Thursday, November 7, 2013

How I Use Social Media To Connect With New Readers

Both of these photos were taken last night at sunset.  I shot the one on the left from my balcony and a friend of a friend captured the same shot from her front yard in Maryland.  We both posted our pictures on FaceBook at the same time.  Our common friend commented on the similarities.  She posted, "It's cool to think we can be out here in MD and you out there in IA and see the same thing. Love it."  

That was only one part of the connection.  I asked my friend about a park located in Rockville, Maryland that was inspired by Mattie Stepanek, a poet who published five best sellers by the age of thirteen.  Mattie's mother told me about the park when I interviewed her for a blog story.  My friend replied, "it's only about a half hour away."

I asked Chris to take a picture of the park and send it to me.  Visiting this park is on my bucket list.  Although I've never been to Maryland, my main character, Thomas, will be there soon in a future chapter.  I have Chris to thank for inspiring me.  She helped me connect the dots in my story line.  I plan to have Thomas stop at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park and meet Mattie's mother in an upcoming chapter.  Thomas will learn some things about Mattie that help him on his journey to find the caveman who keeps appearing to him in the mirror.  If you are interested in reading the manuscript as I'm writing it, click here.

Today's blog is designed to help you understand how you can use social media to connect with new readers.  Here are three ideas I used today:
  1. Facebook.  It's as easy as posting a picture at sunset.  When friends comment, you start a dialogue and others jump in.
  2. Links.  Readers who click on today's links are directed to my other blogs.  I weaved the links into the story to entice readers to follow my novel as I'm writing it and to introduce my next writing project, "Free Lemonade Stories."  The links are subtle, yet they draw new readers and help me connect with them.
  3. Twitter and Google+.  As soon as this blog story is published at 8:08 AM, Pacific Time, I will post links to the blog from my Twitter and Google+ accounts.  My hope is that the caption and the photos will attract people who are interested in expanding their social media presence.  And if they like what they see, maybe they will come back again for more stories. 
Do you have any ideas to add to the story?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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