Friday, October 12, 2018

OPINION: Social Media is a Waste of Time...or is it? by @KarynGerrard #Opinion

Is this a serious question? Because my answer to the above is hell yes, it's a waste of time. But the caveat here is that it is a waste of time to ME. This is only my feeling. Others do like it. Share every part of their lives, and that is fine. Some even find it effective for promotion.

But back to me. I never would have joined if I wasn't a published author. But I heeded the advice of others and joined in 2011 just before my first book came out. At first, it wasn't that bad. I stuck to my guns about not sharing anything too personal, (I have since gone back and deleted any personal photos from my profile page I did put up...just because) There was a lot of interaction. It was easy to track "friends" (that term *rolls eyes*) because you could look at your timeline and see what people posted in chronological order.

Then Facebook began to tweak. And tweak. And each update made things worse. They squeezed the algorithms so tight that YOU CANNOT BE SEEN by any of your "friends" unless you interact with them on a daily basis. Who has time for that? Not me as an author.

So what is an author to do? Facebook groups are the answer! Only the algorithms affect groups as well. They even just changed notifications in groups to "highlights" because they say they are doing us a favor. You join a group, paste stuff, and realize no one is really seeing it. And having a Facebook page? Another total waste. Unless you "boost your posts" for $$$. Or buy Facebook ads. Sorry, not going to happen. Not from me. 2400 people like my page. 80 people saw my last post. I hardly go there anymore.

So why do I even go to Facebook? Because I feel I have to—and I resent the hell out of it. I joined historical romance groups and I am not seeing any lasting benefit.
And since Facebook owns Instagram, the same is going on there. And since I don't like to share anything personal (outside of a pie I baked) what is the point? Most of the people following me are authors, (or creepy men) not a majority of readers. I have abandoned Pinterest, again, no interaction with readers.
Twitter? I use more, but again, the algorithms are tight. Most of any new followers are bots or the creepy men accounts again.

My hats off to those authors who have that sunny disposition needed for social media and happily post across the social media spectrum with great success. Really, I admire that. But not all authors are so inclined. So what to do? The image above speaks the truth. Stop doing what doesn't work. For me, Social media as a whole is not working. So I have decided I will be doing the bare minimum and concentrate my time on writing and doing promotion in other ways. At least with some paid ads/promotion (Bookbub, etc) you see some sort of return.

But if social media is working for you, then fantastic. There is no secret formula except you have to commit to it. It's a huge investment and time suck, and it doesn't always pay off for everyone. If some parts of social media are not working, focus on the ones that do.
And going forward, I am going to follow my own advice.

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