Social Media and Me

Once upon a time a friend of mine was putting tons of music onto his MySpace account. He said I should get one. I did. I had no idea what to do with it. I didn’t understand social media – having a place on the internet for people to find me, to see and be seen, share interests, whatever.Social-Networking-Sites

About the same time, I began shifting my thinking about writing and getting published from traditional to indie. I knew indie musicians, and I liked the model: play, connect with fans, sell some merch, move on, create some buzz, focus on the art without the nonsense of a label taking 98% of your earnings.  Talking to other writer friends who ghost-wrote and self-published, I heard their praise for indie. Made sense to me.

What I knew nothing about was marketing. Ah, they said. Write something good and use Social Media.

Huh? How does that work. MySpace disappeared into the Internet’s great void. What am I supposed to do with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest? “Make yourself know,” I was told. “It’s like a cocktail party. Circulate.”

That was 2009. I was on Facebook because that’s where members of my family decided to post pictures – if I wanted to see them, I had to go there. I dipped my toe into the waters of Twitter, and have come to find it useful for may things, in my career as a journalist and as an indie author.

I’m not a very visual person and don’t take many pictures, so I haven’t got up to speed with a site such as Pinterest. But I’m told that’s a good place for any indie entrepreneur to go.

And then there’s blogging. I’m no fan of New Year’s resolutions, but I can tell  you, I’m convinced of the value of blogs and blogging. As a longtime newspaper reporter and editor, I know the value and drawbacks to writing a weekly column. In essence, that’s what a blog is. This post, really, is a column.

My conclusion regarding Social Media: it’s never going away. It’s a vital tool to reach like-minded people, and essential for communicating information to customers, friends and fans.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

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