Tutor Me on These Sites…Please

I recently posted the following tweet:

A couple of author friends chimed in that they would like to see such a post as well. But I haven’t found a good resource. Yes, I’m sure I could find a tutorial. However, I have noticed that my blogger friends often do a great job of summarizing all of the information I need in a single post (check out Techie Tuesdays with Jenny Hansen for great examples), thus saving me from a few awkward hours of clicking through things I do and don’t need.

So for an unusual Deep-Fried Friday, I am not even battering anything up. I need YOUR help to figure out what the heck I’m doing. Here are social media tools for which I have accounts but have barely scratched the surface in using them well.

LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a business-related social networking site. It is aimed at connecting people through their professions and boasts over 135 million users across 200+ countries. I know that you can build a network and then recommend people to others, but I don’t know how this best works and how to navigate the site well. I also wonder if this is a good resource for an author, or if it caters to a specific population. (Update: Just too good not to share! Jenny Hansen did posts on LinkedIn back in May & June which I didn’t know about when I drafted this post. Here’s THE LINK.)

Goodreads. Goodreads seems to me like a spider-webbed book club. Members can go on and log what they are reading, post reviews, and get recommendations from others. When I logged on, I invited everyone I knew from Twitter to be my Goodreads friends. Now I have about a gazillion friends whose status updates keep popping up. I have no idea how to organize information and use this tool best. Moreover, I would like to know about rating and reviewing books. Is this is a good idea for an upcoming author to do? Could I possibly anger the wrong person by giving some book 2 out of 5 stars when I might need their help in the publishing world later? (I know that’s a long shot, but my mind tends to imagine all of the possibilities.)

Klout. Klout is a way of measuring the impact you have on the social media world. By tracking your interactions on other sites (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more), your influence and ability to drive action is ranked between 1 and 100 to show how IT you are. It’s helpful to see where and how you are influencing and to think about actions you can take to increase your reach. I also know that you can give others a K+ in certain categories. But I don’t know how this overall thing works. Should I be K+ing people? Should I thank them for K+ing me? Should I tweet those notices? How often should I check my Klout score? Are there are other features I’ve missed here?

By the way, a couple of social media notes.

Facebook users will be moved over to the new Timeline look soon. I don’t believe a specific date has been announced, although I have seen rumors of the 29th or 30th of this month. At some point, however, you will get a message at the top of your page essentially saying, Here we go! Whether you love it, hate it, or are indifferent, there’s no point fighting it. Get used to it. I’m enjoying the new look, although it is taking a little extra time to find things on the page as I adjust. USA Today had some good tips on using Timeline.

Triberr is a networking site for bloggers to increase their reach. It is invitation only. I am on Triberr and recommend it. I love the bloggers in my group and am happy to recommend others go to their sites. Also, knowing that they will be tweeting my posts keeps me on my toes to put out decent content. Jenny Hansen did a fabulous post on using Triberr. I can’t add anything to it, so go see what she said.

Now what expertise can you share about LinkedIn, Goodreads, and Klout? What other social media sites do you want more information on using? Do you have favorite ones and why?

24 thoughts on “Tutor Me on These Sites…Please

  1. Out of the 5 services you listed, I am active on one (Facebook)…and haven’t even heard of two! what a social network failure I am! But this informative post will help me with my online presence. Thank you! This was great and I learned a lot!

  2. Great post Julie!!
    LinkedIn – I have an account but it’s more for my day job. I don’t use it at all quite honestly.
    Goodreads – I am not on it but I hear it’s amazing for writers. I believe I’ve read the key is to join forums/discussion groups?!?! Although I have little experience with it thus far.
    Klout – I am at a loss as well. I read a post by Kristen Lamb on how this is an important tool and knowing and keeping a good Klout score is important but I haven’t spent the time necessary to get in and surf around yet.
    Facebook – I use it more for friends/photo updates. It’s my “what’s everyone up to this weekend” kind of thing. Recently I have started sharing interesting blog posts etc on it but it’s a casual use.
    Triberr – my new love. It seems to have a fairly tough learning curve and most people experience difficulty getting signed up and getting everything working but once you do, it rocks. It’s one stop-social-media-shopping!
    The new one I want to explore is Pinterest http://pinterest.com/ and Google+ but I just haven’t had the time yet. LOL!!

    1. I read that same post from Kristen and thought it was great. But then I get onto Klout and think, “Now what?” I’m also very casual on Facebook. I have a friend who loves Pinterest; if you’re good at spotting trends, apparently this is a great tool. If only we could clone ourselves to have time for it all, Natalie!

  3. Oh man, I hope you get some good responses to this. I would love to know how to use Goodreads. I suppose I need to join discussion groups, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of activity in them. Most are just (that I’ve found) daily stuff.

    As for Triberr, I really need to get focused on it. If Natalie has any more information, that would be great. I do have a membership to a small group, but it’s difficult for me to figure out how to use it effectively.

    Great post!

    1. I’m enjoying Triberr, Stacy. I do suggest taking a look at Jenny’s post. She does a good job of walking you through certain steps. Once I got everything set up, Triberr has been pretty easy to manage. There are other features beyond what I use, but I know enough now to do what I need to. The rest will come. Best wishes!

  4. Julie, thanks for the link to the Triberr post. My LinkedIn posts were from last May and June. Perhaps I should update them and bring them back. Hmmm…

    I’m going to make an exception to my personal rule of not posting links and give them to you here.

    Let me know if I need to do a post. My Techie Tuesdays are a service to all of you guys, after all. Why be a software trainer and not share with your pals, right?

  5. This is the first I’ve heard of Triberr. It sounds neat, but I am not on it. (hint, hint–anyone)

    As for the others you mentioned, I have zero info. I’ve heard of them, but I don’t know how to use them. I have just started being more active on Facebook and am having fun participating in chats via my friends status updates. However, I’m still woefully ignorant about how to really use it.

    If I were going to experiment on any of them, it would be Goodreads. I’ve never done it because I am afraid of spreading myself too thin and not being effective anywhere. Which is actually the story of my life.

    Great post, Julie. I learned more than I knew, even though you were asking for info. I also set this post to tweet later in the day. Maybe someone more knowledgeable than I am will come along and enlighten us all.

  6. I wish I could share how to use these sites, but I seem to struggle with the few I do use.

    I am completely confused by Goodreads. So confused, in fact, that I haven’t been able to figure out how to link latest book to my profile. I love the idea behind it but every time I go there, I have a,”What do I do now?” moment.

    As far as the rating and reviewing conundrum: I only review books that I think earned at least four stars. If I read something that is a solid two or three it never makes it onto my Goodreads shelf.

    I hope you get some answers to this post, Julie. Sounds like we could all use them 🙂

  7. I’m a novice to most of these, but have heard that Goodreads is a must to use when you are published… I have an account, but I have a hard enough time keeping up with my TBR and review list. I need to get a better handle on this.

    I’m also using Triberr for the first time. I love it for the people in my Tribe. But do I have any advice to offer? Heck no! You guys had to help me.

    I also have a Linked in account. I set it up years ago and have difficulty logging in today. I should really update my profile…if I remember correctly, it’s only for my Executive Assistant Professional life, not my life as a writer. I hear there are a ton of great writing groups out there, similar to what we have in Facebook.

    Okay, so I know I didn’t help you better understand these sites….sorry!

    1. Yes, I love my Triberr tribe as well! 🙂 I’m so happy to support this great group of writers.

      I headed over to Jenny’s LinkedIn posts, and they are great. I will be working through that in the next few weeks. Thanks, Tiffany.

  8. I know very little about these, and I’m on most of them. What I’ve learned about Goodreads is this: Authors should NEVER rate their own books. NEVER. (Just learned that one yesterday via Angela James on Twitter…oops!) Authors should NEVER comment on a GR review of their book, even if its just to say thanks. Some reviewers get spooked. Plus, commenting can draw you into discussion if its NOT a good review…and that is always to be avoided!
    Authors SHOULD get out and mingle and discuss other books – but they should NOT be a promo machine. Don’t talk about your book unless you are invited to do so. Authors should NOT give bad reviews or talk poorly about other authors for the very reason you mentioned, Julie – you never know when that famous author you’re dissing today could help you out tomorrow, but decides not to. Keep your opinion to yourself, if you didn’t enjoy the book. If you did, praise it to the skies.

    Of all of these, the rating your own book thing was new to me…the rest is kind of common sense.
    I’m looking forward to the rest of your comments here!

    1. Thank you for the great tips! I do have a question for me I would say if you’d give a book3 stars or less don;t rate it- what do you think is 3 stars good enough to put yourself out there reviewing it?

  9. Christine has some good points on Goodreads. I’ve heard it can be a huge time-suck and that the reviewers can be really harsh but I think that may be more toward the spammy authors. Robin Sullivan has an excellent tutorial on her blog http://writetopublish.blogspot.com. I haven’t signed up for Goodreads yet but I plan to reread her posts on it before I do. Good luck with your learning!

  10. I just joined Goodreads and I have the same worries. I have friends who in all honesty I would give 2 or maybe 3 stars too. which sucks, because i adore these people. So if I wouldn’t give the book 4 or 5 stars I’m just going to ignore it. Because I do want to support the authors who’ve written books I love. I’m not sure how to use Goodreads- but I like the to-read list because I now have an easy way to keep up with all the books I want to read.

  11. I’m learning Goodreads now. It seems to be a good way to get in touch with the audience interested in the same genre you write in. Some book reviews can be quite educational. I think it would be to utilize the forums, not to promote your work but to share your views and build a community of like-minded readers.

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