Be for real

Facebook may be waning with the kids but not with writers.
By Alicia Anstead, Writer Editor-in-Chief | Published: June 5, 2013


With Facebook’s popularity waning among young people, the good news for writers is that it may still hold value for those in the over-30 (and then some) crowd. Many writers lurk about on Facebook – and as it turns out, so do some agents and editors. And it may just be the place where cultivating relationships and engaging like-minded users still holds some value.

Consider the story of middle grade novelist Mike Jung, author of Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities (see The Writer, August ’13). Not only did he join a few key message boards, but he also created his own voice on Facebook with pithy, fun posts. Did he use language to promote his book? Did he pitch an editor? Did he try to sell anything? No, no and no. He developed friendly relationships – even when one of the top editor’s in children’s publishing liked him.

Jung’s secret? Be authentic.  We’ve heard that time and time again about Facebook, but I see so few examples of real authenticity in my day-to-day surfing on various pages. And the one thing about authenticity is: You can’t fake it.

Writers, of course, are naturally good at any media that allows them to write. How might you be part of the literary conversations in an authentic way that also distinguishes your voice and talent? Worth thinking about because even if you don’t pull in the young folks, they’re only getting older – and Facebook isn’t going anywhere.

In the meantime, here are a few takeaway points from Jung’s Facebook success:

Mike Jung’s social media takeaways

  • Use social media to make connections and develop relationships. Don’t use it as a vehicle to achieve personal goals.
  • Be professional and positive at all times.
  • Remember that social media is a public, written form of communication. Words matter. What you say and how you say it is important. Your words are out there for the entire world to see.
  • When you like someone else’s writing, support it in your online comments.