I’ve been meaning to write this post for a very long time as social media is so important to writers and I admittedly spend a good part of my day on the various platforms in order to keep building that eminent “author’s platform.”
The post is timely, as over the past week, social media and online privacy have come to the forefront in Canada as Vic Toews, the Minister of Public Safety, has come under considerable attack with calls for his resignation regarding the proposed Bill C-30.
This whole situation shows the power and importance of social media. Do you embrace it, loathe it, or simply tolerate it?
I’d have to put myself in the 1st camp. I’ve come to love it for the most part. Each platform has its own use and merits. For those who have been holding out, I’ll share some of my own insights and experiences here and invite you to join the conversation to help others make sense of the growing number of platforms out there to educate, entice and baffle us.
Facebook: Probably the best known social media platform. People seem to either love or just tolerate it, but there are more and more people using it because in addition to people using it for personal reasons, every business is encouraged to have a FB page, every author is encouraged to have an “author’s” page, even churches now have FB pages!
I had initially moved away from FB as I find it to be a huge consumer of time. But I was encouraged by the publisher of “Before You Say Yes” to have a FB page for the book. I helped set up a FB page for the Manitoba Farm Writers & Broadcasters Assn, and most recently, have created a FB page for my work as a professional author. Please “like” the page if you haven’t already. Those additional pages have brought me back to FB on a personal level and I’ve come to embrace its amazing reach to people across every segment of my life.
Linkedin: I really like Linkedin for expanding my network in specific areas. For that, I use the special interest sub-groups. I think I’m now a member of about 40 LI groups, and through those, I’ve been able to build my online presence, establish contacts in the writing and publishing industry, the world of travel, chocolate and more. I prefer not to link my LI account to Twitter as I don’t want my tweets (which may occasionally be silly or personal) to the professional network of connections I have built on LI. Which brings us to …
Twitter: I absolutely LOVE Twitter! It’s quick (you can only use 140 characters) to create an update or “tweet” as they are called on Twitter. And it’s fun! I have learned SO much from the links people have tweeted. I’ve made so many connections – in the writing world, in the chocolate industry and have even made some terrific friends that have now entered my personal life. I do not believe in using any of the automatic services that bring you followers. Every follower I have has found me via a RT, a referral (#WW for Writer Wednesdays, #FF for Friday Follow, #TT for Travel Tuesday, etc.) If you’re reading this and we’re not already hooked up on Twitter, you’ll find me here.
Google Plus: I am relatively new to G+ and admit to not using it too much due to time constraints, but I do like it! I like the larger photographs, the ability to post pics and video links with ease, and the ability to control who receive the links you post by creating “circles” of interest. I’m looking forward to engaging in a Google “Hangout” with fellow members of the PWAC board soon. It’s a way to all be online together and see each other as we would on Skype. A dozen people all video chatting at no cost. Sounds good to me! Circle me if you’d like to expand your presence on G+.
Those are the major social platforms that take up my time. Where do you spend yours? Have you tried Pinterest? I look forward to sharing social media insights with you and welcome your thoughts.
And then join us back here the week of March 5th for the next new post.