Monday, March 26, 2012
Do I Need it? Why I'm Considering Deleting My Facebook Account
You hear so much about social media these days. You must Tweet, you must been on Facebook, you gotta try Google+ and Pinterest. But after doing four years of "this author thang" as my husband calls it, it's all getting to be a bit much and I wonder about the actual real value of it all.
When I first joined Facebook, I did it because everyone said I had to try it, that it was a great way to reconnect with friends and keep in touch with people. The social media gurus also said it was vital for authors. We had to connect with our readers.
I gave it a try.
Well, it was fun. I reconnected with friends I hadn't seen in years, and I got to keep up on what was going on with my friends and family.
Then the "author marketing" part kicked in.
Everyone said send your blog posts to your social media sites, so I started Feebdurnering my posts to Facebook. Then life got busy and I got caught up in other social media sites like Twitter, and I just didn't get on Facebook as much. I went through a phase where I played a lot of Facebook games, and added a lot of game-only friends which gunked up my feed with game requests.
Jump ahead to now, and my Facebook feed has been nothing but blog links for ages. The last few weeks I've posted status questions and not one person has responded. I highly suspect most of the people I actually want to keep in contact with have turned off my feed because they don't care one whit about my blog posts.
So what do I do about it?
I've thought a lot about what I want from Facebook and other social media applications.
1. To connect with people. Friends, family, fellow writers, readers.
2. To promote my blog and books.
3. To have fun.
I've discovered that I have two very different brands. One is as an author of teen fiction, the other is as a blogger talking about writing. My online presence is much more geared toward the blog than the books, because my readers don't really go online and hang out with authors. But other writers do.
If you're a writer, odds are you know me through this blog and Twitter. You might have me friended on Facebook, but that's not where you interact with me.
If you're a fan, odds are you've friended me on Facebook but don't interact with me at all (because I'm not there as much these days), or connect with me through e-mail.
If you're friend or family, you interact with me offline, because nothing I say online is of any relevance to you.
So where does that leave Facebook?
I've heard folks talk about just doing a Fan Page, and I do have one for The Healing Wars. All of 23 people belong to it. I want to delete it but have no idea how. I'm worried that if I create a Janice Hardy Fan Page, it'll languish out there like the other page. If I have nothing to post about, what's the point?
How does it benefit me?
I've no evidence it helps me sell books. None that it drive readers to my blog. If the point of social media is to marketing yourself, then it's failing miserably. But I am willing to accept it could be because I'm just not using it right.
Facebook for me was the most fun when it was friends and family and fans, and I got to keep up with people and be a part of their lives. If I can get back to that I'll be a happy girl. But that'll probably involve telling all my friends and family that I've stopped linking my blog posts and won't talk about writing stuff anymore (author stuff, like I just got good news or whatever is still valid, as it's part of my life) Perhaps just "deleting" it as a form of author marketing is the best bet. If you want to know about me as a person, friend me on Facebook.
I've toyed with the idea of doing a weekly post on my website as a way to better connect with fans, but again, A) do I have the time? and B) would they even care? All the research suggests teens (especially the middle grade variety) aren't interested in interacting with authors online. But blogging has been my favorite of all the online outlets, and a weekly journal-type post might not be so hard to keep up with. It would also give the fans that do go online an easy place to comment and interact with me without having to join anything.
It's all a bit of a quandary, but I want to do something at this point to streamline my life and do the things that allow me be a successful blogger, writer, and friend.
What do you think? Has one social media outlet become more useful for you? Less useful? Have you found different audiences use different outlets?