Forum Friday: How do you use social media?

You will hear it from marketers, agents, and, with any luck, from people who like your work and want to see more of it: you have got to have a web presence! These days, even for traditionally-published authors, the task of publicity-building largely falls to (or at least begins with) the author and his or her platform. Agents especially like to see first-time authors take the initiative to establish themselves (yes– even before the queries are sent), and I imagine the same is true in other industries.

But there are many options, many facets of social media available to us– so for today’s Forum Friday I’m conducting an informal survey of two questions:

  1. What social media do you use to promote yourself as an author (or artist, musican, etc.)?
  2. What social medium (i.e., Twitter, blogging, etc.) is your favorite, and why?

Me, I’ve been blogging a while now. I like having place to conduct erratic creative symphonies, connect with other readers, writers and all manner of intelligent and artistic minds, and generally catalog my own  experience as I work toward publication.

I’m only just starting to get the hang of Twitter and, where I saw it as a nuisance not so very long ago, am beginning to see it as a valuable (and fun!) tool now. In fact, I think I’ll be writing another post on this shortly.

For now, what’s your story?

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9 thoughts on “Forum Friday: How do you use social media?

  1. I’m with you on blogging – by far my favorite form of social media. I feature my blog posts on Facebook and Twitter, but have yet to establish a presence beyond this. As I move toward (prospective) publication in the fall, I will set some goals to expand my outreach on these sites.

  2. Although I’m not published yet and don’t plan on being any time soon (I’m my own worst critic), blogging is my main form of social media, with Twitter being the other place where I tend to feature and link to my blog posts. Although I have a Facebook, I’ve kept that as a personal place for people I know in real life, completely disconnected from the online presence I’m building up elsewhere. To be honest I’m kind of bored of Facebook anyway, as well.
    I think I’ve made the most connections with other writers through blogging though, and these are always real connections – people I speak to quite regularly as we interact with each other’s blogs. One issue I do have with Twitter is that I get these self published writers who have say ten thousand followers, but also happen to be following ten thousand people, and they are just adding anybody with similar interests so they can spam their books all day every day – I hate that, as I find it wrong, annoying, and less likely to make me want to read their books (they seem a little desperate, to be blunt). I don’t mind other writers finding me and adding me on Twitter if they have something interesting to say about something other than their own product, but yeah. I think at this point the blogosphere is a better place to build up a presence than Twitter, at least for me.
    Whoa, sorry about the rambling hahaha.

    • Social media (and especially Twitter) can be a mixed bag, for sure. I have had similar reservations about Twitter but think, given what I’m starting to learn about it, there may be an ideal balance between following thousands/being followed by thousands and actually *interacting* with followers– or at least balancing personal tweets and engagements with promotional tweets.

      I’ve observed, in my own experience, that engaging on a personal level is more powerful than sheer numbers. On WordPress, for example, you could “like” ten posts OR read two of them and leave comments– and you are far more likely to receive return views/comments/followers if you do the latter.

      • I agree, it is all about finding that balance. Interaction is key – while there is nothing wrong with liking posts, leaving comments really makes all the difference. I know on my blog I have seen a direct correlation between how much I’m commenting on other people’s stuff and how many comments I am getting on my own. Also responding to comments keeps people coming back, I find. And I think Twitter is much the same – I like the people on there who write personal tweets, or tweet things that aren’t always about them.
        Good post, and something that is always interesting to hear other people’s opinions about! 🙂

  3. I’ve got a blog page and Twitter. I also have a Facebook page and Google+ (I mostly post links to my blog posts to them, as well as funny writing-related memes). And I just created a Pinterest account, although I’m still figuring that one out. I’m at maximum social media capacity now!

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