Monday, March 3, 2014

Creating Dialogue on the Internet

By Laurie Epps

A lot of people complain that a professional page is just a promotional page. That the only purpose it serves is bold, unfiltered marketing. Well, it can be, but it's not a requirement.

Edie Melson walks us through the nuts & bolts on creating those vital relationships online, without shoving it in your readers face. To follow along, consult your copy of Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers.

Don't feel you are cheapening yourself, or your writing by having a professional page. Facebook is designed to foster relationships. I often post inspiring quotes, job leads, or other blogs on mine. You don't have to sacrifice your relationships by having a professional page.

Some ways to get people to like your professional page:

  • Use your blog, Facebook, and Twitter to reinforce each other.
  • Get on a schedule, and stick with it. I know that sometimes that this is easier to say than it is to do, but you're making a promise to your readers simply by having a blog.
  • Give us the inside scoop. The occasional personal post, shows you're a person and not a robot. (Don't go overboard. Follow Edie's 5 to 1 rule.)
  • Promote others on your fan page. It sounds counterintuitive, but it really works.
  • Visit Facebook pages of your fans and friends. If you want people to comment on your page, then comment on theirs. It's common courtesy.
  • Put a Facebook button on your blog. Make sure you TWEET and use appropriate #hashtags.
  • Stay up to date on your genre. So if you're a journalist, newspapers being absorbed into a larger conglomerate such as the Gwinnett Company is big news. Or if you've found an excellent resource on mashable, then share it on your blog.

I think the most important message here, is to just get your name out there. Don't be afraid to be bold and have the courage to light up the board when the gatekeepers type your name into a search engine. Make sure you show up as a writer, and be relevant.

Can't get enough Social Media? Check out Edie's Social Media Mondays column at:

Next week, we'll be talking about how Twitter can become your social media BFF.

Laurie Epps is a senior at Anderson University majoring in Creative Writing. Already Laurie is most published as a feature article writer, essayist, and poet. A seeker of beauty and world traveler, Laurie hopes to grow into a career in travel writing illuminating the many stories that make us human despite our differences. Currently, Laurie also has a Thoughtful Thursday column dedicated to the fine art of poetry.

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