You, Social Networking on Twitter and Facebook, and Money

How much money should you spend using social media?

Social media can be a leech, in terms of time needed, to get “seen” by the people who matter most to you, your readers.  Living a Life of writing has been around as a blog or website since 2008, but I’ve only been active on two major social networking sites: Twitter and Facebook in the past year.


There are a few things I’ve learned about Twitter and Facebook which have challenged how I look at my own writing.  Some people have said that getting the people to read your blog is easier than getting Twitter followers or Facebook likes, and would agree.  Part of what makes social media so hard is that it is a different medium than most people are used to.


In some cases, there is the small factor of money, there are a lot of people on Twitter who love to promote this “get X number of Twitter followers for only Y number of dollars” and you will follow hundreds of people.  There are other who promote their Facebook author page, but don’t interact with comments or the even update their pages.


How much money should you spend if you are going to do this?


Ideally, none.  In an ideal world, you would have enough people who will talk about your books or you as an author you don’t need to tell others about it.  Ideal worlds do not happen.  This is the real world.


What you should spend is up to you, if you can get people who are genuinely interested in your book, and in what you do to earn money through your writing should follow some simple rules:


1) Twitter and Facebook all have unspoken etiquette rules, one of them is be human.

There is a reason people follow, and like a person because they have something to share and to say.  The more human you are, the more likely people will follow a link you suggest.


Being human means being a brand or a person who gives a style or a type of communication people want and need.  It’s part of a plan, but it’s like a blog, or starting to write a book- there is always something to talk about and to build with people.


Following this unspoken rules is much like book and blogs, the more human and approachable you are the better- aim for the top.  Remember these are unspoken and often it’s more likely in a general format on their TOS than anywhere else.

2) Target whom you like and Follow, and use common sense.


It never fails to amaze me the people who follow “high profile” people who are constantly asking them about their lives/or what it takes to be an author.  I think the best thing is to ask a question, and let it be.  Also, observe what/ who you believe are successful on social media and see what they do and what they offer.


Some authors are on Twitter and they have things to say, and people to converse with, being polite is always a good idea.  It’s respect and over time this helps with connections and how people see your writing.  It’s always best not to harass an author to get more exposure- you most likely won’t get the kind you want.


3) Twitter and Facebook don’t earn you money.  They are tools to get to where you want to go.


You have to get people to come to your blog, and you have to make your blog interesting to them.   You market you, and you help others do the same.  It’s one thing to have something to say, it’s another to be out there pushing products to all.


Spending your money on Facebook is okay- if you have an end game planned- for your business.  Otherwise, you will lose more than you think.  In fact, Facebook ads are pushed hard if you have a Facebook author page or the like.  Go on and see how many people have Facebook pages, and then you will understand.


4) Be unique, but plan it out where and how you will spend money on social media.


A lot of the time, people hear things by word of mouth, and then choose to spend their money.  When I wrote my book I didn’t have much of a plan in terms of the power of networking, otherwise I believe I would work with Facebook or Twitter a lot sooner.  Although social networking is hard work when you don’t have the foundation right away.  It’s all about communication.

The connections I’ve gained with people are of value, and these are the people who spread the “word” of my writing.  Not me.

How much money should you spend?  Personally, it depends, everything needs to be marketed to the right people, and family and friends generally won’t help in this department, but encouraging others to work with you will save money in the long term.  Spend no more than how much you can afford, or as much as it will cost to pay it back.