Social Networking for Authors: Play a Game You Can Win

Play a Social Networking Game You Can Win!

You’re in charge of your schedule. So set up a game you can win around social networking. Have a goal, which is how you “win” the game. Facebook_icon_letterOverall make your goal 100% attainable and fun, unless you also need to know you’re climbing to the top of a really tall mountain to motivate you. (Like me!) I still also set manageable and attainable goals. For beginners, get familiar with the lay of the land of social networking. For advanced users, challenge yourself to have even clearer goals and higher numbers to reach.

Playing a game you can win has three main steps:

1. Setting up the game
2. Playing the game
3. Tracking your wins (or losses)

1. Set up the game: because this is your own game, this means setting up the rules, parameters, how to win, etc. Decide at least these three factors:

* Time [2 parts: from when to when you’ll play the game; and how much time per session you’ll play]
* Actions: be specific. Choose an action that someone outside of you could identify as an action
* How to keep score, tracking

For example, you can decide to spend 30 minutes a week, once a week on Twitter, and the same amount of time on Facebook. You win by visiting at least five friends in each location and interacting with them, if only to click “like” on something they wrote on Facebook, or to just read their post on Twitter.

Winning equals just putting in the time to get familiar with these platforms. And for those of you that find all this really scary, your game can just be: get clear on your fears and concerns, acknowledge them, and ask “How are your current feelings doing a very good job of keeping you safe?” I am not at all mocking those feelings, but honoring them. Start from where you are. (That’s the first lesson and stage of my book, Writer’s Adventure Guide: 12 Stages to Writing Your Book [shameless plug])

2. Playing the game: actions you take. Make this action be the smallest step that you can take, that feels the safest, and that you can still make progress toward your chosen goal. Write down the action you will take and by when.

3. Tracking your wins (or losses). Keep track in an excel spreadsheet, in your journal or agenda, or a postie. What matters is you choose a method that works for you.

4. BONUS: Celebrate your wins! Tell your loved ones. Tell your new FB and Twitter buddies! We will cheer with you.

c. 2010 Beth Barany

PS. This material was derived from an online class I’m currently teaching on this topic. I will be teaching another online course on Social Networking for Authors in August 2010. Sign up here.

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