Yesterday I gave a workshop on social media to a group of writers. I thought you might like to hear some of the tips we talked about and a bit of my personal journey.
I joined Facebook in 2010. I was nervous about privacy, but one of my respected colleagues was on Facebook and reassured me. I followed his advice about privacy settings.
What drew me was my brother’s recommendation that his children posted photos there. My nephew, Randy Plett, is an amazing travel photographer. I wanted to see more of his photos and hear updates about family members from near and far.
I was delighted with what I discovered on Facebook. Hours passed easily. Once I was horrified to realize that I had left my cat outside, and had to search for him in the dark. I wrote a poem about that experience, “Fascinating Facebook: A cat tale.”
Not all my Facebook friends seemed equally entertained with my posts about cats, so I decided to start a Facebook page where I could share to my heart’s content. People who weren’t interested didn’t need to go there. Some family members said I was crazy about cats, so I embraced the term.
I started my Crazy about Cats Facebook page in 2011. Despite my lifelong love for cats, there was a lot I didn’t know. I learned there were a lot of cat-specific rescue groups, and the page soon focused on the work of these groups all across Canada.
I was happy to learn about municipal shelters where unclaimed animals were not put to death. I discovered them all across Canada, even in the challenging remote locations of Yukon and Nunavut. In 2012, I started a Facebook page dedicated to that subject, No Kill Canada / un pays sans tuer.
People responded well to my initiatives on Facebook. Crazy about Cats now has over 13,000 fans, while No Kill Canada / un pays sans tuer has over 1,000 fans.
This year, our local writers’ club started a social media presence, which I manage. It was fun to connect with other writers to build material that I could share. I started a YouTube channel for the club, where I filmed people reading from their work. I found myself waking up earlier, excited about the day. (Can you tell I enjoy social media?)
Our writers’ club welcomed a lot of new members at our September meeting, partly due to our social media presence. We also had more contest entries and more funds coming in, without paying a cent for advertising.
How do you do that? Here are some tips:
For more social media tips, check out these articles (click on the title):
I also recommend watching others you admire who are successful.
One of my favourites is Tinykittens, a Canadian success story with over 1.5 million Facebook fans. Its founder, Shelly Roche, gave great publicity to her rescue partner, the no kill Langley Animal Protection Society, using 24 hour kitten cams. Her recent video about Grandpa Mason, a grumpy old feral cat with chronic renal failure, warmed the hearts of people around the world as they watched him respond with joy to foster kittens.
In the animal rescue world, social media saves lives. Beautiful photos of animals looking for a home get shared and adopters appear. There are many stories of how social media also saves human lives, like this one by SocialNewsDaily.
It should be no problem then, for you to use this powerful tool to get more publicity for your work. At the same time, you'll have the chance to learn more about great people doing good work all around you. It’s worth the effort.
- Irene Plett
TOPICS: How To, Marketing, Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Writers, Animal Rescue, Cat Rescue, No Kill Shelters