Social Media for Writers

Photo credit: the tartanpodcast on Flickr
I have social media on the brain this week.

I’m sure many of you have seen little explanations of what each social media site is useful for, but in much of my searching, I’ve only seen a few directed especially to writers. SO. Figuring this must be amended, I thought I’d make one myself, based on my experience.

I’ll say right from the start I can’t account for all social media sites (there are SO. MANY.) and I think it’d be unfair for me to judge sites I’m not on, so I’m going to limit this to the ones I’m familiar with.
So here we go! In order of usage!

Twitter—I’m sure most of you guessed this would be first on the list. I use Twitter probably more than I should (but I regret nothing). Regardless of my not-addiction, I’ve found Twitter to be an enormously helpful tool for writers. Not only is it chock full of excellent, bookmark-worthy links (my bookmarks bar has exploded since joining Twitter, EXPLODED), but it just so happens there are tons of writers on Twitter (who knew?).

Twitter is a great place to connect with others in your niche, make friends, promote your work (and the work of your new Twitter friends) and find fantastic blogs. If you write and you don’t have a Twitter, go get one. Seriously. Go do it. Right now. I’m waiting.

Blogger—I say Blogger because (obviously) I use the Blogger platform, but Word Press is another fantastic option. I suppose I should have titled this one blogging, but I digress.

Blogging is great for writers for many different reasons. First, it gets you writing. I know that seems obvious, but you need to write consistently to maintain a blog, and learning about self-imposed deadlines is essential to anyone’s writing career.

The second reason is slightly less obvious: networking. I wrote an entire post about how it’s not about you, and I’m going to say it again: building your blog isn’t only about building your blog. Go out there and connect with other bloggers. Create a blog roll, promote each other. Making connections with other writers is just as important (if not more) as building your blog.

tumblr—I was really confused when I first started a tumblr account. Who am I supposed to follow? What do I do? WHAT DOES THIS BUTTON DO?

I wouldn’t call myself a tumblr expert, I still stumble around the site and I’m relatively sure I haven’t used it to its maximum potential, however there is a LOT of good stuff on tumblr. From fantastic quotes, to articles, to amazing pictures and works of art, tumblr has a little bit of everything. Great for inspiration (and distraction).

Best part? You can link it to Twitter and whatever you reblog (the equivalent of re-tweeting for my Twitter fiends) will be sent to your Twitter to share with your followers.

See why having a Twitter account is so useful? Hmmm?

Facebook—You’re probably wondering why this is so low on the list. It’s not that Facebook isn’t useful (it is), it’s just that I haven’t quite maximized the potential of my page yet and I did say I was ordering this list on my usage.

Despite that, Facebook is another great place to connect with other writers and share with each other. The like button has virtually invaded the internet (try to count how many times you see it while surfing the web in one day—it’s a LOT), which makes it another great platform that should definitely be on your list.

Goodreads—I’ll be honest, I haven’t utilized my Goodreads page AT ALL. I go there to update what I’m reading and find out more information about books I might be interested in. Occasionally, I’ll browse the forums, vote on various lists and post a book review. That’s about it.

But just because I haven’t used it as much as I could, doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Goodreads is chock full of readers and writers (big surprise, right?) just waiting to be connected with! Plus, it’s a pretty fantastic site for discovering books. And it’s kind of fun to build your online bookshelf.

There are other platforms of course (Google + for example) that I’ve yet to check out, so I can’t really tell you about them. However, the theme with social media is pretty much the same: sharing. Every site does it a little differently, but in the end, the goal (regardless of the site) is to share and make connections.

So go out there and make connections.

What social media sites do you use? Which are your favorite? 


Jennie Bennett said...

I'm on Google Plus, but I'm not so sure your missing anything. I've also heard people tout LinkedIn, but I'm still having trouble figuring that one out and like you said there are just SO MANY, I don't have time to be playing on new sites everyday. I also need a step-by-step for Tumbler, I'm on there but once again, I don't have time to figure it out.

S.P. Sipal said...

I really need to get over to tumblr and good reads. Problem is finding the time to do what I need to! I know I can't do them all, but those two seem important to me.

Thanks for this summary!

Gabe (Ava Jae) said...

I've heard a lot about Google + but it still sounds like another Facebook to me (and I need another Facebook like I need a frying pan to the face). My understanding of LinkedIn is that it's more for professional connections...I think. I'm not sure, I haven't really checked that one out yet either.

Like I said: SO MANY.

Tumblr is actually pretty fun. I've found quite a few gems on there. And Goodreads is pretty decent for all bookish people. Like myself. And many of you. :)

Glenn Miller said...

Thanks for the summary. Goodreads has proven valuable to me and clients of mine who are writers: their giveaway program turns out to be very effective at generating both new readers and positive reviews. Of course it's hard to know where to invest limited social time, but goodreads certainly trumps google+, for example.

LinkedIn? Not for writers.

Faceboook: the things you can do with a fan page make it de rigueur.

And I completely agree with you on twitter and blogging.

Wodke Hawkinson said...

I like also.

Gary F. Vanucci said...

I agree with you on the Social Media and what works and what doesn't. I am very new to the game as well (started in July!)

I can tell you that blog topics are sometimes difficult to come up with and I try to comment on others blogs as much as I can. That being said, I am also promoting others because I know that if you want to get somewhere, you need help! I would like for us all to be successful in whatever we choose to do and I pull for every writer out there that puts forth an effort and has something interesting to say. I am constantly re-tweeting others information and trying to interact on facebook ,etc. as much as possible. My blog has a right navigation that lists all the blogs that I follow, as I hope that others will see then and check them out.

I am still in the beginning stages of the social media campaign for my own work and am learning by doing and meeting all of the wonderful people that truly want others to succeed and do well - because that is exactly what I want!

Gabe (Ava Jae) said...

Coming up with blog posts can certainly be challenging, but well worth the effort you put into it. As for promoting each other, I think that's absolutely key. So much so that I wrote about it. :)

Never heard of LibraryThing, is that like Goodreads? I know there's also Shelfari which is...pretty near the same thing to Goodreads.

Becca Puglisi said...

I really appreciate any and all posts on social networking because I totally don't use my resources to their full potential. Thanks for the kick in the pants!

Becca @ The Bookshelf Muse

Amberr Meadows said...

I've got a handle on everything except for Goodreads and Tumblr. I just can't seem to find time for other platforms. I need more hours in the day. Great post!

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