Social media networks are used by authors the world over. What are the pros & cons and how can they best be used in 2020? Read my advice & thoughts for the year ahead.
In this Social Media Networks blog article, you will find information on the following areas:
- Social media pros show authors the best sides of social media, meaning you can learn the best aspects of the networks and how to get involved online,
- Social media cons share some of the more negative aspects, so you can be aware of a number of the most common findings online,
- The bemused, bugged & baffled of social media networks share some unexplained aspects of the online media. Here, you can share thoughts below on what you think of these areas to spark discussion,
- Social media in 2020 is a vital tool for us as writers so we can interact with ‘fans’ or fellow authors. This means we can be supported in an environment that should be friendly and welcoming to all.
Read the rest of the Social Media Networks article to see how you can improve your author profiles and interaction online.
Social media networks are a vital tool for authors and writers all around the world. They are also incredibly important for businesses whether they are small, medium, or large. The fact is that social media optimisation is no longer a possibility. In 2020, social media is a necessity if you want to connect and make social media links with those who follow you as an author or as a business.
Since everyone now knows that they need to take advantage of social media networks and the links they open up, many people are unsure as to how best to utilise them for the best exposure online. As I work as a professional Search Engine Optimisation blogger and copywriter, I see how many larger businesses fail to make a website, blog, and social media optimisation a priority. It is baffling how companies with marketing executives can fail to do some of the basics!
When it comes to the author in 2020, I know there is a lot to take into consideration when it comes to what you can realistically do with your social media and blogs. Many indie or self-published writers and authors do so in their spare time. Therefore, jobs and family life will always trump social media optimisation. That is understandable, but there are so many little things that I notice daily on social media networks that I see as a pro or a con. Some antics bemuse, bug, and baffle me to the extreme.
In this blog, I will look to revisit one of my most popular blogs from the old WIX website. The old blog was called The Pied Pipers Of Instagram, and many people read it. When it came to transferring across the content, I chose not to bring it with me but, instead, I would write a new and improved version – a Pied Pipers of Insta 2.0. Therefore, in the sections below, I will share some of my thoughts that we, as authors, can look to develop in the coming months. Maybe then, we can all make social media optimisation more of a priority in 2020.
Social Media Networks Pros
When used correctly, social media links can be incredibly powerful! Whether you are a company looking to increase your brand exposure or an author looking to market and sell a novel, you can link with people all over the world in an instant. By using your social media networks to the best of your ability, you can make a lot of money by selling goods through Facebook groups and utilising tools like Facebook / Instagram Ads.
If you do the research and are diligent with the markets and demographics you aim to hit, you can make a real success of any campaign you put together. This is the best positive for social media optimisation. We can:
- Reach tens of thousands of people in an instant,
- Get lots of brand / product exposure for little return,
- Our novel, face, and name can be pushed through to potential readers, and,
- We get instant feedback through the analytic data within the social media networks themselves.
I love social media. What are your favourite aspects of social media networks? Share your points below!
With so many positive aspects, it’s hard to see how it can’t be a silver bullet for authors to sell and promote themselves online. However, I have a few issues.
Social Media Networks Cons
One of my favourite movies growing up was Field Of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner. Being a youngster from Northern Ireland, I wasn’t much of a baseball fan. In fact, certain sections of our community would use a baseball bat for very different activities – none of them sporting or aiming for a baseball!
Anyway, I will always remember the line, ‘If you build it, he will come’. This line will always stick in my mind. When I think of authors or writers, who put up a website or social media networks and expect them to take off with little or no investment of time and planning. Some businesses make the same mistake and wonder why no one buys anything from them.
(Pssst! Please follow me on the linked social media networks just below!)
Just because you have a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn account, it doesn’t mean you will have thousands of followers in the blink of an eye. It is a case of planning and considering your content carefully. This is the reason why I am not as active as some people are on social media networks – I only post when I have something to share or say. I know this is not true social media optimisation, but I don’t have the time with my writing and compiling of course notes for classes.
Some of the negative points of social media include:
- Some people get a false sense of connection with their ‘fans’ or ‘friends’ online. This is something I looked at with my internet safety training as a teacher. This is especially prominent in young people and can become a real issue,
- Privacy is a huge issue and one that I don’t take lightly. So many authors and writers tag themselves in locations while working or socialising. This may not sound like a problem because of how normal it is. However, you should guard your privacy as a person and an author,
- Trolling is a massive problem on social media. I have witnessed Reddit boards for creative writing where first time writers are torn to shreds for sharing a piece of writing or an opinion. There is no need for behaviour like that – simple!
- The whole area of social media optimisation and developing social media links is time-consuming! When I write my SEO blogs and share them on my various profiles, it takes me about 2 hours! This includes making multiple thumbnail images on Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo for the various sizes required and writing organic posts that contain specific hashtags etc. Then I have to include the link in a particular place to ensure the post isn’t treated as spam! IT’S TOO BLOODY LONG!
There! I got the negatives out of my system. What are your biggest negative aspects of social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Now that we have the serious stuff out of the way let’s have some fun with my bemused, bugged, and baffled sections. Here are some of the areas of social media that drive me up the wall or I don’t get! This is where we move into Pied Pipers of Instagram 2.0!
Bemused – Socks With Books On Instagram
I don’t get this movement, trend, or fashion. I’m sorry. I know there are lots of ladies out there who like to tangle their sock-covered feet up in fairy lights with a book held between them in an awkward pose. I would love someone to explain the reason for these images in the comments box below, but I am genuinely bemused when I see these images.
All I can think are questions like,
- How much planning went into the purchase of those socks?
- How much did the socks cost?
- Surely, is there not a more comfortable way to sit when reading a book?
Comments below to help a bemuse 36-year-old man understand this trend.
Bugged – Pied Pipers Of Instagram 2.0
When I wrote the Pied Pipers of Instagram blog over a year ago on my previous website, I was bugged by the constant following and unfollowing of my social media accounts by silly little boys and girls who were fishing for followers. There was also a very irritating group of ‘Get 10,000 Followers Now’ accounts that drove me up the wall.
I know many authors and people want to grow their social media following, but I don’t like people who follow and unfollow me like a person getting on and off a bus. I’m not that desperate, and I can’t see how such tactics work on social media!
It was just after this that I invested in follower tracker apps for Twitter and Instagram – the two worst offenders at the time. My advice to anyone who takes their social media links semi-seriously is to get an app for your social media networks to sweep out the Pied Pipers of Instagram or Twitter. You’ll be on top of your social media like curry on a chip!
Baffled – Likes For That?!
When I write SEO blogs for my Creative Writing Blog, I do it for more than likes. It is a way for me to help my website shoot up the Google rankings and also help young and fellow authors with issues they may be having.
My favourite series of blogs has been the Type Cast Young Writers’ Blogs. I will look to add a second series of these later in 2020 as well as a general writers’ interview series for us ‘oldies’ at 30 and over! I want to use my Creative Writing Blog to connect with more writers of all ages across the world. Stay tuned for news in the coming months.
When I post my blog and see that it gets five likes on Instagram, but someone posts a picture of their hand opening a fridge to reach 160 likes, I am genuinely baffled. Honestly, it becomes the definition of a WTF moment if there ever was one.
Some of my greatest hits, gathered as we speak, include:
- Strewn selection of books on floor – 62 likes,
- Scattered books on bed – 45 likes,
- Generic winter tree with ‘January’ written across it – 52 likes,
- Picture of coffee – 74 likes, and,
- Generic writing meme we’ve all seen 100 times before – 120 likes.
Realistically, I know we can get tap-happy with our thumbs on Insta, but WTF! Multiple authors out there take real time to work on great and engaging content that many people don’t read or look at, but a cappuccino gets 74 likes!
I am baffled, people! When it comes to Insta, your image is on a screen (an impression) for less than half a second. Add to that the fact that hardly anyone reads the post itself compounds the issue. Finally, a third nail in the baffled coffin is the fact that so many people just randomly like the first ten posts that aren’t ads on Instagram. By doing this every 15 minutes, they show lots of ‘engagement’ with those they follow and earn reciprocal likes off the back of it.
Don’t you love it?
Where many of us authors are disheartened by the lack of Insta love when we post, it is vital to remember why we do what we do. We are here to have fun and share our craft and stories with others. I’d rather have ten likes from people who read my blog than 120 random likes from people on their 10-post hunt.
Keep sharing social media networks love, people!
Social Media Networks in 2020
There is no doubt that I am not perfect. When I write SEO blogs and website copy for clients all day, I can’t get the time to tweet or post on Insta as much as I would like. I also don’t want to share images of my children, due to Internet Safety training in a previous career – too many weirdos out there!
All I hope to do in 2020 is to blog my little heart out and implement a selection of the points I share in the Digital Marketing Classes I teach with Big Rock Training in Belfast. Through my years as a teaching professional, I understand fully that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Therefore, it is up to us to make SMART targets to ensure that we make progress and achieve the goals we set in 2020.
We can all look to increase our social media links and develop our social media optimisation by the time 2021 comes around. We are all authors with creativity seeping out of our pores. Harness and channel some of that towards your social media and blogs in the year ahead, and see where you are when you sing Auld Lang Syne.
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