I was scrolling through Instagram the other day, and I saw a fun “about the author” type graphic–and I thought right away, that’s cute and if I did that, I could post it to Twitter. I had to stop and think for a minute. Even after saying I’m dropping the platform, it’s a habit I can’t break, and I still scroll religiously every day. I had to stop and think about what posting something like that to Twitter would do for me, and the answer is nothing. The last tweet that had any substance about me (not a retweet or an article) was only viewed 93 times–and I have almost fifteen thousand followers.
It doesn’t matter the why–no one likes me, the algorithms, I posted at a bad time of day–if I’m going to post and no one sees it, there’s no point in wasting time there.
My Facebook author page has 154 likes and 164 followers, only a small percentage of my followers on Twitter, and I get way more interaction when I post than when I tweet on Twitter, yet, I rarely post on my author page. I had to think about that for a minute. Why am I neglecting my page when it takes just as much time to create content for Twitter as it does anywhere else?
I think some of it is fear–the people who like my author page, most of them I know in real life. I have co-workers who like my page, family members, people I went to school with, and you can pick any school. High school, Moorhead State University when I was there getting my English degree, Moorhead State Community and Technical College when I had the misfortune of thinking I wanted to go into HR. These people know me, on a personal level, on a level that my followers on Twitter do not.
But while I’m afraid of those connections, when it comes to selling books, those connections would probably earn me a sale faster than tweeting promotions on Twitter. They say you shouldn’t ask your friends and family to buy your books unless you write in a genre they read to keep your also-boughts on Amazon pure, and I believe that, but platforms also like engagement and social proof, and for every family member who likes my post, that’s more valuable than followers scrolling past a tweet. It will help me earn followers who aren’t my family and friends.
It sounds as if maybe I don’t want my books to be found, and that’s not true. I buy promos, I’m paying for two FB ads right now (one to my newsletter and one for my .99 cent sale for Rescue Me) so it’s not a discovery fear or impostor syndrome keeping me from posting in places where people might actually engage with me. I’m really not sure what it is, except, I’ve been on Twitter forever and it’s a knee-jerk reaction to post there.
I did a blog post a while back about how 20% of your work should fuel 80% of your success, and if you don’t want to work yourself to the bone, anyone, in any business, needs to learn to work smarter not harder. That means focusing your time where you’ll receive the most ROI, and for most authors, that’s usually writing the next book. If you have a limited supply of time, that doesn’t leave you much to post on social media. You want to make your posts count.
You can always cross-post, which a lot of authors do, and I still don’t really subscribe to that, though there is no harm in posting on Twitter if you’re not going to get any views anyway–as long as you can handle the crappy feeling you get when you don’t have any engagement with your posts. Then again, you have to figure out what you want and where you want to get it from. I don’t find my readers on Twitter–I never have and I never will–BUT it’s a great place for blog traffic. Which makes sense considering I’ve been nurturing my Twitter account for non-fiction subjects for a long time. Like any author who is caught in the #writingcommunity bubble, it’s difficult to break out and it takes constant reminders that it doesn’t matter if I don’t get engagement on Twitter. It’s the shares and likes on my FB ads that count because the social proof on those ads will end up selling books.
Anyway, so I was just using this blog post to kind of think things through, and maybe my rambling will help you decide where you want to spend your time online.
As for the graphic? I made it in Canva–their templates make posting things like this so cute and fun–and I’ll share on my FB author page and on Instagram.
Where are you posting your graphics? Let me know! Have a great weekend!
I’ve been on this thinking train lately too. I decided to delete Twitter because honestly it’s literally doing nothing for me there. I’m in a social group to post my blog posts, IG, and FB post to help with engagement (that group is on FB). I think the thing with Twitter is you’ve been there for so long, made—if nothing else a HUGE time investment. Walking away or limiting your posting may feel like pissing all over all that time you’ve spent there. It’s a weird sort of grief to walk away or back off it.
Currently I’ve started nurturing my FB page (the family angle is good because it’s free marketing. Will you succeed, maybe not but if a family member who has 1k followers shared your book post and 5 or 10 of those ppl bought your book…it’s more than you would have without that option). I tell my family supporting me goes beyond buying my book…sharing can do wonders in addition to the ads and as you said, writing the next book.
Im trying to figure out IG. I don’t like posting crappy photos and I think the squares/grid messes with my OCD. If I’m scrolling down one image at a time it looks fine, but the grid…if the photos don’t match, it triggers me and I’m truly trying hard not to delete stuff.
Great post. I’m interested to see what others think.
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That’s part of the problem though…I’ve been there for SO LONG I don’t want to burn that bridge. There are people I talk to only on that platform, and I don’t want to lose them, or at the very least, cut off the only way they can get a hold of me. I noticed you were gone again, and that’s a choice you have to make. Shrug. Only you know what you want out of your writing career and time online.
Yeah. Honestly, you were the only one I was talking to on there. My connections have moved on from Twitter to FB or IG (or TikTok which I don’t want to venture too…tried and didn’t work). Nothing wrong with staying on Twitter especially since both your website and Twitter are catered to the writing community and those seeking non-fiction writing advice. I’d say you’re succeeding there. For you, it’s not a waste of time and that’s okay. In my research (because like I said, I’ve been on this train for a bit) it’s said to have one focus platform for your readers. You have to find where your readers are and meet them there. For me that’s not Twitter and for your fiction novels, maybe that’s Facebook. I hope you’re able to find what works soon. I continue to appreciate what you do here on the website.