Monday, January 31, 2022

Why I Believe Social Media is Still Valuable for Writers

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

There has been a lot of discussion—ironically taking place ON social media—about whether social media is still a valuable endeavor for writers. 

First, I want to emphasize that each person’s writing journey is unique. Because of that, we’re each going to gather different tools, and find the ones that work best for us. 

But I do believe social media can be a valuable tool for most writers

Here are my 2 bottom-line reasons for doing social media

1. Personally, I believe social media is an extension of the writing ministry God has given. My primary reason for being on social media is to serve others and to build connections. Using social media to primarily sell books rarely works. But the connections I’ve made have led to people who have been instrumental in selling books.
2. I believe God has called me to be a light in the dark. So the darker social media gets the stronger my call to stay there.

Social Media Benefits for Me
  • I get a chance to serve and encourage my audience. I can post updates that private de valuable information and encouragement without asking for something in return. This builds trust and lays the groundwork that encourages them to search for me in other places (like a bookstore).
  • It gives me a place to connect with others who have similar interests. These connections often lead to sharing my books or the books of other authors
  • I have opportunities to interact with other writers. These interactions include: 
    • encouragement from others and toward others; 
    • valuable leads on opportunities for writers; 
    • opportunities to share and receive information about some aspect of writing and publishing
  • It's a place to connect with industry professionals such as agents, editors, and other industry leaders.
  • It gives me opportunities to share the message(s) of my heart. I can do this through invitations to post on blogs, become a guest on podcasts, and in many other ways.
What social media does not do for me

Social media doesn't sell my books consistently. There isn’t (nor has there ever been, as far as I can tell) a direct connection between advertising a book on social media and selling a book. It’s not possible to quantify the percentages of books sold based on who sees a social media update. 

Why doesn’t social media work for sales?
  • Most people are on social media to be social. Sometimes they are looking for information, but in general, they’re just at hanging out
  • An invitation to buy something is seen as an interruption. I don’t know about you, but I get irritated by the paid advertising slipped into my browsing pleasure. 
  • The algorithms for most networks make it difficult to get visibility when someone selling something. Social media networks want to please their users and deliver the experiences they enjoy. Since most people are irritated by advertising, these networks try to limit anything that could be seen as a negative experience.
Bottom Line
If a writer is on social media solely to sell books, then it’s going to be difficult to find value in being there. 

However, if you’re looking to make connections and increase your ability to serve your audience—as well as the other benefits mentioned above—I believe you will also find value in staying active on social media.

Last Tips
I think it’s important to find a way to interact on social media without spending a lot of valuable writing time on it. My recommendation is 30 minutes a day on social media.

It’s also vital that we’re focused on building our email lists. Email lists DO sell books. Making valuable connections can facilitate growing these lists.

Now it’s your turn. Share your thoughts on social media. It's fine if you disagree with me. I'm not trying to convince anyone of my way of thinking. I want us to each evaluate the options and come to the best decision. 

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives. Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  1. I agree with all of the above. Social media is a good networking tool as well as a fun way to stay in touch with personal friends and people in the publishing world. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Crystal, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

  2. This post is incredibly timely given the question I recently asked about social media and selling books. Thank you for sharing. I am excited to pass this post on to others.

    1. I’m glad it was helpful! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Good information again, and I'm still learning how to use social media in the ways you demonstrate in your post today. Thanks again to you.

    1. Diane, I appreciate your encouragement! Blessings, E

  4. Excellent points that I agree with 100%! I especially love your comment: "I believe God has called me to be a light in the dark. So the darker social media gets the stronger my call to stay there."

    1. Edwina, we each have to follow what we feel is best. Thanks for the support and sharing your thoughts!