"Social Media" is the generalized term used for all online chat/messaging/video communication, but not everyone is social in the same way. Facebook and Twitter are amazing communication tools for building a tribe for entrepreneurial authors, and each platform has a unique language and set of tools for success.
Before an author can use either effectively, the platform, message and purpose must be clearly established. If you write, publish and wish to promote your historical fiction novels, for example, you wouldn't tweet about the sci-fi mystery you just read. Similarly, if you write YA romance novels, you wouldn't post pictures of your trip to Washington D.C. with your in-laws on your Facebook page. The sci-fi mystery and Capital trip are best left to your personal social media accounts.
- Facebook uses tags, photos, links and video to share "stories" with friends and subscribers. Status updates are called "stories," and should be thought of as such - short stories containing useful information for your subscribers. Two to three posts per day with anywhere from one sentence to two paragraphs each is an acceptable amount of interaction with subscribers to your page. The information should be in some way interactive with your audience. The more you ask your readers to interact, the more they will come back for more, and your list of fans and readers will build. You can even set up your facebook account to automatically feed to your twitter account, which brings your twitter followers back to your facebook page. Just remember the difference in tone between the two social media audiences, and be sure the first 140 characters of your facebook posts grab the reader to help them make the decision to click on the link.
- Twitter can be more difficult for many writers, because it forces them to edit themselves. No longer can we be verbose and completely descriptive. 140 characters wouldn't even contain most of the sentences in a fiction novel, but Twitter is probably the best preparation for anyone wishing to become an indie author in the digital age. No pictures or videos can be shared except through links, and mini links are preferred. Twitter will shorten full links in a post, but many savvy twitter users employ the help of services like Tinyurl.com to help them gain back some characters. Double or even triple the number of tweets over facebook posts are acceptable, and the wittier the better. Again interactive is better, but often tweeting the work, blogs and quotes of others is most popular amongst followers. Karma, people - what you put out comes back to you! Services like Buffer or TweetDeck help manage the stream of information available on this fast paced, busy social media platform.
Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom
Say Bump and Take a Left