Social media and its purpose?

Social media is extremely important for a struggling author, artist, small business and big business. I get that. The nauseating words that permeate all the help blogs, sites, and articles all have made it perfectly clear it’s how you get your wares in front of people. Get connected they say. Post your stuff with links and tags and witty comments. Don’t forget to talk about other people. Post their stuff too. Engage your followers. Blah, blah, blah.

(I’m making a point so stick with me here.)

OK. I get it. Cheap advertising. Bring them into the fold. Talk about things important to them. Spread the word on other things and occasionally pitch what you have.

Here’s my problem. You see so many adds on social media to buy this or buy that you become numb. You watch the twitter feed go by and if you’re lucky, or persistent enough, you might see 1 out of 500 tweets that are actually engaging. What’s worse you see the tweets from people that are “experts on social media and will show you how it’s done to grow your base” about 1 in every 20 tweets. You click the link and check out their message. It’s just recycled information you’ve seen 1000 times. OK. I get it. Everyone is saying this is what you do.

So I click on their twitter page. I scroll through their tweets. Their tweet history is 90% what they’re selling, 8% other people and 2% that might be interesting other things.

Huh? Really? Practice what you preach there, dude.

My point in all this? Yes I really have one and it’s not just a rant.

People that are going to buy what you’re selling have to be invested in you emotionally. Sure there might be writers out there that are better than you and sell their books $5 cheaper. So what? If someone doesn’t know them they are less likely to buy those books. However, if you have been actively and sincerely engaging your followers they are more likely to by what your selling. They invest emotionally in you and in a way you have to do the same with them.

How many of you have tweet deck setup and auto-respond to follows and DMs? Is that really engaging your followers? When was the last time you actually responded with a personal note to the people that followed you? Did you thank them for the honor of the follow and to have a great day?

Yes I said honor for the follow. Why? Because there are 50 billion tweets every minute (ok maybe not 50 billion but a lot) and your tweet caught their attention enough to actually look and follow you.

Social media is supposed to mean social and interacting not pitching your wares every 30 seconds. Could you imagine if people in the real world did what a very large number of tweeters do? Could you imagine walking down the street and have everyone pushing signs selling their wares in your face with the occasional joke or engaging comment?

Take a break people. Stop and talk to people. Say hi, ask how there day was, ask about the kids, the dog, what they’re doing. BE SOCIAL not an advertising agency.

Tracking tools?

I’m searching for good submission tracking tools. I know a spreadsheet would be the down and dirty way to do it but I also know that I’ll tend not to update it as I should and it’ll end up doing nothing for me or will be very out of date. So… what do you use to track your submissions? Paid or free software? Online or actual software?

What works for you? What are your opinions? Let me know.

#amwriting Michael and Miranda and Jason 1st draft

Jason and his 7 have made first draft status. Now they get to relax for a bit. They clocked in just under 12,000 words. I’m sure after editing and rewrites they top that. My lovely wife will be ruthless with the edits and input but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Maybe some snip-its will show up here for your entertainment.

Now on to Michael and Miranda. This story started with 3 simple things from my wife – character age, sex and college course. It started as a verbal, on the fly story while we lay in bed and is now turning into quite the story. If it goes as expected it will probably turn into a two or three book series. This one will be a romantic fantasy. SO keep your eyes peeled! I’ll keep updates coming and maybe a snip-it here and there as well.