Thursday, January 29, 2015
Social Media thoughts by Terry Burns
It caused me to think.
I just got an endorsement on Linked In from someone I don't know on some sort of thing that I don't really do. That amazes me.
I get a lot of friend requests, more than I can have without going over the limit so I don't accept them all. I accept the ones I know or sometimes people I know are writers and who have a large number of contacts in common because I know that will expand my own contacts. That means the ones I don't accept get counted as 'followers' and it's good to have a nice size number of followers too.
I keep getting added to groups and other sites. I get out of such groups immediately. I'm funny that way. I like to control the number of things that I'm in and groups that I follow and if I want to be in a new one I will join it myself. I'm still having trouble believing Facebook allows people to put us in a group without our permission. Getting an invitation to join something is one thing but just being put in is something else.
I don't play games. I'm sure it would be fun but I just don't have the time. But my Facebook wall is clogged with game invitations. I think if you start getting too much on a particular one that you can go stop that but there are a lot of them. I do stop one occasionally.
Social media can waste a huge amount of time. It is addictive and we really have to be careful how we budget the time we spend on it. My computer is on and by my side 14 or 15 hours a day and if I'm not by it my email and Facebook is on my phone. I see a lot that is going on even if I'm not participating. But most of my business is done by email so constant monitoring is a must.
Still, even though I fuss about some of these things social media can be very valuable for writers and even for us lowly agents. One of the greatest things a writer needs is name identification . . . visibility, and social media is critical for selling books and social media can be a valuable tool in accomplishing that. I have contact with family, friends and school-mates that I had virtually lost contact with them. As long as it is not overdone that is very nice.
Writing can be a very solitary pursuit, often the families of writers do not understand. Social media can help with this problem, can provide contact with people who DO understand and get feedback and information when needed. I have a mandatory private group of my clients, where they can choose to be an active member or just receive priority messages when I want to send something to all clients at once. Most choose to participate, and the ones that do have become a very tight group, a family, and they have turned out to be a group of prayer warriors for one another.
So it has its little nuisances, but social media is much more help than hurt. For me it is a necessity.