I decided when I was traveling to add what I hope will be a regular feature here on 1st Books, which I’m calling 1 Thing Thursday (#1ThTh). The idea: share each Thursday one little thing that writers can do to move their writing careers along. Some of these will be writing-related, some publishing and marketing. I’ll do many myself, but will also likely bring in some writer-friends to pinch hit.
So now I’m back from months of research travel for a new novel, and pretty well into the paperback launch of The Race for Paris, and recovering from a flurry of excitement with The Wednesday Sisters , and yes, back to writing and blogging.
So here we go…
Todays 1 Thing Thursday: Find Where Your Readers Gather on Social Media
Few authors now can afford to leave all the publicity to their publishers. And for most of us, that means (among other things) spending some time on social meadia — a free and easy way to connect with readers. There are over 2 billion active users on social media, who have an average of more than 5 accounts. The question is where to find readers who might like what you like because there is not enough time to do them all or, quite frankly, more than one or two, and still write. So the problem is which one should you focus on.
The answer is actually shockingly easy if you have some sense of what you enjoy, and the data.
I can’t give you the first. Do you prefer sharing photos? little snippets of your work? peeks at your life? video? Do keep that in mind, as you’ll be more engaging if you enjoy it, and engaging matters!
But I can share with you the data about who is where. If you put that together with what you like to do, it should be pretty easy to sort out where to spend your social media time to the extent it is publicity-related (as opposed to, say, adoring photos of cute babies, dogs, or cats).
As of the latest dates I can find, here are the numbers of users on various platforms, ranked in descending order:
Facebook: 1.7 billion
YouTube: 1+ billion
WhatsApp: 950 million
Google+: 440 million
LinkdIn: 450 million
Instagram: 430 million
Twitter: 320 million
Tumblr: 230 million
Snapchat: 200 million
Pinterest: 110 million
You may note I’ve left out reading-specific sites like Goodreads, LibraryThing, Medium, and the like. That’s only because those deserve a post of their own, which I’ll do another week.
And the demographics:
For writers whose work is targeted at adults: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest tend toward an older demographic. Facebook in particular — let’s just say that 1 in every 6 minutes spent on line is spent there (that statistic comes to you thanks to a Random House author seminar I attended, as does much of the information in this paragraph).
For business writers: LinkdIn is the most business-y of the platforms. You will find all sorts of swanky business types who would never facebook or tweet there, as it is very oriented to business networking.
For writers of YA and Young Adult: younger folks (teens and twenty-somethings) tend toward Snapchat, Instagram, and Tumblr.
Youtube has a very broad audience, and is a great place to house video you can share elsewhere if you’re video savvy. The social media feeds love video, and the algorithms tend to prioritize it. And it doesn’t have to be professional. One of my most shared posts on Facebook was the short video below, which I took with my phone on a street corner in Paris.
If you like the idea of 1 Thing Thursday posts, please let me know by commenting or sharing so I’ll know. If you tweet, I’m @megwclayton (hashtag: #1ThTh). On Facebook, I’m novelistmeg.
Happy writing! – Meg