Social Media Primer for Writers

Updated on February 6, 2017
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Time to Get Social

First of all, if you aren't into social media, that's ok. I think you can still agree that online networking is what it's all about today. Sharing content with your friends and family is extremely easy now with an abundance of social networking platforms available. And while writing in itself is rewarding, you generally want other people to read what you're writing and if they think it's worthy of sharing, to pass the message along to their connections.

So, what are the best social networks to use when promoting your articles? I have an account on practically everything but I don't keep up with all of them. I like to test effectiveness and see what counts. Some networks are definitely better than others, and some are just a waste of time altogether. You'll have to test your posts on multiple networks to see where you get the most clicks and conversations started.

That said, here are the main social networks with the most action:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twitter
  3. Pinterest
  4. Google+
  5. LinkedIn

There are scores of additional networks but these are the most frequented and your best bet for getting noticed.

How Much Time?

Unless you have a job as a social media marketer like me, you're not going to be sitting around all day commenting and whatnot on all of your networks. And even then, I do not watch or read every comment that all of my followers or fans make - I just don't have that kind of time or patience. But I do check at least 3 or 4 times a day to read and respond to customer comments or to post content.

How much time should you as a writer be devoting to social media? Ten or fifteen minutes a day should cover you. No, really. That's it. If you're a writer, then you want to be spending time writing, not cyber stalking. Unless you're hosting/attending a tweetup, live streaming, or the like, you don't need to be glued to a social network.

What to Do in Your 10 to 15 Minutes a Day

Post your blog/article links on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn for best coverage. Write creative and clever headlines that grab people's attention and draws them to your article.

When I have an article to share, I generally post it more than once over time, but only once that day. You want to be engaging but not too pushy. Your fans and followers get it - you wrote something that you want them to read. They see your message designed to spark some interest and excitement and they see your link. Let them come to you.

And don't be afraid to ask for a little help from friends and family. Recruit a few supportive social soldiers to share your posts/tweets with their network. Before you know, you'll start developing your own community of people who begin to look forward to reading your latest post!

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