A Slightly Silly Guide
One of the biggest challenges for me as a book blogger has always been managing social media. How do I know which platforms to use and which ones not to? How do I find enough time to spend on all of them? Which platforms will help grow my blog and which ones kind of stand alone?
Which ones do I care about?
So the answers to those questions are obviously going to be a little different for everyone, but today I am here to give you a brief introduction to some of the most popular social media platforms used by book bloggers.
Twitter is great if you want to have a million followers who never click on any of your links! It’s also a wonderful place to get in arguments, I mean discussions, about the same book drama over and over again. Twitter is a must-have for your blog, but you only get out what you put in, so plan on spending twenty hours a day there.
If Bookstagram seems intimidating to you, it shouldn’t! All you have to do is own a million and a half books, buy a bunch of expensive photography equipment, and set up these giant bookish photo shoots in your room once a month or so. When in doubt, snap a pic of a bookish rainbow, a heart, or whatever is the YA book with the biggest buzz this month. Once you pick a photo your caption doesn’t have to have ANYTHING to do with it! Just post a “QOTD” (question of the day) that you make up to springboard whatever you feel like talking about!
Since Instagram doesn’t allow you to post links, it will probably not generate many followers for your blog. It’s kind of its own beast.
You probably won’t have as many followers on facebook as the other platforms, but your followers probably will click on your links and create traffic for your blog. Right now all seven of my followers are family members, but if you want a bit more action you can always pay $3 to boost your post to a bunch of people who don’t care!
Goodreads seems to vary greatly from person to person. I’ve connected with a few fellow bloggers, but most of my followers are randos who never like anything I review. But other people know lots of fellow bloggers that way, so maybe I am doing something wrong?
Goodreads is the best place to get your book reviews out there to people who aren’t involved in the book blogger community and don’t have a WordPress or Blogger account. They won’t follow your blog, but having a lot of followers on Goodreads is a great way to get ARCs from publishers. It’s also a great way to get spammed from indie authors who desperately want ANYONE to read and review their books.
Litsy is what happened when someone tried to combine Goodreads and Instagram but made it impossible to connect with people you actually know or who might have similar interests to you. Some people really like it, but I find it a big fat waste of time.
I have no advice to offer about Pinterest as I have never used it. I don’t suggest getting a Pinterest for your blog unless it LOOKS stunning, because people don’t pin boring crap like I post.
I’ve never known anyone on tumblr to click on links, but hey, it could happen. Like Instagram, tumblr is its own community that has completely different social norms and rules. It’s kind of like a Twitter/Instagram/blog hybrid in desperate need of adult supervision.
Just in case you’re stuck in 2015, Snapchat is still there, and people probably still use it.
If you want to have intellectual discussions about literary fiction and never post ANYTHING self-promoting, then Reddit is the social media site for you! I feel like Reddit is a huge time commitment, because there are tons of posts to sort through and the responses tend to be massive. But it’s a great, respectful community and could be an awesome place to start a book club.
I saved YouTube for last, because if you want to make a BookTube you should probably give up on your blog now. It’s ultra time consuming but is probably the best way to connect with actual human beings on the internet. Seriously, who reads blogs anymore?
Why is BookTube so time consuming? Because all of the videos are like, TWENTY MINUTES LONG, and if you don’t have really professional looking editing nobody is going to watch you in 2018. And it’s a real community, so you have to get involved if you want to be involved. You can’t just post a video and wait for stuff to happen. You have to watch everyone else’s twenty minute videos too, and comment on them. On the bright side, you only have to post once or twice a week.
What social media sites are must-haves for YOUR blog? Let me know in the comments!