We had an interesting panel on “Social Media: Love It or Hate It” – I think the consensus was “It’s a necessary evil.”
Here are some of the highlights:
Allen Steele provided us with “Steele’s Law” – A writer’s output varies in inverse proportion to the time they spend on social media.
Jim Menz: It’s always been an author’s job to market – it’s just easier now with social media
Jeanne Stein: When I sold my first book, I thought I was going to get a publicist who would do everything for me … but if all you ever say is “Buy my book,” it’s not going to work.
L.M. Davis explained a bit about how different social media platforms are popular with different ages. Right now, teens and young adults are more often found on Instagram and Twitter, while Facebook serves an older crowd.
The bottom line from all speakers was: if you’re not comfortable in the medium, don’t use that one. If you don’t like posting photos, stay away from Instagram and Pinterest. If you don’t plan to share several times a day, Twitter probably isn’t for you.
Roger Bellini: You have to have a social media presence as an author
Allen: There’s always the Baskin-Robbins Theory – give away the first taste free. What we’re talking about is coming up with strategies for yourself – use your website as information for the world.
Jim: Having something smart to say is better than pitching your book – it’s about the content, not the format
Stephen Antczak shared stories of how he’s reached out to authors on social media when he didn’t have an email address – he’s even used it to find work as a movie or TV extra!