Recently I had a conversation with a mother who had warned her daughter to get off all social media and/or change her name. Her fear was that future employers would see what she was doing and she would lose out on a job opportunity. I think that makes perfect sense…five years ago. When building a career now, at least in publishing (and that includes authors) a presence on social media is expected, especially if you’re young and first entering the field. Older, experienced professionals can get away without any presence, but they already have a background and following.
When I receive a resume or query that interests me one of the first things I do is google the person. I want to see what her social media is like and get a sense of what she’s like. Not having anything is a red flag for me. It means you are either sorely out of touch or it means you’re hiding something.
I don’t expect authors or potential new agents to necessarily have a big following, but I do expect that they are exploring and getting to know social media. And, honestly, if you are under 30 and you have no social media or everything you have is private, I am going to wonder what it is you’re hiding. Especially if you’re applying for a job where being a part of the conversation is critical.