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Is Social Media Worth Your Time as an Author in 2023?

Twitter is dead

Instagram is dying

Facebook is rotting from the inside out

Tik Tok is a spying tool

Snapchat began as a way to send noods...

(And then MySpace is off in its own corner, doing its own thing while Threads is proving itself to be a cool place to connect with your tribe 😂🤣)

But, what I’m saying here is:

Where is the appeal to joining these apps in 2023? 🤔

The grand excuse we always use is, “to find readers” and “to get better reach!”

But these excuses are becoming more and more unfounded by the day.

The golden era of organic social media marketing has come and gone and now it is nearly impossible to reach new people without paying for advertising or verification.

It is really interesting how, in the hey-day of Social Media, it was THE WAY to reach a larger audience, build brand recognition, and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Plenty of modern day celebrities from Nicki Minaj to Mark Dawson were able to build up their careers on Social Media, and served as an inspiration to the rest of us.

But now Meta and Twitter have changed their strategy so that the only way to reach new people, is to pay for it. (Which, I have to say, was a great business move for their businesses, since it took their platform from a free-for-all to a FREEMIUM service, but it still hurts as a creator who used the platform to gain ORGANIC reach.)

AND, it’s really hard to want to use platforms that used to take your hard earned notoriety and reward you for that, which now allows you to pay for that same thing. It used to be that blue check marks and verified accounts were the thing to work towards. Now that status symbol is behind a paywall and holds no real merit.

So, wtf are we supposed to do?????

Well, to me, the answer is fairly obvious.

Outside of Threads and Pinterest... If we have to pay in order to get online reach, it makes way more sense to pay for services where the READERS are, instead of paying for services where everyone hangs out. The differences between Facebook and communities like Book Funnel, Story Origin, or Prolific Works (formerly Insta freebie) are astounding.

Why pay for POTENTIAL reach and POTENTIALLY connecting with readers when you can take your hard earned money to where the readers actually hang out???

Back in 2019, Story Origin was in its beta phase and I actually got to use the platform while it was free. All 150 (give or take) readers on my mailing list came from Story Origin, not social media, Story Origin.

But then, Story Origin moved from Beta Testing into being a full platform and there were no free options anymore, so I thought (with my limited bibliography and my limited budget) it made a lot of sense to start pouring time, attention (and money) into Instagram instead — because it was a free platform where you “could reach a gazillion people.”

Well, fast forward to 2023 and social media is a shit show now…

So what should we do?!?

Well, first off, if you have a social media platform, use it until the cows come home, there is no point in abandoning something that you have already put many years and countless hours into.

BUT, if you’re doing research to build your author brand from scratch, I say: DON’T BOTHER!!

You will read or hear resources say that if you’re not on Facebook or Instagram as a business, you’ll have no credibility, but again, this simply is not true.

I have seen TONS of Thread posts lately about how even Bookstagram is not the same land of warm fuzzy feelings and genuine connections that it once was!

Simply start blogging. Post regularly, and see what happens.

There’s a pretty good chance that only a handful of people are going to see your Instagram post anyways, so why not have that handful of people see your post on YOUR home planet?

The biggest thing with platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Threads, Snapchat, and TikTok is that you are forfeiting your search-ability for relatability.

Yes, you are theoretically putting yourself in front of thousands, or even millions of people, but, in that same breath, you are willingly handing over your Search Engine Optimization.

Sure, someone who reads your book, or even just sees your book on Amazon may be able to find you on social media somewhere, but they can’t search for your book specifically.

Over the past 4, almost 5 years, I learned very quickly how having a social media presence is less of the equation than we have been told.

Actually, the reason why I started podcasting is because I was listening to a Vanessa Lau episode where she explains how social media is great but it doesn’t ACTUALLY build brand awareness.

If she hadn’t mentioned it, I never would have started podcasting!

So, Social Media is not worth your time anymore. There are plenty of other online venues to find readers, but you are NOT limited to the Metaverse 🤗

Stay tuned as I will also be diving into what platforms ARE worth your time now that the golden age of Facebook marketing has come and gone.

What do you do to market your books/build your audience?

I'm kind of in love with Pinterest 😸 (and Threads lol, I might have an addiction!)

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