I am overwhelmed and that’s saying a lot.
I’ve come to the point in my creative career that I need to align my social media efforts. This is difficult to explain really, but pretty much I played on social media back before everyone thought this was a fun thing to do to kill time. So, as I saw other writers work on their social media efforts as part of that all important writer’s platform, I noticed how social media was used not only as a way to market but as a way to find and build a fan base for writing.
Now, it’s my turn. With plans to release my first book in 2014 (Oh, wait. Did I just say that out loud?) I now have to use this tool as those before me have. Actually, I have to use two of my hats at the same time, the social media professional and the writer
So, does that mean I have to use every social media platform out there?
I actually answered this question for a group of Full Sail students recently. These students were artists –writers, screenwriters, etc — and wanted to know more about how social media could help them with their careers. (BTW, that’s quickly becoming on of my favorite topics.)
To get back to the original question, I say no. No, you do not have to use every social media site out there. In fact, don’t. In fact, please don’t. In fact, I already know the answer to this question so why am I asking? Here’s the long answer to that: different social media platforms for different goals.
I am a Twitter girl. I cut my big girl social media teeth on Twitter and have seen the unrestricted power of 140 characters. I’ve battled big telecommunications companies and won, I’ve connected with my favorite celebrities and I’ve gained friendship and followers from people all around the country. If you’re a writer, more specifically a reporter/columnist/etc, this is the platform you want to be on. Your words can carry far and fast. And, well, it’s just fun. There’s also communities built around hashtags that are helpful (#blogchat is invaluable).
I have a love/hate relationship. It’s big. Everyone’s on it. Conversations happen here. When it comes to engagement, this is the grand-daddy of them all. You can get lots of conversation going on Facebook because there is less of a space limitation.
Here’s why I hate it. It’s big. Everyone’s on it. Conversations happen here. Yes, I hate Facebook for the same reasons I love it. Of course, sprinkle the “privacy” issues on it and I hate it even more. I think that because it’s so congested (because everyone’s on it) it’s not a place where you will organically get new followers or potential readers. Face it, the folks on Facebook are your friends and they are sharing cat pictures and memes from ecards.
Then there’s the page vs follow function, which is it’s own blog post.
However, because everyone is on it, they’ll be looking for your presence on there. Yes, it’s the chicken and the egg argument of social media. Not sure it’s ever going to be solvable.
By far the most under-estimated social media platform ever. I consider myself one of the guilty ones who didn’t see the potential of its awesomeness sooner. I kept trying it out though because a friend of mine was having some success with its functionality.
When I finally began to take it seriously, I found out that it was similar to Twitter in that people were willing to talk and engage (by +1) with complete strangers, therefore there is an opportunity for increasing an audience. But it also had the best part of Facebook, the ability to house the conversation.
Then there’s the whole circle thing and the hangouts on air which I LOVE. Of course you can’t forget that this is Google and they have found a way to include its social media platform with its Google search results. Have a blog? You need to be on G+. And sign up for authorship while you’re at it.
I love Pinterest as a bookmarking type of thing. I’ll start using it soon in other ways. For me, the jury’s still out on this platform. I’ll keep you posted.
So, what should you use? Use what your potential customer/clients/reader use. You go there. You engage there. Social media for the artist is a verb and it’s very much like courtship. If you want to get to the point of asking folks to buy what you’re selling (the proposal) you have to invest the time and establish that relationship. (How’s that for a metaphor?)
I’m putting together a Social Media 101 guide for the writer/artist. If you want to know when it’s ready, sign up in the link in the small bio at the bottom of this post or just click here.
What social media sites are you on and which do you think are must use?
Icess Fernandez Rojas is a writer, blogger, teacher, and journalist. Her commentary has appeared in The Guardian and on Huffington Post Latino Voices. Her fiction has been published in literary journals/anthologies such as Minvera Rising and Soul’s Road. She’s working on her first book and teaches fiction writing classes. Contact her or sign up to know more.