Out of the 211 Facebook friends, I would call about 30 personal friends - or people I would miss if they weren't in my life. If any one of these 30 writers asked me to spread the word about a new publication, or highlight an event, or help with making some connections - I would do my best, and be happy to help. I am a strong connection for these folks - as they are for me. The relationship with 26 of these 30 friends was developed and strengthened through Facebook - in some cases, Facebook is the ONLY platform used to develop the friendship.
How long would it have taken me to develop connections like that outside of Facebook? One good friend is better than 100 acquaintances. Through these friends and their connections, I've been granted interviews, gotten introductions, connected with agents and new publishers, and had doors open for new opportunities both in writing and in speaking.
Here's 5 tips for Writers who want to make the most of Facebook:
- Keep the status' short. - Think of your status post as a headline in a newspaper. What is going to make people stop scrolling down the newsfeed and read your post? If you continue to offer posts people find interesting, they'll make it a point to stop at your name in the Newsfeed. The shorter the post is, the more likely it will be read.
- Comment, comment, comment - The most powerful tool in social media is the comment feature. Being able to talk back makes the platform social. Use this feature 10X more than the post feature, that is ... focus on others 10X more than you focus on yourself. Interest in others builds strong relationships
- 3 to 1 Rule of Getting to Know YOU - Do post links to articles, blog posts, and interesting material on the web, but make it only 1/3 or less of your total postings. The strength of a relationship is in how well two people know each other. If you become a "one topic poster" your posts eventually become sterile interest in them will gradually wane. Your Facebook profile should engage others in you, the person ... who is also you the writer.
- Be mindful of how often you post - About 70% of my wall posts are done from my phone, because my job takes me on the road. You want to post often enough that people remember you, but not so often that your bore your friends to death, or clog up their newsfeeds. If you cant think of something interesting to put in your status bar, then comment on others' posts. Make it sincere. I try to post something daily... even if only comments.
- Use your sense of humor - If you have a sense of humor, here is where you'll profit from using it. People always stop and read the posts of funny people. Humor gets the most consistent exposure, and helps develop more relationships with less effort.