Given that nearly every Social Media site is based in, and controlled from the United States where 25% of the population freely admitted that they haven’t read a book in a year, the jury is still out!
My old mate Derek Haines and I had a brief discussion on this very topic using Facebook’s only saving grace – its Chat feature, a few days ago. We both came to the same conclusion that as most sites are predominantly the playground of people who don’t normally read anything longer than a Tweet or the headline of a Facebook post, the answer appears to lean towards the negative.
Even though there are many book related groups on Facebook, in many cases, only writers ever bother to peruse and intereact usually by just ‘liking’ a post’s picture, while a few actually bother to click on and read the original article. But the number of people concerned with the latter practice is low in the extreme.
Of all the Social Media sites, always providing you are prepared to endlessly repost a tweet, you will get a response of sorts on Twitter. Usually this consists of other writers retweeting your contribution to their followers. About once or maybe twice a year if I’m lucky, I get a response in the form of a like for anything I post on Google+. I walked away from contributing to LinkedIn Why? Because despite what is said about it, it is a business networking site and nothing else. While I post to Pinterest, I don’t expect to find anyone has read the post on that site, as it is primarily for pictures.
One other Social Media site I post to from time to time is Medium. But as it is exclusively set up for Americans by Americans, the chances of anyone reading any of my posts is extremely low. Why? Because Medium specialises in childish dross for the home market.
Does any of what I have just said mean that all Social Media sites are a complete waste of time regarding book promotion? Well let me put it this way – Derek and I agreed that Social Media sites are today’s equivalent of the old sensationalist gutter press daily newspapers, just like today’s Social Media – full of mindless drivel. But with one fundamental difference. Unlike newspapers, you cannot reuse Social Media sites to wrap fish and chips up in to take home for your evening meal.
Nor can they be used as emergency bog paper if you run out of the real thing. The only thing sites like Facebook are any good for is keeping up with your friends. Just take a close look at whats on offer on Facebook. Its News Feed mostly contains family photographs, politics, pet photographs or total trivia like the utterly childish ‘Only 1 American in 10 will be able to answer these questions’ competitions, which the average non-American can easily answer if they’ve got nothing better to do.
To get back to the headline of this post – Is it worthwhile advertising your book(s) on Social Media? In our opinion (Derek’s and mine) – not really. But we both continue to do it anyway…