Social Media and You – Ask Alice Saturday

Question: What’s the most important thing to know about Social Media?Social Media image

Answer: The most important thing about Social Media and You is this. Your Presence there. Your Presence is how you Present yourself. The nature of that Presence should be a conscious – even a calculated choice.

Ask yourself this crucial question. How is it in my best interests to be seen? That means you must first ask yourself another question. Why am I on social media? What do I NEED to get out of being there? That was two questions. I know. So sue me.

Case in point. My last snarky comment – “So sue me” – might be out of sync with the way I want/need to be seen – the Presence I intend to Present. I’m on the internet mostly as a book author. I want to attract people to me. In turn I hope they’ll be attracted to my books.

I want/need to be likable/approachable/pleasant. Somebody you’d enjoy a chat with. Snark may not accomplish those ends. Snark could turn some people off and I must think about that. The point is that I must be what we now call Intentional about such choices.

You should be Intentional too. You might ask “Why bother?” And I would answer “Because of visibility.”

Social media isn’t a peephole only accessible to your chosen friends and followers. Social media is an unbelievably wide picture window. All it takes is Google and your name for anybody and everybody to look through that window at you.

They may be casual browsers or prospective employers or potential consumers of your work. What they see through the world wide web window is the Presence you Present. So you must think very seriously about what you want and need that Presence to be.

If you want/need to be seen as a political firebrand – or any brand of firebrand – rant away. If you want/need to be seen as a sex pot – vamp away. I’ve got no dog in your fight. I’m just advising you to make a savvy and considered choice regarding what breed your dog will be.

Social media as I see it isn’t a come-as-you-are party. It’s a come-as-best-suits-your-agenda party. Is that manipulative? You can bet your pugilistic pooch it is. Oops! Was that me being snarky again? Must be that’s an aspect of the Presence I intend to Present.


 My next story is A YEAR OF SUMMER SHADOWS – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book #2 – Mark & Hailey’s Story. Launching with summer on June 22nd at This is my 13th novel and it is full to the brim with the Presence I intend to Present.  Alice

6 thoughts on “Social Media and You – Ask Alice Saturday

  1. Yes, I am always very careful of what I say online in relation to “proper branding.” I have two different Facebook author pages to accommodate my YA author name and my romance pen name.

    1. Hi Catherine Stine. First of all it was great to run into you at Staple’s. I never expect that in NYC but I enjoy when it happens. I hope you had a grand time at the Albany Conference. And I imagine you’ll have a similarly good experience at Romantic Times. I can tell from our Staples chat that you’re juggling more than one author identity. That makes the on-line identity situation tricky but you’re obviously making the right moves. The most essential of those moves is to be aware that you straddle the divides between more than one audience and you must decide what perception is most appropriate for each of those audiences. Appropriate in terms of what is least likely to have a negative effect on your book sales. That is a jugging act for sure but you seem to have it under control. From what I know of you I would expect nothing less. Good work Catherine.

    1. Hi Trevann Roger. Thank you for your comment. Yes. Your online image is of your first consideration. But I do think you have to consider where you create that image as well. Some platforms are more appropriate for you and your work than others might be. As I said in response to Catherine Stine’s comment -when I talk about appropriateness I’m referring I’m referring to what will sell your books. You must first figure out who your readership – which is also your constituency – might be. Once you’ve researched to determine who they might be – you must research further to find out where that constituency is most likely to be hanging out online. Those are your access points to your constituency – where you need to be in order to be visible to and discoverable by then. After all of that – you then fashion the online persona that will turn them on to you personally and then to your work. I highly recommend a book titled Rise of the Machines by Kristen Lamb for learning more about all of that. I have my copy on my Kindle and I refer back to it often.

    1. Hi Anna DePalo. You are right about the social media presence being a construct – something we craft with both our common sense and our marketing sense in play. Of course that presence must be true to the person we really are – never contradictory to it. I think of my online self as being the Alice I am on my best days in my most reasonable mood and frame of mind. But it’s still me. I’ve seen you present in public and in my opinion you do the same.

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