Social media for writers: The new time-suck, or time to connect?
February 3, 2014 4 Comments
I’m hooked on it. Blogging, Twittering, Facebooking (I can’t believe I just used that as a verb), and I can’t get enough. More and more authors are told they need to have some sort of online presence. To most of us, it’s not that big of deal, but there are some out there who either don’t want or don’t care to follow the rest of us sheep into the world of live updates, tweets and posts. For those of you who are leery, I don’t blame you, but as these tools are becoming an important part of a writer’s life, I’m afraid it may become a necessary evil. I’m not going to get into proper etiquette for these sites. There are enough blog posts out there to satisfy that need. No, I want to explain why writers need to be on.
I’ve been online for eleven years. In that time, I’ve seen digital content increase to the point where it’s more commonplace and convenient to look things up online than any other way. When I do research for a novel, I go online. If there’s something my husband wants to know about, he goes online. Same with just about everyone I know. Books are written and published online, agents and publishers post their wish lists online. Agents and publishers LOOK UP POTENTIAL CLIENTS ONLINE. Readers look up information on an author they like ONLINE.
Did you see those last two? That is why writers need an online presence. It isn’t about book promotion, or retweeting, or cute kitten pictures, or pinning nail art to your board; it’s about how people who are interested in you, can find you. Period. Mind you, all those other things are important too.
By having some kind of a social media page, people can find you when the mood strikes them, and by extension, your work as well. Do you have more than one book? Create a page on your blog so visitors can discover all your published works. It works the other way as well. You can connect with your readers via Facebook and Twitter. Create new or interesting ways to interact with them and they will be appreciative. It’s all about you connecting to your audience, and your audience connecting with you.