?

Should I end all social Media, take a break, then restart from scrach?

  1. Yup, sounds good

    3 vote(s)
    18.8%
  2. Are you nuts? you would have to rebuild your tiny following

    5 vote(s)
    31.3%
  3. maybe just private your accounts and not delete.

    7 vote(s)
    43.8%
  4. eh, whatever

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

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    Social Media shutdown?

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by DeadMoon, Nov 26, 2017.

    I am on the verge of ending all of my Social Media accounts for like two to three months to focus on writing, and then start everything fresh and new from scratch. Any thoughts?

    I am frustrated, annoyed and generally hate social media. But I do see the need for it in the day and age. I do plan on going back at some point. Right now I have an Instagram, Twitter, Medium (have not posted on Medium yet) and an on again off again Facebook page (which I hate the most). A few posts on a blog...I have a tiny following on each.

    Do you think this sounds like a good or bad idea? to delete all and start from scratch in a few months?
    It would basically be a social Media vacation for my mind.

    I would keep this account thought.... can't go to crazy
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  2. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    You could, if it's a problem to stay away from them...but perhaps a more savvy approach might be to transition them into readership builders by sticking to a posting schedule.

    When you emerge from your writing cocoon, you will want someone to buy, or at least read, what you've been working on. Building a social media presence into readership levels is a full-time job in itself if you're starting from scratch...especially after a long absence. The long absence would mean, to your followers, that your posting schedule is unreliable, so you'd lose them.

    Far better to build on something that exists than having to start over. So, try a posting schedule first, and transition your content so that it merges with your writing goals and builds a fan base.

    ETA: I feel you, though. I hate it, too...and am going to have to do all the rebuilding I just counseled you to avoid.
     
    Laurus likes this.
  3. The Piper

    The Piper Contributor Contributor

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    Personally I think it would be better to, if necessary, reduce the number of accounts but not delete all of them - it’s important to stay in touch with people and the world, so shutting that connection down completely might be a step too far. But of course, do whatever you feel is best for you.
     
  4. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    There's no question - social media is a major distraction. You need to decide what the positives are of remaining active. If you aspire to publication, you will want to retain some social media presence, and if you self-publish, social media is crucial (unless you don't care about readership).

    If you retain you social media accounts, limit the amount of time you spend on them each day. Set a specific time slot, if you must. And stick to it.
     
  5. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    What do you use social media for? There's really no need for it "in this day and age." The traditional platforms at least, are extravagances, and potentially damaging ones at that. If you use it only for your writing, then you'll sacrifice some fan base, but you seem more or less at wit's end regarding its use. If you're positive that wiping your social media will help you crack down and write, then go for it. How big is your following? More importantly, how engaged are they? As much as I'd like to tell you to burn it all down and ever look back, you gotta weigh the losses and gains yourself.
     
  6. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

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    It's a pretty small following right now, under a hundred for each site. most of which, I believe, are just hoping for a follow back. Their level of engagement depends on when they realize I never follow back unless I like what they post.

    I am sure I can rebuild a following in a relatively short period of time. especially if I take said time to create some good content that I can begin sharing once I restart things.

    the other problem is what name I want to use as a writer. There are a few variations of my name that I am thinking about using and I would rather settle on one before I really take the time to build a following.
     
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  7. Laurus

    Laurus Disappointed Idealist Contributor

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    That makes sense to me. No need to keep it if you don't yet have the proper foundation to build upon, and it's causing you grief to keep around.
     
  8. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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    Why are you asking for advice on something you've already made a decision on? You're going to do whatever regardless of the replies, so here's mine: Keep all your social media accounts active and continue using it at the frequency you have been.

    In fact, spend more time on SM.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
  9. NiallRoach

    NiallRoach Contributor Contributor

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    What do you hope to gain from this? If you hate doing it, why would you go back to it? Why would you even ask this question?
    The only outcomes I can see from this are, from a writerly perspective, negative. You lose your following, and...? Maybe you end up with a little more time to write, but if you're not dedicating any serious time to it as is, then it won't be cutting into your writing, will it?

    If you don't want to do social media, just don't. The rewards thereof come from audience engagement and constant effort. If you're half arsing it because you hate the entire concept, you're just banging your head on the wall and won't be getting anything back.
     
  10. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    It depends - if your social media is about building an author platform and getting your name out there, and you have lots of followers then just shutting it down will lose you a lot of credibility (In this case just manage it through a scheduling tool and rigorously keep your involvement to like an hour a week)

    On the other hand if its mostly people from school that you didn't like much at the time sharing cat memes then hell yeah shut it down
     
    DeadMoon likes this.
  11. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I love social media. It let's me take a selfie with cat ears which is liked by more people than I have phone numbers for. Just love it. But I really don't see how it in complicating your writing. I think I use social media more to follow people than to be followed. I have never had a problem writing and taking animal selfies. Maybe I'm just lucky that I have time for both.
     
  12. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

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    We're talking about social media that's meant to act as networking/advertising for your writing career, right? Not just for your own enjoyment (because you certainly don't seem to enjoy it!). So, when I go to conventions, I always try to get to any 'social media and you', 'social media marketing', etc type panels I can get to, and unanimously these successful, published writers say the same thing: if you don't like doing the social media circuit, don't do it. You need to be active and upbeat and consistent to make these things actually work for you as a newbie with no established following, and if you hate it, you're going to struggle with that. So why bother?

    On the side of that advice, I pretty frequently hear that instead of casting a wide net (facebook, twitter, instagram, goodreads, tumblr, independent blogging, everything), it's better to focus on the one you actually like doing, if there is one. But dead accounts only hurt you - prospective interested parties look at them and go "oh, this isn't active, I won't bother" and forget about you. You only get the follow-for-follow types and like, porn bots.

    So if you want to delete them, I'd say just delete them. Forget'em. I had a twitter a while back that I set up for 'professional' networking and junk, and I hated it, so I shifted it over to being a personal account and eventually lost interest entirely. I'm not on fb at all. I know I probably should be, but I know that with where I'm at right now, I'd just get bored or annoyed and drop it, too.

    Obviously having some presence on social media is valuable, but pick maybe pick the one you hate the least, stick to it, and never mind the rest. I don't know what your genre is, but I know that different genres have noisier fanbases on different platforms, so maybe do some research into that to help inform your decision.

    /edit because hours later I noticed really annoying typos
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  13. Adenosine Triphosphate

    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    Are they distracting you from writing, or do you just not like them much? I'm averse to all the big social media sites (and many smaller ones), but they're one of the largest modern communication avenues, and you can spread content faster than anywhere else. I've cut back, but I don't use Facebook or Instagram to share writing, and I'm not good at attracting attention anyway.

    If you only have a small following and you're tired of those sites, it could be good to take a break for several months. They tend toward quick reactions, flashy images, and irritability, which can distract from working in an organized way. I've recently started leaving my smartphone off during the day, or simply not carrying it, and those sites are one of the main reasons why. They're a constant attentional drain unless I shut them out for most of the day.
     
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  14. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    If your present social media isn't contributing to making you a livable earning already then just go dark and focus on your writing.

    The one reason I won't self-publish is because I can't hack doing self-promotion like this. I do social media as part of my day job and it the most draining and dull thing that I've ever done. Having to keep a schedule and go find something to post up, finding our clients and trying to convince them to follow and re-tweet and whatever; it's just the most cynical thing. And doing that for me? No, I think not. Add to that that I do genuinely believe that to succeed in that sphere you need to spend as much time and effort on promotion as you do on your writing and that's just busted in half as far as I'm concerned. Whenever you see things about how to succeed as a self-published author you seldom see people even talk about just writing good books, the book and it's author seem to be irrelevant and what matters is promoting it. As I see it, this kind of stuff is essentially being a full time social media operative who writes fiction in their spare time.

    That's not to say that I'm totally against this kind of promotion. If you have actual fans, or at least people interact with you, then that's a whole different thing. Answering questions and actually having a conversation is something that I don't think anyone would have a problem with. It's just when you are screaming into the social media abyss and not even seeing a return from it that it becomes, well, ghastly.

    So take the time to go be a writer and create something you're proud of.
     
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  15. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    I wonder if this contributes to my low enthusiasm for it as well. I did almost 10 years as online media support for my employer (starting from even before there was Web 2.0 / social media)... it's just another chore to me, in addition to the low yield compared to other approaches.

    Here's a blast from the past - I used to manage our Second Life store. It's an object lesson in how we shouldn't hitch our business model onto somebody else's platform - we are risking having to move customers to another platform later, which always loses a significant fraction.


    I have a slightly more conservative ratio of maybe 7:1 ratio of writing : promoting.


    Jeff Goins is a fascinating example of this. He has published several books, all different versions about how to sell books with online tools. I'm glad he's doing well, but can't help but notice the books are just so meta. I was thinking the other day about whether I'd buy a book on writing craft from an author who has only sold books about writing craft.
     
  16. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    I guess it depends what exactly you consider writing and what exactly you consider promoting. My perspective is that if I wanted to promote myself that way then I'd need at least to do something for social media a couple of times a week, and since I typically only write a couple of days a week that feels like it's the same amount of work. Spending any time doing social media to me feels like "social media day" even if it's something that doesn't take much effort to put out.

    That's... Weird. But yes, I agree with you on that. And there are lots of people who are at least similar to that. People who make their money selling things to other authors who despite their supposed knowledge and experience can't sell any of their fiction. It doesn't really matter if they are cynical opportunists or if they genuinely are giving good advice; the test of the value of that content is if works. Those who can, do; those who can't sell stuff to people who can.
     
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  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Yeah I like Jeff, but I'm more inclined to listen to someone like Joanna Penn who has 14 fiction books and hit the NY times best seller list several times in addition to her books about the writing craft.

    Jenna Moreci is another example - her pod cast is generally good (and it doesn't hurt that shes easy on the eye) but she's only published one book, which didn't sell massively well, so her credentials as a writing 'expert' are questionable
     
  18. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    I'm afraid to seriously go about writing/publishing stuff and my stories for fear of becoming famous.
    I know it's a childish fear.
    It's a fear though.
     
  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Its not unusual though - fear of success is nearly as prevalent as fear of failure
     
  20. Hwaigon

    Hwaigon Member Reviewer

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    Probably. Writing seems to me so personal that, after having posted some pieces here, I really don't feel like putting my work here even though
    I've got some projects going I like to call interesting. For some reason I fear the response itself and that is to say I've come a long way since coming here.
     
  21. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    Well laboring in obscurity will certainly prevent you getting famous :p

    And I can understand it to some degree, but it's not like fame and fortune is the obvious result of being a writer. If we wanted fame we picked a really unreliable way to get it.
     
  22. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

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    For selling book on-line- for selling ANYthing on-line, my go to guy is Gary Vaynerchuck. That guy is a mad man of motivation.
     
  23. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    My current approach is to write under a pseudonym (which is a different thread - sorry, not trying to derail), so this also complicates an online marketing strategy a bit, since FB doesn't lend itself to pseudonymous Profiles, which I would need to create/manage a branded Page.

    At the moment, for the Pages I maintain on behalf of nonprofits where I volunteer as a communications prime, I do manage them with real personal profile, and though that's the only thing I use my personal profiles for. It's not a problem for me, but I appreciate that for some people this would take more discipline than they can muster, which makes suspension an attractive approach.

    For me, it's distinguishing between being 'famous' versus being 'successful'. I am not afraid of being successful, but I do worry about exposure (my employer would terminate me if they learned I had a second career, involving social media, which is explicitly prohibited in my contract).
     
  24. KevinMcCormack

    KevinMcCormack Senior Member

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    What I base that on is agents' incentives. They take maybe 15% of gross. So, if I'm spending more than that in time, it feels like it's more economical to engage a professional, all things being equal. But I appreciate that it may not be an option for a writer who is not intending to crank out several titles per year. Agents are interested in authors who are going to give them enough revenue to justify their own time investment, so there's a minimum threshold out there that I'm not sure how to quantify.

    And even that step involves promoting, it's a huge up-front investment in time, getting an agent is definitely pitching.


    Yep. That's where I am too. I write every day for an hour, if I'm lucky. So adding a social media chore a couple of days a week... just logging in and getting organized is going to be an hour each time.




    There was a chapter in one of Goins' books where he talked about promoting that particular book, which was about promoting books about promoting books. It was so many levels deep I had to open my safe to see if the top was still spinning.
     
  25. LostThePlot

    LostThePlot Naysmith Contributor

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    Yeah, Facebook is a bit... Weird. You can make accounts under whatever name you want but of course it makes it hard to present that as a real person; no family, no old pictures, no links to anyone 0utside the field you made it for. And in a sense yes, that helps to limit your exposure and I think people would understand why you'd do that as a writer. But equally it makes it hard to build it as a real identity, and the first time someone tags you under the wrong name that's a problem.

    It's really hard to do this stuff in plain sight of the public. I could run a facebook account to promote myself under a pseudonym if I wanted, it's not prohibited in my contract or anything, but I just wouldn't be bothered to put the effort in to make it really work. And this is as someone who is known to people close to him that he works under a pseudonym and no worried about people catching up to me. I could and it's just too much effort for me to bother when, fundamentally, you're talking about running that page forever hoping money shows up.
     

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