Social media that doesn't suck

I've been thinking a bit more about social media, and I'm interested in others' perspectives.

Facebook seems to be getting worse and worse in terms of helping me to promote my work. I have a page for JAQrabbit Tales with a reasonably good almost-300 Likes. But according to the stats that FB shows, when I link to a new page on my web site, it's seen by maybe a dozen people, so I share it to my personal page, where it's seen by a few dozen more. I get better results from (censored) images I upload instead, but not profoundly better. And there's no rhyme or reason to it: sometimes it'll have a "reach" of 40, another time 900. Which is a lot of people when it happens, to be sure, but I don't see much response to it.

The problem I have with Twitter is twofold: 1) it's a wretched hive of scum and villainy, and since it's nearly impossible for someone to get kicked off, it emboldens the worst kind of people. I don't like the way I behave on it, either. 2) The user interface is pure crap: breaking stuff into 140-character pieces, that wretched system of @-referencing and threading, etc.

I've tried Instagram, and can't understand why people keep recommending it. You can't upload images from a computer, just celly snaps. And you can't include links off-site. What am I missing? Why do people use this?

I still have an account on Ello. Since the masses discovered that it wasn't the next Facebook, and moved on, it's rebranded itself as "the creators network". It seems to be very free-expressiony and non-censory, but... there are like a total of ten comics creators on it (Hi, Kevin!), as far as I can tell. And fewer fans.

So... what are you folks using? What is it doing for you? How do you make it work?


  • I think facebook is the wrong platform, but it's the one I mostly use, because twitter requires constant attention, I don't understand Tumblr, and Instagram is for artists.
    There are a few problems with facebook. First, they change the algorithm constantly, so what works one month might not work next month. For a while they wanted native videos. Now they want to promote the 'live' feature. But they change it all the time as they try to recognize what engages users.
    The problem with a business profile, on the other hand, is that they only offer that because they want to sell you advertising. If you could get reliable results organically you're less likely to buy those ads. I find, though, that 9 times out of 10 the ads don't do shit... because FB is actually a terrible platform for advertising, unless you're a household brand.
    I don't know, man. There are a million people who sell courses about how to do social media but I think most of that is nonsense. I think, in the end, it comes down to the native size of your existing audience and charisma.
  • I've been listening to a *lot* of podcasts on marketing yourself as an author.
    What they seem to say is that you should pick only one or two social media platforms that you are comfortable with, maintain those and drive people to your website and your mailing list.
    It makes sense because you can only genuinely interact on a few social media places and your website and mailing list are yours and they are the only constant that you have.
    If you chose Facebook, then you need to find ways, such as spending money to boost your signal, (yes, that is the actual term) to reach people.
    I personally hate Facebook with a firey passion, but that's just me. I have my posts set to socialize (I think that's what the option is called) on wordpress which releases the posts to various social media. It saves me the time and effort of trying to maintain a social presence on those platforms and people can find me on them if they need to.
  • I prefer Instagram since it's image driven and doesn't bury posts like FB does. It's a long, slow road to building a follower base. I finally popped over 4K followers this past weekend. I expect things to tick up a bit during my upcoming cover run at Vertigo. Twitter is a vast sea of argument. I'm there, but don't engage much. Facebook is barely useable for PR. Occasionally crosspost from IG, but I feel I'm getting more traction at IG with my 4K followers than my nearly 5K 'friends" on FB. There's no cap on IG followers either, so, I suspect I'll have a good deal more reach with IG in the not too distant. Tumblr didn't seem to grow regardless of effort, so I'm largely ignoring it these days. its image size might be friendlier to your comics material, though. I'm developing a sense of what people respond to on IG as well. So, when it comes down to it, for the effort, I'm growing an audience for my work more effectively and efficiently on the social platform for my sort of work.
  • How do you get IG to turn on without having audio on (using an IOS device)?
    *This* is my frustration for the evening.
  • edited September 2017
    Twitter is starting to piss me off. Multiple times in the last two weeks the number of people I follow has randomly dropped from 350 to 50. And when I scroll through the people I follow there are about 150 profiles there - even though my profile count says 50.

    This isn't people unfollowing me, but ME unfollowing people, except I didn't do it.

    I'm constantly re-adding people I want to follow. I get there are follow limits but I don't think following 300 people is an unrealistic amount in todays day and age. Every writer and artist whose comics I read probably accounts for 100 plus, then peers and actual friends, not so hard to hit 300.

    Frustrating enough, then add the fact I don't get Twitter. I just don't get how to follow conversations or how to use it other than post art.

    I set my Tumbler to post to Twitter, and Twitter is set to post to Facebook so I only have to do some of this once. I can manually choose to forward to Social Media from my Wordpress Website on a post by post basis.

    And in Instagram weirdness, I signed up and started collecting followers even though I've never posted.... as I don't have a smart phone... so no way to post.

    I agree with @Richard_Pace ... Social Media is a slow build, concentrate on one, but no harm in setting up cross posting so you aren't starting from scratch when you concentrate on the next platform.

  • I find I get higher engagement on FB than other platforms, but when I try to see that translate into action (sign up for my newsletter, support my Kickstarter, etc) I see very little conversion. Most of my posts about movies or comics (not my projects) get some traction, but when I post something about my stuff, crickets.
  • edited January 2018
    Late in the game to this thread. But wanted to add my thoughts.

    They all suck. Fuck them. Fuck every single one of these websites. They're all such garbage.

    Tumblr is the most-garbage one of all to me, as far as interface and features go. It's also the one that I've had a bunch of success with, with very little actual effort on my part. My FB profile has 895 Friends, and it's taken me years to accumulate those. Meanwhile, I started a Tumblr for my Lovecraftian space opera project Astrophobia a few months ago. (August? September?) I haven't posted much. A few "development logs" (basically public worklogs. It's an idea and a term I stole from the indy games world), and less than ten teaser images that are just intriguing text over free photos of space. Like this one:


    Like I said, I've barely posted anything. And I have 342 Followers. I haven't posted in several months, and I've still gotten another 22 Followers in the last 30 days. I started advertising Astrophobia as a space opera, a Lovecraftian thing, and as an audio drama (though now I'm planning to do it as a comic, too). The Followers I've been getting are mostly people with usernames related to (1) audio drama in general, (2) Welcome To Night Vale (the most popular "weird" podcast), (3) space-based sci-fi, and (4) Lovecraft. So, people in the audiences that my story would appeal to are finding my posts, finding them interesting, and following me to get more of them.

    And not only am I getting a lot of Followers for very little content? Tumblr is set up for viral sharing of posts, and has a *culture* of viral sharing that's not like any of the other social networks. That image that I posted above has received 54 "Notes." Of those, 12 are Reblogs — so, people sharing my content so their Followers can see it. The other 42 are Likes — and some people have their profiles set to display their Likes on their public-facing page. So other users are seeing my posts that way, too. (And, I've gotta add — I don't know when the last time was that I got 42 likes on a project-related FB post. Let alone 12 reposts!)

    I really do hate the living shit out of Tumblr's interface. But I can't argue with the results that I'm getting from it!

  • How are you coping with Verizon's takeover of Tumblr?
  • Also, I've been getting comfy with Discord over the last few months. Not all the way there with the interface and toolkit yet.
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