Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Rethinking the Social Media Presence and Other Author Things by @KarynGerrard #Opinion

Interesting articles in the August issue of the RWA(Romance Writers of America) magazine about promo, social media, brands, etc. It sparked on something I had been considering anyway: reworking my social media plan.

I am on four main social media sites I will list them in order of my own personal preference.

1.  Twitter
  2.  Instagram
3.  Pinterest
 4.  Facebook

Notice Facebook is in last place. Oh, no, experts say, Facebook should be number one on your list! It's where you interact with readers!
I tried, but I am not one for sharing my personal life or for taking selfies, so that makes Instagram a wobbly place for me to be as well. More below on FB and Instagram. So, what does a sometime-introverted-lone-wolf author do?

Make changes that work for me personally.

First off, notice Goodreads didn't even make the list. It's because I don't go there. Unless a publisher makes me. Interacting there was fine when I was strictly a reader and reviewer, but after I was published? I found my stress level dropped several notches when I ceased visiting. I don't need to read every rating and review on my books. Again, it is my personal preference, but I do recommend published authors stay clear (for the most part) as it can be soul sucking.

Pinterest has...lost my interest. At 5700+ pins, I have nothing else to share. I am seeing the same things over and over. No Pinterest, I do not want to pin cream cheese frosting pics, stop sending me notifications! Seriously though, it is a good visual-aid tool if you are planning to write a series. My London 1940's board really helped me write Beloved Beast. So, have I interacted with readers? Maybe a handful over the past five years, but otherwise...no. Has it boosted my social media presence? Maybe a little. I will still use it for a little promo, but in general, my massive pinning episodes are done.

Instagram. I only joined last year. Again, since I am not one for laying out my personal life on-line, this is a middle-of-the-road social media place for me. Instagram is very "me" oriented. I have no kids, and am in-between pets at the moment, so I have no cuddly pics to share in that regard. So adjustments had to be made. If I was going to do this, I had to share something. So I took a couple of pics of a recent trip. The lilacs in my backyard. I posted fun memes. Some of my hobbies like Red Sox and classic movies. And of course, interspersed with a little promo. It's all I willing to do. But at least I am making an effort.

Facebook. Confession: I don't like it. Over the past five years, I tried massive postings or ignoring it altogether. But as an author I hate to say...you really can't ignore it. I can't stand the whole premise, nor the wonky algorithms that MAKE you interact, or you disappear from timelines. I understand many people adore Facebook. We all have our preferences.
So, I have a profile and 2 pages, (one for my author name and one for E-Romance News). What to do?

I came to the realization being on the profile wasn't working for me personally. Since I dislike the place, I couldn't fake that I did like it. And since I wasn't there much, I wasn't interacting with people and *poof* I don't show up in timelines. Since I am writing three books to meet contract deadlines, I have had even less time for social media, and Facebook suffered the worst.

I did link my Instagram with my FB profile, so at least I will post here and there, but I have decided to hang out more on my two pages instead of at my profile and see how that goes. I also did as experts suggested and started a Facebook group, and have now linked it with my author page. Though the last time I posted in my FB group, only three people saw it *sigh*

Twitter. It is my preferred social media place, which isn't saying much. Twitter also uses annoying algorithms so a lot of your tweets are not seen. I also linked my Twitter to Triberr (a sharing service for blog posts) I do try and keep those tweets for after midnight because they do have a whiff of spam about them, but it also boosts your visibility along with other authors you are tweeting. I am a big believer in reciprocal author support. I RT a lot. (Especially on my E-Romance News Twitter account) I especially RT those authors who RT my tweets.

So after years of trying to find a balance that works regarding social media...I still haven't found one. The RWA magazine suggests an assistant. Yeah. Can't afford that. So I have to construct a plan that works for me personally. And here's the thing, the social media plan always shifts, thanks to real life and contract obligations. Don't beat yourself up about it, just do what you can do.

Don't force yourself on a social media platform you can't stand. It will only stress you out and annoy you and interfere with what is important...writing. No matter what experts/bestselling authors say, you can't do it all. Pick and choose. Wisely.

Follow me! Like me! Whatever!


  1. Great post. I'm completely with you about Facebook. I have tried so many different strategies over the last five years, but I just do not like it. My profile page is filled by posts from friends and nothing from me. I do use paid promotional ads whenever I have a release or book discount and they've brought excellent results, but hanging out there is just not my thing. I'ma twitter person too. And my blog brings the best exposure.

    I enjoyed your post (which BTW, I found through my Triberr stream :) )

    1. Thanks Mae! I've never tried a Facebook ad, perhaps I will soon. Everyone has their own preferences, and I came to believe doing what experts say brings nothing but stress. Thanks for commenting!


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