Social Media, You, Me, and 2018


That’s a lot to swallow!

Is everyone wearing their sheer, striped, onyx-colored deconstructed suits today? Are you eating your Japanese tapas and an drinking a sidecar? No? Okay, me either. We’d better get on that!

Today, I’m talking about social media trends for 2018, and my thoughts on which ones might benefit the author. Yup, the author because in our private lives, social media can take over and become addictive. That’s a personal choice.

However, business is a different animal. The business world is embracing social media—out of a need to find where the consumers hang out. A good friend of mine works for a vet and one of her responsibilities is monitoring their social media account (yes, you read that right): replying, liking, adding new posts like tips and sales.

Being a writer/author is a creative endeavor, but selling the written word is a business. And much of that business is falling on the author’s shoulders, even if traditionally published.

So, on that note: Stuff to Look for in 2018

or so sayith the social media experts

🠊 Increasing Popularity of Instagram Stories

Instagram is for sharing photos and video. A story lets the users share multiple photos in a slideshow and videos with just their followers (or select group). Stories do not show in feeds but rather on the top of a user’s screen and it disappears in 24 hours. This can be a great marketing tool with specials, sneak peaks, even building follower participation in the story with questions like “Should the dragon be green or blue?” Here’s a site that explains how to create a story: Instagram Stories

🠊 More Augmented Reality

This is when real stuff is imposed with computer-generated stuff or live stuff with an extracted real-world element. Though it’s already being done with filters on cameras that give you a cat face or put you in a tropical setting, it’s going bigger this year. I’m not sure how this can be useful for authors. Anyone?

🠊 More Marketing to Influencers

This means businesses will do more marketing to select influential people rather than to the larger market (though they will still do that too, of course). This is why authors have to build their platforms early (build a community).

🠊 More Live Streaming

A lot of Gen Zers have embraced this already; chitchatting with their friends online. Several brand names companies adopted this last year. For authors? Online launch parties and live book tours.

🠊 Twitter Redo

The social media gurus believe that Twitter will need to go through a big change this year. Once a trendsetter, 2017 didn’t bring the kind of growth it use to. It will be interesting to see if and how this pans out. For authors, Twitter is still a great place to make quick connections with readers and other authors. It’s good for giving sneak peaks into the author’s brain, and hashtag chats are good for building platforms and gaining interest in their stories.

🠊 Social Media to Embrace Stronger Governance Policies

Controversy after controversy on the different platforms brings the need for more conduct policies. I curious how this works out as well.

So Many Social Media Choices: How Does One Start?

so many choices

There are countless social media places on the worldwide web. It’s overwhelming. Personally, I think you should try them one at a time. Find the way it works for you. If you like it, keep it, otherwise remove it from your task list. I also believe that each place needs to show a different side of you, as in don’t post the same thing on all places. Sure, you can cross-post, but there needs to be something original on each outlet.

Side question: Do you think authors will need social media ‘people’ in the future?

My social media includes blogging (this right here), Twitter, and Instagram. Here, I talk about writing, but also things I love or am fascinated by and want to share. On Twitter, I tweet out story insights and random thoughts. I retweet and reply. It’s quick and super easy. Instagram is for pictures of all kinds. I find I have less interaction there. Most people ‘like’ and move on. But I enjoy seeing things from other peoples viewpoints. Also, Instagram is not PC friendly and doing anything there is time consuming.

questionHow do you think social media can help a writer? Any advice? What platforms do you use (and like)?

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  1. The IWSG is now on Instagram and we're hoping it really grows.
    Wasn't Twitter supposed to allow more characters? I'm not sure if they've done that yet.

    1. Twitter has double the characters. The funny thing is some like that and some don't.

  2. Marketing should be streamlined. Otherwise you're throwing mud on the wall to see what sticks.

    DLP is now on Instagram and I'm still getting the hang of it.

  3. I hardly do any book stuff outside of my blog. That's terrible marketing, I know, then again, it has been 3 years since I put something out. *sigh*

    I love the trend awareness you have. Do you know where vlogging is on popularity, or is it just live-streaming that's growing?

    1. You know, no one specifically mentions vlogging, but videos on Instragram are really popular. I think, like audio, anything visual works for people.

  4. I don't use Instagram but I do like Twitter. I hope they don't change it up too much. Being able to edit your Tweet would be nice though.

    1. EDITING TWEETS, the number one most requested feature. Even if they put a limit on it, like you have five minutes to edit it would make so many people happy. I like it as it is now. It's easy to use.

  5. Yeah, I've been thinking of joining Instagram. Just wasn't sure I wanted to add ANOTHER social media outlet.

    1. I understand that. I tried it because The Whisk loves it so much. I like it, but not as much as Twitter.

  6. Great post, Holly. It's interesting how much adverts are changing and influencers (hate that word), have been kicking butt for awhile, along with sponsored posts and affiliate links.

    To me, all very, very cool.

    Only thing I find is that on Instagram, for me anyway, it's all about the connections and interactions. I don't find it's a like and move on and I find instead, that I'm getting to know some killer great people. I am over the moon with Instagram. I flippin' love it. That being said, I keep my account small and it's not a work thing. It's really just for sharing whatever I'm up to.

    Live videos are still being pushed on us creators but I'm not there yet. Maybe someday. Twitter, is not much use to me, sadly. I don't enjoy reading retweets and instead of words, I'm more into pictures and videos. Love that Twitter allows for longer videos.

    Facebook, ack! I dunno. I can't say anything about it.

    What else, oh G+ I enjoy but again, I keep it very small and it's mostly gamers that I follower. Think RPG and D&D kind of stuff.

    And YouTube … I flippin' love. Just as much as IG. So many great folks I've meet outside of Blogger. It's been a treat. I love, love, love social media.

    But as you know, I also love, love, love my unplugged time. For sure.

    The thing I'm most curious about is, where will YouTube be in 3-4 or even 10 years? They are doing so many things wrong and it kinda feels like they will continue to crumble. But until then, I'll keep uploading and having fun.

    1. There is sooo much out there. The writer side of me likes Twitter and the illustrator likes Instagram.

      1. I get that!

        And that makes sense for me because I don't do anything writer-related online. Totally get what you're saying.

        PS: Slow blogger is killing me. Oy.

        1. Gosh yes! What is happening with Blogger. It's been so slow lately.

  7. God, I am constantly overwhelmed by social media. I never really got into it (honestly) so doing it for my writing is a huge step. But I appreciate all the advice and insights!

    1. My writing is the reason I got into it too, and I'm still trying to understand it.

  8. I'm on instagram, but being that the phone is required, I don't use it as much as the others. Twitter remains my favorite. I keep changing what I do on Twitter. I don't market my books as much, but share things I find interesting, a photo from my day, and I've started conversations recently. I just find Twitter easy. They scaled back on who can see your feed, which is why I think it's not doing as well. That's something they need to fix. If I follow someone, I want to see their feed. Blogging and FB are ones I use, too, but I've seriously rethought my blog and made it all gear to audience the past year. I don't have the time to keep up with everything lately, so concentrate on writing and growing my mailing list.

    1. Yeah, using Instagram on the laptop is convoluted. I find Twitter so much easier too. I didn't know they changed how the feed shows.

  9. See, that's the reason I haven't gotten into Instagram. It's too cumbersome. Yes, I have an account, and yes, I've dabbled. Unfortunately I jumped in right before they switched to the algorithm rather than the timeline, and it frustrated me to no end. So I quit, for now.

    Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads are my hot spots. Of course, all the changes coming to Goodreads, it might not be a favorite for long.

    1. Cumbersome is right! Ya can't just reply, you have to copy their username and paste it in your comment with an @ symbol–for each person. I haven't heard about the changes in Goodreads yet. Ho hum.

  10. Some days I'm all over social media and doing the dance. Others I in a blue funk about it. I resent the time it takes. I hate the shallowness of it and the hearts that don't mean much because I don't know the people sending them my way. Obviously, today is a blue funk day and I'm in need of a long walk in the woods.

    1. Social media is a moody thing. 🙂 I hope you were able to take your walk!

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