Last Updated on February 21, 2019 by ThoughtsStained
Hello, dear readers!
It’s time for the latest discussion post and this is a topic I’ve been thinking about a little bit recently. It’s not a complex one by any means (though, after writing this entire post, perhaps it’s more complex than I originally thought?), but I’m just curious how others navigate it, so I figured I would put it out there and then see what everyone thinks! My question is:
What is your relationship with social media, especially as a book blogger?
Personally, I have an odd relationship with it, in that it plays a lesser role in my life, yet I feel the pressure (and the guilt) that it should play a bigger one; that I’m missing out or doing others (and myself) a disservice by not being more active across all the media.
I have a personal Facebook account where I don’t really connect anything to it. I only add people I’m actually good friends with (so if you’re an author and you’ve added me there, that’s why I prolly didn’t accept and I do apologize for that!), as I want Facebook to stay my more private social media platform (ironic, in light of….everything, but bear with me). I also use Twitter and that is probably my main “platform,” as a writer and a blogger, and the one I spend the most time on (yet I’m still shit at retweeting others I want to support and I almost never do the tags because I’m just not good at those?!).
I use Instragram, but I’m not a Booksgrammer. I’d love to be that talented to take enough pictures to make a platform like that, but I don’t think that’s in my realm of expertise? I just like to take pictures of food and the doggo. Then, there’s being a BookTuber and while I have a YouTube account, it’s just to listen to music while I write (and Vlogbrothers videos, naturally). I never post anything and I don’t think I am technologically savvy enough to make that work.
I’ve recently created a Reddit account, after I’ve been told it’s pretty integral to have one, as a fantasy writer/blogger. But I’ve struggled to check it regularly or stay active on it, because who has the time to do all of this. I’m also using Discord a little bit more (but also shit at checking that, which I’m really bummed about, because I recently got invited to an awesome group of wonderful people and I just feel like I can’t keep up because I don’t have enough time and I’m sorry, I want to be your friend, I PROMISE). I’ve never even had a Tumblr. I only use Pinterest for my own stuff and don’t link anything there. I’m pretty active on Goodreads, too, but just posting reviews. I’m not really involved in groups there and I’m still trying to get Amazon to approve me to post reviews there.
And those are only the mediums I can think of off the top of my head! I’m sure there are loads more I’m not even aware of, yet it’s recommended to be a part of to build your audience and your platform.
But that’s the thing: where is the time we’re supposed to use for all of that!? Hells, Twitter alone takes up more of my time than I would like already and I’m already trying to actually cut back on my social media usage, simply because I want to use that time to do what I love the most: writing and reading. Yet in order to have a good platform and build an audience to receive the work I put into this blog and my books–once they’re published for you all to read–I need to spend time on various social media, to build that platform and keep it active.
But that’s exactly what I struggle with. I just don’t know how people are able to spend time on all of them and still stay on top of everything else life offers. It might not help that I took off all the social media from my phone two years or so ago, now, so I never check it unless during slow times/breaks at work. But I like having a life without feeling like I need to immediately respond to every tweet or spend every time waiting at a bus stop scrolling aimlessly, when I could be sneaking in another chapter.
I dunno, I’ve just been thinking about social media and its impact a lot recently, since I’ve been trying to get into Reddit and failing miserably. I think there are a lot of great bonuses when it comes to social media. I have made some wonderful friends and connections online and it’s amazing to have a community where I feel heard and understood, as I don’t always get that in person, in the real world. But at the same time, there is just so much of it out there, on so many different platforms and I struggle to keep up with it. In that struggle, I start to feel guilty that I’m not as active as others, I don’t retweet enough, I don’t post enough, I don’t partake in X medium to help promote myself and other writers/books, so that must mean I’m a failure, right?
So…I was just curious, with today’s discussion, on your relationship with social media, if you’re comfortable enough to share it. How do you choose which platforms you give your precious freetime to? Is it part of the job to you, as an artist (whether that’s a blogger, writer, reader, painter, musician, you name it) or is it something you use to pass the time? How do you balance it all and what do you wish you could change or do differently? I’m really curious about everyone else’s responses, as I definitely haven’t magically figured it out yet, so thanks in advance for any discussions we end up having!
Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek says
It’s integral to have a reddit account for a fantasy blogger? Well damn, no wonder I’m not popular or part of the community, it’s cos I don’t do reddit.😂
Nicole Evans says
Well, that’s what I’ve heard, at any rate! Perhaps that’s the magic ticket! 😛
Elizabeth Schap says
So here is what I’ve accidentally fallen into with SM:
-Facebook – have one for friends bc they demanded it, but don’t post any personal stuff there ever, rarely check and only occasionally link blog posts to it. Never liked it ever.
-Insta – use for my blogging in which I post actual blog content (also have a separate account for personal use)
-Twitter – got to follow two authors (hint you’re one) and now use to follow creators of the Podcasts I like. I have tweeted exactly once.
-Pinterest – personal collecting boards of visual fun
The end. I didn’t actually even realize it until I read this, but I’ve seemed to just categorize stuff. It keeps me on each just a little bit – so there’s no time suck, and I only check them once (or on a really boring day twice) a day, usually in the morning before work.
I don’t think, unless you are making your sole living off of creative pursuits, that you CAN keep up with it all. You have to limit yourself for sure. Find the ones that you like and stick with it. I like Insta and so I do all of my main publicity there.
Nicole Evans says
I like your breakdown! I think you have a manageable amount that doesn’t become overwhelming (though I kinda feel bad that friends demanded you have a Facebook; if you don’t want one, I don’t think you should have one!). Though I’m honored to be one of the writers you wanted to follow on Twitter! <3
I like how you categorize stuff. It's definitely something I need to do a little bit better at, because I've found Twitter can be a dangerous time suck for me. And, after getting more involved in the blogging community, I have even *less* time for it than I did before, so it's a whirlwind, that's for sure!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, as always! <3
It seems like a lot of bloggers are active across ALL platforms, and honestly, I’m not sure where they get the time! I blog because I enjoy it and have fun with the people I’ve met that way, but I don’t have an Instagram account (gasp!), use Facebook for keeping up with old friends, and rarely use Twitter. And I’m okay with all that. On the other hand, I do understand that it’s different for authors, and have heard from writer friends that there’s a need/expectation to really self-promote across all platforms in order to grow any sort of following. Good luck! There is just so much, and my feeling is that you (or anyone) should only use the social media that makes you feel happy. There’s so much pressure and stress in all our lives already — who needs social media stress too?
(But, I understand that as a writer, you may actually need to get out there more if you want to grow your audience or connect with readers…)
Nicole Evans says
I honestly don’t know how they do it, either. I feel like I barely have enough time as it is just doing Twitter–and I already want to cut back so I can actually read more!
You’re right, though: I think there is a distinction as me as a blogger and me as a writer. I don’t think I need it as much for a blogger, because a lot of my interactions happen here on the blog or everyone else’s blogs! Yet as a writer, I definitely need it and feel like I’m never doing well enough surrounding it. Maybe one day, I’ll get it all sorted? But I do want to stop stressing about it so much, that’s for certain!
I relate so, so, sooooo much with this post. I also find social media overwhelming sometimes and I certainly do not have time to keep up with everything.
I do not have a Bookstagram, because I don’t think I’m that good of a photographer. I’ve tried keeping Instagram feeds before, but they were way too time-consuming. Now, I only have a Twitter account as social media, apart from Goodreads, of course. And I am literally The Worst at it.
My problem with Twitter is that I’m always afraid of starting up drama. With the limited characters thing, it’s now easy to explain yourself fully and the “canceling” culture in social media is very over the top recently. On top of that, I’m a suuuuper introvert, and I never know how to start conversations online. When it’s a blog post, it’s okay; you have an entire post to comment on. But when it’s just a tweet, I find awkward to just barge in someone’s replies.
A part of me really wishes that blogging and interacting wasn’t so much about your social media presence as well, lol.
Nicole Evans says
Gosh, right!? I see others using Twitter flawlessly, while I have other friends who are active on it who call me out and are like, “Well, if you were more active, you might know what’s going on.” 😛
Gosh, I didn’t even touch on the drama aspect in my post, but you’re absolutely, 100% right about that! It’s always hard to read tone online, so it’s easy to be construed in a way that was totally not the intention.
I think we just gotta do as much as we’re comfortable with and able, when it comes to social media. It’s a great tool, but at the end of the day, it’s not worth adding extra stress over.
I have little to not time for social media. I barely have time to post to my blog monthly. I gave up on Facebook after Cambridge Analytica and limit myself to a every-other-week quick check of notifications there. Twitter I use the most, but as a consumer mostly. Most of my posts are fed from my GoodReads status updates or from my blog automatically to Twitter. I do have an Instagram account, but only to see photos and videos from my kids and grandkids.
Nicole Evans says
Yeah, I definitely see myself using social media less and less (though I do love some aspects of it), because there are just so many other books I want to read and video games I want to play! I don’t have time for it all!
Off The TBR says
At the moment other than my blog on WordPress the only SM account I use is Twitter. I had a fb page for years and used to be on it all the tikr🙁
Off The TBR says
Oops hit post too soon. Trying again…
At the moment other than my blog on WordPress the only SM account I use is Twitter. I had a fb page for years and used to be on it all the time, even had a page for my blog. Then one day fb deleted my page with a reason that I was “ineligible”. No explanation and no response to my multiple inquiries as to why or requests to reinstate. I was kissed at first but now I feel fine with it. I really got to the point where I hated fb. Especially since a lot of friends and fam from back home are polar opposites from me politically and socially. And I didn’t get much blog traffic from it.
Twitter on the other hand (or what I call fantasy book Twitter) I love. I get at least half my blog traffic from it and I absolutely love the community I’ve found there between authors and other bloggers/book lovers. I’ve seen some crazy toxic stuff in some of the other book genre areas of twitter (like YA) but so far my experience with fantasy Twitter has been great.
I don’t use reddit at all. I have an account but hardly ever get on. It just seems like too much clutter and too much to keep up with during the day. I have a hard enough time keeping up with all the blogs I follow. And I feel like I see tons of complaints from Twitter friends about the reddit community…you know how there’s always a few users who have to come in and ruin a thread.
I have started following a few booktubers but that’s kind of like adding them to my list of blogs I follow. I have not created my own booktube space and probably won’t.
Right now I’m happy and content with just Twitter.
Nicole Evans says
Ha, no worries!
I hardly get any blog-related responses from Facebook. I only have one because I like to keep up with some old friends that way who live out of state or out of the country. Otherwise, I might not have one anymore (especially with the political stuff).
Twitter has definitely been my favorite and you’re so right, that there are tons of great aspects of the community there (as well as a little bit of drama, as you also mentioned).
I just don’t think I can learn Reddit, honestly. I’ve tried and I’m not sure if I can keep up with that one.
Hey, I think, if you like it and it works for you, that’s the route you should totally go! Thank you so much for writing such a detailed response!
I really relate to what you’ve said here! I always struggle to find time for social media, and I think a lot of it is that it feels like hard work to me. I’m quite introverted, so social media kind of scares me… I never know what to post, and I feel like I’m not funny enough to come up with some of the witty comments other people are posting, so I just end up dithering for ages about what to post.
I generally just share my blog posts on Twitter, and I try to retweet other people’s. I do also have a Bookstagram account that I’m quite proud of in terms of the pictures, but I haven’t posted in months, because it’s too tough trying to take enough photos to have something to share every day.
Nicole Evans says
“I never know what to post, and I feel like I’m not funny enough…” <—- YES, ohmygosh!!! I definitely relate to this, 110%. I read some interactions on Twitter and I'm like, "Damn, I want to be like that." But I don't think I am naturally like that? So I definitely have that trepidation, too!
Really? I'll have to check out your pictures! I don't really follow any Bookstagram accounts since I just have a personal one, but I do think they are really pretty, whenever I get to see them. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to keep it up, though, and keep it either consistent or fresh and interesting!
(Also, is your blog name a reference to The Great Gatsby!?)
I have a personal Facebook with no blog stuff on it.
I use instagram for non-blog stuff.
I really only link Twitter to the blog and most of the time I forget to post links to my blog posts.
Nicole Evans says
I think Twitter definitely seems to be the most potent option!
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction says
I’ve read so many times that even though social media can be great, you really need to decide which platforms work well for you and focus on those. I’m right there with you—I have an Instagram account, but I’m sporadic with my posts and I’m not great at staging beautiful book pictures. I also have Facebook, but I’m not very active there at all. I didn’t even realize that authors and bloggers were over on Reddit–I’m just gonna pretend I never heard that. 🙂 Twitter is the one and only social media platform I’m active on (just followed you there, by the way). I sometimes think I should try and branch out a little, but time is a HUGE factor, and I just don’t know that it will happen.
Nicole Evans says
Ha, yes, I never mentioned anything about Reddit, don’t even think about that. 😉 Yes, I saw that. Thanks for the follow, I followed you back!! 😀
I think that, even though it could beneficial to be more active across more platforms, that you’re right: there is only so much time in the day and we really just have to do what *we* want and be okay with that.
Louise Brady, Author says
I find it easy to get overwhelmed when I think about how many social media platforms there are.
I joined a Discord group a while ago, but it was too fast paced and I couldn’t keep up.
I also don’t use Facebook at all, other than cross posting Instagram posts.
I should join Reddit, but I’ve no idea what to do with it. Tumblr is fun to like pretty art.
I know many people use programs to schedule social media, but that feels a bit fake to me, so I’m going to research which ones I definitely need and focus on those! (Probably Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit and Tumblr) I’m trying to treat social media less like a job and more like a fun thing, but it’s early days yet and I haven’t posted much at all lately!
Nicole Evans says
It is definitely easy to get overwhelmed when you think about it, because it definitely feels like more of a job when I already don’t have time enough for it as it is! I hope you find a good balance for it, though! That’s what I’m striving for, at this point, I think.
What an interesting discussion this post has created! It is impossible to avoid social media, and it is an important part of building a writing platform according to experts, but like many of the comments above, it really comes down to using platforms that you enjoy and support your writing. I feel a bit of a hypocrite as I hardly use any at all now – my blog links to Twitter but like others here I am more of a liker and retweeter rather than an active member. For quite a while I was on Instagram, but not promoting writing as such. I was using a scheduling tool towards the end until it really felt like another ‘must do’ what wasn’t helping me get to engage with a writing community so I’ve let it slide. FB isn’t for me – can’t cope with what feels like an intrusion of privacy as an introverted soul. When I did NaNoWriMo last year I turned off social media notifications and moved the icons out of sight. Result – more writing done! It doesn’t mean I won’t revisit it but I’m more selective now with social media, responding and not reacting 😊
Nicole Evans says
I know, I’m so stoked so many people offered their feedback!! It’s been so wonderful to read so many responses!
I definitely love the way you protect your own space and I love that, “responding and not reacting,” phrase that you used. I definitely react more than anything else, I think, which isn’t always a bad thing. Nor do I think it’s a bad thing to choose not to participate in it. I think we just have to realize that, if we don’t, it will affect writing careers or our blogs.
But finding a level you’re comfortable with without turning it into another job is so important (and so difficult, at the same time).
Joyce C says
I don’t think you need to stress yourself out trying to be present everywhere. Author Julie C. Dao recently announced that she’s stepping away from Instagram too because she doesn’t want to feel pressured to post when she has nothing to share. She said she would rather focus on writing books, because that’s what sells books. I think it’s really to each her own, and social media shouldn’t be an added stress that saps your time and energy from your core work, which is to write books. (And don’t worry about letting your friends down because you’re not constantly online supporting them – the ones who understand will understand! ❤️)
I really connect with this, Joyce! I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I want to connect with social media and how I want to use it, but it’s always nice to hear about how others do it!
Joyce C says
Also, I just realised this post was published way back in 2019. I don’t know how I only landed here now 😅
HA, honestly , I have no idea, either, but I’m pretty stocked, to be honest!