Twitter and Facebook are just part of the new digital paradigm—and they’re here to stay. But deciding how to integrate them into your writing life can be tough. Today I’m going to give you a few pointers that should help.
I’ve been watching the threads on several email groups I follow and there seems to be quite a bit of confusion about how to get friends and followers and whether or not there’s any value to them.
Does anybody really care how many friends and followers I have?
Absolutely. One of the first thing a publisher wants to know when consider a book proposal (fiction or non-fiction) is what kind of platform the author has. And simply put, a platform is the number of people who are interested enough in you to possibly buy your book.
The number of friends you have on Facebook and the number of followers you have on Twitter are today’s equivalent of a mailing list.
I know people who have thousands of followers and friends—how can they possibly see any information of value in all that noise?
This question’s a little harder to answer. Yes, it can get to the point where the number of followers and friends seems unwieldy, but it’s all in the way you manage your online presence.
Well then how do I manage my online presence?
Two words—stay relevant. Make certain that what you have to say online adds value to your follower’s digital day.
So how do I get all these followers and friends?
- Remember the old saying, “To have a friend, you first have to be one.” This little truism works in the Internet universe as well as in real life.
- Follow people who interest you, who have valuable things to teach you. Chances are—if they’re not too famous—they’ll follow you back (just remember . . . stay relevant).
- Use hastags when you tweet. Don’t know what these are? Here’s a link to a post I wrote telling you just how and why to use Twitter Hashtags.
- Brag on someone else. Nobody likes a conversation that’s all about me, me, me. Tweet about someone’s success. Pass on an interesting blog post. Suggest a new friend.
Special Note: I’m not advocating you blindly follow everyone who follows you. Follow the people who make sense to you, but do reciprocate in a timely fashion and when appropriate. I check my followers for new folks to follow at least three times a week.
I hope this helps clear up some of the confusion I’ve been seeing. Let me know any other questions you have and share some of the advantages online networking has given you.
Edie Melson is a freelance writer and editor with years of experience in the publishing industry. She’s a prolific writer, and has a popular writing blog, The Write Conversation. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, as well as a popular faculty member at numerous others. She’s also a regular contributor to Novel Rocket, a Writer’s Digest pick for top writing websites.
She currently has two books available, the best selling eBook, Social Media Marketing for Writers, and her latest project, a devotional for those with family members in the military, Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle. Married thirty years to her high school sweetheart, Kirk, they have raised three sons.