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.