Using Social Networking to Promote Your Work

Social Networking for Authors By Judith Ceja

The popularity of social networking sites has exploded.  They are no longer used just for keeping tabs on your friends; social networking sites are increasingly being used by businesses to expand their customer base.  Writers can use these sites to successfully promote themselves and their work if they follow a few common sense rules.

Rule #1: Choose a couple sites to promote you work. Focus on one or two sites at first.

In an eagerness to promote their work quickly, writers may be inclined to join as many sites as possible.  This is a critical mistake because the amount of social networking sites number too many to count. is the obvious leader, so this should consider this as a first option. Other clear favorites are MySpace and LinkedIn. Other top social networking sites include,,,,,,,, Yahoo! 360° (a.k.a Yahoo! Days) ,, ,

Using social networking sites effectively requires some patience.  It is imperative to select a few sites so you have the time to make posts without impeding the time you need to write.  The goal is to reach readers that are interested in the topics you write about.  Furthermore, start out by being purely social.  The key is to get people interested in you personally.  As a result, people will then naturally be interested in what you are writing.  If you start out by promoting your work to the masses, you will start to look like a spammer and you know how everyone hates spam mail!  There must be a balance between personal information and self promotion.

Rule #2: Create a business page.

The first thing an author promoting a book can do is to create a Page for your business. I will focus on Facebook as an example as this is my first choice. For those of you who already have a personal Facebook profile, you should have no issues. If you are new to this, there are step-by-step form pages to easily create a Business Page on Facebook.

Rule #3: Keep it professional.

Another mistake people make when using social networking sites is that they share too much with the wrong people.  It may be funny to talk about how blitzed you got at last night’s dinner party with your friends; however, this information is being shared with any person you have “friended,” including colleagues.  Additionally, any comments your friends post can be read by your colleagues too.  So while it may be a good idea to “friend” your editor and colleagues to promote your work, you might not want him to read about your weekend antics.  Always be cognizant that everyone you have “friended” can view your posts.

A good rule of thumb is to always be professional when posting.  People have made the mistake of commenting in anger to posts about their work, costly them dearly in their professional life.  Above all else, remember that not everyone is going to think every article you write is golden.  You can simply ignore these posts and not reply to them.  Developing a thick skin to weather negative comments can take you far in your professional pursuits.

Rule #4 Join Groups and Forums

Join groups and forums with people who share your interest. If you are a romance writer, there are forums and groups of people who share your interests. Make comments in these forums and discuss what you are doing. Contribute to the community.

Rule #5: Help you community. People return the favor.

Keep in mind that utilizing social networking effectively relies on helping other writers too.  If you read an article you like, post a review on your social networking sites.  This is a great way to get other writers to help you promote your own work.  This is a win-win situation because everyone’s reader base increases.

Rule #6: Don’t market aggressively

If you are too aggressive in your marketing, people will notice and will likely get turned off. As a user of Facebook, I immediately notice when someone is just trying to promote something and isn’t interested in being a friend. These people will get the “Ignore” option selected and I will tune them out.

Rule #7: Try to become an authority in your area.

What people want to find are others who are knowledgeable in the area that they are interested in. If you can contribute to an active discussion and have valuable insights, people will naturally come to your page or blog.


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