Updated Thoughts on Social Media
I was at Bouchercon in San Diego last weekend. The first panel I attended was on book marketing. The panelists were seasoned, industry professionals who utilize social media to promote books and help guide authors to use social media to promote their own books. I came away from it with some new (updated) insights.
First, here are some previous insights I’ve shared:
TikTok- One of the biggest takeaways from this panel was when a panelist said that there is no secret sauce for getting your book to blow up on #booktok. She said this is because it is controlled by readers, organically, and it’s all about letting booktok accounts ‘just do their thing’. It’s less about authors using the space to promote their books and more about making connections with influencers. I totally agree but I have seen a few exceptions. Kealan Patrick Burke has managed to generate an organic fanbase by making relatable, funny videos. And Briana Morgan is utilizing her understanding of TikTok trends to consistently create content on her account boosting views.
My Take: I like having a digital footprint there so I crosspost my Instagram reels so I can have available content in relevant hashtags but I don’t have time to make daily original content.
Instagram- Photo & Video content. This site is my bread & butter. I joined the #bookstagram community 8 years ago as an avid reader connecting with other readers. The relationships I have built there are extremely important to me and the business I co-own with my business partner who is also a member of the #bookstagram community. My biggest piece of advice when using this platform, specifically the #bookstagram community is to remember that it prioritizes organic and authentic engagement. You will get out of it, what you put into it. I like the way CJ Leede uses it. A balance of candid photos, book promotion, and lifestyle posts.
My take: Use Instagram for photo/video content and Threads for text-best sharing. Everything under one umbrella. I’m slowly pulling away from X and moving to Threads
X (the platform formerly known as Twitter) - I’m not going to be able to add anything new to the conversation about what has happened to this platform thathasn’t said in a recent post for the Reframe titled, How to Help Writers Leave X
Facebook, Mastodon, BlueSky, Spoutible, etc. - The panelists all agreed, that you can’t (shouldn’t) do them all. Reason number one is “too little butter spread over too much toast”. Ask important questions to see if the math is mathing.
A little effort spread out over all the platforms producing slow growth OR
Quality effort on a few platforms producing steady growth?
What do you want out of social media and how are you using your time to get it?
Who is my target audience and how am I reaching them?
Your social media is the narrative about you that YOU get to curate. You are the messenger behind the message. Sometimes I scroll through my feed with the eyes of a stranger to see what I would learn about myself in about a minute. Think about your posts before you post them.
I hope this was helpful. It’s tough out there and we all could use more time to focus on the things that are really important to us. The less time we spend on social media, the more time we have for creativity, peace, and joy.