This week members of RWA/NYC will be discussing
Social Media and sharing their tips.
TIPS FOR NAVIGATING SOCIAL MEDIA
by Harper Miller
I have a confession to make. I have a love-hate relationship with social media. There are days I love it, and days I absolutely abhor it.
When I was younger and had just finished reading a book, I’d flip to the very last page and find an address where I could write to my favorite author. I sent out a letter maybe three or four times, and the response time was so long that when the reply postcard or fan club welcome packet arrived I’d forgotten even sending a letter. That’s just how things were. And receiving a response from the author directly? That was about as rare as spotting a unicorn in the wild.
With technological advances came the advent of social media. Now, communication is more immediate. Social media has created a global culture where we must know minute details about the lives of every person in the spotlight, no matter how small that spotlight may be. Back in the day, unless there was a picture of an author on a book jacket, we had no idea what our favorite author looked like. We had no idea if they went to the gym every morning, if they had a cat or a dog, if they recently vacationed with family in Maui, but thanks to social media it’s easier to follow the lives of the writers we adore.
Navigating social media requires a bit of pizazz. For many indie authors (including myself) social media is a godsend. Without a traditional publisher, finding a sect of people to connect with you and your work is an uphill battle, but social media has made it easier to tap into an audience and market specifically to that audience.
I think a major mistake authors make is not finding a platform that’s best suited for them. Some of us shine in a particular area. It’s like writing romance, while I love a good paranormal/fantasy, I know I’m not a paranormal/fantasy writer. I can’t create wonderful backstories where glorious worlds are built based on things I’ve conjured up in my imagination. You know, stuff like meta humans teaming up with an alien race to prevent Earth from blowing up. I’M JUST NOT THAT COOL YET! I can’t keep a story like that going for 200+ pages. But smut? Good lord, I know smut.
Here are some tips I suggest to up your social media game in 2018 and not lose your mind in the process:
Tip #1: Choose your platform wisely
We have to choose social media platforms the same way we choose subgenres of romance to write. We have to play to our strengths. If you know that personal engagement is too overwhelming, then maybe Facebook isn’t the place for you. We all need the dreaded Facebook, but if you find yourself becoming anxious trying to conjure up personal anecdotes, you may want to watch from the sidelines instead. You shouldn’t feel pressured to connect. Relationships with readers should grow organically. Maybe the fast-paced world of Twitter is more your speed. Or maybe you just like looking at pretty pictures, so Instagram is more calming for you. There is no wrong platform. Just choose the one that’s right for you. It should be the one you enjoy spending the most time on.
Tip #2: Make time management a priority
It’s great to want to be everywhere all the time, but between writing, marketing, working full-time jobs, and taking care of our families, many of us spread ourselves thin. You can have an online presence on multiple platforms, but don’t feel obligated to check-in on each platform daily. If you do, only spend an hour online. Promise yourself you’ll only spend fifteen minutes on each platform. Scrolling can turn into a huge time suck if we let it. Do not let it, you have duties to fulfill, slayer of words!
Tip #3: Have fun
Social media is a necessary evil. We need it to connect with readers. We need it to network and connect with other authors. We need it to connect with agents. We need to it connect with publishers. We need it to keep up with the goings-on in the world because some of us prefer to avoid the news and can only tolerate updates in small doses. *Raises hand* My point is, social media is here to stay, and we have to figure out ways to make it work for us. There is no one-size-fits-all model. What works for another author may not work for you. The trick is to try a variety of tactics and see what sticks. Your audience will guide you. Reach out and ask them questions, make marketing interactive. Find a balance between promoting your work and getting to know your readers. If you’re authentic in your efforts, the perfect readers will find you, I promise.
Now, go forth, modern writer, and find your social media niche.♥
Harper Miller is a thirty-something native New Yorker. She’s traveled the world and lived in a variety of places but always finds her way back to the Big Apple. A lackluster love life leaves time to explore new interests; for Harper, it is writing. The Sweetest Taboo: An Unconventional Romance is her debut novel. In her mind, the perfect Alpha male possesses intellect, humor, and a kinky streak that rivals the size of California. When she isn’t writing, Harper utilizes her graduate degree in the field of medical research. She enjoys fitness-related activities, drinking copious amounts of wine, and going on bad dates. Harper may have sworn off online dating, but she loves writing about couples who connect via this medium. If you’re interested in erotic short stories, give the Kinky Connect Chronicles a whirl. All stories in the series are standalones. Stay up to date with Harper by visiting her website: www.authorharpermiller.com