Everywhere I go, I get asked about this social media platform or that. I’m not on them all, nor am I active on every one I have a profile on – but I try to stay informed. Obviously, I’m not an expert on all of them, but I am connected to a great blogging community and a few of them are experts.
A word of caution…
Please, do not read this post and think of it as a to-do or must-do list. Don’t rush out and try to do them all. All of these platforms exist because they offer different things, and the people using them are looking for specific kinds of interaction. If you don’t play by the rules, you get kicked to the sidelines where no one else hangs out and you’ll be all alone. How sad.
A quick run-down by metaphor
Twitter is like the workplace watercooler – you check in a few times a day – meet someone new, have a couple of quick conversations, catch up on events/world happenings – and then you head back to what you were doing.
LinkedIn is the office. Professionals gather there looking for connections, networking, maybe a job – and answers.
Facebook is a living room or a common area at the dorm or the backyard barbeque – it’s where people go to hang out for a few minutes or an hour to connect with people they already know.
Google+ is… you know, I’m not really sure. I was an early adopter at G+ and have found a fabulous writing community there. Maybe G+ is like the ComicCon of social media platforms? I don’t know. There are a lot of professionals on there – but of all the platforms, this one still seems to be finding its niche.
Pinterest is the beauty salon or the mall – you go window shopping, flip through catalogs, gather ideas for a new renovation, a party, or a wedding. Pinterest is used by middle-class women, overwhelmingly, and is popular with the 25-54 age group and 60% have some college education. Is this who you’re writing for?
Triberr is like an aggregated news source that lets you be the know-it-all did-you-hear-about… star at the cafeteria lunch table, the backyard bbq or the watercooler.
If you’re writing for teens, chances are you won’t find many on Twitter. If you’re trying to connect with CEO’s, Facebook isn’t where they hang out. Know who you’re writing for, and where they hang out. Each platform attracts a unique audience. So, here’s a mashup of social platforms for writers, what they are, and how to use them to promote your writing.
Facebook – Facebook is my social media home – it’s where I hang out. I wrote this post about How To Use Your Facebook Profile To Market Your Writing, and that post includes links to a previous series that’s still mostly relevant I wrote on navigating Facebook. Here’s a recent mashup about how to tweak out your Facebook Timeline with a list of best-selling authors who are rocking Facebook to connect with fans.
Lisa’s skinny on Facebook: You can’t ignore Facebook, but you can’t automate it either. Facebook is not Twitter, it’s not Triberr, it’s not a blog. You need a strategy to connect with fans on Facebook that provides unique content. You need to know where Facebook falls in your marketing funnel, how you plan to engage fans – and what will keep them coming back.
LinkedIn – Jenny Hansen over at More Cowbell has a series of 4 posts about how to Make LinkedIn Your Happy Place and build a network on LinkedIn. Here’s a quick link to all 4 posts.
Jenny’s skinny on LinkedIn – I was active on LinkedIn long before I was on Twitter or blogging; most of my professional life resides there and the application has served me well (which is why I’m pimping it out to you)…Twitter and LinkedIn are both geared toward hooking up with the people you want to know. (Like editors and agents…just sayin.’) If you want to BUILD your network, you are simply going to do it faster on Twitter and LinkedIn…LinkedIn is more like attending a big conference – you’ve got people you’re scheduled to meet with, and they know people who know people.
Twitter – Marcy Kennedy (my cowriter) is the first person I turn to for Twitter advice. Marcy wrote a fun series on navigating Twitter: Top 5 Reasons To Join Twitter, 4 Things To Avoid So You Don’t Get Fed To The Twitter Sharks, How You Can Climb On The Twitter Lifeboat, and How To Avoid Wasting Time on Twitter. These were posted a while ago, but you can also check out More Cowbell for help with Twitter.
Marcy’s skinny on Twitter: “My husband hates Twitter, and when I first joined, he mocked me mercilessly. To him, Twitter is just a place where celebrities indulge their narcissism, and obsessed fans drool over every character they type. And, I’ll admit, segments of Twitter are like that. What many people still don’t realize though is that not all of Twitter is like that, and there are many excellent reasons to join, especially for writers.”
Triberr – Jenny Hansen at More Cowbell is my go-to source for Triberr. She calls Triberr her New Time-Saving Social Media BFF and you can find a 3 part series she’s written on how to navigate and rock Triberr.
Jenny’s skinny on Triberr: “Triberr is an invite only website for bloggers interested in increasing their reach. When you get invited into Triberr, you are a member of someone else’s tribe and you have the capability to start 3 new tribes of your own. Triberr is a free platform which enables bloggers to band together and share in each other’s audience.”
Pinterest – oooh ahhhh *waves spirit fingers* Pinterest is the shiny new Ferrari on the social media block. August McLaughlin took a look at Pinterest for bloggers with 7 Keys to Success To Success: Pinterest and Blogging.
August on Pinterest: “Like many, I was hesitant about joining Pinterest…Though I dug the concept, it sounded like a time-sucker and more fun than vital. When I learned that it’s the fastest growing social media platform, a top referrer to retailers and appeals particularly to educated women, I figured it was time to
research my brains out look into it. I’m so glad I did.”
Blogging/Platform – Yeah, OK – blogging isn’t a social media platform per se, but if you’re a writer you’ve probably been told you need to have a blog. And when I have questions about blogging, the very first place I look to for advice is Kristen Lamb – social media guru for writers. Kristen launched the WANA (We Are Not Alone) Love Revolution and created the popular #MyWANA and #WANABlogs hashtags on Twitter. This is one my favorite posts by Kristen – The Modern Author
Kristen’s skinny on Platform – “Social media is, above all else, social. It is a community…We all need love–writer love, blog love, or even just friend love. The Internet can be a scary place if you are doing this by yourself. Well, now you don’t have to. We are going to be your adoptive Internet family….your Twibe…Many of you guys are starting blogs. Others of you aren’t sure you want a blog and you might be watching and learning… #MyWANA might help making friends a bit easier.”
What social media sites are you on? Why have you chosen them? How are you working to build a community?
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