Sometimes I feel living in this new age of technology and connectiveness to, well, everything is a bit of a blessing and a curse. I’m not the most tech savvy person on the planet, as my husband will certainly attest. And sometimes I feel this new age breaks us away from nature and the great outdoors which can be somewhat detrimental to our well-being, and the planet’s. But living in this age can benefit those of us who have something important to share with the world, and social media can definitely be a unique tool for the writer to share their story to a broader audience.
Ironically, even though I swear I might be a wizard when I’m around technology (a “Dresden Files” reference for those who might get the joke), I do consider myself a social media writer. I mean, look at this blog! But the past 90 days or so have been a challenge specifically designed to get me into a habit of writing. Every day. Something. ANYTHING. Just write. And I think once my mind is able to differentiate between “blog” and “book”, I’ll be on quite a roll with finishing some of my books. I’ve gotten into trouble a few times this past month where I didn’t feel I had anything significant to write about for the day, which wold have been an amazing opportunity to work on my books, but instead I worried and fretted and pulled a topic out of my ass for a blog post. I know after this challenge, that those days will be over. I may not write a blog post every day, but I WILL write! And so, for that, I am grateful for my blog.
Facebook is something I’m trying to see as a mechanism to marketing my product. I have come to see how I can link my blog to certain groups within Facebook, and on occasion I see spikes in website visits after I post a blog to a specific group (like my political rants about zoos on zookeeper forums). This is also a gateway for me to promote my site and my stories by posting on others’ pages, and getting my posts shared. I want to also guest-blog on other people’s sites, and this is a great way to get started, I suppose.
But now, Twitter is on the up and up. Well, at least for me. After learning more about the marketing potential from Tom Trimbath of Twitter, by tagging folks and getting their attention, you can gain more followers, and thus reach a pretty enormous audience with very few words. It’s a challenge, but well worth the effort. I think. I hope.
Twitter is great for creating taglines for topics within my books. With three tweets, I have encompassed the essence of all three of my main projects-
1) EarthFit: What if I told you that by getting fit, you could help protect the enivironment?
2) Poach Eggs, Not Rhinos: What if I told you by eating healthy, you could save orangutans and elephants?
3) Keeping Fit With Zookeepers: What if I told you that by applying zookeeper principles of operant conditioning and enrichment you could reach all your fitness goals?
Other ideas for regular tweeting to engage my audience-
– What if I told you by simply getting outdoors, you could improve your physical and mental health?
– What if I told you by eating seafood, you could help save the ocean?
– What if I told you that a healthy breakfast could help save the rainforest?
– What if I told you that drinking water could help save water?
-What if I told you that visiting your favorite park could protect the environment?
– What if I told you that you could get fit by recycling trash?
The list could go on and on. I think what I want to do is pick a main book, and tweet a “what if” question every day or so. As my follower base increases, I can repeat certain questions, but more importantly, I can also link “the answers” to appropriate blog posts. For instance, “What if I told you that you can eat healthy and sustainably even on a strict budget?” and link it to my blog post “Healthy and Sustainable on a Budget”. This will really help me focus on my writing and how it applies to my audience. And will connect my audience to my works in meaningful ways.
There is one avenue that we didn’t discuss over the last couple of months relating to social media and writers, and that is YouTube. I’m very hesitant to use YouTube simply for vanity and confidence reasons. My friend Karen Petersen, god bless her amazing soul, does amazing regular videos and posts them. I want to get to that point. How many people could I reach with motivational and instructional videos? I think after a couple months of getting into a healthy habit of writing my books every day, my next big challenge is to make a YouTube video once a week to demonstrate a workout, a recipe, explain a principle, or give sustainability nutrition lecture. I shouldn’t be as nervous as I am about the idea of video-taping myself. For goodness sakes, I have THESE videos online for everyone to see!
I better get busy! I have a lot of hashtags to write!