Thursday, November 10, 2011

Guest Post By Andy Holloman

Discovering the Differences in Social Media Sites - Any one that is embarking on the path of publishing a novel will be inundated with well meaning advice regarding the importance of using social media to promote, market, sell, etc. So, after receiving said advice, I embarked on this path six months ago. Now, like many folks, I had joined the Facebook revolution a while back (for me, back in 2009) and left after a few months of not finding much value. (This was prior to having any inkling that my novel was going to be published.) I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable FB was when I began to really treat it as a social "place" and started to reach out to folks that I had not seen in many years, or even those folks that I saw fairly regularly. It opened up a "window" that allowed me to interact with people in a way that would not have existed without FB. I was gaining "friends" and I was gleaning information about folks that I would NEVER have received without FB.

The other social media site that writers are frequently directed to is Twitter. Likewise, I had "twitted" around with the site but had dropped out. In June of 2011, I dove back into the Twitter world and started to learn why folks found the site addictive. Twitter opened up a much different world of connections for me than Facebook. On Twitter, I directed my attention to following and connecting with writers, editors, publishers, etc. and - lo and behold - I was making friends with semi-famous folks! I could send them a quick question and they would respond. WOW! Twitter truly is unique (in my experience) in regards to how you can interact with people you admire. Furthermore, my twitter universe is MUCH more international as compared to FB. I have become friends with people all over the world and I have learned things about writers AND readers in other parts of the world. In the past few weeks, I find myself drawn more to Twitter than FB because, dare I say it, Twitter is more fun!

Imagine that. Social Media can be fun. Just remember - Be social first in order to get the most out of these sites. Going to heavy on the selling/promoting side will make your friends and followers "tune you out" which totally defeats the purpose.

Andy Holloman, Novelist,
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