Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why We Shouldn't Put All Our Eggs in Facebook's Basket

Most people who follow my blog know me as the author of the Kailmeyra Series. But I also work extensively with authors, both traditionally published and indie, on building their brand. 

My mantra these days seems to be "build your platform and readers will come." And the majority of the time the response I get is "Everyone's-already-on-Facebook-why-can't-I-just-make-a-fanpage-and-call-it-a-day?"

That would be a great idea, if Facebook wasn't continually changing their policy. 

Take, for example, Facebook's latest "update." Rafflecopter did a great job explaining it here, but to sum it up, at the beginning of November we will no longer be able to use the "like our page" for promotions and giveaways.

I've said it for a while now that Facebook's continual policy shifts diminish an indie author's ability to use their platform effectively. I've never understood the reasoning behind not allowing everyone that "liked" your page to actually see your posts. And now, it seems, Facebook is at it again by limiting an author's ability to find new followers.

Not to social if you ask me.   

However, we need not fear. There are other platforms that actually do a better job of gaining reader awareness. And so, fellow indies, I have compiled a list of must-haves. Best news is that most of these sites are super easy to maintain.


Instagram:  I cannot stress how completely powerful this social media site is. Remember, Instagram is designed to be used on a smart phone. While you can keep track of what's going on via computer, all the sharing and such goes on through a phone app.

Pinterest: 
Pretty shocking stats show that Pinterest is one of the most influential sites when it comes to sales. Too, this is a great way to show readers your personality. And while setting up boards does take a bit of time, maintaining them is only a few minutes a day.

Twitter: 
One of the big daddies of social media. Twitter is a great way to get the word out to thousands of readers. But remember, social media means being social. Get on Twitter and have conversations, 160 characters at a time. I've met some hella writers on twitter as well as my Literary Manager. :-)

Tumblr: 

If you write anything middle grade or higher, you simply must have a Tumblr.

But wait, you say. I already have a blogger blog ... can't I just count that one? 

Of course, any blog is extremely important. But you must know your audience. And if you write for anyone under the age of 25, those readers love Tumblr. The good news is you can import all your blog posts from Blogger to Tumblr. Check it out here. 


Google+: 
After the great blogger piss off of 2012, when Google decided to do away with their Google Friends Connect program, most readers weren't exactly forming a line to sign up for another Google platform. But hold on for a sec. Google Play is gaining momentum in the publishing industry, authors are now using their "hangout" platform to connect with fans, and there are already 300 million + people on the site. Mark my words, Google aint out of the running yet. Here's some info on finding out more about engaging your audience on Google+. 

Finding places to connect with readers is an ongoing challenge. With Facebook's constant fixation on tethering fanpages so the only avenue administrators have is to "boost a post," author's must look to other sites to increase their reach.

So I say, find new baskets. Share the love. Get off Facebook and see what else is out there. I think you'll find that most of the sites mentioned above are more than happy to welcome you into the fold.

And so I'd like to know. Which social media site do you find to be most valuable for gaining new readers?