It’s been a while since I’ve written about social media, largely because there hasn’t been a ton of interesting news on that front. Some services have gained popularity (Instagram, Vine, Snapchat), but most of those services, while being potential tools to connect with audiences, haven’t been directly relevant to writers.
However, I do wade through new articles about social media to keep abreast on what’s happening. And I thought I’d pull out some juicy nuggets of recent social media data and advice that might help or inspire.
1. Google+ still isn’t a favorite social media destination for the majority of people, this article posits because it is being forced upon them. Whether or not that is the case, I’ve seen several articles over the last few months agreeing that Google+ is still worth at least a small bit of your social media time. It’s still growing, you can link to relevant blogs and websites on your profile page, and it does seem to have some effect on search results.
2. Google+ also recently launched a service similar to Facebook’s that allows it to use your image and words in advertising. You can opt out of that here.
3. Many of the network demographics are holding relatively steady. Twitter still has a relatively young focus (18-29 year olds). Pinterest still skews heavily towards female users (84%), as does Instagram. Google+ skews heavily towards male users. Tumblr is popular with teenagers and young adults, as are Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat. Facebook has become quite heavily international.
4. Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are leading the pack when it comes to referral traffic (sending people to articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, etc. of interest). Pinterest especially sends traffic to retail sites, so if selling swag is part of what you want to do, it’s worth checking out.
5. Facebook is still extremely popular, as measured by how often its users log in. Linkedin is less so, and I’d say that for fiction writers, Linkedin is probably not worth the time. (If you are maintaining a profile for a day job/other career, that’s a different matter.)
6. One way to generate content is to be a content aggregator or curator, which means sharing a lot of useful links and cool graphics and all that jazz. There’s a cool infographic with advice on content curation here.
7. Here is an interesting infographic on creating viral content.
8. There has been a lot of buzz about mobile. This buzz is no longer particularly new, but I think it is still relevant. As writers, we need to make sure our content is accessible over mobile phones. So it’s worth checking to make sure your website and/or blog is pleasant and easy to read on a phone.
9. Video and images are extremely popular. I’ve read articles suggesting that people are more willing to spend a few minutes watching a video, whereas they will often only spend a few seconds reading the headline of an article or blog post. I am not this kind of internet user myself (I rarely want to watch videos; I want to read a transcript so I can skip any boring stuff and get through it faster), but apparently this is a thing. That being said, writers are probably more likely to have an audience who doesn’t mind reading more…right?
Until next time, this has been current relevant social media trends for writers in a nutshell. Let me know if there are any I missed!