Launched by Sonja of A Bookshelf Full Of Sunshine, continued by FiktiveWelten with a new logo. The blog action is for lively communication between bloggers, a good network, and should be fun. Duration of the question: Friday to Thursday. Rules. No registration required. This week the FF´s question is: How do you feel about social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Co.)?  What an interesting question this time. To be honest, I am not sure whether to laugh or cry about social media at the moment.

Yes, my blog is present at all the above-named places, except Youtube (and I am not gonna start on that one!). But the fun it was in the beginning, has become something I don´t really have a name for it. I am not saying that it is not good to be present all over social media. It is still the fastest way to get your word, pictures, likes, and dislikes out there. And if you can call a huge number of followers “your own” then you are very interesting for every marketing and the press-related person you are talking to. Seriously, the more you have the better.

Because followers seem to mean the world to them.

Don´t get me wrong. I don´t mean that in an ironic way though it sounds very sarcastically as well. It is a fact that the more you can reach with your blog, social media, or channel, the more it is likely that others will get it (the product) as well. And if you are one of those bloggers who have a great reputation and use a decent and wonderful to read style for your reviews, then you might be part of the reason why others bought a book after they´ve read your review about it.

Let´s face it. Publishers are business people. Besides their passion for books, they want to make money with it (no matter what format) and they love it when they get as much space through bloggers who place their reviews all over social media without spending a dime. Especially when you received an ARC or RC by them.

Yes, I get it that the business side of the book industry is important and that every commercial a publisher can get for his product is as important as the money it costs - to place a commercial add - and brings when the book gets bought by us, the readers. Our review is, soberly considered, a cheap commercial for them. Cheap meaning, they either only spent the price of the book if you received an RC or cheap meaning without spending any money because the reader bought the book himself.

Over the past ten years – give or take -, I´d say the publishers have started to realize how important book bloggers can be and are. You could literally watch over that time of period how they started to open their own blogger portals and offered you to become a part of it. Back then it wasn´t a question of how many followers you were having already on social media and most of them said loud and clear that they were accepting new and small blogs as well because everyone started once small. Social media was important yes, but not as much as nowadays. Good, the most important requirement was and still is that you run your own book blog or Youtube channel of course – otherwise it wouldn´t make any sense to ask a publisher for a book.

But time is changing and that very quickly if not to say at a tearing pace. And since most of the publishers started to realize that some bloggers aren´t as good as others and that the younger ones of us are more active on social media it became more and more important to have a certain number of followers or that your posts have to get a certain quantity of likes.
And with the fact in mind, how fast everything is changing, developing, and swirling around the planet, it seems even more important to be out there and present with your blog, channel, or wherever you think your blog needs to be. At least when you are thinking about asking publishers for an ARC or RC.

And considering the fact, that anybody can have from everywhere access to his social media accounts via cell phone and can take pictures from no matter where and edit them via an app on the same item – all that has increased the possibilities we have to blog about the books we´ve read and to spread our excitement or negative opinion into the world of other book lovers or any normal human being.

But with all those required numbers in mind, I am asking myself where this will lead us. Some blogs need more time to grow their followers than others. Some bloggers seem to get them within no time while others have some difficulties to get at least a handful during the same period of time. Some of us bloggers aren´t present at Google+ or refuse to have a separate Facebook account for their blog or don´t post their opinion on Amazon for various reasons. Others aren´t on Twitter or Instagram and some of us only run just their blog. Not everyone is registered on Goodreads or Lovelybooks or Lesejury. So, what about them?

And when I take my own observations into account that I´ve made over the past few years - then I am seeing a development that I don´t really like. Because it seems that blog posts get the most attention over Facebook – the platform I dislike the most and would rather shut down and strike out of my life instead of having to plan more and more time into my daily life for it to get all my reviews scheduled there. Since FB has started to change how it works again and again and keeps continuing that, it isn´t as easy to gain followers and likes there as it has in the past.  

As a blogger, you are really asked to think about how and where you want to be present with your blog. It doesn´t make any sense to run a social media account only with half the passion you invent for your blog and the books you are reading only to be present in social media at all. At least that is my opinion after I started struggling with all the accounts I have for my blog.

My essence: If you can´t take care of your presence whether it be on FB, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or Snapchat, etc. in a proper way, you can stop it right there and now. I took some of my social signs off, of my blog homepage because I am thinking about where I really want to be present. To do it right is time-consuming and if you don´t watch out, your fun and reason why you do it all and started being a part of it in the first place vanish very quickly.

If you don´t want to invest the time to find your own style for Instagram or you can´t take the time to take pictures for it on a regular basis, then this might not be the perfect way for you to be with your blog. This way of thinking counts for every social media platform. On the other hand, some publishers want you to be exactly there on social media. And it happens more and more that some commercial actions are only happening over a certain social media.

And if you don´t have the right equipment, like a cell phone from where you get easy and fast access to all your social media places, then you´re kind of screwed and everything takes a lot of your time to get done. And not every blogger can afford to pay for all those resources like Buffer or you name them, to spread your posts automatically out into the open. Sure, most of those platforms provide a package that is free to use, but with limitations in its possibilities and when it comes to statistics you find yourself in a black space when you use the free version of those offered tools.

You see, there is a ton of things that need to be considered. On the other hand, you must be out there on social media somewhere. But find a place that is convenient for you. Where you have fun to do it, where you find the time to be engaged not only by posting your review but also by responding to others. And fine, I admit it, I am not very active on most of my social media accounts right now. But that is because I thought that it would be enough to only post there about the books I read and which excite me. But it turns out, after thinking about this week´s FF question, that I might need to do a bit more or take some accounts definitely down.

So, yes, looking back and remembering how the book scene was about ten, fifteen, or even twenty years ago and how the same scene looks now – shows a huge difference. Sure, change is good and very often needed (nothing needs to be carved in stone forever when it comes to rules), but when I look at the numbers some publishers require a blogger to have today if they want to register as an active blogger; my enthusiasm dwindles. Most publishers don´t accept you if you can´t provide at least 1k followers no matter if it is on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook (the Golden Gate for everyone it seems), or any other place. For a new blogger with numbers that aren´t even close to a hundred followers no matter where you look, it seems very hard to get noticed at all.

And of course, we bloggers have become a huge part of a business where numbers count in most cases the most and if you can´t show or provide them, then you might not get the book you were asking for. As a result, some of the passion that makes you want to blog about books in the first place has to be invested in making your blog, your review noticed and seen by others. You have not only to see the fun side of it and the excitement when you´ve got a great book. You also have to see and consider the more serious side when it comes down to the business of a publisher and his product.

Social media and the blogger community. Not for everyone the right place to be, but needed if you want to be an at least half-decent blogger and gain some followers. Something I probably wouldn´t have chosen in the first place if I would have known what it all contains to do it properly. But I am a part of it now. And it is my choice where I want to be active and spend my time and where not. And that I don´t get many comments on the reviews I am posting, well that is a bit sad, but it seems to be normal for some bloggers. You can´t have everything, can you?!

What are your thoughts and feelings about social media?

Happy blogging


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