Inksper’s Social Media Links

We’ve spent the past couple weeks talking about the benefits–and some of the downsides–of social media, and we figured our readers would love to know where to find each of us. We’d love for you to Follow … Like … Friend us, and we’ll even return the favor if you leave your links in the comment section.

Lorna Seilstad

Lorna Seilstad

 

Shannon Vannatter (2)

Shannon Vannatter

Rose Ross Zediker

Rose Ross Zediker

Shari Barr

Shari Barr

Dawn Ford

Dawn Ford

Stacy Monson

Stacy Monson

IMG_0167-2

Brenda Anderson

Regina Merrick

Regina Merrick

Simba.Kav

Kav

Managing Your Time on Social Media

NetworkingFacebook … Goodreads … Twitter … Vimeo …  Tumblr … Google+ … Pinterest … LinkedIn … Shelfari … Reddit … YouTube … Blogging … and so many more  …

It almost makes my head ache thinking of the ways we can waste our time networking, chatting, procrastinating. How do we manage it all?!

To be honest, if I weren’t a writer, if I didn’t need to build a platform, I’d probably chuck it all. But, since that’s not an option, there are steps I take to managing it.

  1. You can’t do it all. No one is Super Social-Media Man (or Woman), unless that’s their full-time job.
  2. Pick the most effective outlets for you. Once you realize you can’t do it all, it’s time to pick and choose which media outlets will best suit you. Which ones are you most comfortable with? Which let you network with readers, not just writers? Are any just for fun? My choices:
    1. Facebook – this site lets me interact with readers and writers
    2. Goodreads – mostly I use this site to track the books I’m reading or have read. So far I’ve avoided joining groups because they can be big time suckers. But I like the potential for this site as it is about the reader.
    3. Blogging – I blog consistently on my personal site twice a week, then on Inkspirational Messages every other week.
    4. Blog reading – Using Blogger, I keep a list of blogs I follow (which I keep to a minimum). I’ll typically skim through the posts unless something really catches my eye. I periodically comment, but rarely just to comment. I want to say something of value–not that I always succeed!
    5. Pinterest – I have a Pinterest site, but haven’t decided how to best use it yet. So far, thankfully, it hasn’t become a black hole for me.
  3. MP900449122[1]Set your clock. Even when you choose just a few outlets, they can still be time drainers. Establish a set amount of time you’ll spend on each site, and stick to it. My schedule:
    1. Write my blog posts on Monday.
    2. My first hour every weekday morning: read blog posts and check Facebook and Pinterest.
    3. If I can’t read through all my sites in that hour, that means something needs to be cut.
    4. No blogs on weekends. Periodically check Facebook and Pinterest for fun.
  4. Be a God Pleaser. This is probably the toughest point to follow, for me anyway. A big reason many of us–especially writers–are on social media is to add numbers to our platform. To do that we need to be people pleasers, we need write what our (potential) audience is interested in, and our posts need to reflect that as well. In so much of social media we’re asked to *like* or *follow* posts, authors, businesses, boards, etc. Agents and publishers want/need to see big numbers beside our name. And let’s face it, we all want to be liked and followed. So, how do we balance pleasing God while attempting to extend our outreach?
    1. Before posting, ask yourself what the purpose of the post is? Are you writing it merely to garner attention, or do you have information that will be useful to others? Who are you trying to reach–to please–with the post? And be honest with yourself–that’s the hardest part.
    2. Pray – I know this goes without saying, but it’s also easy to forget, especially for the mundane tasks of social media. Does God really want to be bothered with all the minutiae of our lives? Of course he does! So before you post, take some time and ask, “What is Your will?”

Which Social Media outlets do you use? How do you effectively manage your time when using them?

Plus What?

Google Plus imageGoogle Plus? “Plus what” was my first question. Isn’t it enough that I google for information? I use Google mail. I find my way around using Google Maps. I can see anywhere in the world with Google Earth. There’s also Google analytics and Google for business. Google this and that. Now there’s Google Plus? What could possibly be missing?

At some point, someone invited me to join Google Plus. Like most other social media, at first I said no thanks. I’m like Shannon – late to every social media party. Unlike her, I don’t tend to get obsessed. Mainly because I continue to be confused about what to do, what not to do, how to do, why I would do, etc. etc. (Apparently she catches on faster than me!)

When I got more invites to be in other circles, I decided I’d better figure out Google circleswhat it was. I created a Google Plus profile (yet another profile), then was told to create circles to put people in. I have a writing buddies circle, a friends circle, a family circle, even an acquaintances circle (for those people who don’t fit into the other circles).

The benefit of this is that it allow you to send a message to only those people in a specific circle (or you can send it to everyone – you get to decide). Perhaps you want to girls whisperingpost something for your family circle – e.g. photos of a family event, an inside joke, details about a get-together. You create the post (looks a lot like Facebook) and then select only that circle. No one outside the circle sees it. Everyone IN the circle can comment, share info, etc.

I like that it creates a much more private way to share messages, photos, and information. You can invite whomever you want – using your address book, Facebook, etc., and put them in any circle you want. And creating a profile is easy (honest).

I don’t utilize it nearly as much as I should. I tend to be one of those people who’s not convinced all this social media really sells books or provides the exposure we want. But I keep plugging away at each new thing.

So, would you like to be in my circle? I’d love to have you!

Always Late to the Party

I’m always behind on social media. Blogging originated back in 1997. I started blogging in 2010. Facebook originated in 2004. IMomento jar joined in 2010. Twitter originated in 2006. I joined in 2010. Pinterest originated in 2010. I joined last week.

Each time I join a new social network, I become obsessed with it and it cuts into my productivity. That’s why I don’t just jump into everything. If I did, I’d never get any writing done. So, all you wonderful writer friends who keep inviting me to join Google +, I’m sorry, but I’m dancing as fast as I can with all my other social networking.

Back to my latest obsession–Pinterest. This is a must have for an author. I’m in the process of cleaning out all my files stored on my computer. I have pictures I used for inspiration in my published books, future character pictures, pictures of houses, cars, trucks, and pets that belong to my characters. It’s all getting transferred to my Pinterest boards. So far, I have a board for character inspiration, a board for each of my most recently published books, and a board for upcoming releases.

Along with book stuff, I created a board for furniture my husband made, crafts I made, my office, my husband’s man cave, and our son’s Bass Pro Shop themed room. I also have a board for nifty craft ideas for future use. I’m planning a recipe board even though I try really hard not to cook much. With Pinterest, I don’t forget things or lose them. The possibilities are endless.

My favorite pin so far – the memory jar I made. When my son was younger, he loved collecting unique things. Crystals, colored rocks, crawdad pincers, empty wasp nests, fools gold, arrowheads, seed pods, and countless other oddities we found or bought. When he was ready to get rid of his collection, I wasn’t. I put it all in a jar and display it on a shelf. It’s pretty and makes me smile every time I look at it. I still have his collection of feathers too. I’ve been trying to find a really tall jar to put them in. I thought about a vase, but with a lid, you only have to dust the jar. And I’m not a fan of dusting either.

In the meantime, I gotta go. I’m working on a new board on Pinterest. Since my name never fits, I’m stvannatter or search Shannon Taylor Vannatter. Come check out my boards.