Finding Love, Socially – Part 2

Finding Love, Socially

Part 2

If you’re a writer, social media isn’t just a tool for promotion. Using a Contemporary setting in your novels requires you to layer in the trappings of modern life. Social media is a big part of that, so it’s important to know the tech savvy ways of finding love online, the key to writing believable stories. So, let’s start with the basic sites where Cupid is the main focus.

Millennials are finding love via the social app Tinder (www.gotinder.com). Tinder allows you search through profile photos of potential love interests in your area. You swipe left on the screen when you don’t like someone, and right when you do. If the person you like swipes right on your photo as well, then you have a match!

With a reported 2 billion matches made since its inception, it’s one of the go-to apps for finding a mate. They recently introduced Tinder Plus, a premium service where you can ‘undo’ your last left swipe if your finger didn’t mirror your attraction. With the ‘passport’ option you can change your destination to anywhere in the world to swipe right and chat with others in locations you intend to visit, might visit, or if you just want to make ‘friends’ worldwide. Tinder was even the focus of an Atlanta Hawks game night where they set up a ‘love lounge’ and had roses available for swipe right matches that wanted to meet up in person.

Tinder is sometimes used for ‘hooking up’ for the night, and in the Olympic Village at Sochi athletes exploited that feature. Tinder also allows you to find out more about a person and actually cyber stalk them. You can take a screenshot of someone’s Tinder picture and then use Google images to see if it finds any matches on the web. In this way you can locate Instagram, Twitter or other social media profiles connected to that one individual The creepy stalker plot potential is infinite.

Finding Love, Socially – Part 1

Finding Love, Socially

Part 1

 If you’re a writer, social media isn’t just a tool for promotion. Using a Contemporary setting in your novels requires you to layer in the trappings of modern life. Social media is a big part of that, so it’s important to know the tech savvy ways of finding love online, the key to writing believable stories. So, let’s start with the basic sites where Cupid is the main focus.

Millennials are finding love via the social app Tinder (www.gotinder.com). Tinder allows you search through profile photos of potential love interests in your area. You swipe left on the screen when you don’t like someone, and right when you do. If the person you like swipes right on your photo as well, then you have a match!

With a reported 2 billion matches made since its inception, it’s one of the go-to apps for finding a mate. They recently introduced Tinder Plus, a premium service where you can ‘undo’ your last left swipe if your finger didn’t mirror your attraction. With the ‘passport’ option you can change your destination to anywhere in the world to swipe right and chat with others in locations you intend to visit, might visit, or if you just want to make ‘friends’ worldwide. Tinder was even the focus of an Atlanta Hawks game night where they set up a ‘love lounge’ and had roses available for swipe right matches that wanted to meet up in person.

Tinder is sometimes used for ‘hooking up’ for the night, and in the Olympic Village at Sochi athletes exploited that feature. Tinder also allows you to find out more about a person and actually cyber stalk them. You can take a screenshot of someone’s Tinder picture and then use Google images to see if it finds any matches on the web. In this way you can locate Instagram, Twitter or other social media profiles connected to that one individual The creepy stalker plot potential is infinite.

Social Media Trends 2015

Trends 2015

 What does 2015 have in store for social media? The landscape is constantly changing but being able to see into the future may help you know where to focus your book promotions. Here are my top five trends to look for in 2015.

5. Mobile

Increasingly people are turning to their smartphones to access the Internet and social media. Penetration of mobile devices worldwide is increasing, so wherever your readers are being available in a mobile friend format will matter.

Is your website responsive to the devices of your visitors? If not, 2015 is the year to make this happen. Not only will it improve the experience for your readers it will also help you improve your Google search engine results because Google gives a better search ranking to adaptive sites.

4. Increase in Paid Social

With the increase in social media usage by both businesses and consumers, newsfeed are more crowded than ever before. To minimize the effect on platform users’ experiences, social media sites will often limit what they see. Want to get around this decrease in organic exposure? Paid social may be the way to do this.

3. The Next Facebook

If there is one thing we can count on this year, there will be numerous ‘new’ platforms some of which will be hailed as the “New Facebook” or the “Facebook Killer.” In 2014, tsū, ello, and This. got some traction. I think we will see additional potentials, but remember to always ask, “Is my target readership adopting this platform?” If your market is YA, you may need to adopt some of the up-and-coming platforms before those with older targets. In general, I take an initial look (I’m on ello as Tyra beating out Ms. Banks), but wait to see how things develop before I invest substantial time. With the end of Google Authorship and the diminishing importance of G+ it’s good to remember that even the owner of the world’s two biggest search engines didn’t kill Facebook.

2. Photos and Video

If there is particular type of content that I believe will increase in importance in 2015, it is visual. Whether photos or videos, being able to create and utilize intriguing and quality visual content will capture your readers’ attention. Thought about doing a book trailer, but resisted the urge? This is the year to put effort into collecting visuals that connect your books to your readers. If you haven’t joined Instagram, you may want to consider getting an account particularly if YA and New Adult are your primary markets. Also, more videos are being watched on Facebook than ever before.

1. Content Matters

Just like a solid plot and characters are the backbone of a good story, content will make or break your success in social media this year. How can you create better content? Make sure it is high quality (such as video or photos) and timely. Also, don’t forget to use hashtags (#) in your posts. With the increase ability to search and see trending topics, a well-chosen hashtag will help you be in the right place at the right time.

What do you see as the important social media trends in 2015? Twee your thoughts @socialmuses or post on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/socialmuses) using the hashtag #SocialTrends2015 so everyone can follow the conversation.

**Originally published in RWA eNotes (Romance Writers of America)

(c) 2015 Social Media Muses

All Rights Reserved.