Thursday, March 29, 2012

Is Social Media really worth it?

Recently I read an article on one of the blogs I follow (one of the ones over there on the side), about if it is really worth to put a lot of effort into social media. Does it really help writers?

I simple answer that I've gathered is that it really depends on how you use it, how much, and who your targeted audience is.

It inspired me to write my own blog post but in all honesty, I cannot say if it really does help writers or not. I've never been published, so I can't say if it attracts more sales or not. But I can say is that I know its important to have some kind of internet presence in today's ever growing internet world.

Of course, it also depends I guess on who exactly you're writing to and for. Younger readers may be more likely to follow an author's blog rather then an adult. Not many adults I know actually read or even go look on their favorite author's website.

Personally, I follow lots of writer's blogs, but not a ton of authors' blogs. I could if I really wanted to, follow my favorite authors' blogs, but most likely, I'd rather check out their websites and then check back on those every once in a while. I'm not sure why exactly, maybe its cause I'm too lazy to actually look up and see if they have blogs?

Anyways, another thing I've gathered is what type of social media you use. I use this blog, The Writer's Help Society, and the facebook page to get in contact with my readers (although I'll say that I actually don't use the facebook as much as I could. I just don't use Facebook enough, so I never really post anything on it. If I did, I'd probably ramble in short little clips or post random articles from around the web.).

Another reason I decided to write this post was that I don't know how to use Twitter. I've heard its a wonderful tool for writers, but personally? I've no idea how to use it. I don't follow people on it and I don't even know what I would post. I've thought of joining, but it seems all so confusing. So basically, if any of you know how to use Twitter, would you mind sharing some tips or something?

I've also thought of using that new Pinterest site. Apparently its like a social media site, but with pictures. It sounds cool and I might consider using it so I can post pictures I find. Cause I really do love pictures. I think they're inspiring and I love finding ones for covers.

In terms of social media, how has it helped me? Personally, since starting this blog I've gotten one comment from an actual author on a book review I did on their book, and I've 40 wonderful people who don't mind listening to my rambles and forgiving me when I don't post as often as I'd like to. And even if I don't ever get published, I know that people actually like listening to what I say. And that I've met some fantastic people.

I'll stop rambling now. 
Okay, so basically, here are some tips and ideas of my own on using social media.

  1. Its about giving. I've actually heard this alot. If you want to attract a lot of followers, you should focus on giving people what they want to see. If you like more writing posts, then bloggers should focus on more of those. Contests help apparently too (but since I don't have anything to give away, I don't really do those). Basically, what can you get from me?
  2. It depends on what sites you use. Facebook, Myspace, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, etc. 
  3. It depends on how you use them (and how often).
  4. It depends on who you're writing too. If you're blogging or something more for teenagers, then adults probably won't be as likely to follow you. If you write for authors and writers, people who garden probably won't follow you.
And that's really all the helpful tips I got. But really, in my opinion? Don't make such a big deal out of it. Yes, I'm sure publishers and agents really do love it when you have large followings and you're all over the internet, but if that's not your thing? Don't sweat it. If you don't have a ton of followers, don't worry. It'll come with time and not everyone can generate over 10,000 followers.  

So, do you like using social media? Has it helped you in terms of writing or gaining a large platform? What sites do you use, how often, and which is your favorite?


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