This is a post where I’m really counting on some audience participation. I started this social media conference to share the tips I’ve managed to glean, and I hoped to gather wisdom from my readers as well.
One of my issues is that for me, social media usually needs to take a back seat to the actual writing, and I have the same twenty-four hours as everyone else. Like many others, I have a scary laundry list of commitments, both literary and real life. I can barely keep up, and the irony is that I actually like Twitter. I look back fondly on the period when I had time to get into some epic conversations. I’ve come up with some compromises like I outlined in my post How to Use Twitter Effectively Without Having to Actually Reading Your Twitter Feed, although I do make time to post the odd comment on both Twitter and Facebook.
I read a criticism of this idea on someone else’s blog, that it was too automated and mechanical. And I’ve read in other places that if you’re on social media and not consistently joining in conversations, the attitude is basically “shame on you.” I don’t feel it’s appropriate to engage in arguing on someone else’s blog, but here, in my own place, I think it’s okay to respond, at least to the idea.
From my point of view, say I’ve got a hypothetical blog reader. They like a lot of my articles on writing craft and social media, but they outgrew fairy tales back when they were nine years old. They don’t mind reading my short stories, but they aren’t interested in an entire novel’s worth. Nonetheless, they routinely comment on and tweet my posts and occasionally share them on Facebook as well.
I love this person, even though I just made them up. I wish I knew a bunch more like them. All I want out of social media is for my work to spread, so that the people who are excited by what I write can find it. And if I join in promoting others and we find our audiences together, this feeling of affection, of knowing that we helped each other succeed with this literary dream, would make me consider them true friends.
Now to fine-tune this idea, I’ve had to consider the differences inherent in Facebook and Twitter. On Twitter, it’s perfectly okay to tweet an entire inbox with sixty-three reciprocal visits. And I’ve been trying to do that, with the caveat that I don’t share anything political or that conflicts with my religious beliefs.
But Facebook is different. I shared every post I visited on Facebook for one full inbox, and then I read that I really shouldn’t do that. I’m overwhelming other people’s profiles with my stuff, and they won’t appreciate that. Okay, that makes sense. So then I tried limiting myself to six or eight, with the idea of rotating them around. *shakes head at self* I still hit ten, so I’ll have to be more careful if that’s excessive.
However, I need to know: is this appropriate? How do you feel about potentially finding eight or so articles that I shared showing up on your Facebook profile? Is that too many? Should I limit myself further? And am I way off base using Facebook mostly to cross-promote? If it’s counterproductive, I’ll quit doing it.
Please let me know how you feel in the comments. 🙂