Friday, December 17, 2010

Facebook - Pitfalls and Benefits

I've been on Facebook for about two years. In the beginning, I had no idea what to do with it, what the benefits were. But once old friends started finding me, I realized I loved it! For me, right now, Facebook is just about connecting with old friends and keeping in touch with family who don't live nearby.

Here's a sort of Beginner's Guide to Facebook that's helpful, talking about the basics. The only thing I personally disagree with is making the profile THAT public. Mine's quite private - and very selective. I only accept friends/relatives I actually know.

In terms of promoting our writing, I think Facebook can also become a useful tool. I have a few author friends on Facebook, and it's interesting to see their writing-related posts. But -- I would caution -- if you use Facebook solely as a marketing tool on your personal Facebook page, your friends/family will quickly grow tired of all those book-related statuses. After awhile, it can seem like you're using Facebook solely to promote a novel, and friends/family can see right through that. It can start to seem like you're a salesman/woman, peddling your wares, and soon, friends will ignore your posts altogether. So, I suggest a nice mix - keep things personal, and sprinkle news about your book hither and yon.

I joined Facebook for personal reasons - connecting with old friends. But, sure, I do post occasionally about my writing, getting an agent (and hopefully, if I get published, I'll post about that too). Writing is a part of my life, so why be timid about sharing it? But - I work hard at not boring my friends with too many writing posts. I save those for this blog. ;-)

If I ever decide to get serious about "promoting" my work on Facebook (again, assuming I might one day be published), I think I'll create a separate page, like an "author" page, that's more public, with the sole purpose of promoting the work. I don't ever want to "use" my personal Facebook page to drive my friends/family crazy with pushing my novel (not that I won't give them occasional updates and such -- I've found that when I do post about my writing, they're incredibly supportive, which is lovely).

So, as with any new toy/tool, use it wisely, use it carefully, and always ask yourself how others will perceive you. I think that's a great barometer for figuring out how to present yourself in this age of Social Media.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. I use Facebook to reconnect with old friends and invariably someone will bring up my book(s) and a reaction they have had to it. But I do send my daily blog topics to Facebook and make a lot of personal comments on Facebook just to use it for social reasons. The more people get to know you, I find, they spread the word about your book(s) and it helps with sales.