Friday, December 9, 2022

Social Media, Hanging Out in the Shadows

Social media. I love the stuff. Mostly, I love lurking and consuming. Startling for someone with an acting degree, maybe, but shouting LOOK AT ME is not among my go to instincts. Complicating my tendency to stand back and observe is the current flux in the social media market. Facebook likes to change things just to change things and there's only so much chasing their bouncing ball I'm willing to do.  Still. I do have an author page out there that was getting good engagement. At least I learned how to do that and the platform still exists.

I'll be honest. I did not have the collapse of Twitter as we knew it on my late-stage capitalism dystopia bingo card. I really didn't. I should have seen it coming. Maybe I did because I never managed to build a persona on Twitter, much less any kind of following. The people I talk with  beyond personal friends and fellow authors, are cat people or members of the autistic community. I feel like Twitter demands a quick wit and that is something I am not. I'm still thinking up witty comebacks for shit that happened decades ago. Expecting me to be charming and or funny in 144 characters or fewer within 5 minutes is always going to end badly for all parties. Also, I very much dislike having a feed full of shouty BUY-MY-THING posts in my timeline. I am not on board to create more posts like them. Granted, i don't think anyone has ever sold much on that basis - getting readers interested in buying your books is subtler than that by far. It's actual conversations and empathy. It's an author inviting readers to invest emotionally in the writer as must as in the story sometimes. Lovely, right? It might even be doable, but where? Mastodon? Hive? Post? Twitter? It feels like I'm watching an episode of Highlander. There can be only one but the sword fight hasn't started yet.

I love Tik Tok. I enjoy the creativity and limitless possibility of the platform. I have an author account. I have made exactly zero videos so far. I'm watching. I'm listening. I'm figuring out what works to draw me in to following someone. I've had a solid class in how to use Tik Tok as an author. You know what my biggest stumbling block is to starting videos? Make up. Yeah. I know. Dumb reason and yet there it is.

I do have an author presence on Instagram as well as my regular account. My regular account has a load of followers but it's because my personal account belongs to the cats. That isn't to say that I don't post book announcements there. I do. 99% of my content out there is cat related and it seems that my followers on Instagram will put up with an occasional 'Hey, look at what I made' post. The author account hasn't done much because there's a certain synergy to the fact that Facebook and Instagram are connected. The posts need to be more carefully planned and curated across the platforms - but they can feed one another. It simply requires a strategy and a calendar. I'd love to need to do this but the fact is that at the moment, my time is far better spent writing the damned book. It's tough to market when one has nothing to sell. Funny that. Seems like a stronger starting position.