Prior to the publication last year of my novel, Charles Middleworth, an insightful and humorous tale of the unexpected, my social media presence consisted of merely a Facebook profile with a couple of pictures (not of cats). Shortly before the book’s release I made a foray into Twitter and have since embraced a range of social media platforms. In this post I reflect on my social media observations to date:
Twitter – A little over seven years ago a Tweet was the sound emitted by a variety of small birds. Today Tweets are synonymous with only one bird, the blue Twitter bird; a bird that tweets incessantly 24/7. To date approximately 170 billion Tweets have been sent by 500 million Twitter users.
As my blog followers know I have become somewhat obsessed with Twitter and have devoted numerous posts to Twitter related subjects, ranging from studying the species that inhabit Twitter, to Twitter grievances including Justin Bieber and the ways in which authors sell books on Twitter.
Observation: The value of Twitter lies in the personal connections one makes, not in intrusive and counterproductive blanket promotional Tweeting.
Facebook – Facebook remains the behemoth of social media with over a billion users each month. Much of the promotional efforts on Facebook revolve around getting Likes for your given page/s. However the value of these Likes is more often than not derisory. Research suggests 99% of Facebook fans are worthless.
It is worth noting that Facebook only displays your posts to a small percentage of the people that have Liked your page. Facebook also charges users to promote their posts after reaching the 500+ Like threshold.
Observation: Not all Likes are equal. The value of a given Like is derived from its origin (i.e. authors require Likes from their target-readership not other authors).
Linked-in – The site’s 238m users take their jobs seriously and turn up smartly dressed and ready to network. They do not appreciate the ruckus of some other social media sites (i.e. Twitter) and expect decorum at all times. Self-promotion needs to be conducted with restraint. Some have argued that the platform’s obsession with stamping down on self-promotion has become overly aggressive of late (see this Forbes article). Personally I do not use the site a great deal but can occasionally be found at one its numerous groups dedicated to writers.
Observation: A great place to get advice and network with others, but remember that the party hat people might find amusing on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest will probably not go down well here. Oh and there is no need for those pictures of your cat – I don’t care if it is cute.
Goodreads – With 20 million members and 2.5 million reviews, goodreads is the place to be to network with readers. I find myself relishing this Bieberless enclave every time I visit. Goodreads is a place where one is able to concentrate on book related matters without being interrupted by scantily clad South-East Asian jail-bait promising to love you long time whilst trying to sell you thousands of Followers for $10.
Goodreads is an ideal place for authors to meet readers; readers being the key word. If one only socialises with one’s author friends on the site, then the whole dog chasing its own tail scenario starts all over again.
Observation: Etiquette is the key word with goodreads. Its users are fastidious in embracing social norms and will more often than not meet unsolicited friend requests and self-promotion with contempt.
Google+ – There is much evidence to suggest that the Google search engine matches search results with Google+. This is reason enough to join the 500m users in calling the place home. It was only recently that I turned up at Google+, bunch of flowers in hand. However I received no love, so I came back with a box of chocolates, but my efforts still went ignored. I am determined that one day in the not too distant future I will be viewed as a valued member of this increasingly influential community.
Observation: Backed by its big brother Google, Google+ is set to grow exponentially over the forthcoming years and may well be where the party will be at.
What happens when Adrian, an actuary, has his banal and predictable existence turned upside down by sinister forces that he can neither understand nor control? How will he react to a revelation that leaves his life in turmoil? Will he surrender or strive for redemption in an altered world, where rationality, scientific logic and algorithms no longer provide the answers?
‘An insightful and humorous tale of the unexpected’ – Reader
‘A sardonic delight. If Thackeray had lived in the 21st century, then he might have written Charles Middleworth.’ – Reader
Charles Middleworth is available through most regional Amazons on Kindle (£1.96/$3.17) and in paperback.
United Kingdom - www.amazon.co.uk
USA - www.amazon.com