Social media is an everyday thing now. But as you’re building a platform to attract readers while you write your book through blogs, you should keep in mind a few things as you tap into the power of Facebook, Twitter and many other sites..
1. Do be constant, but not too much. You want to become known as someone in the blogosphere, and the commenting community, but you don’t want to be there 24 hours a day seven days a week. Just as you tend to ignore email blasts that come too frequently, your followers might begin to ignore you if you’re out there commenting too frequently. Daily posts are great; but posts every day all day are a bit much.
2. Don’t be rude. If you’re making a comment about someone else’s post, make sure you keep it civil. You may like to read the occasional snarky response, but do you want to be known as the writer who uses sarcasm to respond to people? Think of what the impact of what you’re saying will have on your readers. When you write something, make sure to read it over, and see if it meets your own standards of civil discourse.
3. Do be prudent. What you say lasts a long time online. Politicians are often tripped up by something they’ve uttered in haste years ago, which turns up online. You may think a post somehow disappears after a few days, but in the digital world things last a long, long time. Have you ever regretted something you said in a fit of pique? You wanted to take those words back. Well, you can’t do that online. So be aware that what you say may come to haunt you.
4. Don’t be a plagiarist. It’s great to refer to what others have written – but make sure to link to that article or blog post or video. You want people to share what you’ve done, but you don’t want them to take what you’ve written and claim it as their own. Citing an article, and linking to it, is part of creating a conversation
5. Do have fun. You should try to consider posting and commenting as a pleasure rather than a chore; this will show in your responses, in the frequency of your posts, in your general attitude. Language comes across more harshly when written in posts than when spoken – so if you look at your social-media work as a joy, then your writing will become more joyful.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this social-media process. I’d love to hear from you, and please ask any questions you may have about your own site, and what you’d like us to cover. Thank you.
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