Social Media has been considered the best friend of every aspiring author. I have to admit, I jumped in with both feet. And, in all honesty, I really enjoy keeping my blog. I like posting and I love interacting with the folks that respond.
I’m told, though my blog isn’t old enough to show it, that after a while, steady blogs
become more popular and the numbers of people who respond grow. I hope that’s the case with mine, partly because I’d like to keep writing it and want a reason for that upkeep. Partly because those folks that regularly visit and follow a blog are the strongest fans an author can have.
– are the slang name for the folks who believe enough in an author to purchase books from her. Members of the tribe are also the ones who will post Facebook messages about the book, Tweet about their purchase, leave bookmarks in a coffee shop, or donate a copy of the book to the library. Their support is invaluable and their encouragement can stimulate the author to continue writing for years. I’ve been able to be a member of a few tribes, supporting several authors – debut and regular releases, both traditional and indie published. I love being able to share brilliant new books with friends and acquaintences.
– Okay, they are more often called Tweeps, but I first referred to my Twitter followers as Twits since I didn’t know any better. I’ve shared quite a lot about Twitter and you can find articles here and here about how to use this incredible line of communication. But the key to Twitter is interaction. In fact, that’s really the key to all of social media. To simply post all the time about your book makes you more of a billboard along the way than an actual Tweep. Following means you “listen” and comment on what others say, visit the links they suggest, and Retweet the things they share. That doesn’t mean you have to closely follow everyone though. (You should have seen me trying to write just after I joined Twitter. Every time the little icon came on alerting of another tweet, I’d click on my tab to check it out, then go back to my story. Yeah … um … don’t do that. You’ll never get a sentence written, let alone complete a novel. But do spend a little time there, maybe a couple of times a week, visiting with folks and striking up new friendships. The first person in social media that I met, I found on Twitter. Jessica Patch and I finally got to meet at the ACFW last month! What a delight!
– You know when author or business pages share a link or a photo and you like it? That’s awesome! The fact that you liked it goes on the running feed along the side of all of your Facebook friends’ profiles. They see that you liked the page and they might click on it just because they are curious. That really helps out the business/author, so don’t be selfish with your Like-love! And even more, make sure you LIKE the author/business page. Then, not only will your friends see that you liked the page, but each time that business posts, there’s a decent chance that your friends will get to see the post as well, giving the page that you liked more exposure. And if you can click a simple button to make someone’s day, why not??? (By The Way, my page is at /MarjiLaine.Ü) Oh and something else you may not know. If you don’t click the like button on the posts by your favorite business/authors, you’ll stop seeing their posts. I don’t know why Facebook does it this way, but they will only show you the posts of pages that you consistently interact with. So Like away!
– I confess; I’m a lurker. Yep, I probably drive by four or five blogs a week and keep my comments to myself. I often enjoy what I read, but I won’t think of commenting. Either I don’t think I have anything worth saying or don’t have time to conjure something clever. But more often than that, I will follow a blog with a post I like. I will tweet about the article. And I will comment – sometimes longer than I should – giving my opinion or answering a question posed by the blogger. Commenting not only confirms that there is somebody out there, it also stimulates interaction on your blog with other folks (those who could become tribe members!) And how fun it would be to meet someone who has been following your blog all along at a book-signing or launch party!
So (and I’m speaking to myself as much as anyone) join in the conversations. Leave comments. Reply to emails on group boards. Make friends with that Facebook LIKE button and make every effort to respond to tweets. Because social media, by it’s very nature, should be social first.
Your Turn: What are positives about social media and which social media program is your favorite?