Monday, April 2, 2018

Three Ways Shy Writers Can Boost Social Media Presence





 
Here is a post from the archives, slightly updated of course, because the inner editor thinks her job is to constantly tweak things. It's been extra busy around here, so thought I'd share this favorite bit of advice. :)

Social Media: Love it or Hate it? 

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 great 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:

1) 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. (See more on the importance of saying no in this post.)

2) 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. Certain conversations are best left one to one, with family or a close friend. In many ways too, 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, and realize that some people are more wired for social media than I am. They're outgoing and 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? It's different for everyone, depending on whether promoting books, freelance writing services, or simply to engage in a little socialization.

What's a Shy Writer to Do?

No matter what kind of social media fan (or not) you are, perhaps these three tips will lend a hand.

1) Spread the love by sharing. If I enjoy the content of a blog or website, I usually share it with others by sharing on Twitter, posting on Facebook or Google+, or pinning on Pinterest. Most sites have share buttons somewhere on the screen, and it only takes a few seconds to do so. 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, posts, etc. 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. Other sites, such as Facebook now have scheduling options as well.

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.

A Break

It's time for me to take a break. There are new things happening here, old things that need attention, and a heart that needs quiet space to focus on some spiritual things. As much as I dislike placing a temporary hold on blogging, it's necessary. Lest you think otherwise, all is well. Just realized recently that I'm close to going from the "want to blog" to the "have to blog", and that's not good. So it's time for a hiatus. Could be back in a few weeks, or it may be longer. Please know that I love you all and appreciate your support more than I can say. 

Your Thoughts 

Do you enjoy social media? Why or why not? What helps you balance social media time with other parts of life? What's on your writing schedule this month?

Happy writing,

Karen 



Photo credit: Pixabay

17 comments :

  1. I'm careful what I share online. I want my private life to remain that way.
    Breaks are good. I'll be taking a couple this month during the A to Z Challenge frenzy.

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  2. Thanks for (re)posting Karen. Social Media has many people addicted and stressed out, for sure. I love it, but since I have no cell phone, I can only participate hen I am at my laptop, which is hardly ever in the daytime, since I am working. So my hours are somewhat restricted. I tried writing some interesting blog post without posting on FB, but I hardly got any readers.... I totally understand wanting to have time off. I just had 4 weeks vacation in Portugal which I used to write a new book :)

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  3. Even though I have a popular blog, I am really shy and don't get on Facebook or Twitter much. It's too much information and time, like you said. And I just don't have much to say. I may really try some of your tips--once I get my mom moved here by the end of the month.

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  4. Happy Monday! I'm shy too. The Twitter author hashtag games are what get me posting and interactive on Twitter. I should use Hootsuite more. Right now, I only schedule holiday wishes and a few retro-blog posts.

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  5. Hi Karen - enjoy your break .. quite understand. I only really blog - so keep it relatively balanced ... look after yourself and see you anon - cheers Hilary

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  6. Alex,
    Yeah it's crazy what some people put out there, isn't it? You are a wise man! :) I agree, a break during A to Z is probably a good idea! :) Talk about a busy time, for sure.

    Marja,
    Well that's a good way to avoid social media during the day. It really does have its very own draw. Congrats on the new book! That's exciting. Keep me posted, okay? :)

    Natalie,
    Now see, you wouldn't know that from your blog (the shy thing). I've long admired your visibility and savvy there. If you try some of the tips, let me know how they work for you if you have time. Hope your mom's move goes well! :)

    Holly,
    I haven't tried those games on Twitter. May have to look into them, thanks for the tip! :) So many ways to promote, so little time, right?

    Hilary,
    Thanks so much! :) And thanks for understanding. Have appreciated your support over the years! xo

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  7. There are aspects I like about social media and particularly like Instragram for the photography side of things, however it is getting saturated with ads lately! I'm still trying to figure out the time thing, and if it creating value, for sure. Enjoy your break, Karen! Glad we can connect on different platforms.

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  8. I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I use Facebook, and sometimes Twitter, to promote my blog, but never use Pinterest or Instagram. Wouldn't even know where to start!
    And speaking of a hiatus, I'm on one now. Really needed it during Holy Week and now, Spring Break. Small time outs are great for reviving the creative juices. Have a great time away!
    Blessings, Karen!

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  9. It really can be overwhelming. I have taken a much needed break, and soon the sun will return with warmer temperatures and I will be more inclined to lose myself rather than nap.

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  10. Appreciate all of your points, Karen, since I've wrestled a lot with how much I want to get involved in social media. To date I'm not on facebook although I won't say never. I just have enough trouble managing my time without adding that :-) And I can appreciate your need for a break. You've given so much through the years that I've followed you. Wishing you all the best in your time off...

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  11. At one point, I was on 25 social media sites. Now there are days I don't even look at Facebook. I'd like to be a little more active, but I can't do that and still run a business effectively.

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  12. I didn't plan on being involved in social media when I started writing, but my publisher said I had to and set up my first fb account. Then they turned it over to me and I was on my own. I've learned by doing, and I've found some sites more comfortable than others. I don't mind being in groups, but I prefer being alone with close friends and family, so when I do socialize in person, I like to keep it short and sweet.

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  13. I enjoy social media as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family and meeting writing friends. I'm afraid I post in fits and starts, though. I'm not good at keeping a regular posting schedule: When I try that, it becomes a burden that I don't enjoy as much. This was an interesting post to ponder.

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  14. Wonderful thoughts, Karen. Sometimes I love social media, and sometimes I hate it. Truth, you can share on multiple forums, but in order to optimize your benefit for effort, it's best to just find the source where your audience hangs out, and make a bigger effort there. Personally, I think everyone should be on Twitter, since it's so free-based, but other forums are completely based on preference.

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  15. Lynn,
    Yes, I've noticed that with Instagram and some of the others too. Crazy stuff! But praying for a good balance between life and these extras. :)

    Martha,
    I hear you about the love/hate thing. I've been feeling that way for a long time. :) There are definitely pros and cons. Hope your time away has been restful. Thanks so much for your kind wishes.

    Linda,
    Yes, it can! Hope it warms up soon in your area. :) Winter just wants to hang on, doesn't it?

    Kenda,
    Too much can create more stress than necessary. Life is for living, right? :) Thanks so much for your sweet and kind words. Appreciate your support!

    Diane,
    Wow, that's a lot of sites! Priorities need to come first. Otherwise what good are we, right? :)

    Lee,
    Yes, publishers are all about that, aren't they? That's why I got on certain platforms too. But it does help sell books. :) I'm with you about short and sweet visits with bigger crowds.

    Elizabeth,
    Yes, it is a good way to keep up with friends and family, for sure! :) Sounds like a good plan- your posting schedule - if it works well for you.

    Crystal,
    Thanks a bunch. That's a good point about targeting your market. This is so true. Never got that into Twitter. Glad it's worked well for you. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  16. Thanks for this refresher, Karen. I do loved social media (FB) as it helps me stay in contact with far away friends and family. But, as with most things that start out good, the bad creeps in to find us. I've met many fine writers reading blogs and websites, too. If it's a time sucker that has to be addressed. Overall a good thing.

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  17. Amen! As one shy writer to another, I can certainly relate. But, if you take a break, don't think that will stop me from emailing you to keep in touch. Lol

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