I see authors threatening to quit social media almost every day, but to be honest, that’s just silly.
If you truly hate it, then I approve of your ‘leaving it,’ but if the problem is that you’re wasting too much time on social media, there are solutions.
You probably already know what they are. You just don’t like them. So, you’re going with the nuclear option.
If you truly hate it, then you still shouldn’t totally quit, but you can make it so you might as well have, but with a few critical distinctions.
Stop! Authors need to be found
Yes, you need to be found
…and if someone looks for you where they assume you’ll be and you’re not there, they might give up.
So, be found.
Everywhere, even if you’re not really there.
Ironically, even though you want to quit, you should be on every single social media platform that exists.
I’m only half kidding.
You don’t have to use it, but you have to reserve your name so no one else does. You have to be able to be found. Because you want to sell books, right?
Instead of quitting…
…just stop using it.
- Who says you have to even log in? That’s on you. Show a little backbone, will ya?
- If you keep getting notifications, turn them off. Email notifications, too.
- Don’t delete your account. That’s a visceral reaction, and it’s not going to serve you well in your author career.
- What if you change your mind? What if your author name is gone when you try to recreate your old account? Do you want to have to start over just because? You should spend that time writing.
- What if you want to run ads? You might not want to now, but you probably will one day. It’s better to have an old, seasoned account than starting a new one. Scammers and spammers create new accounts. Don’t look like them.
So, want to quit a social media platform?
Just stop using it.
Before you stop, here are some things to do
Delete any incriminating data.
You don’t need some old tweet from when you were a jerk coming back to haunt you. Delete it. Leave only the good stuff that makes people see you’re a cool author.
Set yourself up so people who find you know where to go next.
Author Chris Syme calls it a social media outpost. When someone finds it, and they will, the outpost tells them where to go to really find you.
Make a nice post that tells people where you are actually active.
It could point to a post on your website, where you can sign them up for your email and give them a link to your Instagram profile at the same time.
Don’t insult the social media platform.
The people who found you there, like it there. Insult the platform and you insult them. They found you there because that’s where they like to hang out.
Pin the post
Most platforms have a way to pin a post or announcement to the top of your page or profile. If not, clear out the rest, post your own outpost message, then turn off posting by others to your page. This is the best bet if you’re leaving Facebook. Your Groups and Pages have pinned posts, but your personal timeline does not. Post your message, then turn off posting by others.
Click the links to make sure they work. Seriously, the links better work. The posts should look good. They should be nice. They should be clear.
Ok, now you can log out
Or just close your browser. No need to be dramatic.
The last thing
Don’t tell everyone you’re leaving. Just leave.
After all, one day, you might be back.
PS. Remember, you don’t have to be active on all the social media channels, but you should keep an account on the big ones, and pin a post that tells readers how to get in touch.
And then get them on your email list.