As a writer, I am constantly torn between writing (which I actively enjoy) and marketing via social media (which inspires considerably less enthusiasm). Yet, if I want to discover more people who are interested in this blog and who might want to read my memoir one day, I need to make friends with strangers. Social media helps me do that. But what’s the right mix of social media activities? How do I keep up with my current friends while meeting new ones?
By nature I’m a social person. I visit with a number of people—phone calls, lunches, dinners, book group, writers’ group. I enjoy our in-depth interactions immensely. I like the time spent on half-hour phone calls, two-hour meals, and conversations about books or writing. But the high-quality visits leave me with less time for social media.
I know I should find more time to post on Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, or learning some new app—but when? As a reality check, I made a list of all the stuff I try to do every week. I impressed myself. Wow! I am busy. But so are a lot of people, yet they make time for social media. Certainly I can squeeze in a few more hours per week.
Unfortunately, social media moves fast and needs daily or even hourly attention. Since I check Facebook only twice a week, Facebook assumes I don’t care enough, so these days, I only get updates about five people.
Pinterest holds no interest and I’m way behind on Goodreads.
Although I keep up with LinkedIn, until now, I’ve reserved that channel for the other side of my writing career—marketing communications.
Performance anxiety has kept me from Twitter. Even though I write for a living, headlines and short text aren’t my strong suits. I write l o o o n n g text. How will I ever manage being clever and interesting in 140 characters?!? I am somewhat encouraged to discover that Joyce Carol Oates, who’s the epitome of a busy prolific writer, was also a reluctant tweeter.
I’m glad to engage acquaintances intellectually. I’ve got a ton of opinions about politics, books, and life in general. I like learning new things and exchanging ideas—maybe that’s the key. Perhaps I need to think of Twitter as a playground of ideas, commentary, and 140-character conversations.
After reviewing this inventory, I realize that like Dan Blank (a great resource for writers) maybe I need to focus—let go of a few social media options (Facebook, Pinterest) and concentrate more on others—start Twitter, give Goodreads another try, and introduce my business friends to my blog via LinkedIn.
Please share your insights about social media—what do you like to do and why? What works for you?