While I’m not a social media guru, I’ve tried to educate myself. I’ve listened to podcasts and read e-books/blog posts. I’ve found that there’s a lot of competing voices, offering multiple strategies. It’s been a challenge trying to sift through the various suggestions.
Below is a summary of my social media experiences:
Twitter – I’ve learned that Twitter is great as long as you aren’t spamming the Twittersphere with loads of self promotion. I think this advice is accurate. I catch myself scrolling past those writers who are continually hawking their books. On the other hand, when I see an author who shares quality content, I’m all about liking and retweeting. I can’t afford to purchase everyone’s books, but I try to be supportive and share the love.
Facebook – There has been a lot of uproar over the change in Facebook algorithms. This change has meant that our posts are less likely to be seen. Some writers have decided it’s not worth their time/effort anymore. They are choosing to focus on Instagram or their personal website, etc. As for me – what can I say? I don’t love my Facebook Author Page. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that I tend to be relatively quiet on my personal page. BUT – I can see my daily interactions, likes and numbers reached and I am convinced that of all the different social media sites I’ve used, my Facebook Author Page has led to more sales. (Whether this changes over the next year is to be still to be seen.)
Blogging – After attending a writers conference last year, I came away convinced that I had made a huge mistake by using blogger. If I was serious about my writing, then I needed to look like a pro and having .blogspot following my name didn’t look professional. Never-mind, that I had a .com website – one that displayed my blog feed. I jumped ship – diving headfirst into WordPress. I let my website go, transferring the .com over to my WordPress blog. However, I have since realized that when I jumped, I left the majority of my followers on the good ship Blogger. It has been a challenge, building up an audience again. To be honest, I’m not sure making the switch was worth it.
Pinterest – Not everyone is convinced that a writer needs a pinterest board. I certainly wasn’t. However, I decided to give it a try. With fingers crossed, I set up my page. I don’t have a lot of followers but I’ve created boards that feature my books, trailers, etc. I’ve also added boards featuring images of interesting faces and exotic places – things that might inspire a new story. What I like about Pinterest is this – people who check out my pinterest page should come away from it feeling like they know a little more about me than those following me on other sites.
Summary – While using social media is necessary to building our author platform, I’ve come to the realization that there isn’t a one-stop-fits-all plan out there. What works for one author might not work for another. No matter what options we choose, consistency is key. It takes time to get our name out there and to build a true following.
What about you? Are you still searching for the right fit? Or have you found something that works?