Social Media Suicide? by Mae Clair

Yesterday, I was tinkering around on my Facebook author page and was nagged by the idea that it had been a small eternity since I posted on my—ugh!—profile page. It’s a persistent thought whenever I roam onto FB, like an overzealous gnat that won’t go away.

Gray tabby kitten looking at screen on a miniature laptop with words Facebook Status Update Overdue displayed on monitor. Piles of books next to and under computer. I knew when I signed up for Facebook in 2012 we weren’t a good match, but as an author, it was pretty much a requirement.  I honestly enjoy posting on my author page. The problem is those #@&!* FB algorithms. My posts don’t display in newsfeeds unless a). I pay for them or b). Fans regularly interact with my page.

*grumble*

I find it hard to interact with all of the FB pages I’ve liked, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t enjoy seeing posts from them. I’ve been trying to visit those pages more regularly so they show up in my newsfeed, but there are so many. It would be so much easier if Facebook went back to the way it used to be.

Whining aside, I tackled my Facebook dilemma with drastic action.

When I first signed up for FB, the idea was to friend as many people as I could and gain friends in return with the hopes of connecting and building rapport. The problem? I had close to 600 friends on my profile page but only strong relationships with a couple dozen (outside of immediate family and friends). There was so much content filtering through it was overwhelming.

Now, I know in the world of FB, 600 friends is a mere drop in the bucket. But to this highly introverted I’d-rather-read-or-write-than-play-on-social-media-person, 600 friends was intimidating. I’ve never been good in crowds, but I love chatting in small groups. So yesterday I trimmed my number of friends to 90.

I’m not sure if I committed social media suicide or took the first step in making Facebook work for me. I figured it wasn’t doing any good sitting there growing stale, and since Zuckerberg’s brainchild wasn’t going away, I had to do something.

A group of animals are together on a black background. Animals range from an Elephant, Zebra, White Lion, Monkey, Giraffe, Lemur, and Tiger. Text above image says "small groups. Great content."

There are other platforms like Twitter (which I love) where I can connect with thousands of authors, but I want my Facebook experience to be built around authors I’m friendly with. That’s all of you who follow my blog, a few others, and my immediate circle of family and friends. With the number drastically pared down, I’m going to timidly venture back onto FB and begin to share and comment more. Look out, you’ve been warned!

I’ve been inspired by a friend and author who does a great job with her FB pages (she has several) and she is absolutely brilliant with them. I won’t out her, but er….well, Pittsburgh is involved. 🙂

Anyway, I hope to see you on Facebook, now that I’ll be active on my profile again. And my author page isn’t going anywhere, so you can always find me there, too.

I’m hoping I did the right thing with that hatchet job (and haven’t ticked anyone off….I did make a post about it).  What do you think? Smart move or social media suicide?

46 thoughts on “Social Media Suicide? by Mae Clair

  1. Mae, I understand where you’re coming from. I started Facebook long before I began as a writer, but ironically it was because of writing I joined. I had taken a six week online writing class and some of the member wanted to stay in touch through a group. It never took off, and my person page sat there for months until someone from church friended me and my friend list began to grow – old friends from school, current acquaintances, and now many writers and authors. It’s the writers and authors I seem to connect with most often (imagine that). I also went in last week and trimmed my list down (still around 600) but I’m comfortable with it.

    My problem is updating my author page!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds like you’ve got a good grip on your profile, Joan. I think whatever works (as far as numbers) is good to go with. I recognized a lot of the names I deleted but I don’t really chat with them, and I think I want to stick with that group. Like you, I seem to connect and talk most to other authors and writers (like you!) and many have become good friends. I’m not great with my author page, but of the two, it’s the one I’ve managed a little better. I’ve never been a good fit with FB, but I’m trying to do better with it (and still learning). Thanks for commenting and sharing!

      Like

  2. Let me ease your mind, Mae. I just had this talk with Larry Brooks (he has 4K friends and hates FB). Your personal FB should be filled with people you truly want to connect with, especially if you can’t stand FB. So pairing down to those people and being active sounds like a great idea. I wouldn’t unlike anyone on your fan page, but it doesn’t sound like you’ve done that. Now that you’ll be on your personal profile more, FB will show your fan page to more people. Most of my page posts get anywhere from 800-1500 views, and that’s because I’m on my personal profile every day. Rarely do I post to my page, with the exception of blog posts that automatically post each week. So yes, I think you did the right thing. You made the site work for you, and that’s all that matters. I’m very choosy when it comes to who I accept friend requests from. If I don’t know the person, they have to at least have several friends in common or I don’t accept. I’ve been burned too many times with porn and cam girls. It’ll be so nice seeing you out and about. Looking forward to your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Whew! I feel better. I don’t “unlike” anyone on my fan page because that’s where I WANT to connect with that large group, but for the closer inner circle on my profile page, I want to keep that to friends and family. Interesting to learn too that the more you post on your personal page, the more FB will push our your fan page posts. Thanks for sharing that tidbit, because I wasn’t aware of it. Like you, going forward, I’m going to be choosy whom I accept friend requests from. Sadly, I’ve had to block a couple of sites, too. I’m kind of excited about taking the plunge again, and am going to make an effort to at least pop in on FB once a day *gulp* I hope!
      And I look forward to seeing you around on FB and interacting!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I only have a FB page for my book – Shadows of the Past- for the moment. From everything I read in emails from my MFRWauthor group, I understand the FB is getting less and less friendly with authors so I don’t intend to open a personal page. Too many social groups already.
    So, I think do as you feel right. Sometimes our instinct leads us on the right path.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good advice, Carmen. For me, I do think I need to trim back on Facebook and start interacting with a core group. I’ve liked your FB book page as both my page and my profile so hopefully I’ll see more of your posts. I think part of the problem I disliked FB so much is that I was seeing so many posts I didn’t care about, most from people I didn’t really know!

      Like

  4. Great post, Mae! I held out on joining FB until my writing sisters set up a group in FB. So, of course I had to join! So many relatives only interact with family through FB, so if I want to keep up on news, gotta be there. I set up an author page, but it’s basic at best. I don’t like spending too much time there (what a time suck!), but like so much these days, you need a page as part of your platform. Twitter is a whole other story. At this point, I just want to write and not spend (waste?) time on social media. With a few exceptions, of course!! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • A time suck is exactly how I view FB, but I’m going to try to devote a couple minutes to it each day. Like you, I would so rather write (or even read) but it’s part of the promo stuff authors have to do. And like you said, so many relatives have taken to FB, it now seems to be the place to interact. I’ve got to look for your author page on FB and make sure I’ve liked it! 😀

      Like

  5. Mae, I don’t even have a FB account anymore! I love Twitter but on FB everytime I logged in and I got to hear about my friend’s son pooping in the potty or just the simple status, “going to the gym.” It drove me crazy, especially since I hadn’t seen most of these people in 20-30 years, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! There is definitely a LOT of that on FB. I completely understand. Like you, I love Twitter (I even like Google+) but for some reason, I’ve never been able to embrace the concept of FB. I’m going to give it one more try 🙂
      Thanks for popping in and commenting!

      Like

  6. I find Facebook frustrating too and I have so many places I want to visit every day, there is just no way to get it done. As it is, I spend at least 3 to 3 hours every morning going through email and visiting at least some blogs. There just isn’t enough time!!! 🙂 I don’t know what’s right or wrong, but each of us has to find what works for us.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, Sherry. Just because something is a good fit for someone else doesn’t mean it will deliver the same results for the next person. Sometimes I feel like the square peg trying to fit into the round hole of Facebook. At least with Twitter I don’t have to work so hard at it 🙂

      Like

  7. I echo Sue’s comments. Profile for family and friends, author page for your work, and creating a group for your street team is a good way to set up a gathering place for people you need to share special content with. FB’s changes over the years have messed with our visibility; it’s best to do whatever you have to in order to make it work for you. Looking forward to seeing more of you there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been thinking about the street team idea, wondering if I’d get enough response if I gave it a try. Of course, I want to better utilize my profile page first. I think I have my author page (mostly) down, it’s just a matter of keeping at it. And of course, a huge part of FB is being visible and socializing. It’s time I take that plunge. Looking forward to seeing you about! 🙂

      Like

    • What I do know about Facebook is that you need a good balance of social with business (authoring). The fact that you’re sharing pictures of Otto and people are connecting with you on that level is an example of doing something well. The more people connect with you socially, the more apt they are to look at the product you’re selling (books). You might be new, but you’ve found an approach that works!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Stanalei.I guess time will tell if I did the right thing, but I wasn’t making any headway by letting my page go stagnant. I’m crossing my fingers FB and I will find a new way to peacefully co-exist LOL

      Like

  8. Good luck, Mae. My FB author’s page receives my tweets (recent addition) and my blog posts so that I don’t have to post the same thing multiple times. .My Twitter account is also set to receive my FB posts and my blog posts. So FB posts automatically to Twitter and vice versa. The only problem now is that FB and Twitter are sending posts back and forth between the two. 😀 A never ending post situation. When I click on a FB share of a blog post I like, I usually post it to my personal account because of the FB restrictions to author/company accounts. When you post to your personal page it goes to all friends (or did) but it doesn’t work that way for author/company accounts as you mentioned above.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the well wishes and sharing, Kim. In the beginning I had Twitter and FB connected, I also had my blog connected to my author page, but my understanding is that FB algorithms know when automation is involved and further suppress the posts as a result. I stopped automating quite a while ago, though I still do have my blog posts automatically feeding to Google+. Isn’t it crazy the hoops we have to jump through to share something that’s supposed to be SOCIAL?!?! Isn’t that what social media is for! ACK! 😀

      Like

  9. I’m similar to you with facebook. I sought to resolve my neglect of it by having my blog posts automatically upload to my new page, and put link to page in my widget area… I still don’t go on it all that much. Like you, I prefer twitter… Probably because I’m a bit of a twit. 😃

    Like

    • LOL! Guess that makes me a twit too, Kev. The weird thing is when I first joined Twitter I was sure I would hate it, and it’s become my social media platform of choice (next to blogging, of course). I knew I’d hate Facebook, too. That one I got right, LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It took me forever to join twitter. I just didn’t like the idea, and I tend to shy away from things that are so, overkill. Even with twitter, I only go on about once a week to catch up, although I do use the tweet share button a lot on blogs to let folks know how much I love them. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I understand your frustration with FB. Just when I start to have a bit of fondness for it, it changes things up — but not in a good way. LOL I love Twitter, and the instant interaction with people. I worry when it tries to follow FB’s lead. I hope it doesn’t lose its tweetness. 🙂

    Like

    • I’m in total agreement there, Donna. Every now and then I hear rumors about Twitter becoming more like FB. Fortunately there is always a huge outcry from Tweeps who like things just the way they are, me included.

      I did hop on FB the other day but didn’t last long. It was inundated with political posts. It amazes me it’s not a topic people talk about 24/7 in their day-to-day, so why do so many feel compelled to constantly do it on Facebook? ACK!

      Like

  11. I’m not a big FB fan, but I post positive quotes, talk with family/friends and sometimes rave about my Star Trek addiction on my profile page. I lurk in a lot of writing groups. My author page is mostly automated except for tidbits about my writing process, promoting author friends, and my blog.

    Like

    • Sounds like you are using FB exactly the way I’d love it to be, Alicia. And it’s fun to share those fave addictions (like Star Trek….I especially love the new movies). I belong to a number of writing groups too but don’t visit them very often. I’m also on a few crytozoology loops and do want to make a point to pop in on those again! 🙂

      Like

    • Will do, Flossie. When I went back through my friends list there were so many people I didn’t even recognize. Other writers I was familiar with and worried about unfriending, but I’m still fans of their author pages so hopefully they’ll understand. I’ve heard of a few people cutting back on their friend circles lately and trying to keep posts more private. Sometimes I think FB brought a good chunk of that on themselves. Hopefully, I can manage my account better now.

      Like

  12. My personal page gets a lot more action than my author page, but my author page gets many views, even though I have few people on there. Susan Nicholls is my personal page and S.K. Nicholls is my author page. I’m very selective about who I will friend on my personal page and will quickly unfriend unkind people. It’s mostly close personal friends, family, and people I already know I have things in common with. I’d love to connect if we haven’t already. https://www.facebook.com/susan.nicholls.90

    Like

    • By all means, Susan. I’m happy to connect in return! I just sent you a friend request, and thanks for asking. Like you I want to be selective, because I’ve encountered a few problems on FB in the past. It’s really a shame that you have to block some people for content, but I guess as in any medium, there are always problems. I get spam and troll accounts on Twitter too, but fortunately they are so easy to block. Looking forward to seeing you about on FB!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. There are times (more than I care to admit) when I would love to chuck the social media altogether. As an author you NEED to let people know your books exist, right? BUT I’ve also read, seen, where some out there hate seeing the “did you see my book?” “Are you going to buy it?” “Look I have it on sale…” “Oh, did you see my review?” They say they are turned off by the annoying self promotion and then Unlike or unfriend, whichever the case might be. SO… there is a balance I’m sure and walking that tightrope isn’t always easy. Still, it’s one of those necessary evils our publishers think we should have… so have one we do! Anyways, I’m always happy to stay in touch with my friends and author friends. FB and Twitter are good ways to do it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree about that tightrope. It’s so hard to find the right balance. For authors, our books and our writing are an integral part of our life, so naturally we’re going to blab about them. We just have to find a manner in doing it that doesn’t turn others off, and also to remember there are other interesting topics to share as well. Sometimes I forget that the whole world isn’t enamored of reading and writing, LOL!

      Like

  14. Groan… I get that message too. o_O I admit to being horrible about social media. I call everything about my novel and blog “my grand experiment in indie.” When I began, I knew I wouldn’t have time for the marketing aspect — particularly all the social media. So I tend to agree with Frederick. 😀 Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So nice to have you drop by, Teagan! I enjoy blogging and even Twitter for social media and promotion, but after that I tend to really flounder about like a fish out of water, LOL! {{hugs}} back’atcha!

      Like

  15. Pingback: kesuvulu

    • I’ve been trying to be better with Facebook, Michele, but even with effort I keep slipping. I do like Twitter, but I can fully commiserate with the woes of trying to stay on top of social media. It seems like there is always something new creeping up around the corner. Thanks for dropping by to share your thoughts!

      Like

  16. Mae, I share some of your frustration with FB. When I got my first book contract I started adding friends like crazy, thinking that was the way to build a fan base or connect with people. I’ve resorted to “hiding” most friends because I simply can’t keep up with all of them. I’m also frustrated when I share a blog from my website on my FB page, get “likes,” but hardly anyone actually clicks over to read the blog. Why they “like” it is a mystery to me.

    Admittedly, Twitter is a mystery to me. I’ve no idea how to get people to follow me. No idea at all.

    Like

    • I have the same problem with those blog shares on my FB page. People often like but rarely visit the actual post. A while ago I did a post on the Author App for Facebook and that was one of the rare times that traffic actually funneled through from FB. Go figure, LOL.

      I think I’m more comfortable with my FB profile page having a smaller circle rather than that huge one I started with. Like you, I simply couldn’t keep up with all those posts. I got overwhelmed and rarely visited as a result. I’m still not doing great but I’m doing better.

      As for Twitter…..just love that platform! After blogging it’s my favorite. I did a post on tools for Twitter some time ago that you might find helpful. You can find it here: https://maeclair.net/2016/01/21/my-favorite-tools-for-twitter-by-mae-clair/

      As for follows, look at the followers of the people you’re following. Also the Tweeps they’re following. Chances are these are people who have similar interests to yours and if you follow them they’ll likely follow back. Once you start building your following the tools I mention in my post (the link above) will be of a huge help in cultivating those relationships.

      And when you do follow someone, interact with them by RTing, replying to and favoriting tweets. You’d be surprised by the relationships you can cultivate that way. I’ve also made many friends on Twitter by purchasing and reviewing books and/or giving shout-outs. It takes a little while to get the hang of, but there’s a lot of great interaction to be had once you do!

      Like

I love comments, so please scribble a thought or two!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s