If I had a dollar for every time a writer’s told me that social media is useless, I could indulge my passion for Dom Pérignon more easily.
That’s a mistake, because…
Your social media following equals MONEY
Your social media following is worth money.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that two writers want the same writing gig: Writer A, who has an aggregated social media following of 2,000, and Writer B, who’s blithely ignoring social media. Writer A will get the gig, because Writer A can get potentially get 2,000 pairs of eyeballs to his content.
2,000 followers are worth money to the hirer: it’s free advertising. These days, even Twitter and Facebook have advertising programs. Facebook is aggressively promoting paid advertising across its network, and deliberately sinking unpaid content. Companies which relied on their Facebook “likes” to appear in people’s streams are forced to pay Facebook for visibility.
Your social media following equals credibility (and money)
Getting back to writers A and B (Writer A being the one with the following.)
Writer A’s written a few ebooks. He now decides he wants to be a hybrid author; that is, traditionally published, as well as self-published. He develops a book proposal and approaches an agent. Writer B approaches the same agent. (Unlikely, I know, but bear with me… :-))
Assuming that Writer A’s proposal is competent, and that there’s a market for his book, the fact that he’s got a social media following won’t induce a publisher to give him a contract. He’d need a few hundred thousand or a million followers for that to occur. However, it will ensure that the acquiring editors the agent approaches will look at his proposal more seriously.
He’s got credibility; he understands something of marketing. An acquiring editor decides that Writer A will probably be easy to work with — because he got that following on his own.
In today’s competitive marketplace, a social media following gives you an edge.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it
If you’ve managed to collect a social media following, no matter how tiny, flaunt it. When you’re sending out queries and proposals, mention it.
No social media following? Get one. It won’t solve all your writing challenges. Only your writing can do that. But if you’re one of these writers who thinks that social media is useless, consider that it might be very useful indeed.
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