Saturday, March 30, 2024

Is social media a wise investment for Writers?

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

The short answer? 

It depends on our reason for being online.

Social media. Often just the mention of this subject conjures up hours of time. First there’s the time it takes to hang out online, then the time it takes to figure out what to say, who to LIKE and which updates to read, comment on, and share.

Is there a chance that someone out there in cyberspace might actually—either now or sometime in the future—read what I’ve written and been impacted by it?

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

The truth is this: 
Social media is hard work. It takes being intentional and keeping your goals in mind.

And those goals are what can get us in trouble. 

I think most people approach social media with the wrong goal in mind and that leads to frustration.

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.

My 2 Bottom-line Reasons for Continuing to Participate in 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. 

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 provide 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 bookstores).
  • It gives me a place to connect with others who have similar interests. 
  • I have opportunities to interact with other writers. These interactions include: 
    • encouragement from others and toward others 
    • valuable leads on opportunities
    • opportunities to share and receive information about some aspect of writing
  • 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 or support my ministry financially. There isn’t (nor has there ever been, as far as I can tell) a direct connection between advertising a product or service on social media and selling it. It’s not possible to quantify the percentages sales 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, 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.


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 on Instagram.

1 comment:

  1. Good information (and encouragement), Edie. Have a blessed Easter!