June 7, 2012

Why You Don't Have Time NOT To Social Network

by Melanie Moore

"I'm just too busy to social network. I simply don't have the time".

I hear this many times from writers, many who come to me to help them with a blog design. They are working hard, trying to build their writing platform, expand their reach, and broaden their audience... but are coming up frustrated.

I am going to share a little secret that I wish someone had told me sooner. I happened upon this truth quite by accident over the last year when I very grudgingly joined Twitter at the urging of a mentor.

You don't have time NOT to social network.

Attending conferences, visiting and commenting on other blogs, and researching ways to build a platform are all very important tasks. I certainly do not want to cast a negative light at all over these vital tasks. However, these tasks also take a great deal of time.

Social media, on the other hand, is a rapidly growing outreach that is a "hit and run" pace. It is also free publicity! You can grow your platform in only 10 minutes a day.

I promise.

10 minutes.

Go ahead.. set a timer. I will wait here.

Here are some tips for growing your platform in 10 minutes a day on a Social Network like Twitter:

1. Sign up for Twitter and follow as many people as possible that have interests common to you. For example, you could search for "Blogger", "Author", "Southern", etc. Most people will follow you back.

2. Jump in on the conversation! Take 10 minutes to respond to every tweet that interests you. Don't be shy! I know at first it feels like you are intruding on a private conversation between two other people, but all tweets are open for everyone to see... and to respond to. This is a great way to make friends!

3. Make Twitter "Lists" -- Lists are an easy way to organize your twitter followers and to get to know others who often reply to your tweets.

4. "Follow" most people back who "follow" you first. This is basic Twitter etiquette, and is a wonderful way to connect with others. However, be sure to check their Twitter profile first to make sure that they are not spammers or trying to sell you something.

I have only been on Twitter for one year, and in only 10 minutes a day, I have seen my Twitter followers grow to almost 3000 followers. My blog pageviews and subscribers have increased, and I am contacted with more amazing opportunities since my subscriber base has grown!

More importantly, I have made some really great friends and found others who share common interests, cheer me up with their funny tweets, and have even won tickets to an awesome conference just by attending Twitter parties!

Go ahead and give 10 minutes of social media a try today! When you do, tweet me and let me know you did! I'm on Twitter at @MelanieAnneTN.

Melanie is a full-time industrial software developer and mom of two boys. She lives in the beautiful Appalachian mountains with her husband and children and writes at Only A Breath about faith, giveaways, family, budgeting, and resources and encouragement for women.

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