IF you missed Part 1 of this discussion, you can go HERE
I know I promised this part of our social media discussion several weeks agon, but I have a valid excuse. I’ve had to totally strip out my bedroom and everything from there is in the living room while we remodel from a flea infestation. Nothing is where it should be and I’m a bit out of sorts. I’ve also been practicing this week’s topic. NETWORKING.
I will admit that most of my networking has been for the freelance side of my writing. By day I spend my time making connections in the music industry. I promote artists and where they are playing. After several months of friending artists, promoters, managers and music publication editors on Facebook and tweeting/ following the same people on Twitter, my name is finally getting passed around. More artists are friending me first, instead of the other way around. They are favoriting my tweets, and tweeting back thank you’s. Well, that’s great that these people all know who I am, but what is the purpose? I want them to know who I am so when I approach their people about an interview, I am more likely to get a YES than a no. That’s where the money will come from.
Networking is laying the groundwork for bigger things. Networking is important in ANY business but I think even more so for independents like authors, musicians, artists, etc. People who do not have the backing of a corporation to promote them.
But as in any business, there are rules to follow. Nothing aggravates me more in this business than SPAM on Twitter and Facebook. They call these two formats ‘social media’ for a reason. Before I go there, let’s talk about SPAM.
SPAM is when someone only posts lines from their books with a ‘buy’ link.
SPAM is only posting to your wall or twitter when you have something to sell.
SPAM is all about ME ME ME.
I've heard people say, "I don't see the purpose. They don't work for me."
There's an old addage in the business world - "XYZ Works, when you work the program."
You have to put in some time. TIME is a post for next week (promise)
Talk to people you follow, and who follow you. If you've not seen a post from them on Facebook for awhile, drop a note on their wall and ask how things are going? If they tweet something personal – not related to their book – comment back. Have a conversation.
Some people post horoscopes or quotes. While these avenues get your face on the ticker, they also become something people glaze over so you’re wasting your time. The best way to make these places work for you is to hook up with authors you admire or who write in your genre. Talk about your character. If you’re book is set someplace you've never been, search for people in that area and ask questions. Writing a historical? Follow or friend historical societies, museum curators, weapons experts, etc. Make connections. Get to know these people.
One of the coolest gals I know on twitter (outside of my local peeps) is Amber Lee Easton aka @mtnmoxiegirl She is from my home state of Colorado. She talks about her day and fitting writing in amongst everyday life. She posts pictures from her deck that make me homesick. We have common ground. We began tweeting back and forth and now it’s an almost every day occurrence. Because we've built a relationship, Amber knows she can count on me for retweets of the important things and vice verse. That’s how this Social Media thing is suppose to work. Work it! You meet some really cool people and expand your network at the same time.
The bonus is that READERS will follow their favorite authors on FB and Twitter. So when I tweet to Amber, using her @mtnmoxigirl in the tweet, my name goes out to her followers too. Over time, this will expand my reader base.
Key Points for TWITTER:
- Follow people you would network with at a real life conference
- Write reviews and post links. Make sure to include the author’s name and #TITLE
- Blog posts or Blog guests: Tweet the link but use a tag line. Don’t just ask them to click. That won’t happen. Leave a cookie crumb they’ll want to follow!
- Comment on someone’s tweet. When you do, your name goes out to their followers too!
- Those ripples just keep spreading with every tweet
- Don’t SPAM. Quickest way for me to unfollow you.
Do better understand how Twitter works, I recommend Get Twitterpated by Jen Nipps
For a collection of blog posts on Twitter, check out my friend S.D. Keeling. Her tips are AWESOME! Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Key Points for FACEBOOK:
- Be active (This one is hard for me because most of what I do is on Twitter)
- Join groups that will benefit your business AND that you can CONTRIBUTE
The other question I'm asked all the time is 'How do you have time?"
That's next week!