Social Media Overload: Are You Feeling the Pressure?

Thursday, June 26, 2014
We've been talking a lot about Facebook on The Muffin lately. Both Cathy and LuAnn let us know the Facebook gurus want you to pay for more fans or friends to see your posts and statuses. And most writers and businesses are starting to get fed up.  We also recently had the very smart and wonderful, Frances Caballo, touring with us and our family of bloggers, promoting her book, Avoid Social Media Time Suck.  She talked about using social media sites to market your books and business, but doing it smartly.

My critique group talks about social media and marketing all the time. Actually a quote from Camille Faye yesterday gave me the topic for this blog post. She said, " I'm social networked out. I really, really enjoy FB. I'm trying to grasp Twitter. . . Maybe I'll move my focus over to Google +. I really only want to do 1-2 social networks. I don't want to be a social marketer. I want to be a writer."


Although I do love checking out a board or two on Pinterest, fooling around with special effects on Instagram, reading funny tweets on Twitter and interesting posts on Tumblr, and catching up with friends and family on Facebook, I need to focus more and actually make sure I am posting on Google +. Google actually uses those posts in search engine results. When I'm on all these social networks, I don't always feel like marketing myself. I just want to enjoy myself. But I must put on my big girl pants and stop whining. This is the age we live in.

Are we all on social media overload? Brooke Warner, from She Writes Press, does several free marketing webinars, and she has told writers again and again to do a couple social networks really well and stay off the rest. When I heard Writers' Digest writer Chuck Sambuchino talk about marketing, he said the same thing. So, what should I do? Get rid of all those accounts I have? Spend more time marketing than writing? Is all of this marketing equaling any book sales?

What I've decided is to mostly focus on Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter because this is where my audience is. I still send blog posts to Google + and I might scroll along on Pinterest every once in a while, but that's not where my readers are. So I'm going to focus my attention other places.

My friend, Camille, who has her first novel coming out this fall knows that she has to market and that part of that is social networking. But she's frustrated with the rules always changing, and all the information that is thrown at writers constantly about what we should be doing to get on the bestselling lists and/or make more money. Sometimes, it's easy to forget, but she just reminded me, that the most important thing we need to do is write and write well. 

Don't let social media overwhelm you. What sites do you use? How do you use them? Why did  you choose these? Let's share and help each other out! 

photo above by 

Margo L. Dill is the author  of the YA novel Caught Between Two Curses and the middle-grade historical fiction novel, Finding My Place. She also teaches novel writing and children's writing online courses for WOW! (The next novel writing class starts on July 4, but since that's a holiday in the U.S., it will probably start on July 5.)


Camille said...

Wow! Glad I could inspire you :D I'm not sure what I'll decide to do about my social media strategy. When it comes down to it, I really enjoy the writing process. I write 20 minutes every morning and then I feel successful. My plan is for social marketing to just be a few minutes each day unless it's for fun.

Cathy C. Hall said...

I agree, Margo. Find what you like and concentrate on making it work for you!

I've made a note to look into Google+ to see if it's worth investing my time in...but I kinda think blogs are stronger tools than we realize, and I consider them a part of social media. But I don't think it's a one-size-fits-all when it comes to writing. I think the social media that you use depends on the target audience. Twitter is going to be better pulling in a certain demographic--and blogs will pull in another. So I guess it's find what you like--AND find your audience--and go from there!

Margo Dill said...

@Camille--that sounds like a plan

@Cathy--find what you like and what your audience likes is good advice.

Unknown said...

My prediction is this trend in PR is going to change over the next several years. Like many ideas, it was effective when it was novel-- a few authors really made blogging, and other online social media formats work for them. So we all joined the herd and followed suit. The idea is over-used, glutted, and I have yet to see its effectiveness UNLESS the author already has a name for herself-- THEN fans will seek her out. It rarely works the other way around.

The idea has come and is on its way out just waiting for someone to come up with a better, newer way to attract readers. Then we'll all stampede towards that trend for awhile until it too is overdone.

This isn't (I hope) cynical-- just observational and as with a lot of marketing ideas, just how it goes. I wonder what the next innovation will be?

Anonymous said...

Not long ago, a friend and I started the Writing Wyoming blog, and I am still experimenting with what works. As much as I love Pinterest and am bewildered by Twitter, I'm finding Twitter seems to be better for promotion. I also use the RSS reader Feedly so I can keep up on other people's blogs. Facebook seems to be the best. I have to watch myself, though. It can all be a big time suck.

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