Gotta have it if you want to sell books, and I want to sell my books.
Knowing zip about it, outside of Facebook, I attended social media panels at the Killer Nashville mystery convention. I learned a lot, and I highly recommend writers sit in on panels like this; you'll pick up much more than by only reading general articles on the web. Authors, editors, and publishers talk about what they've tried. What worked. What didn't work. And the big thing--the time involved with each media outlet. I listened to one self-published author who rose to bestseller status by writing five hours a day and spending four hours at his various social media platforms. He has four different Facebook accounts, two Twitter accounts, produces a newsletter...and on and on and on.
I admire his achievements, but I can't take that path. I'll give it an hour a day. It's what I'm comfortable with. To me, social media is wonderful and awful in that proverbial one fell swoop. It's great to connect with people and share news of their books and your books, but it is a time-gobbler that will run away with your entire morning if you're not careful. Fortunately, I'm a careful soul.
I've dabbled with different approaches, all recommended either by my lovely publisher or by the authors on those panels I've attended.
I have two Facebook accounts: one is my "author profile" which I don't post to all that often, as I think over-publicizing can bite you. The other is my personal account where I happily display pictures of the dogs that share my life. Most of my friends and fans like the dog pictures. I try to post to Facebook once in the morning and once at lunch...either dog pictures, what I'm fixing for dinner, or progress on my current book.
I have a Twitter account, and I try to post something there every other day.
I have a newsletter...in which I talk about my books, other people's books, recipes, dogs, and I usually offer a contest and give away a Starbucks gift card. My fictional sheriff LOVES GOOD COFFEE, hence the Starbucks.
I guest blog when I'm invited...I've never turned down an invitation.
I don't do Instagram, Pintrest, Google Plus, CafeMom, Gather, Tumblr, or YouTube. Maybe I should. Maybe you should. But right now I'll stick to Facebook, Twitter, and my newsletter.
I'm not as good as I could or should be with social media...and you'll notice with this post that somehow I've managed to put color behind my words and I can't figure out how to get rid of it. URGH.
And 'cause we're talking social media, I would not be doing it right if I didn't include....
Oh, and here is a dog picture. I LOVE POSTING DOG PICTURES.