OK, this is for two audiences…all of you readers out there as well as all of your writers.
Social media. What is it? Well, for starters, it’s SOCIAL.
Media is basically everything driven electronically that creates communities: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, Google Plus, Vine, Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Social currency is a term that I learned from a very wise young man from Virginia. My California BFFL, Zach, introduced me to this term and I truly wish that I had coined it (and trademarked it).
Social currency is the total of a person’s outreach using the different forms of social media as well as the POTENTIAL for what could be built. In the writing world, publishers called it the “social platform,” but it is basically the same thing. The key point to remember is that is not just what a person (be it a writer, celebrity, singer, band, etc.) has today, but also how this translates into future potential based on their brand.
In layman’s terms: You, as a reader, choose which people to follow and, therefore, add to their social currency. When you click LIKE or FOLLOW on any of these social media platforms, you are telling the person behind the scenes that they are worthy of YOUR interest. Isn’t that neat? YOU are not just a “fan” but a real person who has a voice. For that, I personally thank each and every one of you who is taking the time to read this blog (and, hopefully, interact with me on social media).
On the other side of the coin is the writer (or musician, celebrity, actor, artist, etc.). We have an unspoken “contract” with our audiences to supply interesting content. New material. Relevant material. Real material. From this perspective, I do try to provide interesting photos, quotations, blogs, reviews, and other material that my readers and followers will (hopefully) enjoy. Just think if Taylor Swift never sang another song or kept promoting her “22” song. At some point, she’s no longer 22 and neither are her listeners.
Which brings me to the issue of promotion. Here is where the “Sarah Price” eye roll comes in:
Why do “writers” create social media platform and do the equivalent of a literary drive-by shooting? And yes, that is MY term that I coined—CA BFFL Zach cannot take credit for this one. 😉
BUY MY BOOK.
MY SERIES IS ON SALE.
BUY MY eBOOK
BUY ME ME ME
I feel as if they are driving around a city, chucking books not just out the car window but AT people on the streets. Every time I see these, I duck so that I do not become injured by the flying object. And, after standing up again, I brush off the dust and simply roll my eyes.
I’m not talking about an announcement regarding a new book or a special price. Hey, writers have to put food on the table, too. But there are authors who put nothing else except BUY BUY BUY…over and over again.
(another eye roll)
Who actually LIKES to see that? Is anyone actually reading these posts? Doesn’t the writer have anything else to write? I guess not because there is very little, if anything, about the “writer” on these particular pages. Just BUY, BUY, BUY.
One of my greatest joys in being a published author is in connecting with my readers. I love to hear from them and to see their posts, not just thrust mine at them. I write my blogs with a purpose, hoping to give something back to the people who have read my books and chosen to follow me on social media. I love to share stories with my readers, photos of my dogs, horses, farms, and even my family (although I do so sparingly). I love to share my blogs, my ideas, and my experiences. Several times my readers and followers have provided me with awesome feedback that I have included into my books!
As for writers, quite often, I receive messages from aspiring authors. They want advice from me which, frankly, is quite humbling and very flattering. While I usually tell them to stay true to themselves, I think I might change that bit of advice to “Open your kimono.” That’s an expression my mother always uses with me. What it means is that you need to let people see inside of your world and get to know you. Share pieces of yourself with your readers (and I don’t just mean sitting on a porch having a cup of tea with your dear sweet husband).
Share your thoughts, your emotions, your pains, and your joys.
After all, social media is meant to be…social.