#20: Facebook and Twitter – They’re NOT about navel-gazing.

Every author should have a public Facebook page! Sometime in the last couple years, MySpace fell by the side and Facebook became the Place To Be. So let’s get started:

Go there and create your NEW account using your AUTHOR name and AUTHOR email address and make it PUBLIC. Use one of the professional photos you had taken for your profile picture – the same or similar to the one that’s on your website, query and business cards. Don’t worry about a Fan Page until Facebook won’t let you have any more friends. The fans who find you first will be thrilled to be your “friend” as opposed to being your fan. That one degree closer inspires loyalty!

But use discretion: don’t make your home phone or address public. And your location can be generic. Maybe you live in Skokie, but list your hometown as Chicago. That’s probably wise if you live in a relatively small town. (Remember, you can still have a separate and private personal Facebook page using another name and email account. That’s a no-brainer if you are writing under a pen name.)

On your profile’s INFO page, list your website, blog and Twitter addresses. On your profile’s PHOTOS page, upload pictures from author-related events, book cover designs, or anything else “authorly.” Once you have a blog, you’ll use Facebook’s “Networked Blogs” to publicize your latest post and invite all your friends to follow you.

You will be given the option at some point to make your Facebook page address simple and personalized. Do it. Mine is: http://www.facebook.com/KrisTualla

It goes without saying – and yet I am – you will never, ever do something stupid and jeopardize your career by posting compromising photos or vulgar rants or anything of that sort! Be professional at all times. Say nice things about other authors. Share cool sites you found. Invite your friends to weigh in on some subject related to your stories or characters, such as: “When I say Bohemian, you think…

Now you’ll need friends.

There are a billion authors on Facebook, so start by searching for some of your favorites. Look at their lists of friends and ask them to be your friends as well. I am intentionally “friending” women in their 20’s through 60’s because I think they are most likely to want to read my books. You’ll see friend “suggestions” on your Home page. Ask them too, if they fit your desired reader demographic! Your goals are quality as well as quantity!

Update your status as often as you have something of interest to say, but try for every other day. Don’t just update for the sake of updating. Post too many mindless comments and people will begin to hide you from their home page. That totally defeats your purpose.

If you can say something about your writing – all the better: “I wrote 3501 words today!” … “My hero refuses to sit down and shut up. MEN!” … “I just found out how gunpowder was made in the 1600’s – and you do not want to know!” Got it? Okay – on to:

Yes, I know. Could anything be more annoying than constant Tweets about breakfast food decisions or the long line at the bank? But you – as a successful author – will use Twitter differently. You will use it to drive people to your website and active blog. At 120 characters per Tweet, it’s the perfect tease. And it’s easy to use.

Again, search for people who share interests in your genre, your favorite authors or your subject matter. You can do this on Twitter itself, or go to a program such as TweetDeck.com, SearchTwitter.com or Twellow.com. Follow these people, and they will likely follow you back. And again, put your Twitter link on your website, blog and Facebook Info page.

Google and Bing are supposedly searching Twitter for content – meaning that if you Tweet about – oh – Prince Charles, then theoretically anyone Googling “Prince Charles” could see your Tweet. This is good. Any connection you make is good.

Plus Twitter can be linked to your Facebook page so your Tweets appear as status updates! Are you noticing that all theses sites can be linked? Once you have all these accounts in place, go to this little gem:

With this free site, you type your update once, and it sends your post to all your media links at one time.

Staggers the mind, doesn’t it? This is why you need to start now! Learn these programs by poking around in them. Click on buttons to see what they do. Send trial messages to see where they go. No one is paying any attention so your goof-ups are completely anonymous!

Don’t be afraid. Go on – have some fun!

4 Responses to “#20: Facebook and Twitter – They’re NOT about navel-gazing.”

  1. 1 Hans 02/09/2010 at 2:24 PM

    Thank you, very well done, I think about a similar post to my fellow visual artists, many of whom still struggling to use the web or not. You perfectly put together the interesting points, maybe TwitPic service is missing, but the game is changing now again with #buzz 😉 Best regards, Heiner

  2. 3 Donna Hatch 02/10/2010 at 2:54 PM

    How do you search for demographics on Facebook? I haven’t figured that one out yet.

    • 4 kristualla 02/10/2010 at 4:00 PM

      I do it manually. I use the “people you may know” feature and request female friends when they show up. I go through some of my close friends’ friend lists and request. Things like that.

      Sometimes people will message me and say, “How do I know you?” When that happens, I’m honest. I tell them that I’m an aspiring author looking for women who might want to read my books when they’re published. Then I point them to my website and say, “Check me out. If you want to deny me – no worries!”

      I have only had one denial, ever.
      Kris 🙂

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