Good morning and welcome to the second part of my networking series.
Since there are hundreds, if not thousands, of various sites we can use to reach our audience, we’ll briefly cover some of the ones I know and use.
The first is one of the obvious, Facebook.
To be honest, I don’t look at Facebook as being the powerhouse it once was for one reason: They purposely limit our page reach to “encourage” us to buy Likes for our pages and to reach those that should already see our pages.
But that doesn’t mean it should be ignored.
On Facebook, we can have our personal accounts where we can keep up with friends and our fellow authors and readers. We can also create groups (ie: writing groups, street team groups, book reading groups, etc) where we can interact with our readers and share our latest news like covers and release dates.
More importantly, we can create our Facebook page. A page is our business profile, also called our author page. We can drive traffic to our pages by sharing it on our Facebook profiles and other social media outlets. We can also share our books, updates, or other fun things similar to what we write. Here’s an example: If we write political thrillers, we can share news and insights into politics.
Sounds simple, right?
Well, it is, and it isn’t. In general, the better content we post, the more feedback we can expect.
The problem with this is, it takes time to build a following. One way to help our following grow is by linking our FB page to our Twitter. That way, whatever we post on our page is also shared on Twitter.
The downside, as I mentioned earlier, is Facebook actively suppresses our reach. What I mean by this is if we have 700 people “Liking” our page, a great post will only reach a hundred of them or so. Facebook simply doesn’t show the posts in people’s timelines unless they interact with us.
Some of Facebook’s ways of “countering” this is to offer ads and Likes for our pages. At a price, of course. The problem with this, besides having to pay so those that already liked our page can see our posts is anytime we buy Likes, the Likes come from Click Farms. Click Farms are places in countries like India where people are paid to create accounts and like pages. Not only does this give us Likes that don’t offer interaction, but they also further limit our reach to those that are legitimate Likes. Think of it as watering down a soup or drink. It’s not as filling when we can barely taste it, right?
This brings me to Twitter. Why? Because, hopefully we linked them.
By linking our FB page and Twitter, we can use our Facebook page as a gateway to posting on Twitter. Memes (Those funny pictures you see all over the place) and other content like news sites, blog posts, and book sales are shared through the link to Twitter, effectively killing two birds with one stone.
By doing this, it helps cut down on the time we need to spend on the two networks, but it also helps attract people to our page to Like it or share our content.
Twitter, for all intents and purposes, is a ten second pitch. We have 140 characters, not words, to get our message across. An example of this is:
Did you see the deal I have today? You don’t want to miss out on this! (Link).
This message is 60 characters long (characters include letters, numbers, and spaces). A link also average roughly 24 locations, no matter how short some sites say it is.
This forces us to break down the information or selling point of our books or articles into a short, concise phrase, hence why I refer to it as our ten second pitch or elevator pitch. For those that may not know, those two terms are used by agents as a litmus test for authors trying to find a representative for their work. To me, they are a perfect describer of what Twitter offers.
To grow our base on Twitter we need to follow other people. For our purposes, we should start by following review sites, other authors in our genre or those with large amounts of followers, and anyone that piques our interest. Once we follow them, most will eventually follow back and we’re on our way to building a networking base.
One thing to keep in mind about Twitter is it’s a collaborative site. When we see a post from someone we like, we can and should retweet (share) it. The person we retweet then usually returns the favor to us. Many times we’ll gain followers simply by retweeting others. It’s a fun way to meet and interact with people and one that’s worked well for me.
There are two things to keep in mind. The first is just because Twiiter works for me, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. The same goes for my methodology, as I described in a previous blog post. Experiment and see what works best for you.
The second is we get out of it what we put in. Seriously. I’ve seen many start out with the best of intentions, but they didn’t keep up with it because of various reasons. The real world doesn’t always work with us when it comes to networking, so be sure to figure out a system and schedule that works best for you.
That’s about all for this month. Next time, we’ll talk about blogs and websites.
Until next time, my friends. Let your imaginations fly!