1.       To get noticed. It’s all right if you want to stay unknown as an author, but if you want to get noticed these days, social media is a great way to do it. Getting noticed is important for all types of people not just writers. In the past it was ok for writers to hide away and not talk, not communicate; you were forgiven. These days’ people expect writers to be able to overcome all that. Stand up, get noticed, be strong, the PR people tell us. And they are right, readers want to hear from new writers with new stories. We need new voices!

2.       Social media will allow you to connect with readers, partners, and all the other groups who you work or play with. Social media is a communications tool where you can reach out to groups of varying sizes and send them all a message, as well as sending messages to just one person.

3.       It’s a positive step to take. By taking action on social media you are sending a positive message. There are many groups who will appreciate this positive message. People under 30 – the Net Generation – are mostly on social media already, so whether they are readers or other partners they will be encouraged that you are getting engaged with social media.

4.       It’s good for your well-being to be more open and communicative. In the old days, and for some sections of society this is still true, secrecy and cover up were the order of the day. I agree that many traditional things are good; family, culture and sport are just three, but we have found out, all over the world, that secrecy and cover up can be used by criminals who steal, corrupt political life or abuse children. Being open is symbolic, for me, of a rejection of the people who did those terrible things.

5.       It should be good for your bottom line too. Using social media to increase your readership is a commendable goal. The bottom line is, what’s it all about, for many people. You can measure the impact of social media, click by click, so all the better. To deny that a new communications tool can have an impact on readership would be like a 1914 era writer saying the same about the telephone. The only question should be; how much will you get involved with these tools, not whether you should or not.  

6.       You can build a community of supporters who can help you too. Who doesn’t want supporters? Building a community is vital online. They can be readers, publishing industry people or media types, whoever you need to communicate with.

7.       Develop ideas. Listen to what your communities have to say on social media. You can learn a lot. Listening is key to that. You can find out what people like and dislike, how many have expressed their views on each subject and how you can improve what you do. Listening and developing ideas from analysing the volume of negative and positive mentions, Tweets or other posts on any aspect of what you do will enable you to base your work on real feedback, if you do decide to take ideas on board. And it’s your call on whether you use the feedback you receive.  

This post is an excerpt from our 109 page guide to social media for writers, available free to all our members. Join us today to receive the full guide.

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