I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of social media lately. I have never really enjoyed social media much. At least not like other people. I was late to get on Myspace and late to transition to Facebook. I was only willing to join Twitter after I started this blog. Over and over, I see comments about how you need a social media audience if you want to be successful in self-marketing.
My experience says something different, however. I’ve watched numerous writers, following their progress with interest. Having a social media account doesn’t actually pan out as valuable. More accurately, it isn’t meaningful unless you have an engaged audience through other means. The ones who are successful all seem to be doing Youtube videos, actively posting blogs, or otherwise engaging with their audience in some direct way. The social media isn’t the driver, but rather the location where they make secondary contact.
Worse are the horror stories I have seen from some authors who relied too heavily on social media. Accounts being closed due to a hacker spamming their audience. Accounts shadow banned because what they express isn’t in line with what the site favors. New social media sites have arisen, but they each either get consumed by the larger companies or are shouted down if they are unwilling to censor.
The old advice of having a newsletter holds way more value than having a well-followed Twitter account. I feel like more and more, people are finding the greater value out of individual sites instead of the aggregate sites. I don’t know that we’ll ever go back to the days when every website existed in a vacuum of its own, but I do think the individual site will see a resurgence. As the dumpster fire of the big sites burns, more personal sites are flourishing.
So what am I saying? Why am I bothering to talk about any of this? Your guess is as good as mine. These are just patterns I have been watching. Maybe some of you will find value in those thoughts and observations. I know I won’t likely close any of my social media accounts just yet. Heck, I still have that original Myspace account! I’ve added oddities over time like Ello, Minds, WeMe and others. While I don’t use most of them for much, I do know that everyone has their own favorite and I am not going to leave anyone out if I think I can avoid it.
Eventually, I may leave Facebook and Twitter. The two biggest and ones I am most active on are also the two most likely to participate in behaviors I consider unethical. The value I get out of them still outweighs the bad taste they leave in my mouth, but I can’t say that will be true forever. If you enjoy my content, make sure to add me on multiple social media and to join the newsletter. I make a point of not spamming the newsletter with information. At most I do 4 messages a year for now so as not to fill your inbox. As a bonus, there will eventually be a free book that only newsletter fans can access.
If you’re interested in the newsletter, you can join up here.