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Winter Author Blog Challenge – Writing Prompt #3 and Recap of Day 2

So now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty.

I had a feeling this topic of Social Media for Authors would generate some issues, but I wasn’t quite sure what we’d be unearthing. I hope the WABC questions 14participants (a) see/feel value in their participation so far and (b) are willing to stick with it as we delve further into the social media adventure. If you thought Facebook was challenging, hold on to your cyberhats!

Before I tackle a few of the questions that came up in response to the Facebook topic, here’s just another gentler ¡REMINDER! that you MUST post your links to our Mister Linky page for inclusion in the day’s drawing. I see a few people who are posting on FB but not on Mr. Linky. The reason I decided to go this route and am going to stick with this rule is that I’m trying to streamline the process and it’s much more efficent for to look once at Mister Linky than scroll through all the FB comments to see who posted a comment that has a link vs. a comment on a post, etc. I have absolute confidence that you’ll get the hang of it!

QUESTIONS ABOUT FACEBOOK

Day 2’s prompt was about Facebook.

Do you have a Facebook fan page for yourself/your book? How long ago did you start it? Did you do it yourself or have someone help you? Are you seeing lots of new people liking it? What kinds of things do you post? What have you found to be the most effective way to get fans/have people interact? IF YOU DON’T HAVE a Facebook fan page, tell us about the fan page for an author you know or like. Why do you like them and why did you “like” their page? What do you think they are doing well that you would like to model with your own page? Do you have a goal date for creating your own fan page? Be sure to give us the link.

The responses actually raised a few questions about The Social Newtork. I’m obviously not the ultimate authority, but I’ll give my input, for what it’s worth.

Q1: I have a sizeable following on my personal page and a fan page that is tied to the title of my first book. Do I now create a general fan page and start directing people there? What do I do for those I already connect with through either the bConfused 3ook’s page or my personal page? Do you add a new fan page for each book?

Laura’s thoughts: I discussed this precise issue in my post on this topic. I think may early Facebook adopters are dealing with this challenge, and I don’t have a great ansswer. I think the people who have been most successful at this migration of personal friends to specific page fans have been aggressive in the efforts, even going as far as “defriending” anyone who’s not a personal connection in order to maintain their personal page as personal. Others keep chipping away by encouraging people to “like” their fan pages on a regular basis. One thing to do if you plan to maintain both is to make sure to link your personal page to your fan page.

I think maintaining multiple pages for different books is unnecessary, particularly as you can create tabs on your fan page. Why not use one tab for each book? Not to mention that the effort to build fans and create content is duplicated by as many pages as you have.

Q2: Do you find Twitter or Facebook a better platform builder? Which one do you think reaches more readers?

Laura’s thoughts: This is an interesting question. I think that savvier SM users are on multiple platforms, but we all have preferences. I know many people who are on Facebook that don’t Tweet and a few people on Twitter who don’t use Facebook. The thing to keep in mind is that they are different platforms, so they work differently. I liken it to the distinction between the menu at In and Out Burger (Twitter) and the menu at IHOP (Facebook). Although Twitter has expanded to make video and photo posting easy, it still remains a microblogging site ― quick hits of 140 characters. Facebook, on the other hand, allows you to post entire photo albums, you can see the video without having to open an additional window, and your text posts can be seemingly limitless (actually, the limit is 8,000 characters).

Which is better? Depends on who your readers are and which they’re more likely to use. I find Twitter a much better resource for downloading professional info that I use for developing my business skills, and Facebook a better tool for connecting with would-be clients. That’s just my experience, though.

Q3: I can’t figure out how to get some things to post to other pages, I am not always sure if I am duplicating my efforts, and when you throw the idea of having Twitter tweets generated by Facebook posts into the mix, I am completely boggled.

Laura’s thoughts: Facebook has fairly routine snags and snafus, and that may be why certain things won’t post or repost. Sometimes I can’t upload images; other times I can’t share posts onto pages/groups I clearly have authorization to post to. These issues are generally temporary ― if I come back to it minutes (or sometimes hours) later, it’s resolved.

As mentioned above, the audiences for Facebook and Twitter are different, so I’m not absolutely convinced that duplicating every post across all yoru social media streams is the smartest strategy. I have my Twitter feed stream on my blog, and my blog posts feed to both Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn has for some mysterious reason disallowed the automated linking of blogs to personal feeds; you can still add your blog post, but you must now do it manually.

My preferred method for linking my blog to Facebook is through NetworkedBlogs, but depending on your blog platform, there are other ways to do it.

SNIPPETS FROM YOUR POSTS

Ellie Izzo

Sometimes, helping others through this social media venue is not for the faint-hearted. I have had some nasty, hurtful, attacking comments made on my “happy-to-help” posts for all to see. I have had to remove myself from my laptop on many occasions to refrain from defending my post, arguing or fighting back with some of the fans.

So what’s the point of this social media exercise? What do I get out of it? I have learned to thicken my author-skin, take some very raw feedback, push out of my comfort zone, and brace myself for some very tough love in return. I have learned to observe others be reactive to my writing in real time and just let it be. For me, these writing experiences might be better coined as Facebook Anti-Social Media with a silver lining. …some of the best training I have ever had. Read more here.

I love the generosity of spirit to let people respond and just be themselves, even if that means spewing, Doc Ellie! I imagine it helps that you’re in the field you’re in, but I think it demonstrates your grace and wisdom and skill at your work. LO

Justine Dunn

I mostly post links through and seem to get more comments and feedback there than I do on the actual blog. I think people find it a more convenient way to dip in and out of my posts if they’re already cruising their own facebook accounts. I also ‘share’ the flash and micro fiction stories to my own timeline, and in turn, other people seem to do this as well so it’s nice that they are spreading to a wider audience and potentially drawing more traffic to my site. Read more here.

I love that you encourage others to post their own microfiction to your site, Justine! What a great way to encourage interactivity and build a place for fans to hang out! LO

LINKS TO ALL POSTS

Revisit the Mister Linky site to see links to ALL of yesterday’s posts.

TODAY’s WINNER

Rachel Edge has won a a digital copy of the book Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, second edition. Thanks to Kebba Buckley Button for this donation! We’ll email Rachel with info about claiming her prize.

WRITING PROMPTS

Let’s move on to the 3rd writing prompt of the Winter Author Blog Challenge…

twitter

Are you on Twitter? Perhaps more than any of the other social media platforms, Twitter has developed its own language. Tweets. Twitterverse. Rewteet. Are you invested in the lingo? So how do you make a statement in 140 characters? Are you following more people or are more people following you? How do you decide whom to follow? Do you reciprocate and automatically follow back everyone who follows you? What kinds of things do you post? How often do you post? What advice do you have for those who are just getting started? IF YOU’RE NOT USING Twitter, go look at it (twitter.com) and either find your favorite author or put “author” in the search field and look around. What’s your take? Which tweets interest you? What would you post if you did decide to create an account? What’s the likelihood you’ll be following @AuthorBlogChal anytime soon? Be sure to give us the link.

POST YOUR LINKS

In order to qualify for today’s drawing, you MUST post your link on our Linky. Click the image below to access it. In the field that says YOUR NAME, you write your name AND the name of your post (not the title of your blog). In the field that says YOUR URL, include your link to TODAY’s post. Your post will not count for drawings and toward overall winner if you do not add your link to the Linky page. However, we still encourage you to share your posts on the wall for the Author Blog Challenge Facebook group.

As always, we continue to encourage you to read each others’ blogs. Today, make sure you follow each others’ Twitter feeds. The Author Blog Challenge works because you support each other by reading, promoting, sharing, and talking up the great posts you come across from your fellow participants.

Let the blogging continue!

Laura & Marcie

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The Winter Author Blog Challenge is hosted by Laura Orsini and her alter ego, Marcie Brock, of the Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven blog. Please visit Marcie’s blog for loads of great info about low- to no-cost methods of marketing for self-publishing authors.

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