Saturday, August 27, 2011

The World of FOLLOWship. . .

Hello Fans:

It's been a long drawn out week and the vacation dust has cleared and the back-to-reality droplets have settled.  I'm not feeling the best, but it is what it is.

In order to deal with the world today, you must be seen, you must belong and you must stand out.  And how does one go about doing that today?  Well. . .it's all about the social networking or social media, and personally, it has helped me in many ways, and it can be a damn headache in others.

For one thing, you have to work harder at promoting yourself than ever before.  Of course, if you're already famous, the social media is just another step in helping to build even more fans, but for the indie author holding his/her own, it's not so simple.

What I find to be most interesting is that when I began to promote myself, of course, Facebook was the first place I chose to join.  I then reached out to Twitter.  I must say, I hated Twitter at first, because it just didn't make much sense, and I'm amazed at how many people tweet per day.  In fact, when I check recent updates, it appears as though some people never leave their Tweet post.  What I would love to know is how many of those tweets actually turn into sales?  Or possible hits to the sites they are endorsing?

Facebook has great tools for advertisements, as well as Twitter, but the problem is, getting people interested in what it is you're selling.  You may check some people's statuses, and they have hundreds, if not thousands, of friends and followers.  It causes one to have a pregnant pause and wonder?  Just what the hell does all of this mean, and how do I turn myself into a personal dynasty?

If you think I've got the perfect answers for you, guess again, because I'm still trying to master the social networking scene myself.  What I have found is that there are many people who have lots and lots of time on their hands and not everyone works a 9 to 5, because there's just no way that many tweets can be posted if everyone on Twitter had some kind of life?  Or, if some of these individuals do have a 9 to 5, they aren't too concerned with their job, if they can tweet and facebook all day long.  My only thought to that is, God love ya, wish I had the time to do it, but the fact of the matter is, I don't, and more importantly, even if I had the time, I don't believe I'd want to spend it all on a social network site.

I've heard the pros and cons to social media and how it can help jet bolt your career and I've seen the lows of what can happen as well.  It's all about the marketing and your time.  For me, in the beginning, I used to spend about every single moment I had on Facebook.  I was a junkie when it came to Facebook.  It was wonderful to find almost all my childhood friends that I wanted to see again, and that was wonderful.  Many of my friends kept telling me you need to get on Facebook.  For the longest time, I just wouldn't do it, but I realized if I wanted to let others know what it is I do, that's the fastest way to go.  I have to say it did pay off, but I also realized promoting myself wasn't going to be an easy task.

What astounded me is that I joined Facebook and Twitter at the same time, but stuck with FB because I found it easier to navigate.  It wasn't until this past spring that I decided to give Twitter another try, and I'm happy to say I did.  I have more followers on Twitter than I do on my Facebook fan page, and I just started my account back up, so go figure?

It's hard to get people interested in what you do.  I don't know what makes some want to follow you and others not so much, but I guess that's pretty much with anything.  There are things I like and things I don't like, and everyone deals with that.   When you see how much time social networking takes, you have to make some tough decisions.  I always stay in touch with my fans, as often as I can, and I make it a point to respond to every email I receive regarding my books, but I have put myself on a limit.  I check FB about once a day now, and answer emails, chat with a few people, and I move on.  The most I stay on there is about 30 minutes, if that anymore.  For Twitter, I do the same. 

Moral to the Story:  Lesson #1:  I found that updating your status every second of the day isn't going to get you more fans or followers, it just depends on if the audience is interested in what you are selling?  If they aren't, you can tweet and update your status until the cows come home and there isn't going to be one more fan or follower on your page.  Lesson #2:  Don't sit there waiting on these fans and followers to fall from the sky.  Checking your follower status every minute of the day isn't going to make another person begin to follow you. 

Bottom line, folks, you have to decide what you are willing to do.  For three years, I had five faithful followers of this very blog, and it wasn't until this year, that I have a few over seventy-five.  Like I told you, being a writer isn't easy, and being an independent author is extremely hard.  You are the cheerleader, marketer and promoter and it's hard, hard, hard!  Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.  Remember, find what works for you, and try to build from there.  Keep accurate notes on what works and what doesn't.  You don't want to waste your precious time on ideas that go nowhere~~trust me, I've been there and done that, and it's not worth it.  Spend time on perfecting your writing, you'll have a better time with that.

Until next weekend, Write ON! Writers. . . 

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/International Poet
Silent Knight Website:  http://www.70silentknight.com
Write ON! Website:  http://www.kimberlyraneehicks.biz
Email: mellojune@kimberlyraneehicks.com
Email: kiwes01@gmail.com
http://mellojune.blogspot.com