I remember when I joined Twitter. I'd already taken the plunge with blogging, and I enjoyed the interaction on Facebook, but here was a new, hot, social media site and I reluctantly decided to at least check it out. For months, I barely used it because I really didn't understand it. But then something clicked, and Twitter quickly became a favorite site.
Shortly after, I kept hearing about Goodreads, so I signed up, telling myself if it became too time consuming or if I just didn't like it, I could quit. Goodreads made sense to me from day one, but I use it less for networking and more as a reader to keep track of the books I've read.
Enter Google+. This site was different from the start because you needed an invitation to join. I kept wanting to try it but couldn't since no one had invited me. Lucky for me one of my local writer friends did have an account and she promptly sent me an invitation. Did I see what all the buzz about Google+ was? Not really. It seemed a mix between Twitter and Facebook to me, but I figured I'd give it a try.
The latest craze to hit social media is Pinterest. I joined a few months ago--again, I needed an invitation to join--and wondered how it would differ from the other sites I already frequented. Pinterest proved unique. It's basically a place to keep virtual bulletin boards. The only things we're sharing there are pictures (or "pins"), boards, and the occasional comment on a pin.
I often get asked which social media sites provide the best bang for an aspiring author trying to build a platform. We all are crunched for time, and we don't want to spend a drop of it on a social media site that we don't "get" or that proves ineffective at getting our name out there.
Personally, I still think Facebook is a great place for authors. If you understand Twitter and are willing to check in once or twice a day, do that too. And there's no question if you are published, you need a Goodreads account right away. But if you're on the fence about Pinterest or Google+, here's my take on them.
Google+ has a more uppity feel to it. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's full of snobs! It simply doesn't have the comfort level Facebook does. Maybe it should encourage conversations, but for some reason, it doesn't. It feels more intimidating, less "friend"ly, if you know what I mean. And Google+ lacks the punchy feel of Twitter. I like Google+ enough to stay on it, but I'm not raving about it to my friends.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is perfect for writers. We can create inspiration boards for our current projects, hobby boards to appeal to fellow hobbyists, and any other type of board we feel like. Since Pinterest can be linked through our Facebook or Twitter accounts, it makes it easy to connect with contacts we already know on other sites. I haven't connected my Pinterest account to either, but I always follow back when someone follows me.
What I like the most about Pinterest is how non-threatening it is. We don't have to think up something witty to say. We don't have to worry about linking our blog to it. We can just pick pretty pictures out and put them on one of our boards. And other people get a good idea of what we're all about when they view our boards. Since so much of author platform is getting our name out in a variety of places, this is a great way to get our name out without much trauma.
If you'd like to see my boards, head to http://pinterest.com/jillkemerer/. If you haven't joined Pinterest and would like an invitation, put your e-mail into the comments section, and I'll invite you!
What social media sites do you like best?
Have a fabulous weekend!