social media myths for new writers header: promoting your work

Social media myth for new writers (part two): promoting your work

There’s no getting away from social media at the moment. It seems to be all encompassing, spurring news stories, providing distractions, and allow people to connect in a way that hasn’t been possible before. For writers, social media can be an opportunity, but it can also be a trap for the unwary. Especially for the new writer, the pitfalls of social media can be great, and they can be time consuming.

Last week I looked at one of the myths around social media for writers – that it is the best way to get a name out there (wherever ‘there’ is). This week I’m going to have a look at another one –

Myth 2 – social media to exists to promote work

The story goes something like this: social media allows us to reach people that we wouldn’t be able to otherwise. It broadens our market to people across the world, who, if they only knew about our writing, would buy it and add to your fan base. So when you’re on social media, we should use the time to promote all the work that you’ve created.

Twitter is full of writers tweeting about their books or retweeting Amazon links. They use any excuse to link the latest news stories to their work, just so that they can put that link to the book page. “Donald Trump said X? That’s funny, because X is what my lead talks about in chapter 2. BUY HERE.”

woman in front of posters
More adverts? Great?!

The reality – social media There’s no getting away from social media at the moment. It seems to be all encompassing, spurring news stories, providing distractions, and allow people to connect in a way that hasn’t been possible before. For wrtiers, social media can be an opportunity, but it can also be a trap for the unwary. Especially for the new writer, the pitfalls of social media can be great, and they can be time consuming.is for socializing, not selling

It’s my opinion that we shouldn’t use social media purely to promote our own writing directly. Social media, despite the best efforts of the major providers, isn’t the best way to sell things. Facebook especially struggled for a while trying to come up with a monetization strategy (remember Facebook Marketplace?) before settling on advertising.

People don’t really go onto social media to buy things. They go on to speak to friends, to see what celebrities think about something or to argue about current events. If, in the middle of their discussion on abortion rights, they see our tweets advertising our books, do you think that they are going to buy it? Not at all. They’re in a different mindset.

more billboards
Don’t let your social media look like this

How to fix it – socialize!

Use social media to socialise? I must be off my head. But there’s a method to the madness. By talking to people, by engaging with discussion about writing, we’ll start to build a network. These people will be interested in what we say, as long as we’re polite and geniune (don’t try and be fake – people see through that). In the long run, they might pick up one or two of our books. They might visit our blog (hello blog visitors!!).

It’s a long game though, and that’s why social media sellers don’t like it. They will throw thousands of tweets out about their latest book and be disappointed that no one buys anything. They won’t understand why they get blocked or ignored. And they don’t understand that the simple key to social media is not to sell – it’s to socialize!

Next week I’ll take a look at another myth – that social media can help you solve all your problems.

The images on this page are from Unsplash.

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