Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chris Swinney talks about Social Media

Chris Swinney, author of Gray Ghost

I thought everyone could benefit from a little pep talk concerning social media. So, that’s what I’m going to write about today.

I know the whole business of promoting (mostly ourselves which is tough) is daunting, tiresome, boring, and most of us loathe it. I’m with you, certainly, but I feel until we “make it,” we must do it. I’m from a younger generation of writers and remember just a few years ago the buzz word was “platform.” The concept relied heavily on social media and one’s presence on the World Wide Web (some people call it the Internet). Nowadays, talking about platform is a thing of the past, and people smack you in the face about promoting a thousand different ways several times a day. It stinks, but I believe we writers must do this or we will struggle to sell our work.

So, a few things to think about. First, I created a social media group (called Social Media 101) on Goodreads where I break down the biggies in the social media realm so you can understand how to get started, what the lingo means, and how each one can benefit you. I was frustrated and consulted numerous experts in the field before compiling the work. Now, 204 people are in the group. You can participate in great discussions or add to them and ask questions. I or others will respond fairly quickly and help you out. It’s TOTALLY FREE!

And second. How would you feel if I told you there was a way, free for the most part, in which you could write one message and get it out to at least seven of your social media sites with one click? Sound pretty cool? I think so. The software is called Hootsuite ( There’s a lot more you can do with the software, but for the most part, you can link your social media sites to one account, write a message, and with the click of the button, send it out to the social media sites linked to your Hootsuite account. It significantly lessens the amount of time you spend on social media promotion. Again, it’s TOTALLY FREE! If you choose to link more sites to it (more than seven), it will cost you a monthly fee. One thing I really like about it is I can set or pre-schedule messages AHEAD of time.

For example, I know that posting on social media sites at 9 am, 12 noon, 6 pm, and 9 pm are the best times to have the most people see my posts. So, with Hootsuite, I can set these messages up AHEAD of time and it does the rest. You need a little knowledge of spreadsheets or excel, but it’s really not that hard. And, Hootsuite will help you out with their great customer service. I use this site and service all the time and have been very happy with it. Think about this, you go off to a signing or a conference or even a vacation and while you are gone, Hootsuite sends out messages to readers, fans, and potential buyers for you. You just can’t beat that!

Anyway, I hope some of you will be a little less stressed out with the social media aspect of promotions. I’m available anytime to answer questions or try to give you some pointers.

To read Chris’ biography and/or to order a copy of Gray Ghost, click on the link below.


  1. Sounds wonderful, Chris. I'll definitely join your GoodReads group for social media.

    1. Hello Marilyn! Thanks for stopping by and I truly hope you get something out of the Goodreads group.

  2. Thanks for all that. I'll see you there.

    1. Hey Roger. Thanks for stopping by! Nice to meet you.

  3. You're incredibly generous with sharing information, Chris, and I really appreciate this. You even mentioned the best hours to post information. Thank you so very much!
    Marja McGraw

  4. Chris, your social media group is a help in acquainting us with the various sites and how to use them.
    As to Hootsuite, I'm a little concerned readers seeing the same message on seven different sites (even at different times) may view it as just another "ad" they can disregard rather than as a "personal message" directed at them.

  5. Hi, Pat and Chris,

    As a tech challenged writer, I appreciate helpful posts such as this!