We all know social media is vital for today’s writers. We’ve been told by various social media experts that we must have a brand, a network, a footprint. I’m working on it, but most days it feels like a big muddy smear.
We need to reach out and be active on Twitter, Facebook, etc. It’s about connecting, not promoting. And I get that. That’s the easy part. I can jump onto Twitter and visit various #hashtags (#wewrite, #amwriting #row80 #pubwrite, #mywana) to find new and interesting authors to meet at any given time.
But the social media mountain is still slippery for me. Facebook, for instance. I have a Facebook page that combines friends/family/writing stuff. I’m slowly building my friend count and trying to connect. But then I was told to have the author page as well. So I have it. Out of 300-something friends, only 37 follow the author page. And really, what’s the difference between the two? Is it really necessary to have both? What are the benefits? And how do I get more people to “like” the author page, other than just asking? I HATE asking, unless it’s someone I know well.
And Goodreads. It’s a great place to connect with readers. Have lots of friends on there, too. But again, how do I use it effectively? I belong to some groups, but most of the discussions are the daily “how are you” type thing. Those are great, but we’re all pressed for writing time. There’s got to be a better way to socialize on Goodreads. I suppose I just haven’t found the right group yet–or haven’t paid enough attention.
Google+…haven’t even tried it. Worth the time? With a presence on Twitter, FB, and the blog, do I need to continue to stretch myself?
I’d also like to find a way to reach READERS. You know, people who aren’t writers but read the genre I write. Is Goodreads the only place for that? Are there other online groups dedicated to suspense novels? I confess, I haven’t looked for those yet. I’m still stuck on trying to figure out everything else.
Finally, there’s the blog. It’s doing well, and I’m grateful for all the great feedback I receive. And yet, I need to find a way to really put Thriller Thursday out there, to draw in more readers outside our blogosphere. I know the way to do that most likely lies with Goodreads and the outside groups I just rambled about, but I’m not sure of the best way to reach out, so to speak.
How do we promote without PROMOTING? You know, constantly telling people to read this and comment? The only way I know how is to join groups and just chat, connect, as Kristen Lamb says. But I still feel I’m not doing enough. I’m just not sure what the other ingredients are.
What do you guys think? For those of you already published, self 0r traditional, what have been your best strategies for effective social media?