February 2018 Workshop: Social Media for Authors

Social Media Recap

ORWA’s own Jessica Ripley gave us a comprehensive tour through the constantly shifting landscape of social media, particularly the big three sites: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  With hundreds of different sites and apps to choose from, authors have a plethora of options for keeping in touch with readers and finding new ones.  Social media allows an author to build upon the platform of her website and newsletter, bringing her books to a new audience.

As much as we all like to complain about the social media algorithms, it is those unseen calculations that make the different platforms work and keep their users from being buried under reams of unwanted entries.  Every platform has its own method to allow users to find the posts that they want, so it’s important for an author to learn the options for the platforms she wants to use.  Some of the details to consider are:

  • Paid versus unpaid posts: do unpaid posts get a significant organic reach or will an author have to pay in order to ensure her posts are seen?
  • Visual versus text: what is more like to capture a reader’s eye? And what do the users of a particular platform prefer?
  • Personal versus private: how much information does an author want to share about herself? Is the platform primarily a professional one or do the users expect a certain amount of personal interaction?

Tracking the data is key to determining what is effective on the various platforms.  Google Analytics and Facebook Insights both provide data that an author can use to make wise investments in terms of money and time.  As more and more people focus on online interaction, a social media presence becomes not only wise, but necessary.