Saturday, September 8, 2012

Drowning in Social Media

Drowning in Social Media


Okay, I know I’m not the only writer out there that is going under for the third time in the giant undertow of social media.

 I was told by my publisher that I had to get out there and network. So I put on my loveliest bathing suit and took the plunge. It was a bit cold at first, but I kept wading in further until my body adjusted to the temperature.

 As a non-swimmer, I floundered around trying to figure out if I was doing things right. I still don’t know all the tricks on Twitter, but manage to find new followers (just now reached my 1,000th.) I haven’t mastered the hash tag stuff. But I have made a few friends out in the Twittersphere that have communicated with me via e-mail, and/or followed me onto my blog and Facebook page.

 Now speaking of the Facebook Page, I just recently dove into that part of the waters. It’s not as deep there, since I already had lots of friends and relatives on FB, and they were very supportive by coming on over to greet me. It’s easier to keep up with other writer’s good news and repost them there as well.

 Now that I’m in deep, I have to admit a lot more of my time is spent socializing than writing. I just can’t leave a message from Twitter telling me "You have a new follower..." just sitting in my inbox waiting to be answered. Then I have to check out their blogs and websites to see what they are up to, and make sure they are not just trying to sell me something I’m not the least bit interested in, before I follow them back. Then I must thank them, of course, and perhaps re-tweet a few of their clever posts, or help them promote their books or businesses. We’re now Twitter pals after all.

 Then there are the sharks. I must mention the sharks. We all know about them. They direct-message you every chance they get, or send you messages that appear to be from your followers saying they saw you in an insulting video. Yeah, I know you get them too.

If you have managed to stay afloat in the sea of social media, and have any life saving tips, please let me know!!!
Otherwise we can just commiserate.
© Chrisharvey | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos (for drowning)
© Melis82 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos (keyboard) 
© Kairat1 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos (sharks)


Rebecca Green Gasper said...

I don't have any wonderful life saving tips for social media... I think I'm in the same boat as you, trying hard to bail out all the water before I sink. (love your swimming metaphors by the way!) Everyday day, little by little, I'm learning something new- but feel like it's taking forever to perfect...maybe some day I'll figure it all out. My favorite part, though, is meeting amazing writer friends in the tweeting and blogging world along the way! Good luck with everything!

Rita Monette, Writer said...

Thanks Rebecca. I can't imagine spending enough time to learn all there is to know and still be able to write and blog. But I'm with's so much fun meeting new writers and other talented people around the world and right next door. Happy swimming!

Stacey Roberts said...

I used to think that social media was just another symptom of the decline of Western Civilization. But now I am a determined convert. Social media is good. How do I know? I met you, Rita, and people like you - good writers, wry and heartfelt commentators on life, and supportive, community-minded people.

As to how to survive - embrace the social interaction - the more people know you and like you, the more likely they will be to not just buy and read your book when it comes out (I'm waiting on the edge of my seat for it), but will actively promote your projects to their friends.

Here are some tips that I learned:

1. Support unto others, and they will support unto you - Retweet, re-post, and share.

2. Ask and you shall receive - Be very clear on what you want all your Facebook friends and Twits to do - if you want them to either buy or try a sample of your book and then post a review on Amazon and retweet and repost to all their friends, then ask for that. It is no place to be coy about what you want. They have the option to say no, but the people who know you and your work will enthusiastically say yes.

3. Enjoy it. It provides a way to communicate with friends and loved ones that you might not otherwise do if it wasn't so easy.

4. Don't get too bogged down. Set aside social media time the way you do writing time, or exercise, or cleaning the house... Wait. Strike that. Cleaning the house?

Rita Monette, Writer said...

Thanks Stacey. Great advice. I did spend the morning trying to organize my office. Got a lot of dustbunnies and stacks of paper out of my way. No dust gathering on the keyboard though.

And you are sooo right. I have met a lot of friends on Twitter, including you (love your blog stories!). Keep 'em coming.

Livia said...

Ahh, I can relate to this so much! I get drowned in the blogosphere almost every day and not write when I'm supposed to. Yes, I've swam too deep in the blogosphere many of times before and I know it will always happen when I hit the blogosphere :(

Great post!

Rita Monette, Writer said...

Yes, Livia. It's an awful addicted. I was in Michigan since Monday closing on our house up there. I didn't have Internet access. I was in withdrawals big time. But I did survive...only to come back to a couple hundred e-mails. Time to try to play catch-up.