Debra Eckerling on Social Networking

Debra Eckerling is a professional writer with expertise in feature articles, corporate communications, and writers’
workshops. Debra is the founder and leader of Write On!, a live – and online -writers support group, which focuses on goal-setting, productivity, and networking. Write On! Online has author Q&As twice a week, expert columns, and writing contests, as well as a monthly drawing for posting goals. There’s also a Facebook Page for networking, and sharing news, links, and information.
For more information, go to or, or e-mail

Social Networking

By Debra Eckerling

Experts of all ages are taking part and reaping the rewards of social networking. What’s stopping you from jumping in?

Having an online presence is essential to social and live networking. If you are an expert in your field, then you want to be the first person someone thinks of when they need a person who offers your services.

Connects you with people you know – whether they are long time friends or people you just met – as well as people you should know in your field
Drives traffic to your blog

Facilitates self-promotion through events, links, and information

The cost of social networking – unless you hire out – is your time. There are so many options for getting out there electronically, you could spend hours just looking for all of them. … days signing up for them. … and months and years keeping up with them. Thus, leaving no time to do any actual work, writing, etc., and defeating the purpose.

Sure, you could avoid social networking altogether, and hope this technology goes away – but please don’t hold your breath. It’s not going anywhere.

The smarter solution is to start somewhere, anywhere – start small, and keep your priorities in line.

If you are new to the social-networking playground, I recommend you start with LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

LinkedIn is a business site – very often the people I meet at events only use LinkedIn

Post your resume, connect with former and current associates, and get colleague recommendations

Import your blog posts and your tweets (more on tweets later)

Start and join “groups,” post questions.

Facebookis a social networking site for personal and professional use

Find friends, co-workers, relatives

Share pictures and videos, links, and information

Join networks for hometown, current city, workplace, and school

Use your profile for personal connections

Create a group or page for your business, website, or books. Then you can send messages/updates, and create events for booksignings, appearances, releases, etc.

Twitteris a social networking site, perfect for those who are super-busy. You can get a lot of info out in just a bullet point.

Send posts – aka “tweets” – of up to 140 characters

Send updates when your blog is updated

Ask questions and send messages to your followers

Create and follow lists to filter information

Shorten your links, using a site like

Most social networking sites are relatively easy to set up (prompts walk you
through), and have functions where you can import your address book and find people with whom you are already connected.

Once you master these, there are loads of others you can check out, including You Tube, which is a must for those who post video.

Just beware: social networking can easily monopolize your time. A quick check of your friends updates after breakfast; next thing you know, it’s time for lunch.

Allow yourself a certain amount of time each day to devote to promotion using these channels. Make a schedule. Set a timer if you have to. If you are aware of how much time you spend, it will be easier to keep your social networking under control.

One more thing: Social networking is not a replacement for going to events and meeting people in real life. It’s a way to stay in touch with new connections you meet at mixers, lectures, etc. Use social networking responsibly – the rewards have no limits!

23 thoughts on “Debra Eckerling on Social Networking

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Margaret Fieland: Poetry and Prose » Debra Eckerling on Social Networking --

  2. Jane Kennedy Sutton

    Thanks for all the information and tips. I usually give myself an allotted time for networking, but then keep adding five more minutes here and there. Maybe a ringing timer that I had to get up and turn off would be a more effective way of keeping me on schedule.


  3. Nancy Famolari

    Very informative article. I do find social networking very time consuming. I know it’s worthwhile, but it’s hard to balance that against the minutes slipping away!


  4. Janet Ann Collins

    Social networking does take a lot of time and it’s hard to know if it’s making a difference in sales or not, but if we want to be part of the 21st century we pretty much have to do it. At least some of it is enjoyable.


  5. Karen Cioffi

    What great explanations of these social networks. Social networking is such a tough thing to handle. It is so time consuming, yet it’s needed . I think setting a specific amount of time daily or weekly is a good way to try to handle it.

    LOL Vivian, at this point, I’d like to be able to clone myself also.


  6. Pingback: Margaret Fieland: Poetry and Prose » Debra Eckerling on Social …

  7. Elysabeth

    Very informative – I agree. I was just having a conversation earlier with another author who has just recently received her first books (I’m talking within the last couple of weeks and yesterday – she ordered 20 the first time, sold all of them from her Facebook pages, and before those 20 had been sold, she ordered 50 more) about setting up book signings and events and she said she was undecided about doing book signings or live events as she feels she can do other things with the same results. Difference of opinion on things. Me I need the live events to get to where the kids are so I can get my books in the right hands. I don’t spend as much time on the networking on the internet as a lot of other people I know but I’m out there and I do post things every once in a while (Like the events on my facebook pages and all but I don’t update my pages every minute or so, I just can’t do it).

    I agree it is important to network and to socialize online but it’s also as important to put yourself out there in the public in other ways too. And definitely, don’t hold your breath hoping that the technological advances will just go away. Good job, Debra and Margaret – E 😉

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series
    STATE OF WILDERNESS, now available
    STATE OF QUARRIES, now available
    STATE OF RESERVATIONS, coming May 2010
    STATE OF ALTITUDE, coming May/June 2010

    Where will the adventure take you next?


  8. Susanne Drazic

    Very informative post. Thanks so much for sharing. Social networking can easily take up a lot of time if you let it get out of hand. A timer is a great way to help keep the time spent social networking under control. I’m picking up a timer for myself tomorrow!

    Susanne Drazic


  9. Debra Eckerling

    Yes, and before we met in real life, Carolyn and I through Twitter. I love this live and virtual networking.

    Elysabeth, I agree. The virtual networking means nothing without the live networking, though connecting online as follow-up from events is a great use of the online time.

    Btw, I talked about live networking when I guested on Dallas blog a few months back:

    Thanks again to all for your comments.


  10. Greta

    Great post. It’s always hard getting started in social networking…but I agree that it’s the best way to get in touch with a diverse group of people.


  11. Gayle

    Thank you for the informative article. I’ll agree, social networking IS time-consuming…sometimes because you get caught up in the fun! 🙂


  12. Dallas Woodburn

    Thanks for this informative post, Deb! Social networking can be intimidating, especially when you’re first starting out, but you did a great job of breaking things down into clear, manageable steps. Bravo!


  13. grzybica

    I’ll right away grab your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.


  14. slub

    whoah this blog is magnificent i love reading your posts. Keep up the great work! You know, lots of people are looking around for this information, you can help them greatly.



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