Wednesday, April 6, 2016

IWSG April: Are You Suffering Social Media Overload?

Welcome to the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be insecure no longer! Commune with fellow writers and find your tribe. For more regular interaction, join the IWSG Facebook Group here. Writers of all skill level and background ask questions and offer support.

Follow the monthly IWSG blog hop here. Pick a number and visit a few blogs. Comment and make a friend!

Are You Suffering Social Media Overload?

If you're a writer, chances are you've heard you need a social media presence. Since the idea of social media is SOCIAL, having a presence means more than phoning it in with auto-tweets, buy my book links, or other impersonal posts that can't be differentiated between a highly competent robot.

We are writers after all--communicating should be the easy part, right?

The best way to avoid social media burnout is to not become overwhelmed in the first place. 

You don't have to do every social media platform.

What, you say? But so-and-so Top Marketing Insider told me I MUST be on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Linked In, Goodreads, Tumblr and twitter and post every single day on all of them or my book will FAIL!

Nope. If you try to engage in everything all the time then
1.) it leaves you no time to write books which is the biggest factor to selling books (writing them and then writing more of them)
2.) you will lose steam and become frustrated because your efforts are watered down across too many platforms.

However, it is a good idea to register your username on all the big social media sites to secure the name in case you decide to use it. You will find the platforms you like best and use those the most. It does not mean you need to be on ten platforms daily spending all of your time churning out content.

But you do have to invest somewhere

Photo: Stephanie Scott

Where do your readers/potential readers hang out online? Where do YOU go to find updates on the books you like? Romance writers and readers tend to use Facebook heavily. You'll see tons of reader groups, Facebook parties and plenty of interaction because the age demographic fits who writes and reads romance. 

Teen readers? Not so much. Know your niche and then go where your people are! Spend your time where it counts.

Regardless of platform, you want to point back to your home base: your website or blog. If someone looks you up on twitter and barely sees a pulse, but your website is linked in your profile--that's a win. The person looking for you will find your website and ideally what they need.

I don't know where to start. I'm already overwhelmed!

*Cue up your best Al Pacino Scarface impression*: Welcome to my Google Friend 
(see what I did there?)

GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND. If you have a question about something, chances are someone else already had the same question and someone other than that already blogged about it. Search things like:

"What's the best social media for indie writers?"
"How do I created a kick-butt Pinterest account?"
"What's the best way to get started on twitter?"

There are dozens and hundreds and zillions of resources out there. Save yourself frustration and read up on social media trends to better focus your efforts.

Thanks for reading! And just for you awesomely awesome Insecure Writer Support Groupers, if you're curious on how to more effectively use Instagram as an author, join the Facebook group I started called Instagram for Authors. The group is exactly as named: we are working together on how to best use Instagram as an author.

*In approving members, I look for some identifying feature in your profile that indicates you are a writer--seeking publication or published.

Don't forget to leave a comment! Which social media platform do you like best? Which do you wish you had a better handle over? 


  1. I'm on SO many social media platforms, but I find myself gravitating to the ones that are most comfortable, and I think that's really what it boils down to. Find what works for you and be there--but be there solidly.

    Crystal Collier

    1. I agree! Some don't work for me and I want to invest my time where it matters. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Right now I have my blog, twitter, and goodreads. Once I have a book deal, then I'll prolly start an author fb page. Eventually I want to get Instagram (once I get a smartphone). But then that'll be it for me, that's definitely all I'll be able (or want) to handle. I can for sure say I'll never do Tumblr. I don't really get Tumblr...

    1. What genre and age group are you writing for? I added a FB author page last. I still don't do a ton of updates there. when I do it's sort of a ghost town. But I'm active other places on Facebook so maybe it evens out.

  3. Good advice. I stick religiously to a handful, updating them regularly and interacting. I have accounts on other platforms,but rrarely update them because I haven't found them very useful.

  4. I'm 'present' on all the major social media outlets, but I do better on some than others. For most of us I think we end up finding one we enjoying doing the most and that gets the most attention.

    I will check out the FB group!

    1. Awesome! I already see you over there on FB :)

  5. I have accounts on all the major social media platforms, but now that I have a book coming out in November, I really need to kick it up a notch! I'm not always the best about keeping up with all the platforms—I do better on some than others. But, yes, it can feel overwhelming at times, especially when all I want to do is WRITE! :) I'd love to join the Instagram for Authors, though. I'll sign up right now—my username is kristinsmithwrites.

  6. I have an author Facebook page (that one was pretty recent), Twitter, blog. Oh, and Pinterest, but that's just so I can find yummy dinner recipes. I've noticed that posting memes or quotes or some kind of image on my Facebook page seems to get a lot of response.

  7. Hi Stephanie, I avoid having or doing a Social Media Overload. I am just active on my blog (once a week) Twitter and FB. I would rather spend my time writing than trying to build too many platforms and then burning out!
    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

  8. This year I didn't participate in the A to Z challenge because of the overload. I needed a break. Author platforms do get tedious. I use FB & Twitter & my blog. That's about all I can handle right now. Everybody raves about Instagram. I haven't checked that out yet. Great Post!!!

  9. I am so NOT a social media person, but have pushed myself to join a few. Great post! And I'll be checking out your Instagram for authors group!

  10. Thanks for that post! I have yet to begin marketing myself, my work on social media, but I do follow many writers. Too many think that they have to post 100 times a day (silly quotes, images), and from my perspective, rarely engage with anyone but themselves. It seems a giant waste of time. Like you point out, the point is social, to interact. Following ten thousand people on twitter seems counterproductive.

  11. Thanks for this informative post. Other than my blog, I'm on twitter and FB. I also have accounts on LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest, but don't use those for my platform. I have a feeling I haven't discovered the perfect social media site for me yet. Maybe I'll dive into Instagram some day. Just thinking about all this makes me feel overwhelmed.

    Urszula Humienik from

  12. Hi, Stephanie! Twitter is probably my bread and butter, but I also use FB. I'm very tangentially hooked up through Tumblr and BlogLovin' and that's about it! Your co-host Viola Fury, aka Mary

  13. Thanks for stating what I've said for years - I can't be everywhere. I focus on blogging, Twitter, and some Google+. And I have a Goodreads account. That's all I can handle and I know it.
    And this being IWSG post day in the middle of the A to Z Challenge, it's a bit more than I can handle...

  14. I really enjoyed this post. I have to be careful not to spend too much time online. It seems the more time I spend online, the more distractable I become. Not good for writing.

    You have great tips here. Thanks!

  15. Great posts - lots of good advice and tips and I'll remember the link if I ever get onto Instagram.


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