Bards Lost in The Metaverse Episode 33 - Social Media for Authors
In episode 33, Sharn and Andy broke down the importance of social media for writers and provided an overview of the top platforms to connect with readers. They also shared exclusive insights from the Bard's personal experiences using social media. If you missed it, don't worry – catch up now and gain access to a treasure trove of tips, tricks, and inspiration to take your social media presence to the next level!
But first, the news:
It’s Monday 8th May 2023, and this is news with Sharn:
In Web3 and tech new this week:
Chinese tech giant Alibaba Group is looking to expand its presence in the metaverse with the launch of Cloudverse, a launchpad for metaverse projects on the Avalanche blockchain. The initiative is the result of a partnership between Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence division of Alibaba Group, and Avalanche, a layer-one blockchain protocol. Cloudverse is designed to help businesses customize, launch and maintain their own metaverse space on the Avalanche blockchain, and is aimed at providing businesses that use Alibaba with a fast and seamless way to launch and maintain their own metaverse.
Universal Studios is embracing metaverse technologies to enhance their theme parks and provide guests with more immersive experiences. Using a combination of virtual and augmented reality, rides like Mario Kart: Koopa's Challenge at Universal Studios Japan allow visitors to shoot targets and compete with each other while experiencing a physical ride. Other attractions like the King Kong: 360 3D experience at Universal Studios Hollywood and the Bourne Stuntacular show at Universal Studios Orlando incorporate high-tech special effects to bring movies to life. With these innovations, Universal Studios is paving the way for the future of theme parks and providing guests with unforgettable experiences.
Moving now to the world of Publishing:
A recent survey by UK publication, The Bookseller, has found that over half of debut authors, 54%, report negative effects on their mental health when publishing their first book. The report is based on responses from 108 debut authors, with 61% primarily writing adult fiction. Those who had a negative experience cited lack of support, guidance, or clear communication from their publisher as the cause of anxiety, stress, depression, and lowered self-esteem. English PEN director, Daniel Gorman, suggests that best practices regarding author care are needed to ensure authors have the freedom to write.
The Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) have announced the program for their annual conference, which will take place from 11-13 August at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. With a theme of 'All That Glitters', the conference will cater to writers at all stages of their careers and feature sessions on a wide range of topics, from writing from multiple points of view to weaving personal stories into romance. The conference will also feature a keynote address by New Zealand gothic romance author Steffanie Holmes, as well as the presentation of the Romantic Book of the Year (Ruby) Awards during the Saturday night gala dinner.
And that my friends, was news with Sharn.
Onto the actual episode:
Andy are you going to tell us what Social Media is?
No. It's 2023 and if you dont know that's on you. So assuming everyone does know about social media lets kick this off with one of the biggest and oldest platforms in town
Facebook is a social networking platform that allows people to create personal profiles, connect with friends and family, share content such as photos and videos, and join or create interest-based groups. It was founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and has since grown to become one of the largest social media networks in the world, with over 2.9 billion monthly active users as of 2021. Facebook also owns several other popular social media platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp which we will discuss in little later. While it has been praised for its ability to connect people across the globe, it has also faced criticism for privacy concerns, the spread of misinformation, and its impact on mental health.
What are some of the benefits of facebook for Authors:
One of the benefits of facebook that we have come across as new authors are facebook groups.
A Facebook group is a virtual community within the Facebook platform that allows users to join, create, or participate in discussions around a specific topic, in our case its Writing/Authoring. Groups can be public or private, and are usually moderated by administrators who can control membership and set rules for participation. Most groups we are in make you read their rules then quiz you on them before you get access to the group. Once in the group Members can post messages, share photos and videos, create polls, and interact with one another by commenting or reacting to posts.
Both of us are currently in 20Booksto50K which is a private group of around 70.5K members discussing the business of being a self published author. The group is big enough that it has its own conferences around the world run by Craig Martelle, a very successful self published author.
Ads and Marketing:
Facebook has a massive back end when it comes to creating ads and marketing campaigns within the app. We (Sharn) have personally run several ads on Facebook already and it is certainly the OG when it comes to author advertising online. Although traffic does seem to be moving away from FB and the back end system seems to be making it harder to get your stuff out there compared to several years ago
Because Facebook is so big and has a good back end it is easy to find EXACTLY what you are after. That being said it still seems to be very focused on the individual as opposed to business.
Instagram is a social media platform that allows users to share photos and videos, and connect with others through visual storytelling. It was launched in 2010 and quickly gained popularity for its emphasis on visual content and creative expression. Instagram allows users to follow others and see their posts on a feed, as well as like and comment on posts. Users can also share Instagram Stories, which people can now like. In addition, Instagram offers various features, such as filters and editing tools, to enhance the visual quality of posts. It has become a popular platform for businesses and influencers to reach and engage with their audiences, with over one billion active users as of 2021. However, like other social media platforms, Instagram has faced criticism for issues such as cyberbullying and the negative effects on mental health. Just recently Instagram has added a feature where you can turn off seeing how many likes a post has and whether or not people can comment.
The way Instagram determines which posts to suggest is not far off from the Explore page algorithm. The platform uses posts you’ve interacted with, your history of interacting with an account or similar accounts, and the popularity of a post to determine whether or not to suggest it.
YouTube is a video-sharing platform that allows users to upload, view, and share videos. It was founded in 2005 and has since become one of the largest online video platforms in the world, with over two billion monthly active users. YouTube hosts a wide variety of content, ranging from music videos and movie trailers to educational content and user-generated videos. Users can subscribe to channels, create playlists, like and comment on videos, and interact with creators through live streams and community features. In addition, YouTube offers a monetization program for creators who meet certain requirements, allowing them to earn revenue from their content. While YouTube has been praised for its democratization of content creation and the ability to provide educational resources to users, it has also faced criticism for issues such as misinformation and the spread of harmful content. As have all of them let's be honest.
The YouTube algorithm in 2023 delivers distinct recommendations to each user. These recommendations are tailored to users' interests and watch history and weighted based on factors like the videos' performance and quality.
Quick chat on monetization before we give our thoughts on it:
Content creators receive approximately 55% of the revenue generated on their channels, which means that for every $100 an advertiser spends, Google pays $55 to the creator. On average, a YouTuber earns around $0.018 for each view, which amounts to $18 for every 1,000 views. (March 23). So potentially Mr Beast earnt $7,452,000 for his Squid games in real life video.
TikTok is a social media platform that allows users to create, share, and discover short-form videos. It was launched in 2016 and has since become one of the fastest-growing social media platforms in the world, with over one billion monthly active users as of 2021. TikTok is known for its unique content format, which allows users to create 15- to 60-second videos that can be edited with a variety of effects, filters, and music. Users can follow others, like and comment on videos, and participate in challenges and trends that are popular on the platform. TikTok's algorithm uses machine learning to personalize content for users based on their interests and behavior, making it a popular platform for entertainment, creativity, and self-expression. However, TikTok has also faced criticism for concerns such as privacy, cyberbullying, and the spread of misinformation.
How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work in 2023?: There are multiple factors that influence how TikTok's algorithm serves content to users. The main contributors being: user activity, video subject matter, location and language, audio, and “Not Interested” feedback. You can actually find out why you were recommended a video within the app. with no two FYP’s being the same.
Twitter is a social media platform that allows users to share short messages, called "tweets," with their followers. It was launched in 2006 and has since become a popular platform for real-time news, updates, and conversations. Twitter allows users to follow others and see their tweets on a timeline, as well as like, retweet, and reply to tweets. Tweets can include text, images, videos, and links to external content. Twitter has become a popular platform for businesses, politicians, celebrities, and individuals to connect with their audiences and share their perspectives. However, Twitter has also faced criticism for issues such as harassment, the spread of misinformation, and its impact on mental health.
Recently Twitter has started charging for blue ticks and now prioritises tweets from verified users
Other Sites that we haven't yet used as authors
The current trends that i am seeing across the serious players are:
1 Long form piece of content:
Usually video of course, presentation, podcast, YT Video etc
But it can also be an essay or long newsletter even a chapter of a book
Cut the above into short form:
15-60 sec clips for Tik Tok, Instagram, YT Shorts, Twitter and FB
If its it written form then excerpts for FB, Twitter, Newsletter even Instagram if it can be a quote.
Make sure you have different short form content across the different platforms
The platforms themselves are trying to stop this but don't post the same 30sec clip in a Tik Tok, YT Short, and Instagram reel.
You are a bit more free with written text so I would recommend changing the picture if you have one attached to your text.
So what advice do we have for authors just starting out like we were 12 months ago?
Decide what you are going to be using social media for: Sales, marketing, building a community, meeting fellow authors etc.
Shop around in your own time and see what you like and what would suit you well. Some people hate the idea of filming themselves but love photos, some love words but long from instead of short etc
Pick one that suits you the best and go deep before worrying about the other platforms.
Consider everything you do on this account as part of your brand. I don't follow certain things on my author socials that I follow on my personal accounts. But there can be crossovers.
Stick to a routine and be consistent, but don't burn yourself out. Its a marathon not a sprint.
Final wrap up
Social media is an essential tool for authors to build and strengthen their author platform. It enables writers to connect with readers, generate interest in their work, and establish a presence in the writing and publishing world. By maintaining an active social media presence, authors can increase their exposure, build a loyal fan base, and support their writing career.
As always, we have a lot to do and a lot more to learn. Hope you all have fun following along as we improve our understanding and knowledge!
You can find this podcast episode (and all our other episodes) here: https://anchor.fm/invokecreations , or directly on your favourite streaming services.
NOTE: Everything discussed during the podcast is simply our own interpretation of information we come across as we research topics, or is commentary based on our own personal experiences. We highly encourage everyone to conduct their own research into topics of interest as information, especially in the technical space, changes regularly.
Music track featured this week was titled Poppies and can be viewed/listened to here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHas3arUV4s
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As always, we’re off to put our bums on seats and do some work, so until next time stay dangerous!