Social media trends come and go before you can make heads or tails of anything. Just when you’ve figured out one thing, they’ve come up with something new. It becomes quite overwhelming and trying to get a rein on it all seems like an uphill battle.
For a while, it seemed as if infographics were all the rage. An infographics is a visual chart or series of images that convey the message that you want to send. (The image at right is an example of an infographic, from the National Ocean Service for Earth Day.)
Infographics were originally intended for marketers and other fancy businesspeople, but the concept started to trickle down to writers of certain kinds of material. I decided to try it out in my nonfiction writing. I created a how-to infographic, but despite how much effort I put into it, no one showed any interest. Ultimately, it seems that infographics gave gone the way of cronuts: still sought out, but no one’s standing 3 hours in line for them anymore.
To give you an idea of what social media trends have been in recent years, the chart below shows the social media trends of 2015. (Notice that it also happens to be an infographic.)
My thoughts about this now are about whether fiction writers can utilize social media trends. Or whether we should.
On the question of can we: The thing about marketing books is that you have plan what you’re going to do several months ahead, so is it enough lead time to jump on trend? Or, by the time your book is published, will that trend already be on the way out? I think it depends.
On the question of should we: Following trends is a lot of work. Just keeping up with them all is mind boggling. But actually doing them can be time consuming as well. The infographics I mentioned is the perfect example. Creating an infographic takes time and energy, and a certain amount of computer savvy. It’s not complicated, but you have to know how to use certain programs (such as PowerPoint or Microsoft Publisher) and manipulate them. In the end, is all that work worth it for the result it yields? Again, I think it depends on the trend and the product.
So I’m putting the question out to you all:
Have you taken advantage of social media trends? What were they and what were the results? And would you continue following/utilizing trends to promote your books?
To give you an idea of what’s happening for this year, here are some links:
And if you don’t feel like reading too much, here’s one more infographic, from Businss2community.com (what do you think of them, then?)