Different Social Medias and How I Use Them as an Author

8 Jul

One announcement today:

Taking on a World of Words nominated ShannonAThompson.com for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! Thank you :D When I am nominated, I post the facts and blogs on my Facebook page, but I also want you to check out the three blogs I nominated: Ciara Darren, Fallen Manga Studios, Elie Eldritch.

Different Social Medias and How I Use Them

As a writer, readers might picture my every day schedule as my laptop and I sitting in a café, writing out the next novel to be released, but – in fact – that’s pretty far from the truth. I spend a good portion of my time on social media, both for myself and for AEC Stellar Publishing. Even if it looks like I’m logged off, chances are that I am writing a future post and scheduling it on a timer – chances are that I’m constantly posting somewhere online.

I first signed on with AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. as an author only. But a few months in, they asked me to become a Social Media Wizard. (That’s right. I’m a retired Wizard.) During that time, I learned a lot about how to optimize social media for authors, but I also had personal preferences that I still use today. During this post, I’m going to share the different social media platforms I enjoy and struggle with. If I struggle with it, I’ll try to find a helpful author that I know who uses that specific platform.

WordPress:

If you didn’t already know, this website is based off of WordPress. This is – by far – my favorite platform to participate on. Not only can I express what I’m doing in detail, but I can also go see what my readers are doing. I love being able to share pictures and links and ideas in depth – so I guess you could say that I love my blog. A blog allows us to express our day-to-day lives or to share inspirational messages or to connect on a deeper level than 150 characters. That being said, a blog demands a lot of time. I, personally, post every other day. That may not sound like a lot, but it takes up a majority of my social media time. Because of the level of fans I can meet, I definitely think it is worth it though – but even if I couldn’t meet fans, a blog is something I enjoy, so I believe I would blog anyway. In fact, I used to have another blog before this one.

Facebook:

Join me today!

Join me today!

This is my number two, mainly because it is my top referrer to my blog. That being said, Facebook can be a tricky slope to climb (and a fast one to fall down on.) Facebook is constantly changing, and it has developed a bad reputation for keeping viewers away from the pages they like. However, I’ve had a lot of luck with it. I do get views and clicks that continue to grow, and that satisfies me, but I have learned one thing: if my views are going up, but then I post something that gets no likes, my next post has a less of a chance of being viewed. Basically, as soon as you climb, you can slide back down very, very quickly. But I think it’s important to figure out what makes your stats climb and what causes them to fall. For me, I try to mix it up with inspirational articles, news about my novels, fun photos, and engaging posts that allow readers to post their favorite pages and other things that they enjoy, so I can understand them. I also share posts from other pages, and I contribute to their pages as my page (not as my personal Facebook.) Beyond that, I participate in Facebook groups for authors and readers, which allows me to connect with even more people, and I friend those people with my personal Facebook so we can stay in contact easier.

Twitter:

At first, I really disliked Twitter. I still find it a little more difficult than Facebook. It always seemed to reach writers but not readers. But I’ve been focusing more energy on Twitter recently – simply posting about my day – and Twitter was ALMOST my top referrer last month. So I’m still trying to fully optimize this, but I do like it, and I am beginning to understand more hashtag opportunities as they come. For authors, I would suggest dwindling down the number of times one posts “5 Stars! Buy this steamy romance for .99 cents! (insert link here)” I see it every other post on my newsfeed, and it’s very rare that I see anyone retweet it. I almost feel like these posts cause readers to stop following writers. I’m not saying you can’t post that ever. But every five minutes is pretty bad. I try to share my blog posts on Twitter, but I mainly use Twitter to discuss trending topics – like when Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal came out. I live tweeted to fellow viewers, and I gained 50 followers in one night. (That was awesome!) An awesome fan also created a hashtag for Take Me Tomorrow, so if you ever tweet about my latest novel, please use the hashtag #Rx. :D

bomGoodreads:

I am friends with many readers on Goodreads, and I love adding novels to my bookshelf, but – in my opinion – I have yet to really use Goodreads in depth. I have participated in groups, and Minutes Before Sunset won an award on Goodreads – but I find myself drowning in how much information is on there. It’s fantastic. Don’t get me wrong. I definitely recommend it. But to participate the right way, I feel like you have to spend A LOT of time on there, and I don’t have as much time as I would like in order to fully communicate with everyone. And – as an author – Goodreads has terrified me from time-to-time. They have many new rules in place that tell authors not to communicate with readers, and if you do, your novels and profile can be taken off forever. (EEK!) I know many authors who continue talking to readers and many who don’t, but the risk keeps me away most of the time.

Pinterest:

This is a personal thing. I love it. I only recently started it. I met a few new readers and fans, but I’m enjoying it as an author because it is unbelievably fun to create your boards for your books. I’ve started creating “private” boards for books I’ve just started writing, so it might be a great place for me to go back and share original concepts when the novel is published. In fact, I have boards for The Timely Death Trilogy, Take Me Tomorrow, and November Snow.

Tumblr:

I started Tumblr in the same week as I started Pinterest. I can’t get a grip on it. I like it, but I miss the ability to comment or communicate in a lengthy fashion. That being said, I’ve met many authors who absolutely LOVE Tumblr, and Amber Skye Forbes has a great post about how to manage your Tumblr in an effective manner.

Instagram:

Believe it or not, I have met a few readers there, and I love to update it once a week or so. But I don’t believe it’s necessary to have one as an author. I enjoy taking pictures and sharing them, so it worked for me in the sense that it easily blended in with my every day life.

YouTube:

It’s been difficult to keep up with my channel, and I’ve only uploaded two videos, so I can’t say if this is a great platform or not yet (not from personal experience anyway) but I am planning on continuing it.

Wattpad:

I’m very grateful to Wattpad. I love it. I haven’t been able to spend more time there, though, so I can’t really say a lot about for now, but I can say that it helped me out a lot before I signed with AEC Stellar Publishing, so I do recommend it for writers looking for advice on their manuscripts, but I have yet to spend enough time on it recently to get in-depth about this platform. If you’re interested in reading more, check out my article From Wattpad to Publication.

LinkedIn:

I barely use LinkedIn. I have one, but I probably only log in once a month or so. That being said, I heard it’s a fantastic place for nonfiction writers.

So there you have it. These are a couple of social media places that I go to during my author life, and I hope you enjoyed reading about them. If I had to give any specific advice, I would say that authors should treat their social media like they treat their novels: be true to yourself. Don’t force social media just like how you wouldn’t force a novel. Find what type works for you and enjoy your time on it. Just because everyone spends hours on Facebook doesn’t mean you should, and just because I love blogging doesn’t mean every author should have a blog. I believe readers can tell if authors are enthusiastic or not in novels and on social media, so find one you’re passionate about. You’ll be talking to readers in no time at all.

~SAT

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7 Responses to “Different Social Medias and How I Use Them as an Author”

  1. Kate Sparkes July 8, 2014 at 5:07 am #

    Great post! These new sites keep popping up, and I’m starting to feel like an old man sitting on my porch, yelling at those darned kids to get off of my lawn with their newfangled social media.

    Do you use Google+? I have an account, but I really don’t find the layout easy to use or the system appealing in any way. I went to one fun hangout… that’s about it.

    Can you explain more or link to something on the Goodreads “don’t talk to readers” thing? Does this mean not reaching out to offer review copies, or does it only apply to responding to reviews?

    Thanks :)

    • Shannon A Thompson July 8, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

      Kate,
      I do have a Google+ – my profile automatically updates, and I’m connected to quite a few people on there, but I have almost no luck using Google+. I do use Google+ to sign into Youtube to manage my YouTube videos, but I don’t recommended Google+. It might be very popular in the future, but I find that the people who do find it useful seem to only be connecting with fellow writers – not readers.
      Goodreads basically says that authors shouldn’t engage with readers anymore. You can comment in groups and host giveaways, but you’re not supposed to message readers at all, even if it’s to thank them for a review. Here’s some info (https://www.goodreads.com/author/how_to) but I know they’ve actually been banning authors who’ve messaged readers, asking them if they are interested in a free copy of their book for a review. It’s considered harassment advertising, and if too many readers report you, they investigate. If you’re guilty, you’re banned. Too much of a risk for me.
      ~SAT

  2. Charles Yallowitz July 8, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    I tend to compare Goodreads to the Wild West. I post my books (or someone else does it before me) and keep my head down. I do the talk only when spoken to thing there, but most of it is because I’m busy elsewhere.

    I haven’t been very good at getting Facebook to work with me, so that’s probably my #3 with Twitter as my #2. I get more from my tweets ever since I figured out hashtags and retweeted more often. I still can’t get myself to post about my day since I find myself horribly uninteresting beyond the writing.

  3. Harliqueen July 8, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    A really great, in-depth post! I have to admit, I use social media but probably not to its full uses. I find it can be very draining and exhausting to keep up with it all!

  4. eclecticalli July 8, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Awesome, and somewhat reflective of what I’ve been experiencing in my early exploration of social media use… though I still struggle with Facebook — especially getting it to LET me friend/like people as my author page, rather than my personal. Probably something I did wrong in set-up..sigh.

  5. Sam July 8, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    This post reminded me of the time I met author Chris Bohjalian. He said he spends his evenings after dinner on Social Media every day. I follow him on Twitter, Goodreads, WordPress, and Instragram and he keeps them all up; it’s really incredible. Marketing yourself is a really hard process, keep it up, Shannon!

    And thanks for the shout out! :-)

  6. Michelle Joelle July 10, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Very informative, thanks for posting this! I’ve gotten a little bit of a grip on twitter, but it remains a slippery fish. I haven’t even contemplated a Facebook Page for my blog, and I’m still baffled by Google+, but WordPress is outstanding!

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