Social Media, Perils and pitfalls
Got a few lessons in Social Media, perils and pitfalls, from the pros at P-con.
The general feeling is that Facebook is for friends and family. One author thought that author/fan pages were vomit inducing, but others felt they had a place. However, if you have one, you have to keep it active and interesting. If all it says is "Buy my book", no-one will.
You can use author/fan pages to keep fans updated on your work-in-progress, and to ask for help or opinions. "Would you buy your child a story where a 16 year old girl got roaring drunk?" or "Does anyone know where you can get C4 explosives?"
On your general Facebook page, made use of your lists. This means you can sort people into genuine friends who are welcome at anytime, relatives you need to check on occasionally, and people you can't block, but you never want them able to post on your wall.
They all reckoned that Twitter was the useful one for writers.
The biggest sin on Twitter is endless spamming about your book. If you have a new book out, or got a particularly amazing review, it's okay to tweet it, as long as you are tweeting other stuff as well.
If you are starting off on Twitter, follow a few people you like, particularly writers and editors in your genre. You can answer a tweet or join in a conversation at any time, even if they are not following you. If you are polite, funny and helpful, you'll soon get lots of followers.
If you find you are following people who turn out to spam their book/video/work opportunity endlessly, you can unfollow them at any time, and they are not notified.
If you are reading Twitter on your phone, and see a tweet that looks interesting, click favourite, and it will saved for you, so that you can go back later, at your computer and check it out.
Use hashtags (#) in front of anything significant. This will let it show up in searches, so that other people can find it.
Twitter can turn into a timesuck. Turn it off when you are working. You can get programs which will disable the internet for a specified time so you can do your two hours of writing.
Forget Google Plus, Linkedin, Bebo etc.