Monday, October 31, 2016

3 Ways a Shy Writer Can Boost Social Media Presence




Do you enjoy using social media? 

Those close to me know I'm a reluctant social media participant. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy meeting new people and interacting with family and friends. There are great benefits, from blogging and Facebook to Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and more, I've connected and shared with  people all over the globe.

Social media is an excellent marketing tool, one that's necessary for freelancing, writing books, business, and all things related. There are dozens of potential benefits, many of which I've tapped into.

So despite these great benefits, why am I still not a big fan? The two main issues I have are:

The constant perceived demand on one's time. We've become a society, as a whole, that thinks everyone should be available 24/7. This translates into pressure for many people. And while it's our choice to partake, the draw and demand are still there. It takes personal discipline and sometimes a steel will to avoid getting drawn in, buckling under the pressure, and spending too much time meeting the demands, whether real or perceived. 

The "TMI - ATT" syndrome. Too Much Information - All. The. Time. While not everyone is prone to sharing too much personal info, social media offers the perfect forum to do so. Call me old fashioned, but I think that there are details of one's life that aren't meant to be spread about everywhere. Some conversations are best left one to one, with family or a close friend. In many ways, I think this hinders a quality social media experience.

If you are a big proponent of social media, please don't be offended by my thoughts here. That's not my intent. I value and understand the benefits. I realize that some people are more wired for social media than I am. They're outgoing; they enjoy and often need that interaction with others. I get that, and mean no disrespect to those who feel that way.

So this is where I'm coming from - I'm a shy writer who's never been a social butterfly, ever. One who's happier with her nose in a book than at a party of a thousand of her closest friends. My conscientious self wants to help everyone I can, but social media can set me on overload.

That said, what can one such as I do to better engage on social media? Where does the balance lie? I suspect it's different for everyone, depending on whether promoting books, freelance writing services, or simply to engage in a little socialization.

Here are three tips that have helped me. And no matter what kind of social media fan (or not) you are, maybe they'll help you too.

1) Spread the love by sharing. If I enjoy the content of a blog or website, I usually share it with others by sending a tweet on Twitter, posting on Facebook or Google+, or pinning a link on Pinterest. Most sites have share buttons somewhere on the screen, and it only takes a few seconds to do. It boosts your visibility on social media while sharing good info with others.

2) Schedule posts in advance. Social media management sites provide free tools to schedule and manage tweets and posts on your most used outlets. My favorite is Hootsuite. I take a little time each month there, scheduling tweets and posts in advance. It's a big time saver, and provides exposure for whatever I wish to promote, whether it's friends' or my own work/services or other links and items worth sharing.

3) Make it do double duty. Many social media outlets allow you to post through them onto other sites. For instance, I set up my Facebook author page's posts to automatically appear on Twitter too. Others, such as Pinterest and Instagram provide the same options. Check the settings to see what options are available. One word of caution - if you are, for example, a frequent pinner on Pinterest, and it's linked to Facebook, your feed can be flooded with posts. So check the settings and see how much you want to share, or not.

Whether you're a shy or outgoing writer or other creative, there are dozens of handy tools available to strike your right social media balance.

Do you enjoy social media? Why or why not? What helps you balance social media time with other parts of life?

Happy writing,

Karen 



Image credit: Free Images


22 comments :

  1. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for these tips. I recently started doing posts in advance. It's a real time saver.

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  2. Thanks for the tips. I don't use Twitter much or would schedule them in advance. I'd like to get on Facebook more but can't seem to find the time.

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  3. I had to turn that feature off on Pinterest as it did start filling up my feed. I binge on Pinterest every night and no one needs to see all 100+ images I'm pinning. (I'm on a baby fruit bat kick right now, so maybe that would be appropriate today for Halloween.)

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  4. Linda,
    You are welcome. It is a real time saver, that's for sure! :)

    Natalie,
    I wasn't much for Twitter until recently. Can't say I love it, but I do understand and use it a bit more. :)

    Diane,
    I'll have to hop over and check out your Pinterest page. I had no idea you were such a fan. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  5. I certainly don't want to dump my private life online. Sharing others is much more fun anyway.

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  6. Hi Karen - I definitely will keep things relatively private or blog related ... but I really must start using other types of media - I just need to be organised with a story to tell ... cheers and I'll keep this to refer to - Happy Halloween - Hilary

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  7. Alex,
    LOL - well, that's one way to look at it! There's no shortage of information in that respect. :)

    Hilary,
    I feel like even after all these years, I'm still figuring it all out, you know? We'll hit the right balance for us in good time, I'm thinking. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  8. Jennifer Brown BanksMonday, October 31, 2016

    This post was right up my alley. Thanks for sharing, Karen! :-)

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  9. Hi Karen! I am plugged into Facebook, Twitter and Google+ through my blog. I do keep them up, and try to stay current with them. I'm not sure they help a whole bunch though. I am using them to get my posts 'out there' but without constant networking, nothing really happens.
    It makes me wonder how effective a tool social media really is. I suppose having a book, or a national presence would help immensely!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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  10. Since I just confessed about my wallflower, painfully shy childhood, I'll admit all the social media is overwhelming. I do like Hootsuite and I'm getting the hang of it, and I love the scheduling component.

    Blogging is my favorite, and I feel like I connect more with people on their blogs. Twitter is starting to be fun. I find lots of stuff that amuses me or articles I've missed. And I'm getting good at retweeting. ;)

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  11. Hi Karen...I totally can identify with your post today. Social media can attract people like a gigantic magnet (and we are the little nails. ha ha) I have to limit my participation on FB. I share primarily with family members. I dislike sharing a lot of personal stuff. Don't do tweeting at all. Just could not get into it at all. Time is very precious and there is not enough of it, that's for sure. Susan

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  12. Jen,
    Glad you liked it. Hope maybe they can help you market your books. :)

    Ceil,
    Well, some of the purpose is connecting, some marketing, and I'm thinking you're right. A book or other "something" you want to promote gives you more of the reason to be visible. It's a balance, and depends on what you want out of it. :)

    Holly,
    I hear you. It often overwhelms me too. And often annoys me as well, because I feel pressure to use it. So I'm learning to chill about it and finding a good balance. :)

    Susan,
    That's a good way to look at it. Time is precious and you really need to think about your purpose on social media overall. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  13. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for the good advice. Like you, I would rather have my nose in a book than be at a huge party. I'm inconsistent about using social media, mostly because it can suck up a lot of time, so I appreciate your tip about Hootsuite.

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  14. I read this earlier, but had to stop and think about it. I use social media, but if I didn't have to, I probably wouldn't. I use twitter, yet I seldom read the tweets. I am so in tuned to what you're saying. My family on FB posts way too often and way too much personal info. It's embarrassing. I don't have time to read FB or twitter and wonder if posting stuff there is a waste of time, too. But we are authors and we have an obligation to get the word out, I guess. I wish I were in league with the likes of Eric Lustbader, not for the money, but for the privilege of having someone else take care of all the marketing stuff. I would still visit my favourite blogs tho.

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  15. I've just started using Twitter (in addition to my blog and Facebook page). It's a little overwhelming but I'm getting my feet wet. I just tweeted (re-tweeted?) this post.

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  16. Karen, I really appreciate this post as I'm still trying to figure out a few social media things and where I want to go with them. I can relate to the benefits you list, but also the sense of being overloaded. I have to guard my writing time closely--so many things come up to take away from that--that I'm apprehensive about committing to one more thing. I blog but don't FB, by choice, but I am interested in twitter and instagram. So maybe in 2017...??

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  17. Donna,
    Glad the post was helpful! I'm still figuring it all out, you know? :) I think too, it's a matter of what your purpose is with social media.

    Joylene,
    I hear you! For real. I would probably use it, but sparingly, if I didn't need to market my work. And I could totally live without it! :) Yes, maybe one of these days our ship will come in and we can hire a marketing person. I'm totally in on that one.

    Linda,
    Twitter is interesting, isn't it? Can't say I love it, but I do find it helpful for some things. Thanks for sharing this post! :) You're a peach.

    Kenda,
    Somehow I knew you'd feel that way too! You know, it just depends too, on what you want to use it for. :) It all sets me on overload way too many times to count. lol I'm sure we'll figure out the right balance for us one of these days.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  18. Oh boy. Social media... I've tried them all and find I gravitate to Facebook and Twitter. And Goodreads--but mostly just to keep track of my own reading. My feel on it is, find what works for you, and make yourself a boss in that arena. There's no reason to overstretch. That's just painful for everyone involved.

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  19. I really like Crystal's advise. Do not overstretch! Time is a big factor for me as I often feel conflicted with where and how I spend my time. What's most important right now, and if I do drop something, will that affect my future? Blogging is my preferred as it helps keep me writing and I've made some friends I hope to meet some day! Facebook and Instagram are next in line at this time, although I do feel most 'exposed' on FB due to the way they kind of 'big brother' you! Great post Karen. Thank you.

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  20. My social media is pretty much restricted to Facebook. I keep track of friends and far away family and they keep track of me. I get "sucked in" about three times a day, but never for long. I appreciate this post, Karen. Love that little girl up there! =0)

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  21. Crystal,
    Facebook and Twitter are my favorite go-to places as well. Just can't fit all the others in and remain sane. lol Although Google+ and Pinterest are great too. :) Great advice!

    Lynn,
    Yes, Crystal's advice is spot on. Time is a big factor for me as well, and how to balance it all with family and other commitments. I just keep working at it and trusting for wisdom in these areas. :)

    Susan,
    I should limit my time on FB more like that. Find myself hopping over too often. I'm enjoying Instagram lately, but have limited those I follow/my followers to keep it focused and more fun. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  22. Sharing on social media and interacting with others is a very effective way for writers to get the exposure they need.

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!