I introduced myself a few weeks back as an admitted social media nerd. I’ll blog a lot about social media and how it benefits writers especially. Today, we’ll talk about my favorite aspect of social networking: the people!
Many scoff at social media and say “Oh I like talking with real people…” but a lot of these people don’t quite get it. Or they haven’t explored social media enough to know better. I’ve met more “real” people and made more connections through social media than I ever thought possible. Many of the people I’ve met at writers conferences have become close friends because of the magic of social media.
Social media is all what you make of it. To make the most of these connections, try this:
1. Connect online and in person with writers in your area and within the organization.
- OCW is on Facebook and Twitter!
- ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) has a local chapter and national conferences
- Our summer keynoters, James L. Rubart and Cecil Murphy operate/moderate a writers loop – The Writers View 1 & 2
- There are so many more – this list is not even close to exhaustive. Start with a Google search, talk to your library or ask other writers!
2. Follow up.
- After you meet people at a conference, find them on Facebook or Twitter and re-establish that connection.
- If you have connected with someone online, seek them out and talk in person if you’re at the same conference!
- A little legwork goes a long way – but make sure you’re not too persistent.
3. Join in conversations!
- Many conferences live-tweet or have Twitter chats before the conferences. Keep your eyes open for these and join in, even if you can’t make it to that conference!
Writers organizations are an invaluable tool as you work toward the goal of publication. The support network you amass and the new friends you make can last a lifetime. But these connections can now go beyond those yearly or quarterly meetings and conferences.
Using social media to sell books is nice. But that’s not the only benefit. Take these friendships a step further and connect online. This is the true joy of social media.
Question for you: Do you have any fun stories of people you met at a conference or online who really helped your writing career?
Bonus tip – Include your social media profile links (full URL, not just your username) in the signature line of your emails. Make sure your social media icons are visible on your website and even on your business cards!