Friday, April 27, 2012
Social Media Round-Up
LUCY BURDETTE: Don't you sometimes feel like you're in a whirling dervish of social media snippets, with no idea about how it really works or why? I sure do. I have a fan Facebook page and a personal page and a Twitter account and now I've arrived on the Pinterest scene.
I feel like I'm always a step behind on Facebook and Twitter, though I gamely march on. But Pinterest-I love it! I was a little worried about signing on because other writers warned about how addictive it can be. And it does take a little work to set up your boards, but after that, it's just fun for me. Here's a helpful link from Janet Boyer about how to think about marketing through Pinterest. But honestly it seems like it could be great for brainstorming, or sharing recipes, or remembering and organizing events and ideas that might otherwise get lost.
So I'd love to get your thoughts about what kind of social media you love (or hate) and why. And I've asked a few of our other writing pals to comment too.
KRISTA DAVIS: I'm enjoying Pinterest because it's one-step communication. There are no messages to return. I don't have to check to see what everyone pinned that day. If I skip it for a week, nothing bad happens. It's not like I missed anything. Yet, I can convey messages with simple images. I'm having fun adding the covers of my books as well as my friends' books. I've even started a file for photos that correspond to a book that's coming out soon. Wendy Watson had the brilliant idea of adding a Pinterest button to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen. Such a great idea. Now people can pin photos of our covers and recipes without worrying about copyright issues.
RHYS BOWEN: Oh, Lucy and Krista--I don't think I could find another moment to start any new form of social media. Already in my in=box is a long line of people wanting to connect with me on Linked-in. I have yet to find the value for me of Linked-in. Or of Goodreads. Or of Red Room. But they all communicate with me, demanding time and attention.
I'm a big Facebook fan. I love the instant connection with fans and friends. When I broke my wrist a year ago I got 300 messages of sympathy within a few minutes, advice on how to scratch within the cast and ten different people offered to type my manuscript for me.
I do tweet although I've yet to see the correlation between tweets and selling more books. I write my personal blog about twice a week and of course good old Jungle Red. Oh, and when I find the time, I write two books a year as well!
LUCY: so Krista, now you're the princess of Pinterest, but you're also the Twitter queen. How's that going? Any late-breaking tips or warnings?
KRISTA: LOL! No warnings, but I'm seeing a lot of agents, editors, and publishers using Twitter these days. Authors should look up their publishers and be sure to include them with an @ on important tweets about releases and reviews. The same goes for agents and editors. They have some impressive follower numbers.
SHEILA CONNOLLY: Actually I'm finding Pinterest kind of fun, too, because you can do whatever you want with it. Although my in-depth survey indicates that the most popular items are...cat pictures. Hey, that's easy--I've got plenty of cute cat pictures, and more coming all the time.
As a battle-scarred veteran of the Media Wars, I have seen all too many
social media variations surge to the fore, with hordes of adoring fans
stampeding to jump on them, only to watch them fall by the wayside when the Next Big Thing comes along in a week or a month. It's hard to get too excited about any one of them.
Just go with the cat pictures--works every time.
HALLIE EPHRON: I know I'm in trouble when cat pictures are required. I still don't tweet, and now here's something else that I don't do. I will, I will... or so I keep telling myself. Still love Facebook.
LUCY: So tell us, how do you think about posting to facebook Hallie?
HALLIE: I think of it as the beast that needs to be fed. Honestly? It's a guilty pleasure. I post in there just about daily. The friend page AND the fan page. And catch up with what friends are up to. It's one more way that people can find me, which is not a bad thing.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: I love Facebook. I post on my public page almost every day, often just about things I think are interesting, rather than all about my books. I love getting comments and feedback, and I love keeping up with what other people are doing as well.
I am tweeting, but have to admit I don't like it as much. It seems overwhelming, and impersonal. But I keep trying, because it does seem to be the big promotional thing these days. (Although someone told me recently at a book event that their publicist said Facebook was much more important. And a fellow author at my publisher said they were told not to tweet, while I've been encouraged to do so... Hmmm.) I signed up for Pinterest, but forgot my password. I haven't looked at Linked-In for months and months, even though it seems like I get invitations to link every day. And I'm dreadful about posting regularly on my own blog.
It's all just too much, and I think you have to choose what works best for you. AND I'd really like to WRITE MY DAMNED BOOK.
ROSEMARY HARRIS: I need a tutorial on facebook public versus facebook profile. I'm dangerously close to advertising on craigslist for an expert. I like fb more than twitter. I love retweeting other people's fun tweets but don't see myself sitting aroiund creating soundbites so that people will retweet mine - and apparently that's the way to get people to follow.
And I love Sharing when other people have good news - it's such a positive thing to do!
LUCY BURDETTE: But Ro, you've got over 7000 fans--you must be doing something right! How about you all? What's your take on social media?