Well folks, I bit the bullet and finally started my Pinterest author account. I'd been debating it for almost a year now, ever since I returned from the Digital World Books conference in New York last January, where I learned that other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Goodreads, were much more effective in gaining new fans and readers. Alas, Pinterest remained in my thoughts, and as I saw other authors using it, I decided it was time to join. And I'm happy to say that I now see a place for Pinterest in my future.
As with any social media platform, it's been my experience that you need to get in there and mess around in order to really understand the practical purpose of each site. Here's a basic rundown of what I use social media for, showing how I have a unique intention for each platform.
Facebook: tell personal stories to engage with friends, family, and fans
Twitter: share self-publishing industry news with like-minded people
Instagram: share photos of things I find interesting and funny
Blog: talk about my experiences and lessons learned as a self-published author
Tumblr: syndicate my blog, post my Instagram photos, and be inspired by other visual blogs
LinkedIn: build my professional network as a freelance editor, join discussion groups
Goodreads: share book reviews and engage with other readers about books
Shelfari: share book reviews and engage with other readers about books
Google+: connect with other self-published writers and indie publishers, join discussion groups
....and now, introducing
Pinterest: share photos that help visualize my novel, and share my favorite books and book cover designs
I'll be honest with you, I didn't plan on being active on so many different social media sites. It kind of happened organically as I learned about where readers were spending their time learning about books, and I wanted to put myself in front of those readers. Plus, I gained from being on these sites, too. Both Twitter and Facebook have let me know about cool events happening in my area, like the Square meeting for Ottawa business start-ups, and LinkedIn has allowed me to follow some interesting discussion groups on publishing. Plus, I found my editor on Twitter!
At the very least, I think all authors should engage with readers and industry folks on a few different social media platforms, and spend at least fifteen minutes each day interacting with people. There's no sense setting up an account and forgetting about it--it's not called "social" media for nothing. Plus, for all you writers out there working home alone, you might just find that you really enjoy the company!
Keep writing and enjoy all your "posting", "sharing", favoriting", and "tweeting"!
Stacey D. Atkinson is the author of the newly released novel Stuck, which she published via her independent company Mirror Image Publishing.