I have to agree with Dave that real, honest to goodness social networking involves face-to-face contact with another human being. It involves a handshake, a shared smile or exchanged business cards. It’s important not to lose touch with the real world in favor of an alternate reality online.
That being said, if it wasn’t for this website, I can’t say that I would have published Ligonier Valley Vignettes at this point in my life. Establishing this website allowed me to post samples of my history stories online, which attracted The History Press to approach me about an opportunity to write a book on the Westmoreland County region of Pennsylvania. So my website has been an invaluable tool in that sense.
For a while I’ve been trying to establish an online presence through my website and various social media in order to promote my writing and make connections with people I wouldn’t normally meet in any other way. It’s definitely a game of checks and balances regarding the amount of information you can and should make public. On the one hand, you don’t want to broadcast your whole life and either bore your audience or gain a stalker. On the other hand, you want to share just enough of yourself to come across as friendly and engaging.
It’s also been quite a lot of work trying to make sure that the information I post on one social media platform is the same or as similar as possible to the other platforms I use. It can definitely be a full-time job, even for a freelancer like me. But I know that not everyone uses one particular social media platform, so that’s why I’m trying to branch out.
I’ve established social media accounts for myself and for my new book and I have tried to connect everything as much as possible. So far, besides this website, I’ve set up a personal Facebook profile and a Ligonier Valley Vignettes page. I have a Twitter account. I have a Google+ profile and book page. I’m listed on LinkedIn. I also post on Pinterest. I just established two new Tumblr blogs: one for myself and one for the book. On top of that I’m listed on Amazon Author Central. It’s overwhelming!
I’m trying to keep everything as streamlined as possible and cut down on the amount of time I spend posting and re-posting blog entries, tweets and Facebook links. I’ve tried to connect some accounts, but I know I can’t connect everything together and that’s sometimes frustrating. I don’t want to spend my time blogging about my life instead of living it. I’ve gotten some helpful advice from friends so far, but I’d love to hear more about what social media platforms my readers are using and how you are using them efficiently. How am I doing?