Look out, Internet: I’m trying something new with social media! Clicks! Engagement! Brand identity!
Eugh … Sorry about that.
Anyway, the main change you will see is the introduction of my Tumblr into the regular rotation. I’ve had a Tumblr for a few years, but I’ve never really figured out what to do with it. Is it a blog? Is it another Twitter? I’m still not entirely sure I get what it’s for, but I do know people love it. More to the point, I think I’ve finally figured out how I will use it.
Here’s the complete breakdown of the new Matt Perkins Social Media Universe™:
Twitter is where I am most active, by far. If you want to see what I’m doing/thinking/drinking at any given moment, that’s gonna be on Twitter. I’ve long believed it is the best social network for writers — the community is strong, and there are plenty of fun, smart, interesting people active on there. It’s perfect for disseminating short thoughts and having conversations with literally anyone. I’ve met some great authors and been exposed to wonderful books I would have never otherwise known about.
I’ve done pretty well for myself on Twitter, as evidenced by these gems:
Some readers tell me they got hooked on Winterwakers by the third chapter. For others, the wizard orgy in chapter 12 was the turning point.
— Matt Perkins (@mrperki) December 8, 2015
I self-identify as a cyborg. I have two gold teeth.
— Matt Perkins (@mrperki) November 30, 2015
1995: "How do we make a website?" 2005: "How can we get more people to our site?" 2015: "How can we trick more people into clicking our ad?"
— Matt Perkins (@mrperki) November 24, 2015
As great as Twitter is, it’s not good at everything. Hence …
Tumblr: Twitter forces me to be extremely brief, which is usually an advantage, but sometimes not. This blog allows me to ramble on as long as I wish, but it’s cumbersome for medium-sized things. Besides, it’s not a true social platform.
This is where Tumblr comes in. It will fill in the middle ground between my Twitter feed and my blog. It has Twitter-like rapid-fire responses and share-able social goodness, but its content looks and behaves a bit more like a ‘real’ blog. Back when I didn’t know what Tumblr was for, I actually used it as my main blog, only to learn it’s not really the best place for long-form writing. The best use of Tumblr seems to be as a way to share stuff: images, videos, conversations, snippets from bigger pieces, and messages that are a bit too long for a tweet. I’m thinking you’ll soon see things like snippets of my universe-building notes from Winterwakers on there. Or mayyyybe you’ll see a look into the book I’m working on right now.
My Tumblr will feed into both Twitter and Facebook, so you don’t even need a Tumblr account to see what I’m posting there. But if you do have a Tumblr, I’d appreciate the follow.
You can also use Tumblr to ask me anything. That’s pretty cool.
What about Facebook? The main thing you’ll notice on Facebook is that things from my Tumblr will start appearing on my author page. Aside from that, not much will change there.
Here’s the thing: Facebook is … not my favorite. I’ve barely touched my personal page in three years, and I find the author page isn’t doing much for me at all. I have a stronger following on Twitter, which leads me to spend more time there, which leads to an even stronger following, and so on.
I also have a big problem with how Facebook handles pages, especially for small-time creative professionals like me. The quick summary: Facebook doesn’t show my posts to everyone who likes my page unless I pay them to. ‘That’s only fair,’ you might say. ‘Ads cost money.’ This isn’t an ad. This is Facebook asking me for money to talk to you, my fans: the people who liked my page. Why should I pay to send a message to people who have already decided they like me? Granted, not everything I post is a must-read (see the tweets above) but this policy means you might miss out on truly important stuff, like book launches, signings, freebies, and big career news. Dave Kellett summed this up perfectly on his Sheldon comic.
In any case, it’s clear that Facebook and I don’t get along. The best social media advice I ever got was ‘don’t force it if you’re not feeling comfortable,’ (pretty solid general life advice, really) and in that spirit, I’m not going to force myself to post there on the off chance it becomes worthwhile.
You are more than welcome to like my Facebook page if that’s your thing. And I do pop in every few days to see if anyone has a message or comment for me. Just don’t expect the same level of interaction I provide on Twitter (or Tumblr, even).
Last, but not least … Sure, email isn’t as flashy as social networking, but when it comes to finding out about my book-related news, there’s nothing better. I have an email list, and I strongly encourage you to sign up for it, even if you follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook — especially Facebook, because of the reasons above. I only email if I have something important to say. I won’t waste your time with rambling nonsense, or pollute your inbox with endless promo. And if you ever get sick of me, you can unsubscribe at any time.
I’m curious what you think of all this stuff, so please leave a comment here, or on the social network you prefer.