During our 4th Annual Writers’ Conference & Book Expo, I was scheduled to present a session on my “15 Pearls” of Literature on Marketing, Blogging, Community, and Support. As it has worked out in the past (but won’t be the case anymore), I wasn’t able to get this session up in time but did get it done eventually – just not published. Those who registered for that session will be getting 3 new sessions FREE during our upcoming 2020 WC&BE!
This session on my “PEARLS…” will be shared here for all our members, in hopes that it will help in our quest to become more successful and better at marketing our work as we make connections that will benefit us professionally as well as personally. These will be posted under our posting schedule of Mondays & Thursdays each week, in separate parts.
Welcome to Part 3!
IN WRITING, WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA IS REALLY FOR
I came on the social media scene over 9 years ago, and although many tried to tag me as a “newbie,” I quickly shed that tag after two months of being online. Back then, many would ask how I managed to learn as much as I did about social media (namely Twitter) as quickly as I did. Well, I’m not one to sit around on my laurels waiting for anything, so I jumped right in and learned all that I could … as fast as I could.
I noticed a lot of people on Twitter (as I still do) offering what they brand as support by tweeting or RTing things that matter not to anyone. I notice RTs of food (you know, what someone had for lunch), I notice RTs of funnies (on some days these do come in handy, but mind you, I said some days … we can do without your funny emojis filling up our timeline every minute on the minute), and, I see full-blown conversations about absolutely nothing taking place on Twitter. You know, aside from allotting only 140 characters per tweet, I’m told Mr. Tweet-Man is still today, sitting, watching and waiting for you to tweet more tweets than he has allotted you for the day. Once you’ve broken his rule, he calls the tweet-cops on you! And what do they do? You guessed it – they arrest you and put you in Twitter-Jail! Now, Mr. Tweet-Man’s policy on how long you have to stay in Twitter-Jail is something I know nothing about.
In writing, social media is for a certain purpose … and that is to get the word out about your writing, whether on your blog site or via the books you’ve written. And, although bonds are formed and friendships are made while on social media, it still remains a marketing tool for us, and we must never allow the personal part of it to interfere with our real reasons for being there. I am on social media for ONE reason and ONE reason only … and that is to Profile, Promote and Propel my books and my writing, while also doing the same for my fellow authors. Because I’m a serious writer, I cannot afford to log onto Twitter for daily socializing. I get on there, I do what I need to do, and then I get back to writing, which bears repeating, is the reason I’m on social media in the first place.
Now, don’t get me wrong … I’m not saying that you should not socialize on social media; what I am sharing is that there is a way to spend time on social media, getting to know those you support and the ones who support you, while ensuring that the time you’re spending on Twitter, Facebook, etc. is not wasted time. Remember, we can’t get that time back and we are working hard to become bestsellers here, right?
If by chance there is the occasional second where someone has engaged me in a not-so-work-related tweet-chat, I utilize that time to the max. 90% of the time I tend to always include some type of marketing bit, even in those personal tweets … either at the beginning or at the end of the chat. Here’s an example of one such tweet: “@sharrislaughter Thx 4 the plug. How’s ur day going? #DaydreamsDaughter… amazon.com/dp/B00GLM2VVM.” Notice how even in the midst of a quick personal chat, I have injected the title and purchase link to my book.
Even though the person you are tweeting may not click the link, imagine how many times that tweet will travel around the world and somebody who you might not ever have the chance to make direct contact with, just might see it, and click it. I call that “not wasting a tweet!” You should look at it the same way and follow my lead. You never know who might happen to notice that tweet, click on the link and then purchase your book or become a follower of your blog.
Social media is about support. We get on there, we engage and we garner support for our work, as others are doing the same for theirs. If it is your goal to be a true supporter of others, take the time to RT something of substance for your tweet-colleagues. Don’t RT the first random thing you see on their timeline. When I see a RT of, say for instance a BlogTalkRadio interview that is clearly marked with a date and time in the distant past, my blood begins to boil. That says to me the person behind the RT is not someone who even knows what they are sending out into the world because they didn’t take the time to read the tweet. If they had, surely they wouldn’t have retweeted it, right? They could be retweeting child pornography for all they know; they saw “a” tweet, and hit their RT button without even reading the tweet first.
If you want to at least give the illusion that you are being supportive, take the time to find a tweet that will do the person you are RTing, the most good – one in which their work is being promoted. It’s not a hard thing to do at all, and I assure you, they will greatly appreciate you for going that extra mile for them.
If you don’t want to just give the illusion that you’re supportive, step up your game and do more than just RT someone. When you happen upon their tweet of substance, actually take a moment and click the link to see what it’s all about. If they are sharing their blog post, read it and then leave an engaging comment, LIKE the post, FOLLOW their blog, and then share the post onto your social media forums before leaving. They’ll probably be so appreciative of you that they’ll take the time to seek you out and support you in the same manner.
If someone is sharing their book link to Amazon, B&N or some other online retailer, click the link and support by picking up a copy of their book, whether by purchasing it or snagging it as a FREE copy. Whatever you do, do it better than the person who is only giving the illusion of being a real supporter. There are too many of those common folks on social media merely hitting a RT or share button – that’s all they’ll ever do and as my mom used to say, “that’s all they’re good for.” Just as you want to be known as a social media substance supporter, those are also the kinds of supporters you want backing you.
Always utilize every marketing tool that you have at your disposal to promote your work – don’t allow one second of it to go to waste. We don’t know when Mr. Tweet-Man is going to change his mind and maybe decide to start charging us a hefty fee to use his service, or when he might decide to retire and just shut it down for good. Let’s make the best of social media while we can and wherever we can.
**I’ve mainly used Twitter here as my example but know that there are many other social media forums for you to promote your work via, while also engaging in building those relationships online that will benefit you well into the future. Best of luck!**
What kind of social media supporter are you? Leave us a comment down below – we’d love to know!
By the way, I’m looking for some really good books to read while on my upcoming two-week reading vacation. If you have a book that you’d like for me to dig into, leave the title and your author name down below, and I’ll be purchasing and reading it soon!
If you’re also feeling that generous, drop by the RRBC catalog and check out some of our awesome member-reads there! They’d love your support!