Social (media) Anxiety
Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
Part 2 of 3
So. . . you do have a compelling website, right? One that changes often and stays fresh? Have you decided to incorporate an online store? And you are blogging, are you not? You can connect your blog to your website so the content changes often. It’s important that you experiment with vBlogging as well. It’s strategic, of course, that you also use Twitter to help point people to your blogs and website. The nice thing is, you can have your Twitter update automatically to your Facebook page. But be sure to post photos and other relevant information to Facebook as well. Be personable. Strike that perfect balance between friendly and professional. And be sure to retweet and repost interesting articles to Facebook so you are giving as much as you are taking. Speaking of professional, you are on LinkedIn, aren’t you? It’s a great place to connect with colleagues and, well, if you are ever seeking a job, it’s invaluable. If you can create a YouTube channel even better. Be sure to experiment with Google+, especially the Hang-Out feature which lets you connect a group by video chat. Of course there is Skype. Don’t be the last one to know about the newest craze, Pinterest.
Anyone else breaking out in hives yet?
That’s nothing. We’re now reading that it’s not enough to do all of the above. Just a few days ago, Thomas Umstattd guest blogged on agent Steve Laube’s blog, Seven Ways Agents Measure Social Media. Umstattd says you also have to be able to quantify your following. You need to have numbers, followers, commenters and an impressive KLOUT score.
I’m not disagreeing with Umstattd but if you really need to do all that, how in the world are you going to write the book that makes us go weak in the knees?
I believe in social media but I’m here to say don’t believe everything you hear. I listen to writers worrying endlessly over what they “should be” doing. Granted, used well, social media can be a centerpiece to your own tribe-building, but the key is balance. At Books & Such, we are working hard to stay on top of social media. We’re committed to exploring all the possibilities so we can recommend media strategies to our clients. We are in the process of beta testing some exciting new social media opportunities right now. We want to be on the cutting edge. We want our clients to be early adopters of those media that fit them and their audience. But the important thing is that we are the ones testing all the new social media because we know our clients cannot write the kinds of books they write and still do all of the above.
Anyway, let me just give you a few random tips:
- Not every medium should be considered a vehicle for book promotion. Don’t you want to scream “give it a rest” sometimes? That day I come across an article titled “How to Use Angry Birds to Market Your Books,” I warn you, I can’t be held responsible for my actions.
- Let’s face it, you’re not going to be able to do it all. Not if you have a family, a life and plan to write books. Find the vehicles that work for you and become adept at using them. The perfect one will be fun and feel almost effortless.
- Find a unique angle and do it as only you can do it.
- Keep your goal in mind. If you want to build readership, don’t create a blog aimed at writers. That’s preaching to the choir. Find something that will connect with your readers– your target audience.
- Once you’ve found your perfect fit you need to be disciplined enough to limit your social media time.
- Then stop obsessing over what you are not doing. There are enough people out there wagging a finger in your face, saying “shame on you” for all the things they think you are missing. My friend Robin Jones Gunn has a cure for that. She’ll look you straight in the eye, flick her hands and say, “Shame off you.” I love it.
We are all looking for permission to just say no. Consider this permission granted. We need dispensation because the truth is, we cannot do it all. In a 2005 commencement address at Stanford, Steve Jobs gave some wonderful advice: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Your turn. What works for you? What doesn’t? Would you care to share your social media end goal and tell us how you’re making it happen? Or do you just want to tell us what makes you crazy about this brave new world?