Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why I spend time on Facebook

Paula explains why she enjoys spending time on Facebook.

I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Not touting my novels all the time, I hasten to add, although I may post a link occasionally, especially when I can show a ‘connection’ to something topical. St. Andrew’s Day was a good time to post a link to ‘His Leading Lady’ because of the musical based on a Scottish legend that featured in the novel. A report about possible new discoveries in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt was a perfect opportunity to deny any psychic ability on my part, but to highlight my archaeologist’s discovery in the valley in ‘Her Only Option’. Maybe now I need a volcanic eruption to promote ‘Changing the Future’ – and, of course, St Patrick’s Day will be a good time to advertise my new novel, ‘Irish Inheritance.’
 
However, I don’t consider Facebook simply as a platform for promoting my novels (or my blogs either), even though I have seen others use it solely for that purpose. After all, it is a social network, not a marketing or promotion network (which, sadly, so many yahoo loops have now become).
 
Facebook, for me, is the means to get to know people, and I enjoy the interaction with the many friends I have made there.
 
Does it lead to more book sales? Maybe a few, but probably not many (as my sales figures show!). It may mean ‘my name’ is becoming known, since I often comment on others’ posts, share links or fun items that have interested or amused me, add my own status posts that may or may not be connected with writing, and generally ‘network’ with other people.
 
Not with a ‘chosen few’ either – which I have seen happen with some ‘cliques’ on Facebook and Twitter, whose members only seem to comment on or share each others’ posts (or advertise their books), and ignore everyone else because they are not part of the ‘in’ crowd!
 
I’m happy to cast my net much wider than they do, and I enjoy the many and varied links I have made with so many people on FB. So much so that I now consider this to be far more important than selling books or making my name known.
 
Recently, I have met several Facebook friends in ‘real life’ and, without exception, have felt that they were already ‘old friends’ even though we were meeting face-to-face for the first time. Two or more hours of non-stop chat (about anything and everything, not just about writing) is evidence enough of how online friendships can become real life friendships.
 
The value of Facebook was brought home to me last week, when I didn't see or speak to anyone in 'real life' for six days. This invariably happens during a holiday period. I live alone, my family were doing 'their own thing', and my friends were all involved with their own families etc. It wasn't until the sixth day, however, that I actually realised I hadn't actually seen or spoken to anyone. Why? Because I had been 'chatting' to my friends on Facebook, having a laugh with them, and thoroughly enjoying the social aspect of networking. 
 
So thank you, Facebook!

20 comments:

  1. You summed everything I have been thinking about Facebook in this post. Without it I wouldn't have met so many great authors and found so many new books to read. Thank you so much Paula, a chat with you brightens up my day.

    Hugs Manda

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many thanks, Manda. So glad you agree with me :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love those exact things about Facebook, although you're much better than I when it comes to diligently commenting and expanding your network. I need to get better at that!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I enjoy talking with you Paula!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jen, I have more time to network than you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Likewise, K-Trina, and I really appreciate the support you've given me too :-) Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I feel the same way and am thrilled to be 'friends' with you,Paula...how ever could you and I ever have gotten to exchange ideas, if not for FB? I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You're right, Tonette, it's so good to have friends in so many different parts of the world - people you would never ever have 'met' without FB :-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am slowly feeling my way around FB.

    ReplyDelete
  10. It's taken me several years, Ana! But now I have a wonderful network of friends there.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm kind of the opposite of you, Paula. In the interest of time, I only use my Facebook page to promote my books. Every once-in-a-while I'll post something personal, but mostly I use it for marketing and promotion.

    It's not that I have anything against the social aspect of it, I just really don't have time to keep up with everything that goes on there in addition to everything else.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Debra, I fully understand that, because you have a full time and demanding job. Also, as I said, I don't think social networking actually results in many more books being sold, but personally I enjoy it for the social side, rather than the promotion aspect.

    ReplyDelete
  13. FB is my playground. Since I'm retired, I'm entitled to play anytime I want. Of course, that doesn't work because I have other responsibilities. But I've had a ball on FB. I love to interact with others I don't fully know, and soon they seem like friends. Yes, it definitely has helped me sell books, and most often without really promoting.
    FB for me is "all about me." I don't involve my kids, my grandkids, no one, except those far away relatives who "discover" me.
    I can be silly, I can be serious, I can ask questions--I try to do something to get attention. FB, for me, is all about Getting Attention.
    Good question, Paula

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think you've highlighted excellent reasons for being on FB, Paula - it's the social interaction I enjoy as well as occasional opportunities to mention my books. I don't have an author page for the same reason.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Because writers are in their solitary state most of the time cooking up new stories, Facebook is a good way to keep in touch with friends, family and new acquaintences. Not that everything should be in cuberspace, but it sure is convenient when a writer is deep in writer mode or when the weather is bad.
    Not only does a mention of a book help promote us once in a while, it's also a place to help support causes such as the Humane Society and so on.
    Some of us aren't that familiar or comfortable with some aspects of cyber world. It's like the great unknown. Though I have a Twitter acct., I have no idea how to use it. Facebook is easier to navigate and understand for me.
    A good blog, Paula.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Celia, I feel the same as you. Retirement means we can do what we want - within reason!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Rosemary, I do have an author page, but I only use that for promotion of books or blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  18. You've made some good points, Sarah. When I was writing in the 60s and 70s, I had no contact at all with other writers, so I really enjoy 'meeting' writers on FB.
    I can't get into Twitter either, and I find the yahoo groups tend to be full of promo, so FB is definitely my favourite cyber place!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I love FB for a lot of reasons and meeting and getting to know YOU is just one of them, but a big one because I doubt that I'll be hopping the pond anytime soon!

    I have friends that I enjoy so much that I'm quite sure I'll never see nor probably hear irl, but I'm not at all interested in calling them anything less than dear friends. They are closer than some of my real life friends have become.

    ReplyDelete
  20. All the reasons I love face book too. It is a great place to gain readership of posts, but it is a great way to stay connected with folks you don't see every day. Still you may see them everyday on Face Book and slowly but surely they become a part of your life. Amazing really. No matter where we are, or how far away we truly are from each other, Face Book brings us all together. ♥

    ReplyDelete