I learn everything the hard way and, believe me, I have a lot to learn when it comes to social media. I have Twitter, Linked In, Google Plus, and Facebook. The only ones I actually use are Twitter and Facebook. Honestly, I still don’t understand about hashtags. Whatever. Once in a while I write a post and try to get it all in the allotted character number—next to impossible to do in my opinion. My eyes cross when it comes to all that hashtag business.
Facebook is my favorite place for posts and keeping up with my constituents, family, and friends. I don’t have a special page for book promotion. I think that would be stretching the limits of my expertise.
I’m more like Betty Flintstone stuck in techno idiocy still hanging on to my land line phone while I try to figure out my smart phone and all those apps. Because my Facebook page includes personal connections as well as professional, I try to be careful what I post.
With yahoo groups becoming less popular for book promotion, I have come to relying on Facebook to keep in touch with readers. How to do this takes something akin to magic. I try to post things about me I think others may find interesting or funny. I also want to engage people by answering comments or at least “liking” their comments so they know I paid attention to what they had to say. I only post blatant promotional posts when I have a new story out or a blog I’d like them to read. I find too much blatant promotion turns people off. I want to read some personal things I can relate to from an authors sandwiched between those layers of promotion.
Manners on Facebook is sometimes tricky. I try to be vigilant about who I invite to “friend” and whose friend request I accept. I want people who are genuinely interested in writing and reading books, so I always check out their Facebook pages before I accept those invitations. Once you friend someone they can write and post on your page. You sure don’t want them to write something you don’t want on your page or that goes against the brand you’ve worked so hard to build. My Facebook page is not a dating service or a soap box. Just sayin’. Beware of weirdos and predators!
Politics and religion are two topics I do not want to become involved in on Facebook. I never post on my page nor comment on someone else’s page on these two subjects. I’d like to keep my page all-inclusive and transcend political and religious lines.
Another thing I don’t do is post self-promotion on someone else’s Facebook page unless specifically asked to do so. I consider it ill-mannered to draw attention to myself at another’s expense. Their Facebook page is their platform, not mine. Emily Post hasn’t written a good cyber manners book about social media—not that I know of anyway, so discovering what considerations one should have for another in these areas can take some time and experience.
There are still things I don’t understand like requests to “like” a page from people I don’t know. I don’t even understand how liking a page can help someone.
What are some things you like or don’t like about social media? Have you ever had an experience you didn’t know how to handle? What are your pet peeves? Have you ever unfriended someone? I’m open to advice about using social media if you have some to offer.
Social Media does not show up in my Wildings stories, or at least not yet. I'm in the 1950's generation of Wildings who still use telephones--no cell phones let alone computers. I'm safe from social media at least in what I write.
Sarah J. McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER and Critical Care nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Prairie Rose Publications and its imprints Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press. Some of her fantasy and paranormal books may also be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery and Victory Tales Press. She welcomes you to her website and social media: