this chance to ask her anything social media or writing related! She’s a well of incredible information, and like I said, she’s always willing to share!