Thursday, June 21, 2012

Social media and time

I've been doing some research on social media lately and how to use it to my advantage without giving up too much more of my free time. I already put a lot of time into my blog and connecting with people through here. For me, this has been the most effective tool in making connections.

I have a Facebook account, but it's my personal account. I check it twice, maybe three times a day. It's mostly for keeping in contact with friends and family, and bragging about my kid. I'm planning to make one specifically for Christine Rains the Writer. I haven't decided if it's best to create a fan page or open a new account for this purpose. Have any of you had the experience of both? And if so, what's your preference? If you use Facebook at all, how often do you check fan pages as compared to accounts?

I don't have a Twitter account. I'm going to start one when I open the new Facebook account. I was never a fan of Twitter, but I do admit that it has a large following and it would be beneficial for me. I've read in a few places that for Twitter to be an effective marketing tool, you have to tweet at least 25 times a day, but no more than 35 or else people will get annoyed. That's a lot. I don't have the time to do it either. For those of you that use Twitter, have you found it helpful in marketing yourself?

I have LinkedIn and Google+ accounts, but I rarely use them. I really like Goodreads, but I haven't done any promoting on there. I just like seeing what people are reading and their reviews. I have no interest in MySpace. My husband suggested Digg (a social news website). He works with marketing at his company and Digg is growing.

Even if I signed up with various sites, I don't have the time to maintain them. I considered a social media management site like Hootsuite. I'm afraid that it might make it all more complicated. Does anyone use any type of social media management systems? If you do, what has your experience been like?

I realize it's important to get your name out there. There are a lot of opportunities to do so on the internet, but it takes time. Time that I don't have. Time I should be writing. And the most important thing I need to be doing as a writer is writing.

I'd also like to give a big thank you to Tara Tyler for awarding me the One Lovely Blog Award. She passed it on in such a clever way too!


  1. I have a personal Facebook page as well as a fan page for my writer self. I'm never on FB for any stretch of time so I usually end up checking both at the same time. Log into one and then the other.

    I have a twitter feed but I definitely don't tweet 25 times a day. Unless I'm stuck at my day job and insane things are happening. Then I just can't help myself.

  2. I think it's important not to get carried away with statistics when you're thinking about social media. The only time I would even think about tweeting 25 times a day is if I am in a conversation with someone. I don't have have 25 things a day to say other wise LOL!

    I have a Facebook account for personal use, and also one for writing, and a fan page. I don't feel that the fan page is entirely necessary, but the account to connect with other writers is great.

  3. I also have a lot of social networks, but I mainly use blogger and twitter and let my tweets auto post to the other sites. And you know what? Almost no one uses the other sites as their main ones. :-)

  4. I just joined Twitter yesterday - I'm completely lost!

    I think the best way to use any social media is to focus on the ones that you think are best for you. If you tried to keep up with them all, you'd never have any time for writing.

  5. sounds like you have a lot of decisions to make. i never heard of digg before. I hardly check my FB account and when i did i NEVER checked out fan pages ... in fact i would "hide" updates from fan pages because i only wanted to see friend updates. I do tweet. I'm inconsistent tho and I don't go on and read everyone's tweets every day. so...but i have to say i've stumbled upon many different links/people via twitter. Lastly, I use linkedin for work. and believe it or not i've managed to sell some ads through my linkedin post. so i do find it kinda effective. good luck with your decision!

  6. I'm not on Facebook so have no idea. I do know someone who uses Hootsuite and swears by it. Like you, I think blogging is the most effective.

  7. my fb is mostly personal, too. but you can be my friend if you want (tara robinson)
    i figure when i launch a book, i will set up an author page and tell all you guys to "like" me =) i mean ask...ha!

    and thanks for the shout out!

  8. i have a fb and use it almost daily--no twitter yet!

  9. I have a personal Facebook account, which I rarely use due to my nosy in-laws, and a Twitter account. I love Twitter, but I do agree with what you said about it taking up a lot of time. I used it quite often for a while, but now my favorite way of connecting with others is through my blog.

  10. I am in the same boat as you! I know how much social media is effective at helping a writer get their name out there but it takes up a lot of time. Some things can really take a lot of time. I am wondering what ones are worth the investment I enjoy blogging the most so that is what I spend the most time on, but I also have twitter, facebook, and goodreads.


  11. The good thing about a Facebook fan page is that there is no limit on how many people can "like" it. You can only have so many friends (5,000) on your personal account. The bad thing about Facebook fan pages is if you do get a lot of people liking your page, Facebook is making it harder for those people to see your posts without paying for that coverage.

    Twitter is great to spread the word. It's fast-paced, but I do like to pop in there and just see what's going on. Hashtags (#) can really help out, though. When Defying Gravity went free the first time, I used hashtags to spread the word, had people retweet the statuses, and scheduled my posts with Hootsuite, so I didn't have to be at the computer to tweet. You can also link your blog to Twitter and Facebook via Networked Blogs and have a link pop up on both sites.

    I haven't done much with Google+ and LinkedIn.

    If you are short on time, I do recommend Hootsuite to schedule statuses in advanced or TweetDeck to mark hashtag places or specific things you want to follow. They can cut down the time actually on their sites a lot.

    That said, I think I've made more real connections through blogging than any of the other social medias out there.

  12. I have a Facebook page for me as a writer, but I don't post nearly enough to it, so I only have a handful of followers (and most of them are hoping for more Sherlock fan fiction). I am active on Twitter, though. It's definitely a good place to connect with other [indie] authors and follow industry trends and such. I don't know how helpful it will be when I self-pub this novella, but I guess I'll find out!

  13. I have all of these accounts, but really have no idea what I am doing with them. I have not figured out the purpose of twitter or goggle connect. seems blogger insisted I have a google friend connect to allow me to use blogger for free. Every time I try to figure this social media stuff out it turns into a time I bag. ignorance is bliss.

  14. I just joined the "Tweeter" as my dad calls it - a few months ago. I actually like it. It's quite easy to get used to and I don't use it for only book stuff or that could get annoying. I use it for "I went rain dancing last night" or "I tripped up my stairs" so people also get to know me as a person.

    I don't have a Facebook for my writing, but I've heard that Facebook is blocking some posts if you have over so many followers. It sounds like a pain.

    I am interested in Goodreads, but I don't really know much about it.

    Good luck with everything! :) I don't think you need all of them, that would be too much to handle.

  15. I lean toward blogging, though I use Tweet Deck to manage Twitter accounts at work. It's great. You can also pre-schedule tweets just like blog entries. But I'm not on Twitter for writing...I just don't have the time to keep up with it like I'd need to.

  16. Thank you all for answering my questions. You're so helpful! :) I've felt a lot of pressure to use more social media lately, but it seems that most people just stick to a few. A few I can handle.

  17. I have reg'lar FB & FB fan. FB fan is hard to follow. So, I ended up friending everyone stopping by to like. Some people might not want to be friends, but I would suggest having both for your writer reasons. I post to FB, but don't check it very often. Maybe 1-2x a week. I'm a terrible FB friend.

    Twitter I love. It's not about how many times your tweet, it's about what you tweet. Talk to people personally, and RT people. That's an effective way to connect. What I like best about Twitter is the search. When you start publishing, you can search for book or movie titles simillar to your story, then start conversations with those who tweeted about it.

    Twitter brings traffic to the blogs I think. I use Triberr for that. But like any social media, you can't just squawk at people. You have to engage.

    LinkedIn, I'm there but don't really use it. I'm not very involved with Goodreads either, but if you're publishing you should be there.

    I don't use Digg. Pinterest is hot right now. More popular with women.

    I tried stumbleupon, but didn't stick with it. I'm on YouTube solely for loading video for the website when needed. I think that's it.

    When you start to publish, readers will want to connect in different ways and it's good to give them options. As to how involved with each media, pick a few you like and really learn to use them.

    I love blogs & Twitter. I'm getting better at FB & spend about the same amount of time on Pinterest. I basically just post my stuff up everywhere but blogs & Twitter. On those, I'm more social. OK, this is longer than I inteded. Hope it helps.

  18. I like Twitter. Maybe it speaks to current attention spans that the brevity involved in the site makes it so popular. That's the case for me. Nice to meet you! I'm a new follower


  19. I don't do anything except blog--and occasionally update what books I've read on Shelfari and subscribe to channels on YouTube.

    Good luck finding a system that works for you!

  20. I signed up for Twitter back when I was still writing articles, but as it turned out, I preferred to use it for other purposes, so it's really just my personal account. I have a second account that's for tweeting about pets that need help.

    Hootsuite is useful because it allows users to access more than one Twitter account without logging out and logging back in.

  21. Hey Christine!
    I am not a tweeter – I tried it and was fascinated for a month before I realized there was just way too much going on there with hardly anybody paying any attention to anything anybody else was saying. For a while I tweeted and Facebooked with equal intensity and my blog stats consistently showed more hits from FB. Besides, I like the fact that you can post photos and say more than just a few words.

  22. Thank you all so much! This has been a big help. I have my fan page up on Facebook now. It's bare bones, but I'll get it filled up.

    Here's the URL:

  23. Sometimes I think I'm on too many platforms, especially when I spend so much time maintaining them. I joined both Hootsuit and Tweetdeck, but I just haven't had the time to spend time and get really familiar with them. I will have to check out Digg. For me, I tend to focus on blog, twitter, pinterest, google+ and stumbleupon:)

  24. I late in reading blogs, been busy this week. If you Twitter, definitely try HootSuite. It lets me post one update to two Twitter accounts, my FB fan page, my personal FB page and LinkedIn (and you can check which you want it to go to). Plus you can schedule tweets in advance. Between that and Buffer (allows me to preschedule posts to Twitter, my FB fan page and LinkedIn). You find a page with a good article or a blog you like, send it to Buffer and you're done!

  25. Thanks! I'm slowly getting the hang of Twitter. I can reply and retweet. I think those are the important things!