How to Navigate Your Facebook News Feed on Valentine’s Day
Love is in the air, cherubs are whizzing around, pricking starry-eyed lovers with their lusty arrows, and restaurants are swamped with reservations for two. It must be Valentine’s Day.
The flood of Valentine’s Day posts on social media networks is at an all-time high. If you’re in love, everyone knows it. If you’re alone, everyone knows it. If you got flowers, everyone has seen the picture. Every Facebook user has seen an outbreak of sappy statuses, mocking ecards, and photos of carefully arranged candy and flowers on their news feed. So, how can we navigate this sea of sap and cynicism? We’ve broken it down for you.
Tagged status: This seems to trend towards the more committed relationships. If you’re tagged in a Valentine status by your significant other, they’ve claimed their territory and are happy to let the world know. The conquest is over, my friends. Let the territorial flag wave, you’ve been conquered.
Flower pictures: A picture of a bouquet of flowers is like saying, “My bf is awesome and I must be too because I got these beautiful flowers.” We get it. Enjoy and cherish that fact, don’t broadcast it to the world.
Who wants to be my Valentine? status: If someone is publicly broadcasting a request for a Valentine it’s time for them to log off Facebook, grab a bottle of wine, order takeout, and have a nice relaxing night at home. No one knows you better than yourself, so take this time to love and appreciate the person you are and treat yourself to something special.
Gift from my mom! status: This person obviously didn’t get any flowers, but sometimes a gift from mom is even better. You will have many people come in and out of your life, but your mom is forever. Hope you got your mom something good, too.
Anti-Valentine’s Day ecards: An anti-Valentine’s Day ecard is posted from the type of person who laughs in the face of love. Maybe they are committed, but still cynical. Who knows? But no matter what your relationship status is this Valentine’s Day, everyone benefits from a good laugh. Cue the ecards. Are most obnoxious and slightly raunchy? Yes. But that’s why they are so darn funny.
Can’t wait til later tonight ;) status-TMI. Send that in a private text, there are kids on Facebook nowadays!
Here at Pubslush, we prefer to post things like this:
(More Harry Potter cards can be found here.)
No matter what your Facebook may say, Happy Valentine’s Day to all. Don’t forget to log off the computer and enjoy your day with your loved ones. After all, that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about.
Author Education Series #10a
Marketing Yourself: Social Media Marketing and Creating an Online Presence
How To Market Yourself
Writing and publishing a book is a challenging and rewarding way to spend your time. I love it- it’s what I do. I also love working with authors who are on the path to publishing and worry about things like how to promote themselves, sell books, and get a crowd at their next reading.
Here is what I tell them, and what I tell you: No one can buy your book, come to your event, or talk about what you’re doing until they hear about it.
That’s where it starts, and using social media will help you make it happen.
What is social media?
In my mind, social media is any media that lets you interact with other people- that’s what makes it social. For example, Facebook is social media because you can have a conversation, while TV is not because it’s just the screen talking to you. I’m going to focus on the most popular networks in this article: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Email.
Why use social media for marketing?
Social Media Anxiety
I can’t help but wonder if the rise of social media has been greatly influenced by the increased social anxiety that seems to have seeped into the general population along with recent technological advances. People would rather text than call, a tweet is a sufficient conversation, e-mails are the best way to communicate in offices, and GOD FORBID you don’t give your bff a happy birthday shout out on Facebook! You just simply wouldn’t be friends anymore. Face to face contact and genuine interpersonal connections are simply undervalued nowadays and I believe it’s a safe leap of logic to say all these growing outlets for communication only exacerbate the social anxiety epidemic.
However, with the rise of all the different social media platforms, I find a new kind of anxiety arising: social media anxiety. Daily, we have to check our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram…and these are only the most popular ones! If you aren’t active on these sites, most people will think of you as a nobody. Zilch, zero, nada. You could be the most charismatic, charming person, but if you don’t tweet your butt off, no one will give you a second look. Wouldn’t it be easier sometimes to just connect and interact in an organic, natural way? The way people have been interacting for, uh, ever?
So is there a solution to all this social media mayhem? Unfortunately not. It’s the 21st century and we’re stuck with it. But I would say to learn the most effective uses of each platform (Facebook is for connecting with people you know, Twitter sets a more conversational tone, Tumblr can help to drive traffic to other platforms, etc.) and utilize the ones that will best fit your needs. Know your audience and know how to reach them. And try your best to block out the other 3.2 million (approximately) social media sites you aren’t actively using.
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.
Putting Yourself on the Market
Writers, don’t be afraid to self promote!
Remember that, like any other product, books need exposure to gain a fan base. Here are some tips on how to market your work:
- Email, call or tell your friends/family personally encouraging them to check out your work and see if they’d like to support it. Newcomers to PUBSLUSH will be more attracted by books that already have a following; they don’t care if it’s only your Auntie Maud or local barman! The more support you garner, the higher you’ll trend on our page.
- Use social media. Post a link to your PUBSLUSH book page on your Facebook, Twitter, blog or tumblr. Chances are that most people will be more interested in a book written by someone they know than in one penned by a stranger! Be bold!
- Attend open mic nights and writing workshops. Read an excerpt from your manuscript—either the one posted online or a different one—and make sure to tell the audience/fellow workshoppers how they can support the publication of your work.
- Don’t be shy! Whether it’s passing out business cards or mining your mom’s phonebook, be sure to use your resources. We’re not suggesting you turn yourself into Johnny Bravo, but remember that most people are open to supporting fresh ideas and new talent.
Now go forth and schmooze! Please remind your supports that they won’t be charged ANYTHING until your book is selected for publication.
Pubslush on the Road: R.J. Julia
On June 19th, the Pubslush team was lucky enough to visit R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut to talk social media and self-publishing with a great audience.
R.J. Julia, located in Madison’s town center, is the perfect bookstore to get lost in. With its cozy interior, extensive selection of books, and great café, we will certainly be visiting again. During our visit, we had the opportunity to meet and greet members of the community, discuss Pubslush’s website, and talk about promoting a book using various forms of social media. We also had a chance to ask Denise Santisteban, R.J. Julia’s Events Manager, some questions about the store, its history, and what’s planned for this summer!
TONIGHT! Calling all Connecticut writers! Join us tonight at R.J. Julia Bookstore, 7 PM! Have a cup of coffee and enjoy yourself while learning about Pubslush and social media! (via Pubslush | R.J. Julia Booksellers)