How To Engage Social Media To Find Your Target Audience

Twanna A. Hines, sex, dating & relationships writer and social media consultant, explains how "whoring it up" helps build your career. Don't worry. It's not what you think.

I started a sex & relationships blog, FUNKY BROWN CHICK®, in June 2005. Five years later, I'd written 1,000+ original posts and attracted a total 2.1 million unique visitors; my lovely readers had left 18,278 comments. (I'm incredibly grateful for them.) Blogs allow you to share commentary, opinions and various topics relevant to your genre. I encourage all my clients to start blogs if they don't already have them. Additionally, every writer should buy their name as a domain. Do it now! Yourname.com might be prime real estate for your body of work. FUNKY BROWN CHICK® is my company, brand, registered trademark and online home. Nevertheless, although it takes forever to load and needs a massive overhaul, I also own www.twannahines.com. A guy from my writing group, Joe Antol owns Antol.com, and he is able to set of subdomains for each family member. If your name doesn't have a memorable spelling, get creative. Fellow writer pal Marci Alboher choose the unforgettable Heymarci.com.

No stranger to the Internet, I taught students how to build webpages when I lived in Los Angeles in the 1990s. Back then, I created a personal homepage which I maintained until I upgraded to an ongoing Angelfire web journal. So, when I arrived in Manhattan in 2005, it was very natural for me to launch FUNKY BROWN CHICK®. I'm funky. I have brown skin. And, I'm a chick. A freelancer as well, I've written for Lifetime, Nerve, New York Press, Fast Company and I have a blog on the Huffington Post. Combining my passion for the written word with my background in online technology, it's been a pleasure to provide other writers with social media consulting to help them reach target audiences. Below are three golden rules for improving your social media engagement.

BE PROMISCUOUS

Don't limit yourself to a single web-based technology. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube and other websites are vehicles that can connect writers to readers who like their work. Find a site that fits your lifestyle, and focus your energies there. I'm fairly active New Yorker, and I like sharing my whereabouts on Twitter and Foursquare. In between FUNKY BROWN CHICK® updates, I post relevant sex, dating and relationships news & events on Facebook.

REMEMBER YOUR AGENT IS NOT YOUR PIMP

Perhaps you have representation who successfully procurers new customers and clients for your writing. Don't assume your agent's job is to promote your writing 24/7. You know your work best, and you are your biggest cheerleader. Use social media to update others about your books, articles and other publications.

FROLIC FREELY

Commune with like-minded souls. SheWrites is an excellent online home for women to meet other writers as well as find service providers who can help at every stage of the writing life. Join groups. Import your RSS feed. Post photos. Tell us about your latest news. But, it's not just about you. Remember to support and celebrate the successes of your fellow writers.

Gook luck!

Twanna A. Hines is a Manhattan-based sex, dating and relationships writer. She studied at New York University. Her B.S. and M.A. degrees are in sociology. Called one of “the internet’s sultriest sharers” by the Village Voice, details about her rendezous have been printed in Glamour magazine. She has appeared on CNN, NPR, Sirius Satellite Radio as well as CBC. She has written for Lifetime, Nerve, New York Press, Fast Company and has a blog on the Huffington Post. AOL recognized her award-winning site FUNKY BROWN CHICK®. She has also been quoted in New York magazine, Gawker Media, The San Francisco Chronicle, EbonyJet, The Baltimore Sun, Vibe and elsewhere.

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Tags: #marketing, #social media, publicity

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Comment by Carleen on August 26, 2010 at 12:27pm
2 million unique visitors?! Wowza!!!

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