Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Get With It - by RM Greenaway

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blogs, Newsletters…what social media do you use and how do you use it? What don’t you use, and why not? Any advice for those in a quandary?

Facebook: I get overwhelmed in a crowd where much is going on, even if it’s a virtual crowd, and that’s Facebook. I’ve tried to get to love it -- as most people do, for good reason -- but still haven’t mastered the art. Unlike a knight on a charging steed, I tend to walk away from things that make me fret, which includes most social events. It’s something I’m working on improving in myself. Facebook is still a work in progress.
Twitter: I like Twitter. Facebook is like walking into a crowded room, but Twitter is like poking your head in the door and yelling, then going on your way. I can handle that. I could do better, though. One of these days I mean to set the alerts to let me know when a friend has tweeted so I can be more responsive.
Instagram: I’ve been Instagramming way before getting published, when nothing mattered except having an interesting photo up, which was ‘liked’ by nobody, or at best by my brother John (see attached pic). Nowadays Instagram is jam packed with ads and sponsored posts. It’s becoming Shopping Channel, and I miss the old style of Purely People Posting Pix. Still, you just have to wade through the extraneous and find the gems. I've come to accept that IG is also a good, low-key way to promote your book. A lot of authors use it to show where their books are at, and you can write as much content as you want, unlike Twitter, so to some it’s become a sort of mini-blog, with the photo as the invitation to read on. I use IG for book promo whenever something newsworthy comes up, but again, could do more.

Blogs...: like this one, are great. My favourite, really. It's like taking the podium, but with all the time in the world to untie the tongue, and no faces to gaze up at me with high expectations. Would do more blogging if I had the time.

Newsletters: When I first got published I had planned to do up an exciting newsletter. Now I’m not so sure. I think these days people are so inundated with info that optional reads, like newsletters, go straight into the trashcan. It’s also a bit of a lean – friends and family will read it whether they want to or not, whether they have the time or not. If people are interested in where you’re at, I think maintaining your website with news and photos, and then inviting people to check it out, is a good way to go. Most of those invited will say yes, and then they won’t, but better that than pressing a pamphlet in their hand and telling them to read it, like, now. On the other hand, many people will appreciate the pamphlet, read it, and buy the book. So forget what I said. Don’t listen to me.

I think the best social media platform, though, is Beer:  Get the local brewery to make you a custom batch of IPA, and then have it available at all your events. People will drink it, get happy, and post pictures of themselves with the groovy can and the book side by side, as you can see below in this shot of me and my brother gladly advertising Cobra Clutch -- by A.J. Devlin, a fab new B.C. author -- featuring an ex-wrestling reluctant-PI hero avenging the death of a beloved pet snake (and its owner).

When it comes down to it, social media is the favourite bane of the artist, and you have to decide which one or two platforms make you fret the least, and then put your heart into it/them. 

A website, though, is not an option. Get with it, says one who hasn’t updated hers in months. Tomorrow, definitely.


Susan C Shea said...

A daunting list of options. I gave up on Instagram before I started but a few author friends are still nagging me to dive in. As you say, so many ads, and there's an air of self-satisfaction and "look at me, me, me" that turns me off. Twitter is okay although without filtering software, I just see what's rushing by when, as you described it, I poke my head in to the door. and the meanness quotient for opinionated tweeters is sky high. Now the beer thing - that's epic!

Unknown said...

Epic, ya! Let me know when you join IG and I'll follow you ;)

Lyda McPherson said...

Hi There. I'm with Susan. The beer promotional takes things way past the bookmark stage. That suggestions is now in my file of "promotional ideas."

Lisa Ciarfella said...

Hmmm, let's see...

FB, yes. It's easy, and all the crime fiction writers are on it. And IG is cool and super easy.

Twitter, well just can't seem to get into it. Me and that Tweety bird can't seem to make friends.

Blogging is a yes. Though it's a lot harder to do and do well than it seems. And it can take up valuable writing time. Got to manage it better.

But yeah. Got to go with what makes sense and what you enjoy, otherwise it just feels like work!

Unknown said...

I'll let AJ know he's got some disciples! Your Fiction Corner looks inviting, Lisa - I'm going to check it out further.