Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Does Social Networking and Commenting Really Make a Difference?

Writers (I include bloggers in that term) are told over and over again about the importance of social networking. Twitter and Facebook have changed our ability to reach out to potential readers. Gather, Shelfari, Goodreads, Ning groups, and other similiar sites have also allowed us to connect with more readers traveling through the World Wide Web.

Over the past month I've made a concerted effort to be promoting online more than ever before; but not only for me, for others. I reached out to several author groups I am part of and asked if authors wanted to be featured at my blog, The Book Connection. Most were not authors I knew well, if at all, but I like to keep my blogs active and interesting for my readers.

In addition, I belong to a blogging syndicate where members agree to post comments at each others' sites. Though the group had been barely active the last few months, we've gained several new members and we're on track again. While comments don't read books, I'm also gaining followers and subscribers.

Another thing I've made a point to do this month is take an hour each day and retweet items of interest I've found on Twitter. Most are book related, but some are giveaways for great products. I've picked up dozens of new followers since I started.

Now, the jury is still out on whether this is a action plan I can maintain when I have a heavy workload, but it has brought more readers to The Book Connection than ever before. My experience has shown that social networking and commenting at other blogs does make a difference.

I would love to hear about your experiences.


Michelle V said...

Cool! Now can you find time and do that for me too? LOL! I really have always believed that the social networking thing works. It's a matter of finding time and making myself get out there and do it!

Admin said...

Woohoo...I so agree with you!!!!

terri.forehand said...

I do believe that social networking can make a difference, the key is to reach beyond your personal contacts and to reach readers you don't know. It all takes time and sometimes valuable time away from writing. How do we balance the social networking with sit in the chair writing time? Any suggestions.

Pricilla said...

I think it does but the time it takes can be challenging to say the least.

Rebecca Camarena said...

Keep up the great networking Cheryl.

April said...

Great post, Cheryl! I agree that it takes work and consistency to really keep traffic coming back for more. Social networking is very important if you really want your blog/name out there, I think.

Cheryl said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. Yes, Terri, you're right. If you keep tapping the same small group it's not effective.

Pricilla, you must be a time management whiz with all that soap you're churning out. I'm concerned about the time it takes too, but hopefully I'll be able to find a good balance.

Thanks again, everyone.


Donna M. McDine said...

If only the hourglass could be turned over twice a day to make our days longer. Yes, social networking is key and finding the balance between networking and writing is a tough one at that. At one time, I did not do anything until I wrote first, but I've let that go astray and must get back to that and plan on doing so tomorrow.

Best wishes,

Mayra Calvani said...

That's great, Cheryl! Keep up the good work!

Susanne Drazic said...

I believe social networking is an important part of the author "selling" themselves. It helps to get their name/book titles out in the spotlight. There are also monetary benefits to using social networking, when talking about your books.

It also takes a very determined person to keep everything balanced between social networking, writing, and family/work. It can be done (so I'm told - I'm still working on it).

I agree with Donna. If we could turn the hourglass over a 2nd time, that would solve a lot of time problems, although once the extra time was filled with projects, writing, social networking, family/work, we'd again be wishing for even more time.
: )

Have a great day!