The Social Media Conundrum

Facebook. I first heard about it maybe 15 years ago. I was about to be laid off from an administrative job at the University of California and part of the deal was a bunch of classes offered by UC on how best to look for a job. In addition to tips on writing resumes and interviewing, one suggestion was to create a Facebook account. Supposedly that was to get the word out that I was looking for employment.

In the long run, I found LinkedIn more useful for the job search. I tried Twitter because an author at a book event said that one had to be on Twitter. I thought and still do, that Twitter is absolutely useless and I don’t get it. Talk about a waste of time. I’ve posted things on Pinterest, but not lately. As for the rest of the social-media-de-jour, Instagram, TikTok, or whatever else is out there or might be next week—not interested.

But Facebook had a certain appeal and still does. I like posting photos of my kitties, the roses blooming in my garden and that peach pie I baked (For me! All for me!). Posts with news from friends and acquaintances. Posts that alert me to an article or a video that might be interesting.

But I’m at the point where I’m thinking seriously of leaving Facebook.

Thinking. Not quite there, though getting closer. Adorable kitty pictures aside, it’s a real time-waster. The political stuff—well, we’ve all been inundated with that over the past few years.

And I’m really tired of all those ads. I have only to think about buying something and I swear, my Facebook feed is full of ads for the very same. More ads than anything else these days.

So yes, thinking of leaving Facebook. But— ???? Is Facebook useful to me as an author? As a way to connect with readers? I don’t know.

I have a personal Facebook page that is limited to “friends” and an author Facebook page which is visible to everyone. On the author page, I post announcements—news of a new book that I’ve written, alerts about a deal for one of my books. Links to one of my blog posts here at Ladies of Mystery. Information on a forthcoming newsletter or a favorable review. In the pre-pandemic days, I would let people know that I would be speaking at this library or that bookstore. Or announcing the title of my panel at one of the mystery conventions.

I do that as well on my “friends” page, but I limit it. The “buy my book” stuff gets old, I know. Maybe the kitty pictures do, too.

So, what’s the solution? Or is there one?

I can certainly address the time-waster issue. Right now I’m on a Facebook diet, limiting my daily exposure. And if I leave the platform, what next? Do I post kitty pictures on LinkedIn? It’s not really that sort of platform.

I’m interested in hearing suggestions, so put your thoughts in the Comments section.

9 thoughts on “The Social Media Conundrum

  1. I love Facebook. I have a huge family and they all are great about posting photos of their family and activities. Yes, I post too, about things I’m doing or have done, and some writing news. I don’t plan on giving it up, but the one thing I do agree with it’s a huge time waster. Good post.

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  2. Janet, I like Facebook for the reasons you stated and on my author page I have used the advertising and it has worked in getting me more readers. I have Twitter and all I do is have mt FB posts show up there. I rarely even go there and engage. I have a Virtual Assistant who runs a TikTok page for me. I haven’t a clue what she does other than posts videos I send her. I only want to deal with one “time suck” and that is Facebook for me. It’s how I keep up with writers, friends, and family.

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  3. Janet, I believe FaceBook serves a useful purpose. I think of my FB page as solely professional. Even though it’s chatty and sometime revealing, it’s still business for me. I friend a lot of people. If someone gets a little too familiar, unpleasant, or whackadoodle, they are struck down, unfriended, and done without batting an eye. I have no problem deleting unwanted comments or pages from my site. I use FB to promote causes (my recent on donations for the Beagle Rescue), or a friend’s or my books. That stated, I have made a few FB friends throughout the years, and some I truly cherish. In summation, I try to take the best of FB and leave the rest. But whatever decision you make, do what works for you.

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  4. Janet, I could have written your post. I think we’re in an expanding group–people who have participated for years in FB and are now losing interest in FB and all social media. They’re good for announcing events and books, but after a while they lose their appeal for anything else. Not sure what the answer is but I can see the direction we’re headed.

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