There. I said it. The fact that I am not a huge fan (personally) of social media is really quite a bummer–since I happen to run a digital marketing business (www.vicecommunications.com) AND I have aspirations of creating a strong author platform using … social media. So shhhh!
But just because I don’t personally LIKE it (pun intended) doesn’t mean I don’t understand it, and it certainly doesn’t mean I can’t use it as a method to establish and market myself as a writer.
Since SHIFT has not yet been published, I have decided to focus on four platforms now — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram–and save some for the future: Goodreads, Google+ and SnapChat.
FACEBOOK (or, as my daughters call it, social media for old people)
As I started to establish my new social media channels as an “Author,” I realized immediately that I needed to make some decisions about my personal presence on various channels. On Facebook, for example, I have had an active personal page for several years. But I’ve been choosy about who I’ve accepted friend requests from–I tend to take the term “friend” literally. If we weren’t friends in High School, or you are “friending” me because you are one of the zillion people who was friends with my husband (who maintains a staunch anti-social-media position) … well, then, why would I want to show you photos of my kids now?
To help separate my personal Facebook presence from my professional goals, I have established several “Pages” specific to my writing projects. You can find me as an author here, and I have unpublished pages established specifically for SHIFT as a standalone title, and THE SHIFT TRILOGY if all the stars align.
If SHIFT is taken on by an agent & publishing team, I will utilize my personal contacts to promote my Author Page. In the meantime, I simply “soft launched” the page and asked my core crew of supporters to LIKE it. This gives me somewhere to flow new blog posts, etc. so I have something underway if and when SHIFT is taken on.
I also have to make the decision about opening up my personal Facebook page a little more so I have more people to “market to” if and when SHIFT is published. This feels VERY strange to me, but makes sense. For now, I am not doing this by actively friending more people myself, but I am trying to have a more open mind in accepting FRIENDS requests. Use your connections, use your connections, use your connections. (NOTE: Opening this up has already changed the tone of my personal Facebook page, and I have to think carefully about what I post–especially in this debacle of an election year).
TWITTER (or the bane of my existence)
Twitter was a bit of a different animal. I was never a fan of Twitter, so I decided to dedicate my existing account @kelivice to my author platform. (Man–I need a better picture!! One step at a time.) For now, I am following as many writing-related people as I can find, and participating in Twitter pitches just to get the feel of the platform. Though I find the snarkiness of Twitter to be of epic proportions, I believe the platform is a necessary evil, so I will continue to quietly grow my presence and learn from other successful authors who use the platform.
INSTAGRAM (or where the teenagers hang out)
I’m still figuring out Instagram on a professional level. For now, I have an account. I have linked it to my website, and I’m watching and learning from other authors and brands. Honestly, the only reason I’m paying attention to it is I have seen my 14- and 17-year-old daughters devote INSANE amounts of time to scrolling through Instagram. I don’t get it yet–but I will, because I’m writing YA and this is my target audience!
PINTEREST (easy to participate in)
Pinterest is just one huge world of repinning, so it doesn’t take a huge amount of time to keep things populated here. The jury is still out as to what it will eventually bring to an author platform, but I’m willing to give it a go. For now I have just linked my personal Pinterest presence to my website, but I plan to establish and author presence specifically around writing and creativity. Hopefully I can keep my personal presence a little separate, but only time will tell.
A WORD ON SNAPCHAT (per Gary Vaynerchuck)
For YA authors, Snapchat cannot be ignored. I have an account–guess I will be figuring out how to use it to my advantage.
RESOURCES (learn, learn and learn some more)
Even though I run a digital marketing company, social media has not been my primary focus, so I am constantly reading and listening to make sure I keep up. Most recently, I read CREATE YOUR WRITER PLATFORM by Chuck Sambuchino–a good read no matter what your current social media knowledge is. You can find the book HERE.
I’m also following the fabulous Gary Vaynerchuck on every social media channel I can find, and just signed up for his “building a personal brand” webinar series on Udemy. (Gary also has TONS of video material available on YouTube and on his Facebook page. ) His Facebook URL is https://www.facebook.com/gary – which means the dude got in ON THE GROUND FLOOR.
Any recommendations out there? I’m in learning mode so your experience is welcome!