Choosing Social Platforms
Social media is a fantastic way for writers and illustrators to reach their audiences. When I created my website back in 2008, I shared my content with the few social platforms I felt were convenient. The number and type of platforms evolved over time, and I found a special niche for myself.
Although it is essential to use social media to reach a wider audience, there is such a thing as marketing on too many social media platforms. Online marketing influencers
The time and energy needed to address each of my sites have grown daunting, even with programs that auto-post and sync with each other. Honestly, I think there are more platforms than coffee shops.
Here are the platforms I am currently using and why:
Since I perform illustration services for hire to authors interested in self-publishing, I needed a platform that functioned for the professional duties of my business. LinkedIn serves me well in that capacity. It also helps with my Otter Things® shop.
I can engage with authors, illustrators, book store owners, and more. One additional item I liked about LinkedIn was the lack of miscellaneous banter that other platforms had. Although, I have noticed more posts of that type creeping into my home feed lately.
Facebook & Instagram
I found a comfortable place on Facebook and Instagram. I combined the two platforms because they are now both owned by Facebook, Inc, now Meta. They also sync with each other, and the main company offers a business portal to manage both accounts in one spot.
The platforms offer nice formats to share my writing, illustration, and photography. I frequently post extra tidbits about new works in progress, tools of my trades, and about my wild animal coworkers who visit my yard and distract me from my work.
While Instagram is great for sharing illustrations and photos, Facebook has a better look for the written word. Of course, a lot of my pictures end up there too.
Twitter is handy for engaging with other writers, editors, and agents, especially during special writing events. Although, I hate having to keep my tweets brief. I was thrilled when they increased the character count from 180, but I still can’t get everything I want into a tweet, and my crazy brain can’t figure out how to link them together.
Twitter is also a place where people tweet often—I mean freakishly often. Many people engage every hour or half-hour. This may be fine for some #pitmad Pitch Wars, but I can’t keep up with that demand every day. Heck, I don’t text that much to my family.
Lately, the platform has become unfriendly, and as much as I spout about taking on adversity, sometimes you have to turn and walk away for sanity’s sake. I have taken to only engaging politely with friendly people and trying to be a good role model. Fingers crossed.
Pinterest was a site my daughter got me onto back in 2015. It’s a cornucopia of inspiration. The platform allows me to muse widely, from writing prompts and illustration styles to character studies and storyboarding. I use multiple hidden boards for inspiration on current works in progress.
I don’t engage as much as I should on the site. I tend to forget about it from time to time, especially when I’m in a creative rut. It’s only when I turn to it for ideas that I remember I should post more.
Tumblr was one of the first sites I stumbled on, and it gave me an additional outlet to spread my wings. It is a social platform and blogging site, and I initially considered using it over my website.
It has some pleasant options to modify colors and layout, but I wanted to stand out from the crowd. Besides, every author should have a specific website to show off their books and possibly make some sales.
Yeah, I even have a YouTube account. I don’t have much on it currently. Most of my videos are sappy things of my kids and any long-form about wildlife.
I don’t know if I will post much more on YouTube with the available Instagram and Facebook video options. Will I keep it? Probably. It’s nice to share my Backyard Adventures.
This platform is more for local small business engagement. I barely use it now, but I plan to ramp up my connections in the near future. I find that my local associations have been more rewarding lately.
MeWe is a Facebook alternative that I just joined. It’s a great site to engage with others, but I don’t see it as an excellent option for marketing my work. I’m still digging into the platform and assessing if it will be a keeper.
I don’t use Goodreads as a social site. For me, the platform works best as a simple place to display my published books and read reviews. There are also various groups to join and section to keep track of books to read.
There is a spot to share blog posts, but I have to go there and paste in the information every time I post something on my website. It isn’t very efficient.
Social Platform Assessment
As you can see, I have a lot on my plate. I was stunned as I wrote this post and realized just how many I had. Good grief! What was I thinking?
When it comes to time management, one has to kill their darlings. Trying to keep up with engagements on all these platforms has made me reevaluate how I devote my valuable writing time. You will eventually have to cull the herd, but how do you go about it?
What To Drop
I recommend looking at the analytics of each site. You can usually find that in the settings somewhere. Every platform is different, so you may have to look around. Once you find the area that contains all the stats, check where engagement slumps. If you see a trend of audience engagement trailing off, this is a sign that you should change things up or ditch it.
The audience’s character matters too. Many of the platforms started almost ten years ago. That audience most likely changed. If you’re still reaching out to the same peeps, you’re probably okay. If you notice that they aren’t in the correct demographic anymore, you may want to tweak your posts or call it quits.
It would be best to consider how much time you enjoy spending scrolling the feeds of any of your platforms. If you don’t like it or use it often, it will show when you post. Marketing isn’t always fun, but you should feel comfortable on a platform when talking about yourself.
I researched all my platforms and had a difficult time choosing. I wish I could keep them all. Unfortunately, Tumblr has fallen to the wayside for me. Although my website posts to it automatically, I rarely write directly on the platform. It’s been ages since I checked my feed, and most of what people share is okay, but not necessarily my taste. I’ll be phasing off the platform as soon as I find out how to download my information.
Of course, that still leaves me with a lot of platforms to keep up with. Over time, I will have to kick more to the curb if they don’t benefit me. I can run my analysis and if any other social media platforms fail, they will join Tumblr in the bin.
There are always new popular platforms popping up. Some look interesting, and others don’t fit my niche. I probably won’t be adding additional sites to my list anytime soon. I think I should keep things simple for now.
If you’re one of my Tumblr connections and don’t want to lose touch, or you want to check out what I’m doing on the web, you can find me at all the links below.