SoMe – So what?

I’m cleaning up and getting out. I’m done. And yet, not quite. Social Media (SoMe) is vital for an author – both traditionally published and indie authors alike. In fact, I would go as far to say there is no difference. I have heard just as many stories about agents and publishers encouraging new authors to establish a platform and a profile, as I have for indie authors. There is no difference, and yet, surely there is a difference in the Social Media platforms themselves. Isn’t there?

I mean, Instagram?

For authors?

Really?

Apparently so, and that is part of the problem. The problem  mine, at least – is the time we spend polishing our SoMe – it means less time to write. I have chatted about this with other members of The Author Lab, and my fellow students when we were studying at Falmouth University. We even had a degree module focused on establishing our platform. And I went all in.

I have everything from Tumblr to Twitter, Facebook and Flickr, blogger, wordpress, Wattpad, Goodreads – wait, I actually like Goodreads – and others. But, regardless, I am trimming and cutting because I really want out. You see, I have finally discovered that the SoMe sites are only interested in one thing: content, and the more viral the better. They want traffic. Content gives traffic. More content gives more traffic, and that means money.

If you have a Facebook page for your author profile, you have probably noticed that Facebook will tell you when one particular post is doing 80% better than other posts on your page.

Really?

That’s interesting, because when I look at the stats, it’s simply not true. But I get the option of boosting that post for a small sum. I can reach more people, get more traffic… No, wait, that traffic isn’t for me after all.

Actually, I must say, that after I joined a crime and thriller readers’ group on Facebook, I suddenly realised how engaging with readers on Facebook has a direct impact on exposure and sales of books. But while engaging with one group is fun, providing content for a plethora of SoMe sites is a full time job. And I actually don’t want to do that. So I am trimming and cutting and cleaning up.

I feel better already.

Of course, half the battle of writing content for SoMe is figuring out just what to write. Half the time it feels forced. The other half feels cheap – especially when hawking books and making my followers aware of deals.

Followers, hmm, let’s just call these people for what they really are – in my case – a wonderful selection of family, friends and acquaintances. They know about my books, and they’ve heard all my news already. But, in between, there are a few genuine followers who are aren’t privy to all the gossip, and they might actually want to know a little more than the blurb on the back of the book.

I must remember them, and write for them. Fortunately, I know where they are. I know they are not on Instagram – it’s gone, never existed. They aren’t Tumblring – so neither will I. Nor are they Snapchatting, and, thankfully, I can drop that little experiment.

No, from now on, it’s a lean SoMe machine… of course, having three pen names makes all this spring cleaning talk a little cheap and silly.

That’s the next step then.

Do you spend more time on Social Media than your story? Are you spreading yourself too thin across multiple platforms, or have you discovered a good balance in content and creativity? Tell us in the comments. We’d love to know. (And we get more traffic in the process!)

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7 thoughts on “SoMe – So what?

  1. I completely agree with you. I’d rather spend the time writing my stories than writing about writing my stories. I’m just on instagram at the moment and having fun with it because it’s all about my dogs plus I get to scroll down and see 100s of dog pics which I love. I have an author profile on FB and I don’t really know why. I hardly ever use FB now. I found having my own website with everything related to my various writing endeavours all in one place. Easier to maintain and so much less time consuming. Enjoy all the extra time you now have. I also think Goodreads is fun and maybe that’s the point really – just do the ones that you like and for that reason – I don’t know how useful they can all be.

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  2. I’m with you Chris – and Deana. Our writing time is so precious that we need to focus on what enriches us. Goodreads is great, because reading feeds our imagination and our own websites give us the chance to share what a little of our writing journey as we go along. Plus this is the perfect time for spring cleaning! :))

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  3. It is completely overwhelming and as you say it takes us away from what we really want to do. I think the way forward is to concentrate on one or two platforms that you actually feel comfortable on and then the content won’t feel forced.

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  4. Thanks for the comments. I agree with you all and look forward to seeing how we tackle this. Social Media isn’t going away any time soon. 😉

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  5. It’s really overwhelming, I had been off Facebook and only had Twitter and I told myself I would only do that but nope a week later I was back Facebook cause I was reading all this stuff about how you had to use all of it. I don’t believe that, I would be perfectly happy just on Twitter and Instagram

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    1. I think you’re right. You can’t do everything – I don’t know how effective it is for the normal human who has to work, write and have a life. I don’t ever want to be stuck on social media for hours every day. And I’m with you on Instagram, definitely the one I find the best. Good luck with your writing.

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