I’m participating in a Blogging 201 online workshop with WordPress. If you have a WordPress blog, these online workshops on Writing, Blogging, and Photography are free and truly valuable. I recommend trying one out and see if you like it.
The latest Blogging 201 prompt on Social Media was particularly helpful. I have Facebook and Twitter and Linked In, but I’d also heard about Pinterest and Instagram and had no idea whether they would be useful. I knew Pinterest had to do with photos, scrap-booking sorts of things, but that was about it. And that’s not what I do.
Here’s what Michelle W. at WordPress wrote and which I found very helpful:
Each network has different strengths. Facebook and Instagram are good for parenting, lifestyle, and personal blogs. Twitter is more technically-inclined and useful for pop culture and current events/political blogs, while Pinterest is great for blogs [with] lots of images, like food, fashion, and craft blogs. LinkedIn is ideal if you blog for business.
I did my research: Instagram is there to “share the world’s moments…” and seems to be more about photos than the kinds of blogging I do, and I have Facebook, so will pass on Instagram. But those of you who do photo blogs regularly might find it useful. A nice touch is the ability to fine tune your photos on the site rather than fiddling with them on another program and then uploading.
As a general rule, I don’t send my blog posts to Linked In. I have, however, taken advantage of the new feature in Linked In to write posts with a business/training focus with tips on writing. Those have had good readership.
As a general rule, I’ve also avoided sending blog posts to Twitter. However, from time to time I write a more current and politically focused post. Having the above information gives me permission, if you will, to post them on Twitter.
Many of us use Facebook and I appreciate seeing other writers’ posts there. An interesting tidbit I picked up from Jane Friedman: Helping Writers and Publishers Flourish in the Digital Age is that having a writer’s page on Facebook is less effective than allowing readers access to your personal blog. Readers want to know who the writer is and news of the writer’s life rather that simply what she/he is writing.
I’m sure there are differing ideas on this, but for me, that fits fine. In part, because I didn’t want another page to keep up with and in part because while I post photos from time to time and respond to family posts, I rarely to never post personal information.
Each writer or artist needs to find their own comfort level, but for me, what I have seems to cover my bases: Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and a WordPress blog with several pages.
Hope the information helps you. Let me know what your ideas on the above are and whether you find a particular form of social media more helpful for your writing than others.
And keep writing!