Friday, June 14, 2013

Social media for writers: the I'm-at-a-con-and-forgot-that-its-Friday post

Sorry this is late getting posted! I'm at World Horror Con in New Orleans and lost track of the day of the week (that happens sometimes.) I'm going to be on the social media panel here today but first I'm going to a workshop on promoting yourself given by Random House guru of all things digital, Matt Schwartz (if you ever get a chance to hear Matt speak, grab it.)

Apologies of the rushedness of this post, but let me just launch into it:

1. Godin's advice: We all get discouraged sometimes by the difficulty of breaking out on the web. So I thought it would be helpful to start with some wonderful advice from Seth Godin on why we need to keep trying new things:

"The most common thing people ask me about is how to get picked, a shortcut to success, a way to spread an idea or build a platform without doing a particularly large amount of hard work.

Getting picked is fine if it happens to you. But it's not a plan. It's a version of waiting and hoping.

We're quick to claim credit for the good fortune fairy when she randomly shows up and picks us. The thing is, the good fortune fairy has to picksomeone, and this time, (if you were lucky) it was you. But that's not a plan.

We can't help but amplify the stories of Hollywood and Vine, of being plucked out of obscurity, of the seventeen-year-old with talent who yes, indeed, got picked and cashed out. We blog about and talk about the one in a million YouTube viral sensation, the breakthrough that came out of nowhere overnight. But that's not a plan.

A plan involves steps that are largely under your influence and control. A plan involves the hard and dreary and difficult work of a thousand brave steps, of doing things that might not work, of connecting and caring and bringing generosity when we don't think we have any more to bring.

When your plan works, take a bow. You earned it." ("Sure, But That's Not a Plan" from Seth's blog)

2. Bunch of Facebook news: Most welcome news is that Facebook is consolidating its advertising options. It had grown to a mystifying 27 different ways you could advertise on the site, too many for what is self-service (the way the vast majority of us use it.) (Via Entrepreneur).

Social Media Today joins the bandwagon of people asking if Facebook is worth advertising? (And just to keep things in perspective, while updating a briefing on social media usage today, I saw the factoid that Facebook has 1.11 billion monthly active users. That's 'billion' with a B. By comparison, the movie Iron Man 3 sold 50 million tickets. That's 'million' with an 'm'.)

If you decide to run a contest on Facebook anyway, Social Media Examiner tells you how to do it.

3. Twitter chats: I've said before that I've not had great luck being the guest of a Twitter chat, but in all fairness, both times I was a guest to chats that were new and hadn't developed their audience yet (and that's partly why a smart chat will pick their guests: they're looking for someone who has Twitter followers and can bring their followers to the party.) There's a new tool for managing Twitter Chats, Twubs, and if you're thinking of starting your own regular chat on Twitter, you might want to check it out. (Article via Mashable).

Twitterlator: Speaking of Twitter tools, are you looking for a professional grade tool to help you manage multiple Twitter accounts? I heard of this one via Alyssa Milano (okay, via some interview with Milano, but still.) It looks pretty good.

Buying on Twitter just got easier: Chirpify lets you add purchasing-via-credit-card to Twitter ads.

4. Are you mad NOT to self-publish?: I don't know about you, but I'm seeing increasing evidence that traditional publishers will be moving toward the model of signing authors who have already developed their own following online. (Sure, there'll always be exceptions for the incredibly irresistibly written book, but...) Here's Hugh Howey, author of Wool, who built his own following first to become an online sensation before signing a deal for the print rights only to his books, on why he thinks any author would be mad not to self-publish first.

5. Engaging your blog's audience: More advice on why you don't want to use your social media channels to hold one way conversations. Social Media Today talks about engaging your readers; Social Media Examiner on five creative ways to make your blogs more engaging. 

6. Text messages for marketing: Too expensive for most of us but if you're a deep-pockets author, this infographic makes it plain why marketing via SMS, or text messages, is a great way to get read (because people read their text messages, whereas they mostly ignore what they see if Facebook and elsewhere.) Eye-opening statistics in the infographic.


  1. Thank you for the information, Alma. Have a great time in Noo Awlins. :) I hate to bother you, but the link's missing from #6. Is it this one from Mashable? Thanks!

  2. Thanks Rhonda, for letting me know. The right link is up now :-)

  3. Alma, thanks so much for compiling this every week. I'm trying to be better about reading it as it's a great place to get updated on social media.

    1. Thanks, Jami! I'm happy to hear that it's useful.