A year ago I filled out a customer survey and when it came to ticking details about social media membership, I totally flunked out. Although this blog was already up and running I wasn’t on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or anything else. All part of a pattern when you consider that I was one of the very last people in the world to get a mobile phone (no kidding).
But lately I filled out the same survey – and ticked every social media box going. Have I finally joined the modern world? The jury’s still out, methinks. I’m just not a natural social media type, mostly because I have a very low stimulation threshold. Crowds, lots of noise, too much input make me hyper-ventilate and run for my duvet.
First off, I dipped my toe into social media by joining Twitter, gaily following friends and contacts, scrolling through new tweets in the evenings. But it didn’t take long for my head to explode. I literally couldn’t cope. The only way I managed to stop the very strong urge to shut down the account was by un-following almost everyone. The tally almost a year on? 28 following, 23 followers, 22 tweets. Oh dear.
Facebook works better. It’s gentler. But I’m still rubbish and go days without properly checking the feed. At least when I don’t check in I feel I’m missing something though, which gives me hope that I may, after all, have a social media pulse.
LinkedIn is good too – but I never do anything there, especially not (god forbid) add my latest translation projects or anything sensible.
So where does this leave me when it comes to marketing my book? Well, clueless is the first word that springs to mind …
In a moment of compassion a PR friend of mine put me in touch with his company’s enthusiastic and bright social media guru. We met for coffee and – yes – my head did explode. In principle I was all up for having a Facebook Book page, and getting a Book twitter account. And the idea of writing a book blog was something I’d thought up all by myself and was finding quite appealing. But when I heard that to do it properly I should have started months ago, and that I would have to FB every day and tweet a few times a day, it all got TOO MUCH. So I had another twitter-flip and seriously thought about giving up on social media and just sticking to a nice, safe blog. But that really would be lame – so I’ve decided to just do what I can and take it at my own, somewhat Victorian, pace. If that means my book Twitter account only has 12 followers who hardly ever hear from me, and my Facebook page is mostly about letting people know a new blog is up or I’ve managed to get a book event, then so be it … Apparently you can take a horse to social media but you can’t make it drink.
Still, with book launch only two weeks away, I’ve taken the first, baby, steps and set up a Facebook Book page (Uma & Imp) and a Twitter account (@Uma_Imp). If you are social media literate, please follow! I’ll get onto ‘building my audience’ after I’ve had a lie down …
Thanks for reading,
This rings so many bells for me, a fellow social media muppet! I’ve only got going on twitter in the last month, after having had an account for a few years that I’d never used,,, it’s like a tap that you turn on, and then wonder why your living room is soaking wet, and you’re still not getting any writing done…
I tend to use twitter for publishing links to my blog (mostly children’s poems). I’ve been a little disillusioned since not winning a competition to come up with the best pair of rhyming words… seriously, one of the winners was “fox” and “socks”. What next, “cat” and “hat”?
I’m trying to go for the “one person at a time” approach, so it could be a while….
I too find FB friendlier, although having joined a number of writers’ groups now, I am finding it hard to keep up with all the interesting links and top tips, let alone trying to help others with feedback and the like. Where to find the time.
As for linkedin, my blog connects automatically to that, but I think it just bemuses my network of civil servant former colleagues. They know/knew me as a data analyst, for the most part, so children’s poetry is a bit of a leap!
Fingers crossed for you and your book
I think the answer is to find one or two social media sites that are best for your work and you are comfortable with, and use them most. I am most happy with Facebook and now and then use the others, mainly to promote my ebooks and what I am working on. Eg I have just Tweeted about what I have added to a short story I am writing.