Aspiring writers are told to build their brand on social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, LinkedIn . . . the list goes on and on, and, frankly, it’s exhausting. And overwhelming. Especially if you’re an introvert (stranger danger!).
But it’s a necessary evil, right? Everyone blogs about how important it is. There are even multiple websites that have been created to help ‘simplify’ managing your accounts and posts. So, if you want to be a successful writer, you have to be active on social media. I think I’m going to have to call BS on this one.
I’ll admit, I’ve never been too big on sharing. If you look at the news feed for my personal accounts, you won’t find what I eat for every meal or how I’m feeling every hour, or even any political rants. The truth is, I’m only in it for the cute animal videos and the funny memes, and even that isn’t enough to draw me in anymore. I’ve basically abandoned my personal Facebook account, and I couldn’t be happier. But if I don’t actively maintain my author page, does that mean I’ll have less success as a writer? I don’t think it does.
I enjoy interacting with people who enjoy the same articles, memes and pictures that I do, my fellow writers and readers. They are my people. I love it when someone visits my page and gives it a ‘like’, and I always return the ‘like’ when I’m messaged with a link to their page. If us writers don’t support each other, then who will? But in all honesty (and this probably won’t gain me any popularity or ‘likes’), our time is probably better spent focusing on our craft than on social media. You can have a million ‘likes’, followers, comments, hits a day, what have you, but it means nothing if you don’t have a good product. And even with the apps and websites that ‘simplify’ and provide content for your posts, it still takes so much time. Too much time. Time better spent writing.
Over the years, I’ve spent countless hours building my social media platform and developing my brand. I’ve met some great people and made some wonderful connections, but I’ve had an epiphany – I’m putting the cart before the horse. Yeah, I want to be prepared to take the publishing world by storm when the stars align and I have the agent and the book deal and the need to spread the word far and wide that people should read my book. But getting published is a lengthy process. It takes an average of two years between getting a book deal and the book being published and hitting stores. So, maybe there’s a little too much emphasis on social media. Maybe, it’s better not to spread yourself too thin. Or, maybe I’m wrong.
I imagine it’s a different story (no pun intended) for indie writers. Those warriors who brave the wild frontier of self-publishing, taking on all their own marketing, PR, and exposure. Which is probably why I’m so determined to go the traditional route, because I’m a(n)
lazy introvert who’d rather write than deal with the business end of things. 😉
What do you think? How much time do you spend on social media? Personal versus ‘brand building’? How important do you think it is?
Oh yeah – feel free to connect with me on any of my platforms. I’m a shy girl – I like it when you make the first move!