If you’re a writer, should you be using social media?
This is a question that’s come from a few people. It was asked on my Facebook, my students ask all the time, and it’s a hot topic of conversation in my writing circles. Career-wise, I was a marketer long before I was any sort of a writer, and so I do think social media is an important and useful tool for writers. But I also think there’s some really compelling arguments both for and against signing up to every single platform.
There are lots of social media platforms and even more marketing folks online discussing if and why you should use them and claiming to have the answers to help you sell a million books, or grow your followers. To be completely blunt, I think most of these blog posts and e-books and webinars are useless to us as writers.
Why? Because well, lots of them are trying to just grow their own followers to get more endorsements, more followers, and more of us to pay for their services. And while there are some who are genuinely trying to help, there aren’t many of these online marketers who understand what it is that writers specifically can achieve by being on social media. So they offer a lot of really generalised business or influencer-based advice, and it’s really difficult for an emerging writer with a handful of publications to see if there’s a point of being on social media at all.
In the next few weeks, I’m going to do a series of upcoming blog posts talking through some of the individual social media platforms. I’m going to look how they may or may not benefit writers, how we can use specific platforms for different things, and some ways that you might like to consider using them. What I’m not going to do is claim to have the answers for how to build massive followings, or have your novel solicited by a publisher based on your social media, and I will not have a list of dos and don’ts because, well, those lists often don’t take multiple points of view and perspectives into consideration and annoy the hell out of me. I’ve always tried to be the least annoying form of marketer ever, and while that may not boost your following a lot in the short term, it will help you to understand what you’re getting yourself into on social media and how you could use it to help with your writing.
If you’re a writer and have questions about using social media, drop them below in the comments or email me and I’ll try and make sure I answer them for you!