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What social media outlets are most important?

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How would you rank the various social media outlets? What would you devote time to, in order of importance?
author website
blog
facebook page
twitter
goodreads
pinterest
others?
I am super busy, like everyone else, so I'm going to have to really prioritize what I spend time on. What are your thoughts?
#1 - August 21, 2017, 05:41 PM
Vanessa Everett Howard
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"Children are not a distraction from more imporant work. They are the most important work." -C.S. Lewis

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I think a lot of it depends on what you write and what you want to accomplish through social media. Book promotion? Connecting with other writers? Participating in pitch parties?

 I write PBs and I have an author's website. I don't blog, it is just not a priority for me. I currently use FB for personal stuff and writer connections and resources, but I don't have any books to promote so I don't have my own FB Author page. I love Twitter also for the writing community and I assume when I have books to would use Twitter a bit for that. And I use Twitter for pitch parties.

I don't use Goodreads or Pinterest.

I do think YA authors need more social media platforms to connect with their readers. At least that is what I have heard.

I'll be curious as to what others say.
#2 - August 21, 2017, 06:00 PM

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Take into account the age of your audience and which type of social media you prefer. Choose one or two and go with it.   For me, it's Facebook and my author website because I like interacting on those platforms and my social media audience is primarily teachers and librarians. I find virtually no value in blogging, but know others who do.  I have a Twitter account, Goodreads profile and Pinterest pages, but none of these interest me much so I don't devote much of my time there.  If I wrote YA I'd consider more twitter and Instagram.   
#3 - August 21, 2017, 06:49 PM
Rebecca Langston-George
The Booth Brothers: Drama, Fame & the Death of Lincoln
Capstone: September 1, 2017

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I'm just chiming in to agree with Rebecca and Darshana!

You have to pick a couple of platforms that 1) you are comfortable with (or can learn to use) and 2) are places where your readers and/or influencers hang out. For example, if you write picture books, most elementary kids don't have Twitter accounts, but lots of school librarians do. They have a huge role in getting books into the hands of students, so I'd think Twitter would be a valuable platform for a PB author.

You might pick some of your favorite authors in your genre/category and study how they use social media.

Finally there also are some great tips in this post: https://thewritelife.com/how-successful-authors-use-social-media-to-sell-more-books/

Best of luck!

Kirsten

#4 - August 22, 2017, 05:35 AM
Kirsten W. Larson

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My teenage kids say, " Nobody uses Facebook anymore." Actually, a lot of people use FB--but probably not so much your target audience. That would be more for the buyers in between you and them, I'd think. (Librarians, book sellers, etc.) All the different sites have their uses, but I'd probably tailor my response to whoever in the line of progression between you and the kid is most heavily using that resource.
#5 - August 22, 2017, 05:58 AM

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I think FB has become a venue for adults who are keeping up with their friends and family. It's possible that when you publish, your agent, editor, or peers will suggest a FB author page. Some of my friends who recently sold books are making author pages. I don't know if it's that useful or if it's just that you should have one because people will look you up there. It's not that easy to get people to like your page, though.

I would suggest starting with a website and Twitter. Branch out from there when and if social media platforms evolve to the point where you can see it would be smart to get onto another one. If you write YA, where there are fewer gatekeepers between you and your audience, you might want Instagram. But yes, a lot of the adults whose attention you want to get are on Twitter.  Also, the contests and information you can find on Twitter can be career-changing.
#6 - August 22, 2017, 07:13 AM
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kwlarson, thanks for the link to a great article!

olmue, you've made my day! I hope your kids are right - at least about teens not using it!

I have a website with a blog that I only update once or twice a month. Other than that, Pinterest is the only thing I like. So, two questions: Has anyone had much success with Pinterest? And can you suggest examples of blog content that would interest middle-grade readers or teacher, parents, and librarians interested in MG books?
#7 - August 23, 2017, 09:58 AM

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I agree with what others have said about sticking to a couple of platforms you find most comfortable.  My blog is my website (depending on which tab you choose), so that narrows down my efforts. I also enjoy casual use of Twitter and Goodreads. I like to connect with teachers and librarians, but if/when kids find me online, too, great! Although I do some promoting on Facebook, I mostly keep it private.  There's only so much you can keep up, so I skip FB author page, Pinterest, Linkedin, Instagram, and the rest of them.
#8 - August 23, 2017, 11:49 AM
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I think having a website and Twitter are super important. Instagram has been super useful for illustrators, but I've seen writers make use it as well. Snapchat is where all the kids are at. Good luck with that one, it's a learning curve for sure! I think a blog or vlog is also useful, but can be intimidating to start and difficult to promote (although Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram are all useful for that).
#9 - August 23, 2017, 04:42 PM
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A website can be mostly static, updated every time something changes. All of the others require participation. You'll get back what you put into them. Just something to keep in mind.
#11 - August 29, 2017, 11:17 AM

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What Debbie Vilardi ^ (and everyone) said. A website is probably the more important, and what other one or two or three venues you choose should depend on what is enjoyable for you.
Usually you don't know what is enjoyable until you try it.
To be completely honest, I was a reluctant participant in all things online, and came after being shoved by my publishers. Turns out I do like a couple of the venues, so I pop in on them and interact and contribute. For me it's Facebook and blogging. While I have Twitter and Goodreads and LinkedIn, (and possibly something else I forgot about and completely neglected) I am rarely on them because they haven't captured me (Yet? maybe never?)
 By far my favorite place to come back to and interact is *RIGHT HERE* at the Blue Boards.

#12 - August 29, 2017, 09:02 PM
THE VOICE OF THUNDER, WiDo Publishing Aug 2012
THERE'S A TURKEY AT THE DOOR, Hometown520 July 2011

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How would you rank the various social media outlets? What would you devote time to, in order of importance?
author website
blog
facebook page
twitter
goodreads
pinterest
others?
I am super busy, like everyone else, so I'm going to have to really prioritize what I spend time on. What are your thoughts?

In order of importance I would say:

author website with blog
- By a huge margin, this is where it should all be happening. Your blog should be on your site not separate.

twitter
- Huge reach and simple to use. Writers, publishers and agents use Twitter heavily. You will see a lot of literary agents active on Twitter. And of course you should publish links to blogs on your site on Twitter as well to drive traffic.

facebook page
- Some of the most successful authors I work with avoid Facebook like the plague. It's a personal preference and may work for some more than others but again make sure you are using it as a traffic driver to your website.

goodreads
- Seems to be quite good for genre and series writers but the audience seems to be more the "super reader" rather than the casual reader. It's worth having a presence there and contributing every now and again.

pinterest
- Depending on the subject matter of your books this could actually outrank Facebook in terms of importance. It's hugely influential for crafts, fashion and beauty, art and design. For fiction and YA it's probably not as important.

others?
If you have a YA / teen audience Snapchat maybe worth considering. Instagram also has good traction for younger people and lifestyle and fashion brands.

In conclusion  I would say that author site / blog  and Twitter are essential and then pick one other depending on subject matter and target age range.
#13 - August 29, 2017, 11:51 PM
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