Writers: the truth about social medias

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As a new author, I obviously browsed through countless of blogs, books and web articles about how to promote myself. The recurring advice is: use social medias. Build your platform. The more people know about your site, the better. So being the good girl that I am, I followed the advice. Opened a Twitter account, built a website, and a Facebook page. I even started (though got bored quickly) a Pinterest account.
My eyes bulged when I noticed that a lot of authors had Twitter followers in the thousands, and had a successful website/Facebook/Instagramm page (read this as: lots of Like/e-mail followers etc…). So I pushed harder and started hitting the Follow button like a maniac, everywhere.

It worked. Soon, my own list of followers increased. It could have risen faster, should I had chosen not to remain picky with the people I follow, but I never saw the point of following someone I had nothing in common with.

Then I realized something.

A lot of people follow others for the sake of increasing their own following, like I did.

And couldn’t care less about what we have to say, what we think or what we sell.

So I checked my hunch. I browsed a few unknown authors with a big following posse on Twitter (over 10K) and had a nosy on their Goodreads and Amazon profiles.
All of them had less than 5 or 10 reviews, and not very stellar ones either. One of them had over 50K followers and 2 reviews at 2 stars! Those authors also self-promote heavily: their posts constantly show on my feed with the same “my book is great, read it!” A lot of noise, a booming profile, I had assumed they were best sellers…

It reassured me. As a self-confessed introvert, I feel more comfortable in small groups than large ones. So I decided to forget about the so called advice, and here is what I did:

  1. I created 2 Twitter’s lists. One for the hilarious/interesting Twitter accounts, and one for the authors who not only do not self-promote all day long, but also disclose some quirky thoughts, bits of their life and appear altogether friendly. The total for both lists comes at 74. Out of 791. I might have let some deserving people out of the net, but I can always add them on later.
    From now on, I will check and interact with the people from those lists only.
  2. When someone writes an appealing post on a blog/website/Twitter, I comment on it. I want to show my appreciation to someone who isn’t simply interested in selling themselves or their product. I think someone’s true nature shows through a post. I don’t care if they have 1 million or one follower(s) and I am not hoping for their Follow Back anymore.
  3. I don’t Like a Facebook page for my own to be Liked in return because I get asked to anymore. I thought I was helping another author, and they were helping me. Wrong. It leads to nothing but an increased useless number. I now Like what deserves to be.
  4. I don’t sweat the poorer number of entries for my giveaways compared to other writers. For example, when I checked them on Goodreads the day I had offered 2 printed copies of Forever Hers for free, ALL of them had over a thousand books in their to-read list, including mine (GR automatically adds the title to that list if the reader enters a giveaway), and most had over 10000. No way are they all going to read my book.
    So some people might be genuinely interested and I’m glad a giveaway has allowed them to know about it, but now I realize that a huge percentage of participants are only after some free goodies, and don’t care about the book itself.
  5. I am not going on Instagramm, YouTube or invest myself in Pinterest. I’d rather concentrate on the medias I feel comfortable with, and I guess I’ll have more affinity with the people who think the same.

Of course, the more followers, the better chance of reaching some real readers, but there is a fine line between quantity and quality, unless you’re called Joel Friedlander, Joanna Penn, C S Lakin, Jane Friedman…you get my drift. Some bloggers do have a true, wide following, but I bet they had to work at it harder than simply hitting the Follow button.

I’d rather connect with a small circle of genuine, friendly people (truth be told, my best promotions have always come from them) than an oversized group I get lost in. The small group can only grow 🙂

What is your own strategy to reach readers?

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25 thoughts on “Writers: the truth about social medias

  1. I think that’s the best way to handle it. Yes building your online presence and having social media accounts is important, but I also think that if you are genuine on there and show your own personality and follow those you really care about you built more meaningful relationships than when you just follow for the follow back. I admit sometimes I still hope for those follow backs, but overall I try to follow those bloggers and authors who’s content I like or when I want to keep up to date about their new posts or new books. And I also unfollow or unlike some people or pages when I am no longer interested, it’s quite refreshing to do that sometimes. Although I am picky with who I follow it still happens sometimes that I see someone in my feed that I don’t remember, but luckily also a lot of people who I want to hear about. And yes over the years that small group can only grow when you add more people to that circle.

    btw I love your strategy of commenting on posts you like. As a blogger myself I know how appreciated each and every comment is. And sharing, liking or commenting is always a good way to show you like what that person is saying and I try to use my likes, shares and follows in that way too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome post my lovely. I’m sort of in the same boat with blogging. I have genuine people following me but my number are not huge.

    I can’t believe you didn’t like Pinterest. My favourite thing to do is to put on an audio book and pin for an hour. I love fashion, food, coffee and books, so I always find something relevant. Funny thing is my most popular board is my – Clothes and Stuff for my Hubby.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂 ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Pinterest is a habit that I haven’t mastered. If I like a picture, I tend to save it on my laptop, rather than pin it. I know lots of people love Pinterest (proof is in its success), but I’ve never managed to get on with it. Maybe because there are so many images on the net lol.
      I find it funny that Stuff for your Hubby is your most popular, I guess we women never know what to get as a pressie for our other half. Buying for men is so much harder than buying for women!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My strategy is to get a strategy, definitely. In the meantime I try not to dwell on the fact that 90% of my internet followers are about as interested in what I’m saying as they are in the mating habits of 3 incredibly ugly insects in the Amazonian rainforest which haven’t been discovered yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m new to this too – about 6 weeks since I created any kind of author accounts – and I’ve come to the same conclusions. I don’t even have lists; I just unfollow anybody whose feed is filled with self-promotion. If somebody tweets interesting and/or funny things, I’ll assume their books will be interesting and/or funny and check them out. If all they do is advertise all day, I assume their books aren’t selling well and they’re desperate for readers.

    So, whether it’s the best way or not, I’m Tweeting how I want to be Tweeted. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Back in January, I joined Twitter and I had no idea what the heck I would do there. It took me a while, but I’ve since warmed to it. Some people are amazingly witty on there.
    I am still trying to find my feet on Social medias, but I don’t sweat the small stuff anymore.

    Like

  6. I hardly follow anyone – not because I don’t want to, but because going on Twitter feels like looking at other people’s conversations, and I get enough of that IRL. In the beginning I followed people I admired and thought would be witty like Stephen Fry and Margaret Atwood, but they just talked about local libraries and theatre productions and whatever. I wish there was somewhere to discuss ideas. I tried a few Shakespeare forums but they were rubbish.
    So yeah. Not there yet.

    Like

  7. I think we have a very similar approach! I’ve signed up for lots of social media sites, but I stick to those I’m most comfortable with, and outside of interacting with some large groups I belong to on facebook, I typically tend to stick with a smaller group of people. I can’t say how well this works for actually getting my work into reader’s hands, but I’m happy being able to discuss things with the people I do know. 🙂

    Like

      1. Agreed, and none of them are guaranteed to propel you into the spotlight as an author. So it’s definitely just a matter of networking regardless of the media you’re using to connect to people. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This is really inspiring. I want people to like my blogs because they’re interested, not just because they want me to follow them- and you get that! Hit the nail on the head. I love how personal and thought-provoking your writing is btw 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you lol. And welcome to WordPress. I don’t know about you, but it took me a while to get used to it and understand how it worked. Four and a half months later, I’m still learning the ropes thanks to bloggers cleverer than me 😳

      Liked by 1 person

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