Using Social Media
by Theresa Snyder
It takes a community to get the proper attention for a writer’s work and social media helps accomplish that.
Your readers wish to learn about you as a person. They want to feel as if they know you. If you are gentle and engaging, folks will respond. They will assist you if you work together.
Shortly after I posted my first book, The Helavite War, on Kindle, my students suggested that I sign up with Twitter and actively work to market the book. Two of them stepped in and created a perfect profile – branding me as the author, reader, gardener and dreamer that I am.
I have heard Twitter referred to as a cocktail party, whereas Facebook is more like inviting your friends over for dinner. I am less personal on Facebook than most people because I have it set to “public,” meaning everyone has access; I didn’t like trying to maintain two Facebook pages, personal and author (public). I prefer dealing with my friends face-to-face, so having just an author page, which my friends and anyone else can view, is fine with me.
I found Twitter to be my cup of tea. I really enjoy chatting and Twitter is the place for that. I quickly picked up followers and made a slew of friends.
Among other things, I write books about dragons. There are dragon folks galore on Twitter. We tweet and hug and scratch ears on a regular basis; so often, in fact, that one of the dragons drew a picture of me scratching his ear. The dragon folks are a tight group and support each other and the folks they like.
Choose your audience and focus your efforts there. What interests you? What can you share? At first I was at a loss. However, I have a good-sized garden and when I discovered there were people on Twitter who enjoyed flowers, I started to tweet photos of flowers. Soon there were requests for a video tour of my garden and that led to my own YouTube channel. I have found I love to do videos and I try to get one put together each month.
I do shout-outs (#SO) for my retweeters (which gets them new followers), and also thank them in some general tweets at the end of the day. Thus far this works well for me. Each time someone retweets your post, it goes to each of their individual followers. What can you do to show your appreciation to all your lovely retweeters?
When I reached more than 700 retweets a day it became impossible to retweet each one equally. One of my promotional tweets was retweeted so many times that, should each of the retweeters’ followers looked at it, it would have been viewed more than 95,000 times.
I purchased a program called “Tweet Adder,” which automatically spits out tweets based on my specific directions. I have more than 400 tweets in the program. They are not all promotional; some are funny, some are quotes. The program also has the ability to do an auto follow back, something that is really helpful once you pass the 5,000-follower mark; then it is otherwise almost impossible to keep track of who you followed-back and who you didn’t.
Twitter might not be your cup of tea, but it is worth a try if you like to interact daily with folks of a similar mind. I have found a virtual family among the folks on Twitter.
Next time my column will talk about the domino effect.
Theresa Snyder is a multi-genre writer with an internationally read blog. She grew up on a diet of black-and-white, sci-fi films like Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still. She is a voracious reader and her character-driven writing is influenced by the early works of Anne McCaffrey, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard. This is the second installment in her column for VoiceCatcher about self-publishing.