So I’ve had two posts recently talking about specific social media platforms and how they’re not good for fan interactions anymore. Especially for gaining new fans since organic reach is suppressed in various ways.
Note that this topic is specifically referring to ORGANIC reach, which means your ability to contact your followers without paying for the privilege. Don’t write off Facebook’s paid advertising and reach yet. Don’t even bother to pay for exposure on Twitter. All our tests have shown that, at least for authors, it’s like flushing money down the toilet.
Is there any hope? Is there anything worth using for organic interaction and fanbase growth?
Well, as of right now, there are a couple of places to try. Your own mileage may vary, however. But I’ll share them with you if you want to try your hand at them.
Yes, Instagram is owned by Facebook. And yes, it is starting to fall victim to the issues that are plaguing other social media platforms. Non-linear feeds. Not showing some posts. Seeing the same posts over and over again all the time, etc. But there is one corner of Instagram that could be useful for authors, and that is the place affectionately called Bookstagram.
What is Bookstagram? It’s a hashtag full of lovely pictures of books. Book reviewers, bloggers, cover artists, authors, and book enthusiasts fill their feeds with pictures of books. It could be a good place to find reviewers for your book. Or you can try your hand at running your own account. I haven’t tried it yet, though it’s on my to-do list. How To Fabulously Get Started on #Bookstagram and What I Learned In Six Months On Bookstagram are both two blog entries that might get you started there.
I know I just mentioned the name of this site and a hundred authors gasped and clutched their chests. It is immensely unpopular due to rampaging gangs of angry, hateful reviewers that the platform does little to rein in. This is an old, but thorough summary of some of the past shenanigans on the site. I can’t mention this without bringing this up. If you go into GoodReads, you need to go in with open eyes.
However, it is a website full of readers. You can get your book on appropriate lists and build a following there. That’s a very specific audience. And your books will be there whether you add them or not. Amazon also really pushes the use of Goodreads through their Kindles, which is unfortunate, but it still is what it is.
Of the three social media platforms I’ve listed in this post, Bookbub is likely to be the most useful. While it does have its own ad platform, and its own book promo site, it also has a lot of other new features.
Bookbub members can follow your author page. There they’ll see any recommendations you make (which is a nice way to get in front of them. Reviewing books in your genre and recommending them is a small, free thing you can do) and any new releases you have. And the notification for this will go out immediately to followers, not delayed like Amazon’s. Granted, you’ve got to build up followers before this will be of use, but it’s a much more direct way to keep readers informed on your releases than other social media.
So there are three alternatives to Facebook and Twitter that might actually be of more use to you!