This one might well be a shorter post than usual, since I don't believe social media in and of itself is a huge driver of sales or audience-building and feel like writing more books is probably a better bet than spending too much time on promotional posts via such networks.
(The possible exception to this is paid promo on Facebook, but I consider that a category of advertising, rather than social media - since the whole idea of social media is being social, ie: interacting.)
I do maintain something of a presence on Twitter and Goodreads, but I try to share stuff or talk books/track my reading process on those two sites. However, on Twitter I do also love to share the art for my book covers and will over indulge in that :D I also post a few links to this blog, but mostly check out what my fellow writers are up to.
There are various book promotion services geared toward twitter and such - two I've trialed over the years are AskDavid and BooksGoSocial and will report on them soon. It can be quite difficult to effectively track such promotional material for sales results.
If you're unsure of whether or where to start with social media, I'd recommend only using a social media platform or two and focus on them rather than spending time trying to cover fifteen different bases. Stick to a few you enjoy, be approachable and don't get sucked into the horse-radish that passes for 'debate' on such sites and you'll probably find social media fun, though perhaps not essential for marketing.
I'm hardly unique or noteworthy in this, but a couple of months ago I axed my Facebook accounts (both personal and author-page) and it's been rather swell.
For me, FB wasn't valuable.
If I had heaps and heaps of folks overseas etc that I wanted to keep in contact with then I might have kept it but that's not the case. The vague-booking, image-crafting and the political 'discussions' were probably the most tedious aspects - but also the visual clutter from promoted posts, or, to refer to them by their old name 'ads'.
Further to that was the rampant tokenism. Left, right and centre, there was the use of the 'like' button to fill-in for actual human interaction* (and I have certainly been guilty of it, and will be again I fear). I realised I needed conversation from my social networks and so I had to get out before I saw another 'like if you're against poverty' or any other type of slacktivism.
But this post was supposed to be a bit more positive and I've drifted deeply into 'rant' territory here. Basically I've enjoyed not having Facebook and found other platforms have taken it's place in more meaningful ways. Goodreads comes to mind for one, and of course, it all comes down to what sort of effort I put into a group/space - but it turns out I didn't care enough anymore, about FB, to put the effort in.
So I've jumped ship and it's been a pretty handy reminder to use my time in ways that I receive value from - and thus, back to some writing I think!
*Which can most certainly be digital.
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Ashley Capes is an Australian writer of fiction, poetry and very occasional non-fiction.
Imperial Towers (Never Book 5) - draft 1
Moss Dragon - draft 1
Reed Lavender (working title) - draft 1
Unnamed Spec Fic - draft 1
Whisper of Leaves (sequel) - Outline