Writers And Social Media: Don’t “Do” It; Use It


Anene BSP clrA guest post by Anene Tressler, award winning author of Dancing With Gravity and featured guest on Episode 2 of Literally Social, to air on September 6, 2011


Those who solve crossword puzzles can seldom design them.

The same holds true for the designers. They’re usually mediocre on the solution side. It’s the difference in the gifts we humans enjoy. The revolution in technology relies on those who design applications and those who use them. It’s like the science behind biological evolution and the stresses that take advantage of it. As we implement change, we need to adapt.

It’s not a question of “keeping up” with the tech race (which may be impossible for anyone desiring human interaction), but of understanding what we can do with what Silicon Valley designs...and figuring out how it fits into our lives and enhances our existence.

In 2009, some 288,355 “new titles and editions” were published in the U.S. alone. That’s just shy of 800 books entering the world every day. As readers, who helps us sift what’s valuable and worthwhile? The marketplace? Whose opinion can we trust...or more prosaically, whose opinion do we trust? And how does a writer connect with potential readers? Social media can offer real value for writers. It’s not the only approach. But it’s a powerful tool if used properly.

Getting a virtual presence is easy. It’s affordable and accessible.

As a result, tens of millions of people tweet, blog and comment on sites every day. The sheer volume alone would suggest that no one is actually reading anything. Of course, that’s not the case. But it does mean that writers need to be prominent somehow...to get attention for their work. Using social media effectively requires planning, focus and respect for your audience. Strive for quality (read: cogency and insight) over quantity. Use the media judiciously. Add hash tags to make it easier for interested others to find your content. By all means, create a web presence. And keep it current. But that doesn’t require daily posts.

Inform and entertain.

Offer value to the people who take time from over-stimulated lives to read your blog. Offer viewpoints that don’t echo the commonplace. And keep growing. Search out sites by writers you admire. Follow tweets from sources you value. And resist the temptation to mindlessly “follow” on twitter or compulsively collect “friends” on Facebook. Technology consumerism may be a race to the marketplace, but this isn’t. It’s about endurance and trust...building a solid base. Think how a news cycle flits from headline to headline...celebrity to disaster. For your audience to return to your work and presence, you must provide distinction and continuity.

And remember, it’s all process.

Nothing will happen in a day, a week or a month. You’re building a life. And if you value your readers, they’ll get the message. And they’ll want more.


Anene's inspired by this passage. Find out why on tomorrow's broadcast (Episode 2 of Literally Social)

Garcia Marquez007


Lori Randall Stradtman also writes about Social Media Trends and online marketing at Social Media Design.