Thursday, July 12, 2018

Just add hugs

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, Newsletters…what social media do you use and how do you use it? What don’t you use, and why not? Any advice for those in a quandary? 

By Catriona

Clearly, I blog. Right? Here with the Minds and also with Femmes Fatales (CLICK HERE). It's about four blogs a month. Except it's not. Because one of the lovely things about having so many pals in this community is that someone I like as a person and admire as a writer is always on a blog tour for a new book and, like a landowner in a Jane Austen novel with a living in my gift, I bestow blog spots. In the next few months, Ellen Byron, Jess Lourey, Shannon Baker and Eileen Rendahl are all stopping by. 

Eileen Rendahl

And then there's the blog tours I go on once or twice (or three times) a year. I love stopping by Dru Ann Love's "A Day in The Life", and making up a new drink for Mystery Playground. The Mysteristas do a mean set of interview questions and Wicked Cozy stretch the definition of New England to include California, which is nice of them. 

In between books launching, there's still the odd bit of book-related news: reviews, new jackets, conventions, translations . . . and it would be beyond obnoxious to choke friends with it all. Enter the Facebook Author Page. I don't know if this is how everyone else views it, but I reckon that - because I never have and never will ask someone to like my page - I can post all the book stuff there, guilt-free.

And that frees up other Facebook (I think of it as Life Facebook) for cats, politics and other fun stuff. (Like how Brits wonder why American people never have a washing-up basin and American people wonder why every kitchen sink in Britain has got an outsize plastic bowl jammed in it.) There's plenty books in Life Facebook, because, let's face it, most of my life is books. 

I love Fb Messenger for quickly getting in touch with distant family in different configurations. How did weddings ever happen without Fb Messenger? And video-chat! I've met brand-new nephews and nieces over video-chat and tracked their first words and and early attempts at eating pasta. It's shrunk the world so that emigration has lost much of its sting. 

I don't do Instagram, Tumbler, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest or newsletters. Maybe I should. How would I know? I don't sign up for the kind of classes, or read the kind of "content",  where I'd ever find out.

But here's the thing. I LOVE Twitter. Facebook is nice, when it's not so infuriating that I want to drive down to Menlo Park with a custard pie on the passenger seat and . . . but Twitter is a daily delight. I laugh more and learn more on Twitter than  anywhere else on the internet. (Should say I don't get my actual news online, mind you.) Mrs Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian (TM) and Rob Delaney alone would be enough to keep me going back there. 

And the daily trending hashtags?  Yesterday was #nationalkittenday on Twitter and tonight I just clicked over and found #myfuneralgotweirdwhen. If you don't click on that, there's something wrong with you, imho. 

As ever, please don't anyone use me as a guide to savvy promo. But that's my life in social media and I wouldn't be without it. One of the sweetest things about a Left Coast Crime, Malice or Bouchercon these days is meeting someone in the hug-o-sphere, that you've known for years online. You beam and and laugh and throw your arms around one another. And if you sit in a quiet corner of the lobby bar you can see it happening all around. These are real friendships, hashtags and share settings or no.


Liz Milliron said...

Thanks for the shout-out for Mysteristas!

I've been compiling my blog tour for my release in August. Need someone to write a guest post? =)

I used to do Twitter, but the people I followed were so political and so...mean, I had to give it up for the sake of my sanity. I like the pretty pictures on Instagram better.

Ellen Byron said...

As always, a delightful post from a delightful gal! And hey, as long as we're on the topic of social media, I've never guested on Criminal Minds. So...

Julie Hennrikus said...

Catriona, you are always welcome in New England--on the blog and (hopefully, someday) in person! Thanks for the shoutout!

Shannon Baker said...

Whatever format, hashtag, online or in person, you're a delight. Thanks, Catriona.

Keenan Powell said...

Catriona, I admire your prolificness. (That is a word. I looked it up.) And, with putting out three really good books a year, and all the blogging, FBing, tweeting, and gardening, your hands must be exhausted.

And from me as well: thanks for shout-out for Mysteristas.

I like to use Twitter for American political stuff although some of the Irish and English writers and the one Scottish writer other than yourself prefer Twitter for their writerly and political stuff so I look at that too. I'd like to say that their posts keep me up-to-date on politics over the pond, but I'm only getting snippets and not the whole story and those snippets are so culture-specific, I don't get the humor.

I post on FB author page for my writerly stuff and FB personal page for pictures of my garden, dog and the hooligans. But I also follow RTE and the Guardian on FB. It's really interesting to get another point-of-view on what is happening here. And I find out about stuff happening over there or even over here from RTE that the American networks don't carry.

It's easy enough to control what you see on FB if you don't like political or vitriolic with a snooze or an unfollow short of unfriending someone.

(I never guested for Criminal Minds, either. I'll be in touch.)

Edith Maxwell said...

Thanks from me, too, for the Wickeds shoutout! We do have fun with guests, and it absolutely lightens the individual load. (And yeah, would love to lessen your load with a guest post late fall.)

Lyda McPherson said...

Great post! Thank you for introducing me to "Mrs. Betty Bowers". And, thank you for "imho". I had to ask my 38 yo son what it meant however, now, I will own it. It is mine. As for the topic at hand I have decided that it is a two sided coin for me. There is my involvement on social media which is me personally. That's side one. Side two, after doing some research over the past couple of weeks is driven by the reader. It is a matter of how do readers reach out to connect with writers. And the answer is, any way they can. All social media formats, blogs, appearances, openings at the local supermarket. Any way they can. So for those writers who thought they could write from a place of seclusion. Not any more. Enjoy the rest of your week.

Susan C Shea said...

I'll be at Wicked Cozies coming soon, thanks to an invitation from Sherry Harris, and will definitely share my real estate here with others too. I like the virtual friendships that become real, as Catriona says, when we finally meet FB friends in person.