Why Writers Need Social Media: Guest Post by Jamee Rae
Most writers say that there’s never enough time to write. Therefore, it’s no surprise that some resist adding a social media strategy to their already overbooked writing life. One writer friend of mine commented that including a ritual of Twitter, Facebook and blog posts to his schedule would be like dumping a big clump of cement over his right brain. In his words: “I won’t hold up under all that weight, and every bit of my creativity will get buried under a bunch of meaningless, self-serving verbiage.”
Though slightly amused by my friend’s ranting, I’m totally unimpressed by his lack of insight – and his stubbornness. What he and many other writers fail to understand is that social media is a gift. It provides opportunities for further expression. It opens new doors and sets the stage for writers to introduce their work to the world. A successful social media strategy increases your credibility, gives you the competitive edge and adds your name to multiple Google searches.
In what other time in history could writers gather a global audience without having first earned bragging rights based on their best-selling book?
For book writers in the pre-publication process, a social media campaign is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity. You may have the most interesting story and be the best writer in the universe, but the person who can get their name and project in the limelight is the one who gets the most attention. And by the way, a successful social media campaign is a plus in the eyes of publishers and agents. They’re looking for authors who can write books and skillfully market themselves.
So settle it now. Agree with yourself to move forward with your social media strategy, no matter how much of a learning curve it proves to be. The following are some keys to getting started.
- Move past your fear and quit being stubborn. You have surely resisted for too long. Social media is here to stay and it’s the next best step in your book writing career.
- Be willing to learn something new, and be flexible when it’s time to relearn it. The only thing constant in the world of social media is change.
- Start with Facebook. If you already have a Main Page, add a business page that focuses on your book project. Your posts can include excerpts from your book, discussions about the topic, links to your website and related information.
- Create a blog and add a post at least once a week. Make sure your blog is focused on a specific topic. For book writers, blogs allow you to write about your passion, thoughts and experiences related to the topic. In every one of your blogs, be sure to add links to your website, Facebook page, other blog posts that relate to the subject, as well as links to your other work.
- Enter the world of Twitter. This is your opportunity to gather followers (fans) from all over the world. Limited by 140 characters, you’re challenged to learn the art of brevity. But amazing one liners have a lot of power to create interest in you and your work. Don’t forget to include links to your website, Facebook page and other social media sites.
- Monitor your social media sites and interact with others. Social media is all about sharing and connecting. Those who are totally selfish in their approach will have fewer engaged people. Make sure to “Like” and comment on other people’s Facebook pages. Subscribe to multiple blogs and leave comments when possible. On Twitter, give shout outs and promote the work of others.
There’s no doubt that social media takes time away from your major writing projects. But it’s time well spent, especially in the pre-publication process. I suggest you allot about 30 minutes a day on developing and implementing your campaign. Have fun with all the new people you meet along the way, and use the feedback to improve your message and overall Internet presence.
Jamee Rae has been writing professionally for more than 25 years. She is also a social media strategist, found on www.socialmediagenius.com. You can also find Jamee on Twitter @JameeTheWriter, on her blog at at www.jamee-rae-the-writer.newsvine.com, and on Facebook.