Authors want readers. Readers want to connect authors. FB, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, and other social media platforms can help.
Trouble is using social media can also take time away from writing.
But it doesn’t have to be. By spending a little time on social media consistently, we can make those important connections.
Try these tips to help.
Allocate your time:
Spend fifteen minutes twice a day posting and responding to posts to put your name or book on reader’s mind.
Focus on the primary social media platform where you find your readers.
Use a scheduling program like Hootsuite when you can’t physically be on line.
CAVEAT here: Scheduling can sometimes backfire. In our crazy world today, a post, tweet, or blog might appear inappropriate on a scheduled day if something like Las Vegas or a weather event happens. Be sure to monitor what you schedule.
Be ready – collect ideas for posts/blogs:
Keep a running list of quotes that inspire you.
Bookmark and save funny videos to share later.
Make a list of open-ended questions you can ask.
Connect with these posting ideas:
Ask open ended questions
Request suggestions on something like what to fix for dinner, fashion, or hairstyle
Invite opinions on a movie you’ve seen or book you’ve read
Share things in posts that give readers a picture of who you are
-a hobby or passion you have
-pet pictures or anecdotes
-a link to an Amazon review you’ve written for another author
-what you’re reading or what’s on your TBR pile
-participate in day-of-week-hashtags like TBT (Throwback Thursday)
-seasonal pictures or pictures of places you’ve traveled
-vacation photos when you return Another CAVEAT here: I’d never invite burglars by announcing departure dates
It is important to share, but it’s equally important to avoid some topics such as
Negative or derogatory posts. It’s always better to be nice and positive
Political rants (unless you are a political writer or part of an activist group building a following)
Eeyore-type poor-pitiful-me comments
I’ve only skimmed the tip of the iceberg on using social media. There are a gazillion other ideas. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Digital Reader advises now would be a good time to go download any ebooks you still can. After December 21, 2012, you will not be able to access any of the ebooks you bought from Fictionwise sites (including Fictionwise.com, eReader.com and eBookwise.com).
Today’s word in case you’re unsure from the title – AAR
What the heck is an AAR? You’re probably wondering — especially if you have no military background.
At the conclusion of every mission employed, an AAR, AFTER ACTION REVIEW is conducted to determine the effectiveness of the mission. Sometimes called a debriefing, too.
I’m the daughter of an Army Air Corp/Air Force officer, the spouse of a retire Army officer and a former DAC. I thrive on order in chaos and demand order/structure.
My life, until my husband’s retirement, was pack, unpack, establish a nest, pack, unpack, and establish a nest. I’ve gathered lots of fodder for my writer’s mill and skills I’m sure I’ll not live long enough to use.
Two years ago I took ex-Green Beret Bob Mayer’s Warrior Writer A-Team course. I’m not sure Mayer offers the course anymore, but the book WHO DARES WIN, The Green Beret Way to Conquer Fear and Succeed is available here.
His Special Forces tactical approach applied to a writing career resonated with me. I credit that class as the turning point in my writing. I especially loved the AAR, After Action Review. I now conduct AARs on all writing activities and projects.
Sound silly. Not really.
We all do AARs unconsciously. We just don’t call them After Action Reviews. Bet you’ve said. “Been there done, that not going again” or something like that. And I’m guessing you’ve also said, I loved < you fill-in-the-blank>, too. You just did a mini-AAR.
After every move, my family discovered ways and methods to make the next move easier, more palatable for the children and the travel to the new location more fun. All the while, reviewing what we’d learned at our last location.
Guess what, we were doing an AAR!
My husband’s favorite AAR, if the experience is unfavorable: “Done that for the first and last time.” Our shortened code developed from long years of being together: “first and last for that” or FLT
My AAR for Kristen Lamb’s Blogging-to-Brand class follows. Risky, I realize.
After all, Kristen might read it. Not worried.
Knowing her association with Mayer, she’ll probably conduct her own AAR. My thoughts can contribute. Or be a testimonial. Or not.
AAR Step 1: Mygoal (mission) in taking Blogging-to-Brand:
I needed to learn about branding and social media. I have two novels, The Pendant’s Promise and its prequel, In the Land of the Morning Calm, in the publishing pipeline. I want readers to recognize my name, buy my books.
I’d read Kristen’s book WE ARE NOT ALONE. Actually bought it at Bob’s workshop. I agreed with what I read and decided the class would provide added benefit.
AAR Step 2: Was my goal or mission accomplished?
I’d say DEFINITELY…the class nearly exploded my head!
I have to admit I signed up reluctantly. When I say reluctantly I mean screaming about why, why, why? I’m a writer, not a marketing person.
Not that I wasn’t familiar all the social media places. I was. See the links in the right hand column.
ONE WORD WEDNESDAY and today’s word is PIDDLE. No not what puppies and kittens and small children do. Piddling is spending time in a trifling, or ineffective way according to Dictionary.com
Some call it dawdling. The dictionary defines it as wasteful. I’m not so sure about that wasteful part. I think we all need piddle time.
Southerners are said to have fine-tuned the act of passing time, without waste or regret into a fine art. The whole idea of piddling is to kill time, but without any great effort or much meaning, according to Rick Bragg, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer. He claims it’s a cause worthy of lifelong study in his February 2012 Southern Living essay column, The Fine Art of Piddling.
Piddling is not a necessity. In fact in most circles, it’s frowned upon. In Western pragmatism, we have to do most of the time. I’m a diehard multi-tasker. I loathe just sitting and doing nothing. Though you will find me stopping to smell the roses, not for long! The one exception–I can easily lose myself in a good book for hours until I come to THE END. Much like Rick Bragg described his wife, I piddle with purpose.
But sometimes, piddling’s a forced condition. My latest piddling was neither planned nor welcomed, an unfortunate necessity. A torn rotator cuff took me down. I’ve had no choice but to kill time waiting to regain full use of my repaired shoulder muscles. Weeks in an immobilizing sling, now Attila the Hun physical therapy.
I’ve whittled away the hours sleeping with my guard dogs at my side.Or we watched movies. Turner and Hallmark movie channels mostly. I learned a lot about plotting and story development from those so I guess technically it wasn’t wasted time.
We also found some fascinating History channel offerings like Pawn Stars and American Restoration. Toby, Buster and I learned a lot! I really missed my daytime soap operas. Made me mad all over again that CBS canceled Guiding Light and As the World Turns.
Timing was the pits too. Two weeks into Kristen Lamb’s Social Media class. Wore me out typing one handed to get in my tweets, FB, and blog out there.I’ll be out of the sling soon and up to speed on the keyboard. But I’m thinking I’m gonna miss the piddling. Ironically, it’s been relaxing, refreshing and renewing. I’m thinking I’ll keep at least some piddling a part of every day.
Sentence Game Time: Dictionary.com suggests He wasted the day piddling around.
YOUR TURN: Have a sentence to share? Or a comment about your piddle habits or a time you were forced into piddling?