When it comes to social media for writers (specifically this freelance author) I confess to a love-hate relationship. On one hand, it’s necessary and on the other every platform and activity has to be evaluated for it’s impact. Over the last few years, I’ve probably spent more time and more energy trying to sort out this area than any other.
And frankly, I feel very much like a bit of chaff in a raging storm. Being blown wherever the big boy breezes push me isn’t a lot of fun. Want your readers to find you? Well, if it’s Monday, it must mean I have to produce videos. If it’s Tuesday, I have to produce fancy graphics. If it’s Wednesday, well I’d better get to live video feeds. And if it’s…. I’m sure you get the idea and likely have the same problem.
These are my notes.
Like many writers, I have a love-hate relationship with social media. As usual, I may have some opinions that go against “common wisdom” and I’m not overly afraid of experimenting and telling you about it.
June 2017 – many of those social media experiments came to a crashing halt when I truly stopped caring what my Facebook readers wanted on my garden author page. It’s not that I don’t care about my readers, it’s simply that I can only do so much and catering to social media whims really has to stop for those who are only interested in free advice.
Some time ago, I began deleting any comment with an outward bound link. Here’s the honest reason why.
You can’t be everywhere, so you get to pick two – and only two – social media platforms. Or one. But do not pick them all nor do you want to spend time on them all.
As an aside, you may spend time on many at the beginning of your platform creation but evaluating the traffic response will quickly sort out the performers from the duds. And yes, this may differ from other writers based on your own preferences and where your audience hangs out.
How do you decide? There’s an infinite number of options open as I discovered early on and every reader wants it delivered her way. That kind of thing will mess with your mind if you let it. (That’s why I say, “pick two” and only two.)
I’ve run a lot of tests on Facebook because my gardening audience is there in a major way. Here are just a few as I work to either make sense of this behemoth or run away from it. And given readers tend to disappear over time on Facebook, I’ve had a love-hate relationship for sure. Not only a love-hate relationship but I regularly question the truth of what I read on social media channels.
I decided to take the 99 days challenge to get away from Facebook. Rather than bore you with the weekly updates (they’ll show up as “related” at the bottom of these posts) let me simply show you the last post after the 99 Days of Facebook Challenge The bottom line was I challenged all my assumptions about social media and decided that living a creative lifestyle was more important. “If not now, when?” was the critical question. The answer as you might expect was, “Now.”
One of the things readers love to do on my Facebook author page (and you really need one – and not a book page) is share links. Unfortunately, I’ve had to have a policy of deleting reader links. Some strange people and strange places for sure! And one thing you have to do – whether you call it an author platform or channel – is do this.
And then there’s commenting. Oh my goodness. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with commenting.
If you’re read anything about digital sharecropping – building your author platform on websites you don’t own – or not, here’s an example of the early days of Facebook exerting its control over author platforms.
I always knew Facebook would screw me, and now I see the future for non-fiction writers.