“Build a platform”, they all said, to become famous and influential before you publish your first novel. Market something that does not exist? We used to call it “vapourware”, now it’s “work-in-progress”. But I followed conventional wisdom…
I joined a dozen or more platforms, forums and exchanges. I participated in campaigns to encourage Followers and at time of writing…
- Twitter: 3179 Followers
- Facebook: 572 Likes
- LinkedIn: 500+ Connections
- Blog: 52 Followers
- Klout: 52% score
I am currently working on building my Goodreads presence.
Additionally, I have a few accounts which I have neglected so far: Google+,Quora , Yahoo, Pinterest, Vizify and a couple of others, I think…
A word about Twoo : I keep receiving invitations from total strangers all using my private (and confidential) email address. I am extremely dubious and suspicious about this and remain unreassured by Twoo’s standard, responsibility-evading response to my concerns. But do not let me influence you, read some independent reviews.
(I use Twitter terminology here, but it applies to all platforms.)
The social platform netiquette convention is to Follow back those who Follow you. I support exhibitions of good manners as they have become such a rare commodity. However, I am faced daily with the problem of reciprocation; should I or shouldn’t I? At first, I Followed-back everyone, happy to be building a Following. But things have changed.
I seek Followers who might read, understand and enjoy my words, so I withhold the Followback reward from those:-
- offering ways of adding thousands of Followers overnight (instantly “Blocked”)
- whose profile summaries and tweets are in a language I do not understand
- using MiXEd cAse tEXt (I expect a certain degree of literacy from my readers)
- whose sole purpose is to broadcast their love for Justin Bieber or anyone in their school class
- promoting campaigns which I do not support – for example, anti-abortion groups
- with no profile description, or no personalised profile picture, as I doubt their seriousness
I remain unsure about people with strong religious sentiments, as I expect that some of my writing will offend them.
Finally, I use one of the many tools to monitor those who UnFollow after gaining a FollowBack. I always return the favour of Unfollowing.
As an aside, I have begun to create “Lists” (see my Profile for example), breaking down my Followers into categories useful to me in identifying exactly who is Following. This is proving to be a truly valuable tool. (I recommend doing this BEFORE you reach 3000 Followers and maintaining them with every new Follower.)
A writer’s platform is a channel to potential readers and a “platform-builder” should know the profile of the wonderful people they wish to attract.
My Ideal Follower, then, has the following characteristics:-
- open-minded or at least tolerant to new ideas
- interested in Humanity (used to be called “Mankind”) and where it is headed
- preferably already a reader of Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction
- reasonably literate in English
If that’s you, I encourage you to Follow my Blog and/or Tweets using the buttons provided in the side panels.
Am I missing something in this analysis and strategy?
What criteria do you use in building a platform?