This was probably one of the most helpful panels of the whole Backspace conference. I have pages and pages of notes. The panel consisted of Colleen Lindsay, Lauren Cerand, and Dan Blank- all extremely knowledgeable and helpful publishing professionals. Here are more than a couple of awesome things they said:
BUILDING YOUR BRAND:
1) The first sin is being boring or self-servicing. Don’t be one of those writers who only tweets/blogs about how to buy your book!
2) Have a website with and integrated blog- don’t have two seperate sites.
3) Pick one other platform and use it well. (If I were totally cool, I would announce a twitter account here, but I really don’t have time to use it properly so it won’t be happening until after Shakes this summer)
DEVELOPING A VOICE:
1) Talk the way you converse
2) Build a different voice for different platforms
3) Be mindful of the voice you’re projecting- Who are you talking to? Other authors or your possible audience? (For me, those are two very separate groups!)
4) Have an engaging mix- don’t be too formulaic!
5) How polarizing do you want to be? – you will say some things that upset people! Who are you upsetting and by how much?
6) Be personABLE rather than personal.
7) Create what works for you- don’t follow somebody else’s road to success. If it doesn’t exist, make it exist.
8) Have google alerts set for your name (done!)
The real value is in the depth of connection.
Social media is a tool for listening and conversation.
Learn what you should be doing NOT from what you think but from what people tell you!
Don’t mention/show pictures of people without a public persona.
If you hit “publish,” pretend you’re putting it on a Jumbo-tron for all the world to see!
Social Media is a conversation- everything you say should be adding value to that conversation.
Whatever you put online is your legacy. It will never ever go away. How do you want to be remembered?
Don’t write anything your higher-ups don’t want you to.
Post as if everybody who reads it can follow you.
Don’t send a direct follow message on Twitter- it is creepy.
Balance your time! Online stuff can never take precedence over your book! (There are programs/sites that kick you off the internet after a certain amount of time!)
Again- Social media is for connecting
Don’t spread yourself too thin.
1) Care. About your readers. About what they’re saying. If you don’t care, it’ll show through.
2) You can try things, not like them, and stop them! Like twitter or even a blog or a tumblr. You are not married to whatever social media outlet you choose.
3) Have fun! And be the best version of yourself.
Like I said, this panel was incredible.
If you are a writer, you should totally check out www.bookcountry.com– Colleen Lindsay’s site where fiction writers can connect. For free! I’ll probably do a few more Backspace articles. And in the vein of listening and all that, what’s your favorite bit of social media advice?