What social media platform has been the best time investment for you?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of  Anonymous 3 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #8502
    Profile photo of  Anonymous
    Points: -1

    Today in one of the LinkedIn groups someone mentioned how Pinterest is increasingly being used by authors to sell books. I’m not a published author yet, but I’m looking to build my platform before I publish my book. I’d like to get the feedback of published authors who use social media frequently. How many different platforms do you use and which has been the best time investment for you?

    #8504
    Profile photo of LichenCraig LichenCraig 
    Participant
    Points: 2

    I’ll bite, Delali! Let me first qualify this answer by insisting that the ideal social platform combo will be different for each individual author, depending upon that author’s strengths. I firmly believe that. My best so far is Twitter, and the use of a blog. These work for me because 1) throwing up a blog post is fun for me, not a chore, and 2) I’m very social and comfortable with a wide variety of people and conversations.

    Facebook has not done a lot for me and doesn’t make sense for me, frankly. I keep a page there, but usually I wonder why. I end up with a lot of writers following me, but that doesn’t sell books. Facebook limits you to communication with people who already know and follow you, so it’s very limiting marketing-wise. Twitter spreads you around to people who don’t know you yet, and that is a better use of my time. Another site that has done nothing for me is LinkedIn. I still don’t get that one. I’m there too.. but I ignore it. There is a site called BookDaily — don’t bother with it. I had a listing there for a year, and I doubt it sold me 5 books!

    Goodreads can be good or bad. It gets your book spread around if it attracts a lot of readers. Unfortunately Goodreads is a hotbed of armchair critics, many undereducated: some will rip your book apart for reasons you will fail to understand. (For example, one whined of my book that it was in third person omniscient, and she didn’t like that point of view, so that was why she gave it 2 out of 5. WHAT? Never mind that 95% of books are in that point of view!) The problem is that a 1/5 or 2/5 rating from one of those clowns can seriously affect your overall score and hurt your book sales, at least when it’s first listed (in my case the 5/5’s eventually took over.). So beware. My book had controversial subject matter, and that worked against me at Goodreads, since many readers were uncomfortable. On the other hand, some screamed 5/5 from the mountaintops and formed the first of my long-term fan base.

    Twitter is better — but it’s a unique beast, and I see a lot of authors misuse it. You can’t use it to advertise your books continuously. That is annoying and people skip your tweets. Many authors use obvious bots to just spam their followers with advertisement all day long. It’s a good way to get “muted”. What you need to understand to use Twitter to advantage, is that the object isn’t to talk about your books, but to attract people to your personality. The theory is that people read authors they like personally. People get excited connecting with you on a personal level on Twitter, especially fans. Just doing that, being yourself, talking about what interests you — whether book-related or not — can get you far.

    One other thing Twitter has done: introduced me to other writers, publishers, agents, and a community of people useful for my research. I have made good, lasting friendships with people I never dreamt I would meet or relate to. The resources and support it has given me as a writer has been unparalleled and invaluable.

    That’s how you have to use Twitter. It has gained me a solid fan base and sold books. A word of caution though: Twitter is extremely addicting! Limit your time there –seriously.

    I have also heard lately that Pinterest is useful. I have an account there I never use –I set it up some time ago and didn’t really follow up. However, I think authors are suddenly using it different than in the past, and I’m anxious to try it. I understand that the object is to post things you are interested in, but that reflect on your books — book covers (yours and others), photos of subject matter, whatever. Again, paint a picture for the fan of your personality and genre and interests. I can get my head around it from that angle…I think it may just be the way authors needs to view and use that platform to make it worthwhile.

    If there is anything I wish I had done sooner or differently, it’s to build an email list and use that. I was uncomfortable with sending unsolicited email, so I didn’t do it. But I think you can put together a list of people who want to know what you are writing and up to. From a statistical, marketing standpoint, that seems to be lucrative for many writers who learn to use it well. I am currently beginning a few things under another pen name, and I will try putting together an email list right away there.

    Hope any of this helps!

    #8506
    Profile photo of  Anonymous
    Points: -1

    Thanks so much for sharing what you’ve been using.

    My main issue with Facebook is that they made it harder for followers to actually see posts from pages they follow. I remember back in the day when the Newsfeed showed everything that was posted. I can’t say I’ll never pay to promote a post, but it does make it a less attractive platform to me. I’m still experimenting with it.

    And Goodreads. Goodreads has fueled a lot of discussion over the years, and not entirely for good. I fear the day my books are posted there. I see reviewers who take delight in tearing down books they apparently couldn’t be bothered to read. There’s a strange subculture of bullies looking to destroy authors’ careers. I’ll never understand the pleasure they get from that.

    With Twitter, I’m a very late adopter. I never saw the appeal of everyone sending out 140-character blasts. But the more I use it (for business at least) the more I appreciate it.

    The thing with any social platform, though, is that it takes a long time to build a big following. It’s tempting to jump around looking for the magic platform, but any platform you use will take time and effort. I keep telling myself that :)

    #10830
    Profile photo of E. A. Hennessy E. A. Hennessy 
    Participant
    Points: 14

    Hello! I’m not a published author yet either, but I am running an Indiegogo campaign at the moment to raise money to pay for my editor and cover designer, so I have used social media to promote that. I figure that’s at least a little relevant:

    I’d say my top networks are Facebook and Twitter, and they definitely have different strengths. I get a lot more conversation via Twitter, especially because I try to take part in Twitter Chats (#BBChat, #SparkSessions, #IndieChat, etc). I have connected with one really great ally who has helped me promote (and who contributes to a nerd blog, where she says she’ll review my book once it’s published!), which is great, but is also a single person. I don’t get nearly as much conversation going on Facebook, but it is where the majority of my contributions have come from. Facebook and my (very tiny, at the moment) email list have been the most effective at actually getting contributions. As far as Facebook ads go, I haven’t tried them yet. However, I have been watching Mark Dawson’s videos about how to use them effectively, and it looks like he tends to have a lot of luck. The emphasis here is that he’s using the ads EFFECTIVELY, he’s tested different methods and shares what types of ads work best and how to target them best, etc.

    If you can break into Tumblr, that can be an excellent resource. Tumblr tends to have very devoted fandoms and supportive communities, if you can find them. I just started using Tumblr as an author, and have some success (with conversation, at least, no contributions). You want to really make sure you contribute to the community there and connect to people.

    I’m on Pinterest too, but haven’t really had anything happen there yet.

    I think what it ultimately boils down to is what platforms you are most familiar with, and which ones you’re willing to devote time to.

    #11698
    Profile photo of Casey Lawrence Casey Lawrence 
    Participant
    Points: 230

    Hey so I am a published author (woo!), and Facebook has been a huge asset for me. I currently have over 200 Facebook Likes to my official page, and I tend to post updates twice a month (unless there’s a lot going on). I get a lot of engagement on my page, which I’ll admit is mostly friends and family, but more and more I’m seeing faces I don’t know IRL liking my page and my posts. If you and your family, friends, and fans are active Facebook users, it is definitely a resource that’s work investing some time into. I write Young Adult novels for now, and so my reader-base is teens…. So Facebook is a great way to connect to them.

    On the flip side, although I love love love Twitter, I can’t say it has helped me gain many readers, if any. I have fewer followers on twitter than on Facebook even though I update it much more frequently. I feel as though I often make stronger/more enduring relationships on Twitter and Tumblr, although those relationships are fewer and farther between. Tumblr I have mostly stopped using, except to post occasional updates that my friends who have booklrs reblog.

    Goodreads is, by far, the best way to connect to new readers however! Here’s not much you can “do”, per se, but you can see who is reading your book, get reviews, make giveaways, and answer questions. I think ever author needs a goodreads account to look professional.

    #11708
    Profile photo of E. A. Hennessy E. A. Hennessy 
    Participant
    Points: 14

    whoops already replied to this thread >.< *is embarrassed* please disregard because I can find a delete button!

    #11771
    Profile photo of sandraeb sandraeb 
    Participant
    Points: 16

    I am not published yet (probably because I’m writing about my time in Paris which isn’t over yet;)) but I strongly believe in building a strong social media fan base. I have predominately focussed on Twitter for months and my hard work has seen good outcomes (1500+ followers) with lots of support and people following me first now. My advice for Twitter though is to entertain not just promote. There is nothing more annoying than people tweeting ‘Read my latest update on Facebook’. Don’t just retweet or @blahblah thankyous. People want to know about you, who you are and why they should care about you and your novel. I am on most social platforms now and consider social networking worth many hours of work every week. People invest in you only the time plus more than you invest in them.

    #12077
    Profile photo of  Anonymous
    Points: -1

    @eahennessy, is your Indiegogo campaign still running? Did you see any results from sharing it on social media?

    @caseylawrence, you said you generally post a couple of times a month. Since Facebook doesn’t share all posts to the Newsfeed, do you Boost those posts? I’m wondering how you’re getting good engagement with Facebook’s current setup.

    @sandraeb, Hi neighbor! (I’m living close to Paris right now.) Good tips on Twitter. I run into users who ONLY post their own content or ONLY retweet others’ posts, neither of which is engaging in my opinion.

    I’m passively growing my personal social networks and I don’t think I’ll kick it into high gear until I have a few novels out. But when I do, I think I’ll focus on Pinterest and Instagram. Those are the platforms I enjoy spending time on. Even though we have to market our books, it should still be fun, right?

    #12141
    Profile photo of E. A. Hennessy E. A. Hennessy 
    Participant
    Points: 14

    @delali-connell My campaign ended on November 10th. Almost every contribution I had came from sharing via Facebook, a few from my email list (which is pretty tiny at the moment :/), and a couple from Twitter. The ones I got from Facebook and my email list were primarily my family and friends; the ones I got from Twitter were either fellow steampunks interested in cross-promoting (which is awesome!) or via a woman I befriended through Twitter based on our mutual love of fantasy stories and hockey 😉

    #12161
    Profile photo of  Anonymous
    Points: -1

    I figured Facebook might be the most successful since family and friends have an emotional investment in you. The key with selling anything, even an Indiegogo campaign, is creating an emotional attachment to the product/project. The trick is being able to do that in 140 characters on Twitter–tough stuff. Thanks for sharing those results! :)

    #12324
    Profile photo of Casey Lawrence Casey Lawrence 
    Participant
    Points: 230

    @denali-connell I don’t boost my posts, but my friends and family share my posts to their walls sometimes. My engagement is usually 300-400 views per post, and 30-50 “engagements” per week… Which is comments, likes, shares, clicks, etc.

    #12397
    Profile photo of  Anonymous
    Points: -1

    It’s seems worthwhile then to have a Facebook author page. Thanks for the info :)

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