Nov 252015
Alex fave 4

Alex is also known as “Mr Social”


When attending writers’ group meetings, I can always count on at least part of the conversation turning to social media. I’ve come to expect it. What continues to surprise me, however, is just how many creative businesspeople resist joining their communities online. I don’t get it. While I may be an extreme introvert, one thing I’m not at all shy about is my fondness for social media.

[Tweet “While I may be an introvert, I’m not at all shy about my fondness for social media.”]

I try not to be one of those “pain-in-the-butt-spammy-Pammies” with the constant stream of automatically posted “buy my book” and “like my page” messages. I hope to be a source of information for people who are less comfortable online than I am. I like passing on good news about friends and fellow authors or sharing touching, funny or uplifting memes, photos, and videos. I hope to connect people who read my blog, tweets or author page with other cool people on the planet.

Why wouldn’t I? I have met some amazing people and had the opportunity to collaborate on some unusual projects. I first met my fabulous assistant (and now close friend) on Twitter. My husband and I first saw Alex (above) online, and we used my Facebook Author Page to help name him. Right now, I’m waiting to hear about a dog a reader tried to adopt after seeing the story on my author page.

[Tweet “We first met our #dog Alex online. My Facebook Page helped name him.”]

A couple of weeks ago, I had another remarkable online experience. I was working to finalize a book title and needed some feedback from prospective readers. For years, I’ve heard marketing experts talk about using social media as a way to test ideas. Most of them have much bigger followings and can get involved with things like A/B testing. I was a little worried. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I’m allergic to artificially inflated follower numbers and that I’m kinda in love with my small but loyal group of online buddies but this time I needed help — from lots of people.

Anyway, I needed help with a title. The working title had been with me since approximately forever and, not only was it hard to say, I was just plain sick of it. In addition, from what I could tell, people didn’t like it. And while I’m far from a marketing genius, I do know that a title that doesn’t make people want to know more probably isn’t going to be of much use, is it?

[Tweet “I’m allergic to artificial followers and am kinda in love with a small but loyal…”]

Despite my small numbers, I put a little poll on my blog. I belong to an ‘authors helping authors’ forum, and fellow members provided me with some thoughtful responses but, overall, raised more questions than they answered.

After creating new and better titles, I wanted to check them out again. And I needed to hear from people who hadn’t yet weighed in, so I sent private messages to a few dozen Facebook friends who helped me narrow the field to two titles.

Having arrived at a single, clear question (“This one or that?”), a friend of mine posted it on her wall. I do not know any of the dozens of people who took the time to help me.

[Tweet “The process was affirming and social, a give-and-take for which I’m very #grateful.”]

It was wonderful. They answered the question, and also shared the reasons for their responses. Not only did these strangers help me choose a title, but they also helped me get clear about my own thinking. The whole process was affirming and social, a give-and-take for which I’m very grateful.

I’d also love it if you used the “comment” link to tell me how you use social media. What has your experience been? How do you feel about it?


The Inner Critic Advantage: Making Peace With the Noise in Your Head by Andrea Patten is now available on Amazon.

  15 Responses to “It’s Called Social Media”

  1. I’m another introvert on social media, Andrea:) Actually, to me, social media seems made for introverts!

    I primarily use FB (for business and personal…plus the strands between them), though I do a little on Twitter and IG. I’ve made wonderful connections through FB (business and personal).

    And yet, I find that too much social media use drains me, particularly if scattered across media. So I picked one that feels most resonate (FB) and let the other stuff be extra and minimal.

    • I agree, Dana… I think *all* electronic media is made for introverts — it lets us connect when we’re (usually) at our best. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  2. I love my time on social media too! And I’m a secret introvert too….but social media gives me wings 😉 the right kind too!
    Much Love,

  3. Thanks for your post re: social media, Andrea. I was at first resistant to it, but am now seeing how much it helps to stay connected with people that I wouldn’t otherwise. It feels good to ‘like’ other people’s pages and to have others ‘like’ my page. Feels less isolating and like there are people out there appreciating my message and vice versa.

  4. Andrea, I enjoyed the positive experiences you shared about using social media. I have a bit of a push-pull around it. I find twitter quick and easy and have been interviewed and met some interesting people through twitter. I used FB to help select the cover for the book I launched last year. I put up 3 covers and had people “vote” on which one they liked best and why. It was great! One came out way ahead of the others and that’s the one I selected. I also find that social media can be time consuming and I really need to set boundaries on it otherwise can be on it for a couple of hours and wonder what I’ve accomplished 🙂

  5. Social media has opened so many doors for me. It connected me to beautiful people like you. It expanded my reach and brought me clients, new partnerships, new friendships, new knowledge, and so much more!

    • What a lovely thing to say. I’m glad to be connecting with you, too… and, too, follow people to lead me to new knowledge. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  6. Thanks, Andrea. I love it, I am very involved, and yet I am also aware that it can stimulate a kind of neediness in me, to get more clicks likes, follows, etc. So, like everything, it has many sides, and, to see the positive, it’s all just more information about learning to be and love the self. xo, Reba

    • It can be a tough balance, for sure. I think it really helps to be clear on where we participate and what we expect. I’m not sure I’d be as open to collaboration if the numbers were so big I couldn’t get a sense of people.

  7. I loved being part of that process in a small way.
    The interesting thing for me about social media is just what you said….how genuine it can be. I mostly ignore the really glossy buy -my -whatever posts but I enjoy engaging with people that I seldom see or have never seen when it’s real and interesting or fun or inspiring.
    Glad you had such good results.

  8. Andrea, “social networking” represents a big chunk of my promotional efforts. Each Wednesday (like today) I read, comment, and help promote the efforts of some of the women whose work I admire. I pay it forward and know in my heart and from the numbers that my reach just keeps growing.

    I have made some lasting business and personal connections thorugh social media, it’s such a gift.

  9. I love social media, it helps me with my life and my business. I know i must have a better strategy for my biz, that’s coming 🙂 Social media was such a gift to me on my healing journey. it also allows me to meet so many like minded friends , like you Thanks xxoo

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