Facebook and Writing

What is Social Networking?

Two major writing magazines came out recently touting the necessity for writers to arm themselves with the proper social networking skills. Social networking is the buzz whether you want to be a writer, or you want to be successful in other areas of business. The Writer Magazine, author Elfrieda Abbe, suggests that even the most reluctant but pragmatic social-media users realize editors, publishers or publicist want them to use tools like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. While Writer’s Digest, author Christina Katz in her article “50 simple ways to build your platform in five minutes a day” list using these social networking outlets as the basic building blocks to your platform.

What about the more than reluctant social networker though? Networking and building a platform is necessary, for anyone who wants to be a successful author. There is no arguing that point, however for someone who sees Facebook or Twitter as a the high school hangout; or the space to college students to compare notes on who is a better professor it is hard to see the necessity of either platform. Linkedin on the other hand and Google plus can have their draws for the professional with the down side being they do not carry the same notoriety as the first too. This leaves a reluctant writer having to choose between getting involved in Facebook and Twitter or sticking with lesser known and more professional sites, neither of which can be desirable for some authors who do not enjoy the social networking scene.

Another argument that these same authors make is if they are spending all of their time on Facebook and Twitter promoting their writing, when will they actually write. In the Buzz on Social Media, Elfrieda Abbe, interviewed six successful writers, on how they social network. Her results showed that not one particular method fits all writers. Can you be a good writer without having to update your Facebook status or tweet your latest work? In this recent digital age some of the old time authors say probably not. It used to be that when an author became big time he or she would have a publicist who promoted their work, now though writers are beginning to take on the marketing aspect themselves as publishing houses are downsizing.

Competition and Publishing

Abbe suggest that the competitiveness of publishing makes social networking a necessary way to get attention from publishers, however with as busy as publishers are, do they really have people trolling Twitter and Facebook to make sure that some unknown but brilliant author doesn’t get snatched up by another publisher? It is doubtful, the best way to get the attention of publishers still requires face to face platform building and networking. Writing, networking, and building a platform should not solely be focused on social network sites.

All in all the advice in Katz lists in the Writers’ Digest article for building a platform is solid advice for any author to review including listing some very helpful sources, like Amazon, and Google. Responding to comments, and connecting with people, all of which can be done while writing for sites like Hub Pages, where you have a profile, make good writing friends, good contacts, and are still primarily writing, versus Facebook where you are more socializing than writing. Promotions via Hub Pages, is a better way to promote ones writing than social networking site, because along with the social aspects and the networking there is also writing. You write a hub, about a topic, and you might find that the right person with the right connections will read it which can help you build your platform better than any tweeting or status updates on Facebook.

Tips for Social Networking

There are a lot of tips out there for social networking; I have narrowed it down to five.

  1. Be Consistent: Keeping up with a network is a lot of work. But it is also important once you build a fan base, to keep up with it. You don't want to lose them because of a lack of information.
  2. Oversharing and undersharing: Sharing too much or too little with your audience can be detrimental. Instead do some research to determine the perfect amount.
  3. Relationships are important: Set a time every day to respond to e-mail and snail mail correspondence, comments on blogs or social networking posts, and of course the occasional criticism.
  4. Niche Writing: When it comes to networking on sites like twitter you will want to stay in your own niche. Followers follow you because they like that particular topic, changing and writing about a lot of different things may land you a lot of different types of followers. If that happens then you might find more people losing interest simply because you aren't always posting what they like.
  5. Be a writer: Obviously you are, and you may join Facebook or Twitter to keep up with friends and family, to follow your own interests, etc. However it is important that you are still a writer and you should share that information with your fan base. Do not be afraid to express this because you never know where the next big break will come from.

Perseverance is the key

Regardless of whether you choose to use social networking sites to build your platform the key to being successful is really perseverance. Build a solid platform and continue to network with writers, editors and of course your audience. In the end marketing your work is going to be almost as hard as the writing itself but now more than ever it is important for writers to be as good at the marketing aspect as they are at writing.

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Comments 16 comments

Rhonda Waits profile image

Rhonda Waits 5 years ago from The Emerald Coast

Wow. I enjoyed your hub and advice. I agree with the fact that hub pages is a great outlet for our work. We all want to become a great writer or find a publisher. Like anything else it takes time. Voted up.

Sweet wishes Rhonda


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Rhonda: Thanks for the comment.

Rachel


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 5 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I posat on these social networks but i don't really know what I am doing with them. I do have a few people I know on facebook.Mostly they play games which I don't really want to spend time on.


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

dahoglund: I think you've nailed exactly what I have an issue with, Facebook is more, to me at least, a place to play games. Thanks for the comment.

Rachel


Partisan Patriot 5 years ago

rachell

I spend all my productive time writing on hub pages visiting Facebook only to look at pictures of my new grandaughter or when e-mailed that someone has posted on my wall!


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

I will never understand or appreciate the value of Facebook or Twitter. They are just venues for idiotic one liners.


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Partisan Patriot: I am not on Facebook anymore, for personal reasons, which is what sparked the interest in writing this article. I was bummed when I read two articles in a row that said in order to be a success you had to market yourself via Facebook, there are just somethings I am not willing to do.


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Pop: Thanks for the comment, I do think as far as marketing or networking HubPages is a lot better option than Facebook and Twitter. I have made some awesome connections through HubPages that I never would have made through Facebook.


nybride710 profile image

nybride710 5 years ago from Minnesota

I do share my articles that I write on here on Facebook as well, because I have many like-minded friends who are willing to pass them along. I find that my traffic so far comes about 2/3 from Hub Pages and 1/3 from Facebook.

I enjoy FB for socializing, but don't think it's a must for promoting your work.

I will be checking out the links you posted.


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

nybride710: Thank you for your comment.

Rachel


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

I only post my hubs on FB when I think my friends might find them interesting. I think they'd start to get annoyed with me if I started to try to promote myself and my writing on there too much - for me and my friends it is what it is: a SOCIAL networking site, not a business one. I can see that it could be useful though.

Linda.


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Linda: Thank you for your comment, and opinion.

Rachel


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 5 years ago from Upstate New York

Yeah, I'm with you on this. Social networking seems to be necessary whether it suits us, or not. We have to grin and bear it if we want to succeed.


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Paradise7: Thank you for your comment.


Jeremey profile image

Jeremey 5 years ago from Arizona

Facebook and Twitter and such have obviously made their place in the networking world, but for networking and promoting your writing, to me not much logic in it but putting it out there only hurts if quality is lacking and the nature of things takes its' course. Nice hub Rachel.


rachellrobinson profile image

rachellrobinson 5 years ago from Southwest Missouri Author

Jeremy: Thanks for the comment.

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