How writers can use social media

This journey to become a better writer is taking me places I’ve not wanted to travel.

Like into the world of social media.

Normally my leisure time includes conversing with people I know — family and friends, in person, on the phone, or via email. My personal blog, which I wrote for two years, was not open to search engines. Only in my nightmares did strangers read my writing.

So here I am today laughing at myself as I create accounts with Twitter and Facebook and connect them with my writing mission. My leisure time is about to include communicating with people whose faces I may never see.

Social media — technology that turns strangers into “friends” — cannot be ignored by writers. I read a 2009 study by trend watcher The Nielsen Company and found these statistics:

  • There were “87 percent more online social media users that year than in 2003, with 883 percent more time devoted to those sites.”
  • During the prior year, “time spent on social networking sites had surged 73 percent.”
  • In early 2009, “social network usage exceeded Web-based e-mail usage for the first time.”

(Source: “Online Engagement Deepens as Social Media and Video Sites Reshape the Internet, Nielsen Reports,” April 22, 2009, Nielsen.)

But just how useful are these tools for writers? That’s something I aim to find out as part of my mission. It’s a fast-tech world and if Twitter and Facebook will help spread my “strive for excellence” mantra to other writers, then I’m willing to give social media a try.

If you’re still reluctant to step into this world, there’s no need to worry: I’m going to do the dreaded work for you.

The result of this will be a series of posts that give an overview on how to use social networks and other media plus report on my experience.  If you’re already a social media pro, then share my posts with someone who isn’t. And be sure to “follow” me on Twitter and “like” me on Facebook—wait. Are those the correct terms?

As you can tell, I have a lot to learn. Join me! Visit my Subscription page to find ways to stay connected with Darla Writes.

Question: How have you used social media as a writer? If you haven’t, why not?


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