I’ve written in many forms, for many kinds of media. Currently I write a blog (among other things). And like most who write or read blogs, I’m also involved in social media.
There’s a body of knowledge about anything in the world. The newer something is, the smaller (and faster growing) the body of knowledge will be. There’s something else about the latest new thing. There’s a lot of misinformation out there.
Social media is of course not new. What’s new is the body of knowledge about how to measure social media success and use it effectively. Companies are springing up, ostensibly overnight, ready to capitalize on the growing ‘power’ of social media to tell and to sell. Not coincidentally, companies are also growing by telling ‘the rest of us’ how it all works (or should).
I pay some attention to the wisdom (or not) of blogs and articles on social media. It’s worked for me, mostly through making connections which led to opportunities, which has often led to writing and editing work. And when the novel’s out (I try to be a glass-.943 full kinda guy, so I’m optimistic), I’ll want to know if and when and how social media can help make a difference.
Because I pay some attention, I read plenty of conflicting information.
- Platform? You MUST have one! Or…Platform? Don’t bother if you don’t want to bother with it.
- Publishers want to know if you have a blog or website and how many Facebook friends you have because you MUST prove you can help them sell your book! Or…Publishers want good writing. If they have that, the rest can easily be taken care of.
There’s so much more, but the point is, who do you listen to? Who has the answers to the social media algorithm?
Okay, so maybe you don’t at the moment. But the answer is the same for everyone. Regardless of the advice from the blog writers, tweet experts, and social media gurus, there’s one thing that I believe needs to happen for anyone to effectively use and measure social media success.
Test it for yourself.
While trends trend and advice is advised, none of it matters if it doesn’t work to meet your goals in using social media. The only way to know is to try it out. Try multiple channels individually with the same post instead of shotgunning it to the world and check your results. Try setting up a fan page for yourself as a writer, either as a business venture or just to see what you might do with such a thing (you don’t have to go live with it, it may just be fun). Countless other tests and measurements are being devised as I type this…and now…and now.
My current conclusion? Social media can make a difference in a writer’s reach, and sometimes book sales. How and why? Still working on that one.
I’ll be blogging now and then about what I’ve learned and continue to learn about social media. I’m not THE expert (I can’t afford that guy’s advice) but I do pay attention, and if anything I share helps just one person…well, please share or retweet.