Monday, February 20, 2017

Why Writers Need to keep (Social) Media in Motion

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMoJo68

Y’all know the phrase. “An object in motion tends to stay in motion . . .” It’s true with social media, too.

If you’re a writer or other type of creative, social media is a must. In this day and age, if someone can’t easily find you online, it’s detrimental to your public image. But do you know having an inactive media platform can be more hurtful than not having one at all?

There are two types of inactivity when it comes to social media.

1. The stagnant presence.
This is when you’ve created a social media profile but do nothing with it. You can tell people, “Yes, I’m on Facebook” or “I have a Twitter handle” but that’s the extent of your activity. Having a professional photo, bio, and brand are great. Now what do you do with them? Think about it: Would you rather buy your groceries from the local Farmers Market every week, or grab that cardboard box of whatever that’s been on the shelf for six months?  If your website/blog/Amazon Author Page or other social media sites haven’t been updated and utilized, ask yourself why? You needn’t keep up with all of them, but pick the top three or four you can manage regularly and do so. It’s okay to cross-link, too. Tweet out the link to your blog, or share your Instagram to Facebook.

2. The hidden presence.
This is when you expect others to notice you, but you don’t often notice them. I’m guilty of this as well. There’s only twenty-four hours in a day, right? Throw in a little work time, house cleaning, sweet tea or coffee drinking, and our own writing and media to get to . . . Who has time to like and comment on other people’s stuff? Thing is, that’s your audience you’re ignoring. That’s your support team, your word-of-mouth marketers, your Swarm. And while this isn’t a tit-for-tat career we’re after, we do know that without readers, ours is just another book on the shelf collecting dust like that cardboard box of processed nothingness.

So what can you do without overloading your schedule? I’m so glad you asked.

Tips for staying fresh in the world of social media:
  • Reply. If someone leaves a comment on your blog, sends you a message, or mentions you online, do your best to say hey and thanks. You don’t have to acknowledge every tag and shout-out because that can get overwhelming. But a personal mention deserves a personal response.
  • Initiate. As you were reading this article, I’ll bet at least three people came to mind. People you know are always commenting and sharing your posts. People you recognize as being on the leaderboard when it comes to your social media. Reach out to them. Give them a shout out on Facebook or Twitter, tag them in your Instagram and posts.
  • Post content on a regular basis. Whatever schedule works for you – three daily updates, two weekly photos, or five monthly blog posts – make sure you’re consistent. Your audience will learn to expect it from you, and will let you know when you’re missed.
  • Use a scheduling app like Hootsuite. A few minutes on the weekend, and your posts are all ready to go. All you have to do is follow up on the comments.

This is your world. Make your presence known.

With some sweet tea and a portion-controlled plate,
~ Happy writing.

Molly Jo

TWEETABLES
Why writers need to keep #socialmedia in motion - @RealMoJo68 (Click to Tweet)

Inactivity and #socialmedia don't mix - tips to keep moving from @RealMoJo68 (Click to Tweet)

Molly Jo is a writer, editor, social media ninja, and producer of the weekly Firsts in Fiction podcast. She has been featured in children’s magazines, on blogs and devotional websites, and her short stories have earned her awards and scholarships from nationally acclaimed writing programs. She is the founder of New Inklings Press and author of The Unemployment Cookbook: Ideas for Feeding Families One Meal at a Timeand other books available through her website and on Amazon.

Her current work in progress, NOLA, is a location mystery set in New Orleans and is scheduled for publication in late 2016.

You can find her on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and her blog, Frankly, My Dear . . .

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