1. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    Writers using social media: is it a good or bad thing?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tea@3, Dec 18, 2015.

    Hi Everyone,

    I tend to shy away from a big cyber footprint for several reasons. And because of this I have not joined in on the facebook/twitter revolution of recent years.

    But it seems the consensus is that social media is necessary to 'build your brand' these days. I resist doing this and still find myself on the fence about it. In my mind, once you begin you can never go back and undo that decision.

    Anyone want to offer some pros & cons of writers using social media?

    (I'm referring to the author's perspective only here, such as marketing, branding, building a name, etc)


    Thanks in advance,

    :)
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    If you have a hard time controlling what you say social media could backfire very quickly and destroy your reputation. I've seen self published authors say the wrong things and get blacklisted. It's not just about being pc anymore, there's a whole writer etiquette you have to follow. Namely, do not get into arguments with your readers.

    The best thing to do is if you're going to build yourself up - use a pseudonym, (you'll take things less personally), don't answer bad reviews. Be careful how you word things. Always err on the side of positive rather than negative. Keep it about your writing and less about your personal life. Show gratitude and be a kind of less-is-more person.
     
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  3. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I say its helpful. I hate when i can't find things on social media, i end up forgetting about them especially if they are not well known. I would keep it as a professional account if you are hesitant. Just post things that have to do with your work or other works that you like as a way to connect to other writers and publisher. At this point i do not suggest you post anything personal. If you want to do something personal have a separate account for that.
     
  4. tasjess
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    tasjess Active Member

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    I am "facebook friends" with two of my favourite authours (Robin Hobb and Mark Lawrence) and because of this I've known about short stories I may have otherwise have missed and events Robin will be at (Mark doesn't get out much).

    Robin's "real" name is Margret Lindholm and she writes as Megan Lindholm and Robin Hobb - I am "friends" with both her pen names. Robin is a bestseller name and less personal stuff goes on that feed. You won't necessarily get an answer to messages because of the volume of her following but she (and her assistant) are always kind and polite and she shares interesting stuff. Megan's feed will have pictures of her grandkids, anecdotes about her cats and chickens and dogs. There's a mixture of her friends, family and fans following her on that feed.

    Mark (also a best selling author) cannot travel due to his daughter's special needs so he uses social media a self promotion tool. He shares some personal stuff (he just got a new kitten!) but he is not afraid to be slightly controversial. His writing has been classified as grimdark before so his fan base can handle the odd strongly worded statement. Mark also shares links to reviews - good and bad. He doesn't respond to the reviews other than to say "ouch" or "this person has fantastic taste obviously!" or something similar but his fans check out the reviews and respond which makes people wanting traffic to their site/blog more likely to review his books. He also asks people to review his books on goodreads etc. He keeps a blog where he responds to commonly asked questions and (in general terms) discusses some people's thoughts about his writing. He does this because he enjoys it but it all goes toward increasing his exposure and getting his work out there.

    Having my favourite authors on social media makes it much easier for me to share information about their books etc. For example, if they put up something with a release date for their latest book I will "share" that and recommend it to people. It also allows me to completely fangirl in the privacy of my own home when they like or comment or respond to my postings :D
     
  5. Danny Michael
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    Danny Michael New Member

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    A lot of the work I do revolves around social media (marketing, management etc) so I am a strong advocate for using social media to build your brand personality.

    I personally believe that social media is great for practically any kind of business where you are looking to reach the end consumer directly. It can be a great place to promote your work, let people know what's going on and let people know about any events that you will be attending. As another user suggested, a pseudonym may be a good idea if you are worried about your digital footprint and you wish to maintain a bit of privacy.

    I feel it may be important to mention that social media such as Facebook shouldn't be used to sell - it is more for the engagement, brand recognition and a way to portray your 'personality'. Whilst social media shouldn't be used as a selling tool, it can still be a very good cog in your overall marketing strategy, if used correctly. Err on the side of caution, keep it PC and be friendly and social media can work wonders for you.
     
  6. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've still not set up Facebook/Twitter accounts. At some point I do want to. The main thing holding me back, is that I'm not sure that I have all that much 'brand building' stuff to say. Might be able to come up with things with some thought, but it sounds time consuming. I'd rather spend my time right now, editing my novel, seeing if I can actually make it into something saleable.
    When I get closer to wanting to sell some writing (whether to a publisher or via self publishing) then I do want to have some social media accounts on the go, but not something I'm rushing into right now.
     
  7. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know nothing about social media marketing, so I Googled it.

    Here's the best article I found during my hunt (you'll have to copy/paste/Google it since any link I provide will be removed):
    Why I Will Never, Ever Hire A "Social Media Expert"
     
  8. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    Good points everyone, and thanks for sharing.

    I'm concerned about all the work that must go into it. And time. Just not turned on by that idea. Let me ask it another way:

    Do you know of anyone succeeding as an author these days WITHOUT a social media presence?

    (Not long-established names, but recent startups.)


    Just curious.
     
  9. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would think the big factor would be who you expect to be your target audience. I have never used social media to look for authors, but if this forum counts as such, then a few authors that have been mentioned from time to time have caught my interest, at least somewhat. If you don't use social media now, using it to create a base of followers would probably backfire, you really need to understand how it fits into society to use it effectively IMO.

    BTW, I am a bit confused on AA Smith's statement: "I say its helpful. I hate when i can't find things on social media". I would use google or other search engines to find information, never considered something like fb to be a non-biased source of information; of course search engines have their own goals and profitability aims so searches can lead to pitfalls. I was warned by patent attorneys not to use a search engine to look for similar concepts to any patent idea I might have since this can taint the waters so to speak of whether your idea is your own. Novel concepts might fall into that realm if you get careless.
     
  10. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    The article was good.
    Why would your link be removed btw?
    We link to articles all the time >.>

    I'm contemplating maybe one day getting on twitter and facebook for marketing purposes and just to establish a presence, no idea how, but I've personally never needed a twitter or a facebook account to get in touch with authors.
    They got websites that double as blogs half the time and that does the trick.
     
  11. Bookster
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    Bookster Banned

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    Unfortunately, you (and I) are in the minority. You may have read that Playboy magazine has stopped publishing images of nude women (!). The reason is that most people use Facebook and other social media to find websites they are interested in and sites recommended by their friends, and the social media don't permit links to sites with nudity. It's a Brave New Internet World.

    As far as one's 'brand' goes, I'm thinking that writing stuff people want to read is still the hot setup. I suppose it can't hurt to have your name out there in a lot of places, but if your writing is crap, it won't help much, I don't think (no, 50 Shades of Grey was an outlier). I'm inclined to spend my (limited) time on becoming a better writer, rather than a Twitter sensation. I'll let you know if it works.
     
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  12. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    See, that's exactly how I feel about it all.

    I think priorities out of whack can get the tail wagging the dog here. I get having an end goal in mind, or a desired destination etc. But acting on something prematurely seems counterproductive. And I already know I face enough challenges to maintaining a consistent routine so I figure social media would give me one more potential distraction. (were I to take the plunge, I mean)

    I guess you could say I feel torn between the old way (meet real people in person, query agents, f2f networking via conferences) and the new way. (SM explosion of recent years)

    It just doesn't appeal to me.

    The reason I started this thread is to explore the premise one NEEDS it to succeed now. That's what I hear constantly.

    Thanks for that reply.
     
  13. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    Im sure there are a lot of successful writers without social media. You certainly don't need it but its a great way to connect. Its really not time consuming at all. I mean how much time does it take to say "New book coming out June 2016!" I mean you probably put more work in this thread than you would have put in social media.
     
  14. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I mean that I hate when I can't find the author on SM, sorry. Google I use when looking for more information but I like staying connected to authors that are especially less known because it reminds me they are around. It reminds to check to see if they have anything new coming out.
     
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  15. Tea@3
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    Tea@3 Contributing Member

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    OMG you are absolutely right. Great point and so true, I am sure I do! lol :)
     
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