What to do about social media?
As authors, we are bound to use social media. We use it to stay in touch with other authors and with our readers. We use to advertise our books and simply to keep abreast of what’s going on in the publishing world. The problem with social media—and Facebook in particular—is that we have no control over what we see or who sees what we post. Not only that, but the companies that control that are always changing their algorithms in order to do what they feel is best and to make the most money.
So what are we to do about this?
According to an excellent article by Author Media, the best thing to do is to get the email addresses of everyone you are trying to reach with your social media posts and add them to your mailing list. Yes, if you have direct access to everyone you’re trying to communicate with everything is easier. The problem is that that limits you to those willing to give up their email address to you. It also limits you to those who find you through whatever means—maybe a link in the back of your book or a friend telling them about you. But what it doesn’t allow for is any sort of organic reach—those who might be shown an ad on a social media platform or Amazon—wherever you advertise. That serendipity that somehow puts your name in front of the right person who through whatever miracle makes them click on the link.
I completely agree getting an email would be the safest thing to do, but sometimes the only way for a reader to find you is through social media. For my money, despite the constant changes, social media and Facebook, in particular, is best.
All of this change and upheaval, combined with a light-bulb-inducing comment from one of my clients, has taken me to Discord. Discord, for those of you who don’t know, is another type of social media, only it is broken down into “servers” which are like groups. A person can join a server usually only when they are invited or somehow obtain the link, so most servers are private. Once in a server, you can see all the messages posted there and participate in everything happening.
The nice thing about these servers is that within one there are subgroups. So, for example, I asked my child, who is very active in a number of servers on Discord, to create a server for me. There I have subgroups for general chatting, another where people can tell everyone what they are writing, another where I organize writing sprints, and another where we share our goals. There’s a place where people can ask questions about writing craft, and another where you can post a question about publishing. It’s all very nice and organized.
Because it’s private, it does limit your social group to people you know or who are to one degree or another connected—so I invited my clients to join my server, and I also invited other writer friends. All those people know me but they may not know each other—but they will once they become active on my server. 😊
For me, Discord is a great way to interact with all the authors I know and do what I can to make writing easier and more pleasant—it’s accountability and it’s a place to ask questions and get them answered.
If you’d like to join my discord, all you need to do is message me or put a comment below with a way for me to get in touch with you privately. I was thinking of just posting the link to the server here, but then I was afraid that a bot would pick it up and the server would get spammed. Please don’t be hesitate to reach out. I know that there are a lot of people who read this blog but never comment, never message, never do anything more than hit the like button at the bottom (thank you for doing that!), but truly, I would love to help you more, to interact with you, to get to know you, and to help you do what you love to do—write!
Click here to message me and join my Discord server!