In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Social Media: It Really is about Relationships

At first, I was a not-so-enthralled social media participant. I already had enough to do, thank you very much. Writing. Editing. Shampooing my hair. Rinse. Repeat.
But the almighty "they" tell me that to succeed as a writer I need to engage in social media. Facebook. Blog. Tweet. Comment on others' blogs. Google+. I know the list goes on, but, hey, I have a word count.
What made me embrace the concept of social media? When my friend and social media guru, Edie Melson called writers and social media a "match made in heaven," I listened. Edie believes "Writing is all about building relationships--with readers, editors, agents, other writers--and what better vehicle than social media?"
When a package arrived in my mailbox today, I had proof positive that social media builds relationships. The package came from author Keli Gwyn, a writing friend I've yet to meet face-to-face. (But the ACFW conference is only a few weeks away!) So how have Keli and I become friends? You guessed it: social media.
We've retweeted each others' blog links, left comments on our blogs, and we also both participate in the WordServe Water Cooler blog.
So what did Keli send me? Two boxes of Atomic Fireballs. Why? On a Flashback Friday blog post, Keli reminisced about penny candy. She mentioned some of her favorites were Sweet Tarts and Tootsie Rolls and red licorice ropes. In my comment, I recalled trying to keep Atomic Fireballs in my mouth without spitting them out.
Back to today, and the arrival of two boxes of Chewy Atomic Fireballs. Keli had found them in her old time candy store, thought of me, and sent them my way.
Like I said: Social media really is about relationship.
You read someone's blog.
Retweet their link.
Leave a comment.
Build a relationship.
And, you never know, you just might end up with a sweet surprise in your mailbox.

In Your Words: Has social media helped you develop relationships with other writers? With your readers? Have you had any unexpected surprises, thanks to tweeting or commenting on someone's blog or Facebook page? If someone asked you why they should get into social media, what would you say?

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At 7:43 AM, Blogger Donna said...

Great post, Beth! I couldn't agree more. I've also built relationships through social media with people I've never met. But when we do, we'll be able to pick up in the middle of a conversation, instead of the beginning. :) Isn't Keli just the sweetest!

At 8:26 AM, Blogger dtopliff said...

That is cute. I like cinnamon red hots but am not sure I'm ready for atomic FireBalls! Yowzer!

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Reba J. Hoffman said...

Oh geez, what would I do without Social Media? Never thought I'd ever write those words. But it's true. Once I gave up the ghost and was transported into the twenty-first century, I learned to embrace it. Now, I love social media. Did I just say that?

At 8:39 AM, Blogger Edie Melson said...

I still laugh when people talk about how I've introduced them to social media (thank you, Beth!!!). I came to the digital era kicking and screaming. But some of my closest friends came via the Internet - my writing sisters at Susan May Warren's, My Book Therapy. I truly couldn't have survived the last 2 years without these wonderful friends and prayer warriors. We've laughed, we've cried, encouraged, prayed and commiserated...all over the Internet. And I can hardly wait to meet some of them in person for the first time at ACFW this year!

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

It's true, it's true. So many of us initially reluctant members of social media are true converts now. (And not just for the candy!)
I've learned so much from the people I've connected with via Twitter and the blogs I've stumbled upon. (Wait! Isn't there another resource--stumble-something . . )
I know social media is an ocean I'll never fully conquer, but I'm in. I'm totally in.

At 9:09 AM, Blogger Melissa Tagg said...

Fact: I dreamt about Twitter last night. No joke.

Another fact: I LOVE fireballs. When I studied in London, and the several times I've gone back, friends there always request I bring fireballs along. Which I do...happily.

As for social media, I will join Twitter soon and get over my fear of having nothing relevant to say!

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Don't you think dreaming about Twitter is a sign it's time for you to jump on the tweeting bandwagon?
I think you'd have plenty of relevantly funny things to say!

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Melissa Tagg said...

Haha, yes, probably, Beth. In my dream, I couldn't decide what my Twitter name should be. Intense stuff! haha...

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Stacy S. Jensen said...

When I began using Social Media, I was a little isolated in a smaller town. Like 3 hours away. So, it helped me feel connected to other writers. I love the idea that it is about relationships.

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

The whole idea of social media = relationships made it so much more approachable for me, Stacey. I've connected with all sorts of fun people.

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Keli Gwyn said...

Beth, social media is a great thing. As you said, it helped bring us together, and I'm grateful for that.

Glad you got the package OK and appreciated your little trip to the past. =)

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Peaches Ledwidge said...

At first I resisted social media when I thought it was just for people who wanted to show off. Now I like the fact that I can meet others who share some of my interests - writing, for example.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Thanks for dropping by, Peaches.
I know there are some folks who use social media for self-centered reasons. But those folks are few and far between-and easily spotted. Most folks I've connected with are truly relationship-oriented. There's a real "how can I help you" attitude out there.


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