- There are 5.1 billion social media users.
- 210 million people suffer from social media addiction.
- Teenagers who spend five hours a day on social media are two times more likely to develop depression.
Social media is both a curse and a blessing for many people. I have spent the last six months working on five platforms as a writer. Here are the results of which are the most beneficial to a writer, in order of importance.
Twitter has a real writer and blogger network. The people I have interacted with have always been supportive and friendly. Yes, the platform does have a large percentage of trolls but with the block option, this should not be a problem.
If you wish to establish yourself on Twitter you need to use popular hashtags for your area of expertise. The three I have found the most successful are: #writerslife, #writerscommunity and #amwriting.
It is important that you have genuine followers on Twitter. Not the follow, for a follow type. I dedicated a whole post on ‘How to Get Genuine Twitter Followers.’
I link all my articles to Twitter and share a link to everything I write. If you use WordPress this is easy to set up, even for scheduled posts. I also post every 4–6 hours, always using hashtags. To enable me to do this at difficult times I use a scheduling application. Smart post I would recommend. With Smart post, you can write up to 75 tweets for scheduling in the future.
Instagram is another platform that has a real writer community. It is also important to use hashtags on Instagram. Many of the same hashtags work, although, I would also use #writersofinstagram.
As with all social media platforms, there is a dark side to Instagram. The range of filters has lead to body image problems. Some of my friend’s don’t look like themselves anymore. Having said that you can always use it to your advantage and have a stunning author photo.
Many writers state that using the story feature results in more followers. As you can now use text in your stories it is a great way to advertise yourself and your books.
At present, you cannot link to other pages in your posts. You can in your profile and I suggest you use this to your full advantage to point followers to your work.
Litsy is a relatively new platform and many may not have heard of it. I describe it as Twitter for books. Unlike Goodreads, Litsy allows you to communicate with others and set up a following.
If you are a book blogger it is a must, as you can post your reviews there. Not only will your followers see it but, anyone that logs they are reading that particular book will be directed towards your review.
As a writer, you have the opportunity to set up a following and interact with your readers.
Litsy does not use hashtags in the traditional sense. It is worth looking out for the challenges and participating in some of these though.
A Facebook page again allows you to set up a following and communicate with your followers. There are also several features that allow you to sell your books on Facebook.
Although this sounds perfect it is Facebook’s practices that let it down. Daily they contact you and ask you to place an advert for your site. They never let up, if it is not messages and notifications, it is posts asking you on your timeline. These are so frequent they become spam. To research how effective these were I paid for one advert for £8. I got 123 views and 23 likes, not exactly the high statistics they publish.
I have a mixed opinion on the groups on Facebook. Some have been supportive and I could not function without them. Others I have been abused on. The tip is to join a few and see where you fit.
It is also worth mentioning that Facebook is the only social media platform I have been trolled on.
Personally, I don’t get Snapchat, it is an age thing. There are many celebrities who report great results, as a writer it doesn’t work. I tried, I failed, I deleted it.
Whichever platform you use the advice is the same for all. Interact, reply to comments and post regularly. Ensure you have a full profile that links to all your work and a profile picture.
Which is your favourite social media platform?