Here is Part One on Social Networking
A few months ago, someone on a Facebook Group of Screenwriters (serious beginning professionals with accomplishments to their names) asked what use TWITTER might be, and how to work with Twitter.
A whole lot of people on the group had experiences with Twitter to relate and opinions about how effective the time spent on Twitter might be, plus hints and clues about how to get the most screenwriting info out of Twitter.
I tossed in a couple of answers, and someone tossed a question to me: "What is Google Plus?"
Oh, boy, how this world of social networking is exploding so fast!
Even those working hard to sell screenplays don't know what's happening in social media, even though it is reported on TV often and in depth!
I've been on Google+ since it was by Google's invitation only.
So I put a link to my G+ page
And my twitter:
And the questioner went and looked at it and noted some differences from the way Facebook presents information about people. And I answered that.
So the person who asked me looked up the stats and commented: the stats reveal Gplus has 300MM users compared to FB 1.2 BB AND FB users spend 6 hrs a week or month vs Gplus 7 minutes...
That's about true. G+ is much FASTER to use, somehow. You get more done in 7 minutes than in an hour on Facebook.
My opinion, as you all know, is pro-Twitter. I follow many video producers, actors, writers, directors, and production companies, Indie film promoters, just a lot of people in The Industry and the Indie segment of the film industry.
But the Sime~Gen fans have created a Group on Facebook, so I also spend a lot of time with Facebook as well as Google Plus.
Here's the explanation of the comparison I wrote for the Screenwriter's Group on Facebook.
I don't think it's worth while to compare Google+ to FB. Both are just tools. Your reward will come from your need for that tool and your ability to employ that tool to accomplish your purposes.
One neat thing about G+ is that it can be set to use the same login as you use for your blogger.com blogs, for your gmail and other google tools. And as with FB you can use that google login on other sites. That neat thing is it's main drawback. Lots of exposure to things you'd rather not be exposed to. But for a professional, it can be worth the risk.
Many people I know are on both G+ and FB and cruise through those and several other social sites at whim. Both are just TOOLS -- how rewarding the experience is depends on who you know not what you know.
As a professional writer, I go where the people who want to talk to me are -- it is my responsibility to make the effort to accommodate the habits and preferences of my customers, without regard for my own.
There are more people on FB, but G+ lets you connect easier with people you don't know but who want to know you.
In socializing, it's more about quality than quantity, so the fact that FB is bigger is why I'm here and why my fans are gathering on the SimeGen Group here. The fact that there are large numbers of writers on G+ is why I'm there. Also there are lots more image-oriented people on G+ and writers are always evaluating images for cover potential.
G+ has been handling images better, but FB has caught up during their launch of more advertising in your stream. FB interfaces with lots of other social media products so you can aggregate posts by making those connections. Post an item on your tumblr blog and set tumblr to post that item on FB, Twitter, etc -- but G+ won't allow that cross-posting (yet.) so posting to G+ is a separate operation. That's a huge drawback. Also my blogger blog auto-posts itself on FB.
My point here is that you don't choose ONE or THE OTHER -- you establish a core presence where it's convenient for you, then connect to all the other networks where your own customers tend to hang out with their friends. Your objective is to do the most connecting with the least time/effort on your part as possible. Efficiency is the watchword in social-media.
FB limits the number of friends you can have (outside of your "Page" as a celebrity one-way communication). G+ has no such tiny limit, which makes it valuable to me. On FB I have just over 1K connections, but on G+ in half the time I have acquired 7K followers. I have about 2200 followers on Twitter. But as with FB only a few dozen actually TALK BACK when I say something. I treasure those commentators because they really think!
Both G+ and FB allow for Groups and Communities where you can meet and talk to people who aren't connected to your stream and don't see your general posts. Each community on G+ has its own rules (just like FB) and a focused interest. The NaNoWriMo folks are huge on G+ and they are a kick and a half!
I suspect my problem is that I just love PEOPLE -- lots of them all talking to each other. I sit back and marvel at the rich harvest of story-ideas!
So my advice to people who want to use social media to promote their work is don't do that.
Use social media as a source of your work, not a destination.
Then people who want to talk to you will appear. You will get to say what's dear to your heart, and they will run off and repeat that while pointing their friends at your work.
Draw your story ideas from the subjects, ideas and attitudes bandied about among your primary audience, then tell them you have this new novel or whatever available in such a way that it's clear you understood what they meant.
Don't tell them you took their ideas (which you didn't, but that's hard to explain). Tell them their ideas. They will recognize their own ideas, and run around espousing this ultra-clear statement of their own ideas by someone they barely know -- "I couldn't have said it better myself."
Even more, when you do it this way -- your readers will see confirmation and maybe even vindication in your restatement of their ideas because you can utilize SHOW DON'T TELL as the mechanism for explaining these very abstract matters.