Monday, 14 January 2013

Social Networking and You (Me) - Twitter (Redux) and Facebook Edition

Last time I wrote a post I was interrupting my social networking series to introduce the proof copy of my novel (in paperback form) and apologize for writing the original Twitter version poorly. Well, maybe not poorly, but not in the way that I wanted it to be. There was room for improvement, and that’s what you’re going to be getting today, as well as the Facebook version. This time it’s going to be more on my personal experiences dealing with social networking, rather than a guide/how to booklet on what not to do.

So, here we go.

Twitter, for me, has been, if not the most useful of the social networking venues, definitely the one where the most people are in the scope of my broadcasts. I have 130ish followers at the moment that I’m writing this; and while I know that’s not too many, and I’m trying to boost that number, it’s far greater than anywhere else that I’m pushing myself through. I said Twitter was a very fluid network last week, and that’s something that I’m standing by. In a single day I can lose four people, and gain eight—all without even logging into the service. It’s not something I said or something that I did to lose or gain people, they just come and go as they please. I’ve had times where I add a bunch of interesting looking bloggers and writers, and they all add me back. Other days, I add a good thirty people, and no one follows me back—not a single one. I’ve even had a couple random famous authors follow me, you can find them if you look through my followers—they’d just mentioned they were checking out other authors and I happened to fall onto that list. It’s a strange place, and at times rather impersonal, but the sheer number of people interacting on the site make it invaluable as a resource; which is what I will be getting into in the next paragraph.

There are many people on Twitter, especially those that aren’t trying to be famous, that don’t use their real names. They tweet from sign-ins and pen names, with maybe only a halfway lit picture of the side of their face. I have no idea who these people are, but a number of them follow me, and sometimes retweet the things I say out to an even broader audience. There’s use in that, and just because I don’t know who they are personally, doesn’t mean they can’t buy copies of my books or champion them to their friends. On the flipside, I really don’t know what these people are like, or what they like, and I’m never sure if they’re just ignoring my tweets or not. I’m certain that’s a lot like any other network, but the feeling is magnified in the respect that I’m dealing with a lot more people and not necessarily to their faces. There are some more personal interactions, but they tend to be much fewer and far between—often friendly hellos or quick questions towards my writing—never anything longer than a few sentences back and forth.

Now, back to my lowerish than I’d like twitter numbers. I know that adding people, tweeting, chatting, and retweeting other people’s comments tends to get me a couple followers a day. I’m sure tagging myself as an author has landed me most of my people, as has following them (a lot of people counter follow, especially if you’re both authors). The problem is that I tend to be following about three times the number of people that follow me. I assume, over time, this number will even out a bit, and once my work starts to pick up a bit of steam people might start seeking me out. In the mean time, I’m still searching for that magic way to make people want to follow me—although I tend to feel that it probably revolves more around hard work and dedication than anything specific. In the same way that only now are people starting to follow my blog (I’ve always had readers, but, actually following me through their blogger dashboards).

You’ve heard my complaints about what I find annoying on twitter from last week. If you really want to revisit them, they’re still there from a week ago—but I think now I’ll move onto the Facebook section of things.

Facebook has been an odd network for me. It gets flashed around just as much as any of my other sites, there are links in my books/ebooks, on my blog, everywhere, but people tend to ignore it. My theory is that unless I’m more famous with a lot of fans to blend in with, people feel a bit odd having their real name/ profile sitting out in the open. Even the guys on Twitter who have millions upon millions of followers only have a couple hundred thousand on Facebook. To be fair, lot of what the news/media/world says right now is to keep your stuff on the internet private. It’s a bit weird to just have yourself out there at first, which is something I had to get over when I started setting up PR things for my books. This theory might be completely off mark, but it’s the best one that I have right now. I imagine in time, like my twitter account, the numbers will grow, as they slowly have been.

On a similar note, I’ve found that my personal Facebook has actually been one of the better vehicles for getting news out there (outside of this website). A lot of people I know are really into the fact that I’m writing and they adamantly share the stuff with their friends. It’s great PR and can sometimes have a pretty cool domino effect where a friend of a friend of a friend buys a copy.

The Facebook platform is definitely good for getting out longer messages than I can do on Twitter; especially ones that are a bit more urgent, or short, than what I’d deem necessary to blog about. I can link people to Facebook the page from my Twitter, and it will stay there in a pretty prominent position until I have something else to say. The site is also good at acting as a conduit thorough which people can get to my blog/Goodreads/Twitter/whatever else I’m doing. Facebook has its uses, just far less followers than the Twitter side of things.

I think that’s quite long enough for today, and is much more in the theme of “what I’m doing,” rather than “what you should/shouldn’t do.” And the same as last week, here is my Twitter ( and my Facebook (


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