But how well are these social tools adding to your writing life?
- Are you using them to listen, dialog, and interact?
- Are they helping you to grow?
- Do they add inspiration and excitement?
- Are you reaching people and sharing what you learn?
- Are you noting any benefit from their use?
- How well have they increased your audience and online presence?
It’s a good time for a check-up.
Take advantage of the slowdown that summer brings to your life and see how you can improve your social media use.
Current Usage. Check on how often you use the service. If your last tweet was a month ago and it was a “New Post” notice, then consider putting Twitter aside for the time being. Don’t force yourself to use it. Your followers can tell that your heart isn’t in it. And that’s not what you want to convey.
If your problem is finding time to post on a regular schedule, then consider getting a helper, like Buffer. But don’t think you’re a failure for not being able to juggle all the social media tools that are available. Get rid of them if they are not advancing your writing life. They will still be around when you are ready to use them in a productive and fun way.
Reward Your Followers. Have you done this? If not, think of a way to reward those people who encourage you regularly with their subscriptions and follows. It can be a simple but meaningful shout-out in a tweet or the offer of a free download. Let them know you appreciate their support.
Platform versus Craft. Are you spending more time building your platform than you are practicing your craft? That might be okay if you’ve ignored your platform for too long. If your writing is suffering due to the wonders of conversation and technology that social media offers, then it’s time to crack down on your use. Work up a good balance. Keep to a schedule by using a to-do list, like Todoist or TaskToy, and stick to it.
Research New People to Follow. Published authors, agents, and publishing companies are all active in social media. They offer their unique insight and inside information on the writing life. Update your current list of follows with a few new faces.
Add a Service. Increase your use if your current schedule will allow it. Social media are tools for writers, and using them in a healthy and productive way will enhance your writing life. Just don’t take on more than you can handle.
Take Advantage of Features. Use the Help section of the social media you use to find features you may have missed. Twitter embeds, blog posts on LinkedIn, scheduling Facebook updates in advance — dig in and find more ways to put the service to use.
Update Your Blog. Your most important social media tool is your blog. So give it a facelift this summer. Change the background color. Review your content. Add images. Create a new header. Make your blog stand out as your main spot, an attractive and engaging site for your social media followers to end their trail.
That’s a checklist of what I have planned. What about you? Take time to check up on your use of social media and see if it’s in line with your writing goals.
When will you find time this summer to check up on your social media use?