by Lee Libro
Though this is somewhat of an elementary introduction to the five top social media platforms, even veteran "tweeters", "Friends" and users of social media may find a few new perspectives here.
As mentioned in my post How Much Buzz is Too Much Buzz, there are several ways to help you develop your online promotional efforts as a writer. First among these is developing an author website as mentioned in this previous post. Now let's take a look at socially interactive media.
Some find all the social media platforms a bit dizzying, a never-ending set of circles spinning around when all they want to do is get down to business and do their real work, whether it's writing or selling shampoo to an army of wookies.
Even though many of us may agree with Rushkoff's take on social media, that is, that it reduces experience to immediate gratification and breaks us down into units of demographic marketing data, properly customized social media can be both manageable and provide a experience counter to this view. The key to effectively using social media is to define your time limits. Based on your knowledge of how each platform works, choose the ones that best suit your style of communication. You needn't be on all platforms, but more than one is beneficial because those spinning circles I mentioned, you know the ones that make you dizzy, become energizing gears when harnessed together in your promotional powerhouse.
Following are some points to consider for each of the five top social platforms:
Your account, or Facebook profile as it is technically called, is made up of your "wall" where you post a status, that is something you think may be of interest, a photo, a link or anything you want to say. This goes out into the ether and then appears in the "News Feed"of your audience's Facebook accounts. Likewise you can read your friends statuses in your own Newsfeed. Both NewsFeed and your Wall (or Timeline as it's now called) have changed several times over. With some of these changes, settings for privacy have been recalibrated and so they need to be tweaked from time to time according to your preferences. For example, do you want everyone on your friends list to see every status post? If not, you can categorize your friends and then selectively choose which of the categories of your audience of friends will be privy to a specific status post.
Google+ incorporated this concept from its inception with their use of "Circles" wherein you create sub-circles of influence, sorted by your intended topic of communication.
Often the confusion in Facebook is that there are two utilities one can develop. In addition to your "Profile", you can create a "Page". A Facebook Page is geared more to business. Instead of developing friends through accepted invites, you develop your page by appealing for "Likes" on your page. You also can boost your posts through paid advertising and track the statistics of your visits and likes. A really good article on understanding your Facebook statistics is here.
How Literary Agents Find Talent on Twitter. Want your Tweet to do double duty. Link your tweets so they feed directly to your Facebook account and post there as well. Here are the instructions on how to link your Twitter account to your Facebook account. You can also do vice versa, that is, link your Facebook Page posts to your Twitter account so that they translated automatically into a properly formatted Tweet that will appear in your TweetFeed. Instructions on how to link your Facebook page to Twitter are here. Linking the two accounts will allow you to get double duty out of two platforms with half the work.
Speaking of linking things, one of the most seriously powerful of all the social media platforms is LinkedIn. While Facebook has a casual, more family and friend application, LinkedIn is more business oriented. It's what Facebook Pages is attempting to do, but hasn't quite caught up with the networking mammoth that LinkedIn has become. In fact, LinkedIn is the fastest growing of all the Social Media platforms and has many companies abandoning Facebook for it. LinkedIn has an edge and I believe that it's edge is in the skill sets one can advertise freely to others. Once on LinkedIn, you set up your profile by displaying a list of the skills that you have. Your associates can then boost your claim of these skills with a simple endorsement of that skill or a written recommendation. LinkedIn is like a three-dimensional resume!
No matter what your style, any combination of the above social media platforms can power your self-promotion efforts. While there are other avenues, blogging being one of them, (which will be covered in a future post in my How Much Buzz is Too Much Buzz series of posts), the five above are not meant to be a magic formula for you. Personally I use several, some more sporadically than others. I recommend that you not spread yourself too thin. Find your balance. Look for tools such as HootSuite or TweetDeck that will allow you to write, manage and schedule multiple posts in one sitting.
Want to see me around the web. I'll be sure to return the follows. You can follow me by clicking the links below for these three social media platforms:
Follow me on Twitter @LeeLibro
Lee Libro - Author, Artist
Friday Follows #3
7 hours ago