Uncovering Key Social Media Insights for Writers

A social media presence is helpful to writers who want to sell their books and grow their audience.  The advent and infestation of social media in every crevice of our society puts some people on edge. For others, social media is a no-brainer and as natural as three meals and a cot. How does social media benefit you as a writer?
First, social media platforms increase your marketing reach by exposing your work. You can gain new readers and influence more people to buy your book through using social media.
Let’s look at some recent statistics compiled by the researchers at Hootsuite.
  • Almost 3.2 billion use social media on a regular basis. People are trotting around staring at their mobile devices. Over five billion users access their social media on-the-go.
  • Every second, 11 new people begin using social media. Americans spend about 2 hours per day checking their feeds and posting updates. The average American user employs 3 major social media platforms.
  • 93% of businesses expect to increase their social media advertising spending in 2018. Globally, social media advertising budgets doubled from 2014 to 2016.

    apple-3341245_1920

So what are the most effective social media platforms for authors to consider? Let’s take a gander at five of the most popular social media platforms currently in use.
Instagram:
  • More than 800 million monthly active users.
  • The total number of global Instagram users increased by 1/3 over 2017.
  • Generally, a younger audience with 60% of active users falling in the 18-34 age group.
  • 60% of users engage daily.
  • Users also use Facebook and Pinterest.
  • Over 300 million accounts use Instagram Stories daily.
Facebook:
  • The total number of users has grown to over 2.2 billion users in 2018.
  • .Users over 65 have increased by 20% in the past twelve months.
  • Almost half of U.S. adults get their news from Facebook.
  • Users watch over 100 million hours of video every day.
  • The highest Return on Investment is Facebook, according to 96% of social media experts.
Twitter:
  • Twitter users are loyal.
  • Twitter has more touts more than 330 million active users.
  • Roughly 46% of Twitter users access the platform daily.
  • Every day, users send 500 million tweets.
  • Individuals holding a college degree are more likely to use Twitter.
  • Almost 75% of users get at least a part of their news from Twitter.
YouTube:
  • More than 1.5 billion people use YouTube monthly.
  • “YouTube” is the second-most popular search query worldwide.
  • Roughly 45% of YouTube users access the platform daily.
  • 11% of YouTube’s audience is over 65, making it a prime social media platform to reach seniors.
  • YouTube users watch more than a billion hours of video per day.
Pinterest:
  • Half of all Millenials engage Pinterest every month.
  • 1/3 of Pinterest users live in suburbs.
  • A visual medium, Pinterest provides sources of inspiration and a great way to sell.
  • 55% of Pinterest users shop on the platform.
  • According to research, every $1 dollar spent on Pinterest yields a $4.30 return, and $2 in profit. This gives Pinterest a higher ROI than Facebook.

time-2980690_1920

Each of the platforms have their own unique perks. YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest are the more visual. People still post tons of images on Facebook. You will also find images and videos on LinkedIn and Twitter, but with less frequency. Social media has changed the way we communicate and relate to others. It has revolutionized how we shop, market, advertise, and persuade. Knowing how to use social media to sell books and influence others is a valuable asset for writers.
Happy Writing!
Source(s). Hootsuite (2018). A Long List of Social Media Statistics that You Need to Know in 2018. Hootsuite.com.

Words Tangled Up in God

For me, faith, writing, and recovery are intrinsically connected. These three very different things are intertwined, tangled threads of a beautiful tapestry.

favorite-place-1674986_1920

I wrote my first stories as a young boy. Growing up an only child left me ample time to employ my imagination. Through the years, my writing benefited from excellent teachers and mentors, many of whom I did not realize were influencing my creative prose at the time. In those years, Marshall High had a stable of phenomenal teachers. Most of us, me especially, did not recognize how good they were at teaching us.

Attending Marshall High School, my writing profited from the solid teaching of Mrs. Douglas and Mrs. Muchmore. Although dramatically different in their style and approach, both were adept instructors molding my skills even before I fully recognized writing as my calling. A dear family friend recently remarked that she could see Mrs. Douglas’ DNA on the way I write, particularly in the manner that I craft sentences and in the very deliberate, intentional organization of my story. Mrs. Muchmore served as one of my earliest encouragers, lauding the words I put on paper.

My Great American Novel should already be complete by now. But, it isn’t. Life threw me some unanticipated curve balls. That really irks me because I pride myself on my ability to anticipate. However, life takes detours in between here and now. All is not lost, albeit that it is different. Over the years I have managed to write a batch of stories, poems and even a couple of plays. My publishing success has been limited. I chalk that up to being my own fault.

The past three years, as a member of our local writers group, the Writers Guild of Texas, and through creating content for this blog, I have been able to rekindle my craft. It has not be easy. At times, it has been really rough. Telling a story isn’t simply a matter of putting a bunch of words on paper. Writing is a craft. Writing is a calling.

Like me, my writing has changed. I’m not the same writer that I was a quarter century ago. I’m not the same person. What I cared about writing about then isn’t what I care to write about now. But I still have stories to tell. Getting to know Jesus has affected my writing. For me, writing has very much become a form of worship. It has even become a means of ministry.

pray-2558490_1920

Similar to my journey of faith and recovery, my writing remains a work in progress. Words can change the world. I believe that God uses the stories we tell for the good of His kingdom. At least, I believe He can. I don’t write in a vacuum. God has a plan for my writing. Sometimes, I am fortunate that He lets me in on it. But as is true with ministry most of the time, I simply need to be obedient and remain faithful in this creative calling.

Recovery impacts my storytelling too. The stories I care about clean and sober are not the same that appealed to me when I wrote drunk and high. Thankfully, sobriety has permanently altered my perspective. For me, I write with a greater purpose.

Faith, writing, and recovery. These 3 things remain intricately linked.

workstation-336369_1920

Photos courtesy of Pixabay.