As authors we’ve all been told, dozens upon dozens of times, to use social media to promote our books. However, just like anything else, social media can also be overrated, if not overused.
Too many authors go on social media and post nothing but, “Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book.” Enough already! We all want people to buy our books, but social media is NOT meant to be used as a vehicle for free advertising. Think about it. When was the last time you went on Facebook or Twitter thinking, “I want to buy a book. Gee I think I’ll go look for one on Facebook or Twitter.” Yeah, that’s what I thought.
So, how does an author use social media? Well, this author likes to use it to drive traffic to her blogs.
Why I Think the Blog is Still King
There’s been plenty of talk about the problem with trolls who apparently have nothing better to do with their time than to destroy an author’s career. They’ve done some serious damage on Goodreads, and they’re a problem on Amazon and other social media sites as well. However, with a blog, particularly when it’s your blog, you can eliminate trolls completely. All you have to do is set up your comments so they cannot be posted without your prior approval, and bye-bye trolls. You’ve just created a place where people can feel safe engaging with you, and with each other.
The other great thing about a blog is you can really engage with your readers on a more personal level. You can share ideas, have contests and promotions, and build your following. And yes, a blog IS a form of social media, because as long as you allow comments, your readers can engage with you, and with each other. I can also do a lot more with a blog. Both Blogger and WordPress allow multiple pages, so one of my other blogs, Marina Martindale’s Musings, uses the other pages for sample chapters. That’s a whole lot more than I’m able to do with my Facebook fan page.
So how do I use social media? Well, aside from the fact that I’m probably spending way too much time just hanging out on Facebook, (a topic for another blog post on another day), I can post links to my blogs there, as I also do on Twitter, Google +, and, when appropriate, LinkedIn. And of all the social media I use, I find Twitter to be the most effective for driving readers to my blogs.
So there you have it. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media, when used properly, can certainly help you publicize your books, but, in my opinion, there simply is no substitute for a blog.
My tip for the day.