Social media as a writer

social media

Writers are often given advice about all the social media sites they need to be on. The framework of this advice, is that if you contribute regularly, you’ll find success. My philosophy is slightly different in regards to social media success. I would rather gain tangible benefit immediately. Here are some of the immediate tangible benefits of different social networks:

Facebook

I think the best way to describe Facebook as a writer is one of two ways. You are either a family member/friend or you are a marketer. A family member/friend author gains support by regularly posting about their day. That can be exciting to people as they see their favorite author is a real person. On the other half of the Facebook coin is a marketer. With this approach, you have a very specific goal and are constantly tweaking ads to reach that goal. Conversion rates and cost per click dominate the marketer world.

The only other distinction that I’ve found, is that Facebook is great to connect with reviewers. It seems like there are a number of book reviewers on Facebook that love to work with authors.

Meetup

That being said, Meetup might be a better alternative for writing groups, as it forces you to interact face-to-face. Meetup writing groups are often random, but insightful.

Scribophile

Here is a social media platform dedicated to writers and readers. The main focus of this social media site is to critique writing. To get your work critiqued, you have to review other people’s work. I think that this is fantastic as it allows you to develop chapter by chapter, getting feedback along the way. This is different than a whole book being reviewed, as you can see exactly what your reading is thinking/feeling as they progress through your book. If a chapter is dull, you know about it’s faults. The only problem I have with Scribophile is that it can take awhile to get your longer work reviewed. I’ve found it works best to build a quick “flash” story that contains my story. I can then feed that through the scribophile machine and know if that’s the direction I should take. For example, write a scene that uses a magic system, and see if that magic system makes sense. Or perhaps see if an action scene makes sense. Etc.

Twitter

I’ve found Twitter is fantastic for quick bits of info. A funny line or quick image. If the idea of starting your day with one of those 365 tear-off day calendars seems good, you’ll like Twitter. It’s a quick blip and done. Another great use of Twitter is to advertise Amazon Giveaways. Properly tagged Amazon Giveaways on Twitter seem to generate some good returns. (New followers)

 

Pinterest

This graphic heavy location is fantastic for authors to get inspiration. If you are making a book, you can pin a bunch of stuff to a board and get a sense of fashion/world/etc. Another element that is common on Pinterest are infographics; many of them about writing. These can be great to pick up a tip or two from.

Reddit

I recently heard of this being described as the modern “advice column”. I think there is a lot of truth there. Reddit is a fantastic source to ask questions on. Stuck on a character or need to know how a royalty system works? There are people on Reddit that know that information and would love to give it to you. The only thing I would warn against is that everyone has an opinion and make sure it’s give AND take. (Write your feedback on other people’s questions)

Goodreads

Goodreads is a great place to get author advice from. Reddit is fantastic for advice on nearly everything, but Goodread groups are fantastic for advice on specific writing topics. For example, if you are not sure about writing a Christian fiction novel with robots… Goodreads has a Christian fiction group, where they probably have a sub-topic called Robots, that you can then ask a specific question on. The only bad thing about Goodreads is that you have to watch how active certain groups are. For example, the Christian robot group may not have many posts and updates. That can leave your question sitting, waiting to be answered for the next 6 months.

 

 

Honorable mentions include Tumblr  and Google+. I’ve heard good things about these platforms, but I haven’t quite discovered the best use case.