Social Media and Authors- good together?

I tweet like nobody’s business. I tweet about books, daily events, great restaurants, upcoming events- and a million more things. I tweet about TV shows, I tweet certain lines from books- I tweet! If I like you, like your book, show, event- I’ll tweet and spread the word (don’t get the wrong idea- if I don’t like you, I don’t sabotage- I’m just really kind to things I like!)

I’m not a writer, really, in any shape, form, or fashion. Tweeting was my blog (limited to 140 characters) before I decided to take the plunge and join the blog world. Blogging has been a fun way to write about different events and books that I’m loving, currently looking forward, or am re-reading.

I also enjoy posing a question for the people reading this- so today’s question is: Social Media and Authors- a good mix like peanut butter and chocolate or a terrible idea like dialing while intoxicated?

I’ve been thinking on it and I’ve got some ideas:

I think social media, for new authors, especially is probably a good idea- if used correctly. You should use it to connect to fans, to connect to would-be fans. Hosting a giveaway is never a bad idea (people LOVE free books). Hosting a giveaway where you’ll buy the book from the nearest independent bookseller is even better idea (Thanks, Hallie Sawyer!)

I think fans like to connect with authors they admire or enjoy their books.

The bad side of social media- as I’ve said, I’m in no way a “writer”. I also don’t work for a publishing house. Maybe it’s because I tweet about books a lot- but I get MANY follows from self-publishing authors- and while I respect that writing is hard, it’s some of those people that give pause to other authors trying to decide if and how to use social media to their advantage.

I’m curious to hear thoughts on this subject- and also do you think established authors should jump on social media train or is for the newly established and trying to get established?

Last thought on social media- you start following an author, see them tweeting with fans- so you try to interact and never hear any interaction from them? Chalk it up to their being exceptionally busy? Leave a bitter taste in your mouth? Would social media, in this instance, be harmful to the author (maybe you won’t recommend book to friends)?

Finally, a shout-out to 3 debut authors that I think are using social media to their advantage AND gaining fans/attention all along the way : Kimberly Brock The River Witch, Erika Marks Little Gale Gumbo, and Robin O’Bryant Ketchup is a Vegetable: And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves. Well done, ladies!