Using Social Networking for Gain

Facebook, Inc.

My buddy Sherri has done something sort of interesting over on Facebook recently: she created a fan page for herself.

She’s not boasting about her readership or anything, but she took a step toward the day when she does get published and will have fans.  She can use it to promote her books, and generate interest in future projects, etc.  It was an interesting idea, and I wondered if it was a wise move to have one ahead of time.

See, since FB is one of the social network buzz-word sites, I wondered if you could generate fans there by having a fan page.  You might create some interest in what you’re doing, getting the word out about being an artist, writer, creator, whatever.  Generate some pre-emptive interest in you, your writing (for us writers, at least), and maybe pull in some people who might be potential fans if and when we get published.

Trouble is, I don’t know too much about it.  I don’t know how to promote myself on Facebook or anywhere else, and marketing isn’t my forte.  So I haven’t made the step yet.  Heck, I don’t even have a finished manuscript.  (Still editing, remember?  Yeah, I forgot too.)  So I’m not sure I could use it to good effect, even if I could figure out how to create one (or meet the qualifications if any).

Still, I wondered.  And I often wonder about Twitter too.  I know I’m not using that resource to full effect, and I won’t be able to really get into it until I actually have something I want to do with Twitter to promote myself.  I know plenty of authors don’t get into social networking, but we’re talking about people like Stephen King (who doesn’t involve himself in any social networking of any kind).  For little bums like me, I need all the help I can get.  If social networking is a way to generate some buzz – because my blog only goes so far – I probably need to think about it.

What do you think?  Anyone here on FB who’d be willing to “become a fan” on Facebook?  Are you savvy with how to use that for self-promotion, or have you utilized it to get the word to the world about something you’re doing?  And Sherri, how’s that coming along for you?  What can you do so far with your fan page?

Any experiences you have, I’d love to hear.  Thanks!


All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.


18 thoughts on “Using Social Networking for Gain

  1. I do subscribe to a fan page for the band my son was in at one time. It gives me updates on where they are performing and their latest recordings. It sends me reminders more than I go looking for it so I don’t know how helpful it would be prior to a promotional period. I’m interested to see everyone’s take on this one Darc.

    Me too, Jaymie! I probably won’t act on it now, but if it pans out to be a viable promotional tool, that’d be interesting. 🙂

  2. Marta has a fan page for her art, which she actually uses, so you might be better off asking her how useful it is. So far the fan page works the same way as my profile, where I post things to my wall, edit info, and post pictures (when I get around to it). I think the main difference is that it’s set up to be a one-way relationship, where people are fans but there’s no way to reciprocate (like friendships on the regular profile). So I’m not sure how it will work out or if I’ll even use it.

    As far as you getting one, it can’t hurt. I’d be your fan, FWIW.

    Aw! Thanks, sweetie! You’ll always have a fan in me, too. 🙂

  3. I’ll be your fan too. So now you have at least 3. Don’t you have networked blogs, works pretty much the same as that.

    I do use NetworkedBlogs, but I’m wondering if I can promote other stuff with the fan page. 🙂 Thank you, sweet Sara; I’m a fan of yours too. 😀

  4. Great post. I’m interested to read the comments. I have a FB page, but only for friends and family.

    I’m very interested too! 🙂 Shall we be friends on FB?

    However, I use Twitter only for “business.” I do tweet a link to my blog posts and for the most part haven’t seen a big increase in blog hits UNTIL last night. In a little over an hour, I had 23 visitors to my blog! I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Then I opened TweetDeck and found that Quotes4Writers had RT’d a link to my “Cultivating a fiction writer” post and several of her followers had RT’d her post and voila! By dawn this morning I’d had over 70 new blog hits. As a result of this “exposure”, I’ve added new Twitter followers and also new subscribers to my blog.

    I can’t tweet my blog posts when I post them in the future, and I never remember to do it after the fact. Heh. I’d like to try and use Twitter to better advantage, so let me know your secrets!

    Anyway, back to Facebook. I’m wondering if it’s better to start a FB page under the name of the novel I’m querying or to do it under my name.

    I think using your own name is better, just in case the title changes along the way. If it’s all settled, I’d bet a web page with the novel’s name as the URL linked from your own FB page would be good. I’ve seen lots of authors do the web page thing.

    • Linda, I thought about making the URL of my website my book’s title, but now I’m glad I didn’t because the title changed and then that book fell away and a new one came…Your name is forever but book titles change, and then you have to gather all your followers again under the new name. My two cents. 🙂

  5. I think you should try facebook and twitter. Whatever it takes to get your name out there and get people to see your work. You are passionate about it, you need to try and get other people to feel the same passion about your work. Good luck with it man!

    Thanks Bob! I’m already out there on both, just not using them the way I should. There’s a link to my Twitter account here on my blog. Maybe I should put one to my FB page here too. 🙂

  6. I use Twitter primarily for giveaways both on my blog and to promote other bloggers giveaways. I’ll never be famous so I don’t worry about that. I’m not a FB user at all nor MySpace.

    And you use Twitter very effectively, might I add. You might consider FB for more exposure! 🙂

    Did you see that Stephen King has a new book out? I have it coming from and looking forward to reading it.

    I get his newsletter. Sign up at his website if you’re not already! 🙂

  7. Yes, I have a group for my art on Facebook. People who I don’t know have joined it and written to me. It was difficult to have interaction, but facebook recently changed the format and now it is easier to comment. But I have the advantage of having work to sell. I mean, I can say go down to 2nd and see my work on the walls. I don’t have a facebook group for my fiction because I don’t feel ready for that.

    I’m not either. Heck, I don’t even have a finished manuscript yet! 🙂

    Stephen King is already established and could sell phone books. He doesn’t need social networking. We are trying to get in at a different time. If he were starting out today he might well have a Facebook group–and then he’d write a story about Facebook killing people.

    That’d be awesome, actually. And I bet you’re right; if he was a noob, he’d probably HAVE to do the social networking thing to get going. His publisher might even make him do so.

    I still feel I under-utilize the whole thing, but it is useful. And I can post pictures of what I’m working on… I need more time in my life to really make something of it. And it requires a time commitment. All that. Definitely think about it. Make a plan. Have a clear goal. All that usual stuff.

    Time. The one thing I always forget about, despite nearly always running out of it.

    Maybe it would motivate you to write more? Or would it just obsess you with comments and member numbers?

    Knowing me? I’d obsess, probably. 🙂

    Good luck with it! I’ll be fan!

    Well thanks! Is there a link on your FB page to your fan page? I’ll be a fan of yours too! I’ve always loved your artwork.

  8. Okay, I admit, I’m pretty much a Facebook newbie. I’m still trying to get my head around how FB could be used strictly from a business standpoint. I just read this blog post Am I misunderstanding or that in order to open your page to “fans” you’d have to friend them all?

    I don’t think so, Linda. My understanding is the fan pages are for people whose “friends” number will exceed 5K (the limit), so they set up fan pages so it’s more a one-way deal.

    If that’s the case, wouldn’t your “professional” page become clogged with non-professional stuff?

    Nope, I’d only update the fan page with professional information and whatnot. I won’t ditch my personal page.

    [I am only stupid concerning Facebook … honest! :-)]

    Oh, you’re still probably ahead of me.

  9. Just to add (seeing Linda’s comment), I have “fans” in my facebook group who are not on my friend list. I even have one person in the art group who I unfriended. So there you go.

    Good information, thanks Marta!

  10. I would sign on as a fan of yours, but under my real name. My facebook identity is non-anonymous.

    Aw, thank you! I’d welcome you with open arms!

    I’ve never tried to use social networking sites for self-promotion. In fact, I’m usually trying to stay as low-profile as possible to protect my secret identity.

    Oh, that secret identity crisis! They reek, don’t they? 😉 I’m not anonymous there, either, fyi. Hop on over and let’s be friends!

    • I’d love to! Please send me your facebook user name to my e-mail: sparklingredredred at hotmail dot com. Then I shall send you back my name and a friend request.

      Already on it’s way! 🙂

  11. I’m not on facebook, but I have a myspace that I seldom ever use. Ditto Twitter. I just don’t have the time to keep up with everything and if I can’t update it regularly, I don’t want to do it. At the rate I’m going FB will be old school by the time I need to create interest in my work.

    And, if it’s not there, at least you’ll know it wasn’t a necessity for you anyway. 🙂

  12. I am using FaceBook to promote my blog which is very new. I’ve made many new writing and art friends at FaceBook. I recently joined Twitter and My Space to promote my blog also, just not sure quite how to do it without looking like the dreaded SPAM.

    Glad to hear things are working out for you, Weezel! If you’re not doing it already, post your blog on NetworkedBlogs and let your friends sign up and rate it. That’s one way to get some readership, but the promotion you’re doing is better. And let us know what you did and how you did it, so we can follow your example! 🙂

  13. A facebook fan page is a little too early for me, I haven’t done anything to make fans yet.

    Oh, I don’t know, Damyanti. I’ll be your fan if you put one up. 🙂

    But I have two blogs as you know (which I am back on, now), and I recently put up a website. The facebook helps me stay in touch with local writing friends, and will slowly become a tool as I get published. For right now, my only strategy is to write, polish, and send off my work 🙂

    That’s a very good strategy. 🙂

    But if you have a facebook page, you know I’ll be a fan!

    We’re friends there, so I’ll be sure and send you notice should I put one up! 🙂

  14. Facebook is the debil. Yes, with a ‘b.’ Farmville runs a close second.

    And those ridiculous “Send a haunting” or “Send Christmas Cheer” things are awful too. And I feel like such a jerk when I don’t reciprocate. ‘Course, I don’t play any of the “-ville” games, so I can’t speak to those. 🙂

    I have to admit, I miss Twitter. *sniffle*

    And your tweeps miss you, deary.

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