Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group: February


Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be insecure no longer! Commune with fellow writers. Find your place and your tribe. Join the IWSG Facebook Group here. Writers of all skill level and background ask questions and offer support.

Follow the monthly IWSG blog hop here. Pick a number and visit  a few blogs. Comment and make a friend!


Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr and Instagram and Oh God What's Snapchat, 
Oh My!

My Instagram Mantra
There is a lot involved with being a modern author these days. Often it's all the EXTRAS outside of writing that wakes us in the night with panic (did I schedule my blog post for 6 AM or 6 PM? Did I cross-post my Tumblr to Facebook but not Twitter? WHAT EVEN DAY IS IT?)

My debut YA release is forthcoming mid-year 2016 (!) so I've been poking around at marketing and social media advice sites looking for direction. Here are a few resources I've found helpful so far in planning out how to best focus your social media efforts. I don't know these individuals personally, nor have I paid them any money. My recommendations are all based on the free content they provide on their websites:


Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Etc:
Peg Fitzpatrick: Author, speaker, social media marketing pro
I found this advice-giving entrepreneur linked on twitter. She has posts like The 12 Most Strategic Ways to Use Pinterest for Marketing and The Simplest Ways to Make the Best of Goodreads. Her twitter @PegFitzpatrick links to all these articles. 

Kristen Lamb's Warrior Writers blog. I love her take on how social media should be SOCIAL rather than automated (organization tools=good, autopost=not so good). 
She is my one exception to the paid content comment; I purchased her ebook Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World and found it worthwhile.

Blogging, Various Social Media:
The Social Media Hat
This website features articles like 2016 Social Media Predictions (always fun) to practical advice like How to Focus on your Blogging
Rebekah Radice
How to Grow Your Blog the Right Way

Instagram:
Alex Tooby
Five New Instagram Features and How they Benefit You 

You don't have to do everything. Recently, in a forum of YA authors, Snapchat came up. Someone said: oh great, is this yet another social media site I HAVE to sign up for? No, you don't! If you don't want to use Snapchat, then don't! It's a waste of time to grumble through using a tool meant for social interaction if you hate it and have no vested interest. 

Find what YOU like and go from there!

If you have a blog and want to focus your efforts, look into what components make a good blog. I personally don't like Facebook much, though I use their group functions quite a bit. I love Instagram and Twitter. Because of what I like, I focus efforts on those sites, and have more meaningful connections there. Farming for followers on any platform won't lead to lasting connections.

What social media tips and strategies have helped you? What overwhelms you? Maybe we can help each other out! I'd love to hear from you in the comments. 

32 comments:

  1. That's all good advice. My friend who is a publicist says, "You don't have to do everything, but you should do SOMETHING." A good blog and an author facebook page are great places to start. Great post.
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    1. Thanks! I should have stated this so thanks for bringing it up: a blog or website is a MUST since it's your home base. If Facebook or twitter vanish overnight, you lose all those followers unless you have connected them to YOUR content on your blog.

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  2. Social media is a great time suck. Do what you like and do it well. Best wishes.

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  3. Thanks for the advice. I'll be sure to check it all out. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  4. I don't do anything with Snapchat. It's just too much. I blog and use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. I like those and will stick to them. But you're right that you don't have to do them all. I dipped my tow in each one and added another when I was comfortable.

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    1. Same here! I try out different mediums. You never know what you'll end up liking.

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  5. Great post! And really relevant to mw this month, as I'm considering branching out into YouTube. I have Twitter and my blog...I did sign up for Tumblr and WattPad but tbh, I found it too much. I definitely agree that you don't have to do them all - just pick the few that work best for you and make them the best they can be :). Plus...how on earth can Snapchat be used for social media?! I don't understand technology these days!!

    Rachel Pattinson
    February IWSG Co-host
    rachelpattinson.com

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    1. I follow book bloggers and other things of interest on YouTube, but I never had the interest to develop my own videos. I think it's a great option for writers if you have the drive to produce content. I'm on Wattpad, but agree, it's only useful if you invest time with it. I don't really get how Snapchat can be used for promo, but that's kind of refreshing; maybe it should be about actually connecting with people and not another option for advertisers.

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  6. You're right. The shotgun approach dilutes our efforts as we can only do so much. Do creatively with a few, and I bet you will take off. :-) Thanks for visiting my site and for taking the time to talk.

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  7. Great post (and great title!) I agree that social media should be social. There's no bigger turnoff than the obvious buy, buy, buy machine and it's ultimately YOU that followers will (or won't!) like.

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    1. I know, it's such a turn off when a twitter stream is constant buy links. I have to wonder, does that person go on twitter to buy other people's products? Or are they even using it, or just sending spam there? That said, I've bought books because of twitter posts. I did yesterday; an author shared the cover of her upcoming release a month ago and I loved it! I saw her post again and remembered the book would be out. Sale!

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  8. Thanks for the links and advice. Good post.
    Wishing You Much Success
    Juneta Writer's Gambit

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  9. Thanks for the resourced - looking forward to checking them out. Personally, I don't get Snapchat, so I don't use it. I know other people love it. I've dabbled in various social media and definitely some stand the test of time as to what holds my interest. Impossible to manage them all meaningfully, so I just focus my energy on a few like FB and Instagram. Cheers - Ellen | thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com

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  10. THank you for the good links and direction. When I started with my blog, I did blogging every day and tried to keep everything up to date for like a whole 31 days and then I burnt myself out, by spending 13 hours by the computer every day. Obviously it was not working. I love that in this tech century we have so many different tools which can help us to be more on time, track and set things up. But I am still overwhelmed and can hardly keep up with Facebook and others have been on the wait - like Instagram and so on. Good luck to you. Love your stuff and liked your FB page too;)

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    1. What also helps is to determine what your goals are with your social media. Twitter is more of my networking with writers and keeping up with news and pop culture. Facebook, besides private groups I belong to, is more for IRL friends and family. My future readers are on Instagram. I like Instagram, so I'm using it because I like, and it's fun to chat with the book community there. Thanks for the Like on my FB! I need all I can get over there :)

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  11. It can definitely get overwhelming! I have my blog, a Facebook author page, Twitter, Goodreads, and a not very used Pinterest. You can't do everything and write.

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  12. Typically, I use Facebook and Twitter. I should probably use twitter more but I don't. Most of my blog posts to Facebook go unnoticed, either on my personal page or my Author page. I've found connecting to other bloggers is the most rewarding.
    Some good tips and suggestions here.
    PS - It's always nice to meet another Scott. LOL

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  13. Really good post! Valuable info. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  14. I use Facebook and Twitter, mostly Facebook. My stepdaughter keeps wanting me to use Instagram, but I feel like I spend too much time online as it is. I'd like to get into Goodreads more, but it hasn't happened yet.

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    1. I love tracking my books on Goodreads! I don't use the social component as much, but I like how easy it is to search for books and find reviews.

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  15. I go back and forth with social media. I enjoy interacting with people but it gets overwhelming very quickly for me. I have to temper my involvement to just a few minutes at a time.

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  16. Good sources! My problem is probably that I enjoy social media too much. I can easily fritter away all my writing time for a the day clicking, liking, sharing, etc. So I have to limit myself. I've avoided adding new sites because I worry about the time. I use timers for myself, just like I do for my eight year old daughter. "When this timer goes off, you have to get off the internet and write something."

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    1. Great idea with the timer! I've heard writers who use a timer to set aside un-interrupted writing time. If they get distracted or get up, the timer stops. The timer starts again when they sit back down to write.

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  17. This is an exciting time for you, you are so right to be working on marketing now. Peg Fitzpatrick is fabulous! I have a lot of marketing, PR and advertising info on my Writing Wednesday posts on my blog, a lot of stuff you can be doing now. Good luck to you!

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    1. Thanks, Doreen! I'll check out your blog.

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  18. Congrats. Marketing is a full time writing job itself. Scary all the social media a published author has to subscribe to. My blog and a few face book posts is all I like to mess with.

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  19. Congratulations! I have all these social media outlets but I use them to varying degrees. I like blogging much more than any of them, but I try to keep up with the others a little bit too. It's a lot to juggle!

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  20. I have a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Google+
    These are more than I can handle.
    If I had to choose one and ignore the rest? I'd go for blogging.
    In terms of networking and reach, I think Twitter is a good platform.

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  21. I think the key really is to latch onto the form of social media that fits you and become a pro. I like blogging, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook. I'm on Pinterest and Wattpad, but I've never invested. Maybe I should? Meh. Life is too short.

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  22. I totally agree - you can't be on every social platform at once, or at least you can't be effective at it, if you want to actually write books and have a life as well. Focusing on what you like is key.

    What worked for me in a huge way is blogging for potential readers - writing about subjects I genuinely find interesting that would also appeal to people who enjoy the books I write. Previously, I wrote more of a lifestyle/self-help/writing blog, which wasn't attracting a community or readership that would have any interest in my work.

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  23. Congratulations, Steph - I didn't know you sold a book! That's fantastic :)
    Not a published writer, but I agree with the advice above. You have to choose a few outlets you like and have fun with those-- you need to carve out time for writing too, and not let social media eat up all your time.
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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