Though I already have the usual brace of social media setups — Twitter, blog, website, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook — they are not functioning well.
Here are the problems:
1. The blog regularly loses its connection to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
2. Though there are numerous design sites providing colors, templates, fonts, and design tips, Word Press only allows a vanilla format. No fancy formatting, clumsy placement of inserted graphics, limited fonts, no colored fonts, and on and on. What are my options?
3. Google Analytics functions differently on my two websites.
4. Any changes to the website have to be carefully annotated and passed along to the website’s gatekeeper, severely limiting flexibility, spontaneity, and immediacy to the text and design on the website.
Here are the things I need to know:
1. How do I make the most of Google Analytics? Of course, I can spend a series of days mining information, watching instructional videos, reading articles and blogs, etc. My time would be better spent elsewhere.
2. How do I handle hashtags? They are not exclusive, I have learned, so claiming one is not of much import — if mine is taken, I can just use that one. Reading Tweets which are mostly hashtags and minimal text seems counter to the purpose for Twitter in the first place — to give a lot of information in a few words. If you have to click on the hashtags or the links, which contain longer posts, in order to get the point, then what is the point of Twitter?
3. Is it worthwhile buying domains so that others don’t pirate my name, my product?
4. What is the best way to maintain security on sites? I never save my password, erasing it after every logon. This takes a little bit of extra time, but seems like a good idea. Is that stupid?
5. What is the best program/app to maintain my email list on?
6. How do I manage a Youtube channel? How do I drive traffic to a Youtube channel?
7. Though I have dozens of “Friends” on Facebook, I get posts from the same few recycled every day. What is the relationship of a Fan Page with a Personal Page on Facebook? I could, of course, spend a few afternoons experimenting, reading up, querying, but my time would be better spent doing something else. I have read a number of articles recently which illustrate how Facebook has deteriorated as a center for distribution of information. I’m disgusted with it, don’t want to stay there, but what else is there? There are buttons to click all over Facebook’s screen. I could spend days reading all the information provided by them. What do I need to know?
8. What other useful, sites should I belong to, and why? Tumblr? Instagram? Pinterest? Something I have never heard of?
While I should be spending my days writing my next book, I am instead slogging through business matters, publicity matters. This is part of being a writer, and I do not resist it, but I do want some degree of efficiency. So little information about social media is definitive — you either have to search it out on web pages with links all over them, or query on the Internet and read multiple posts by people who may or may not know what they are talking about, and whose information may or may not be outdated, or find and read blogs on specific subjects, or just spend an afternoon reading magazines which have articles on specific islands of usefulness on the Web.
I’m not sure what conclusion to draw from the above lists, except that things have become unacceptably complicated. I live for the day when the TV remote is re-invented, and for the day when social media are more user friendly. Even the experts seem to be merely skating along the surface, recommending just the minimum to get my book sold. To be a master of social media would mean being a master of nothing else, and those who are masters of social media are too app-happy to be seriously creating tools for those of us who must use them in our businesses.
Years ago, I complained about certain aspects of the PC and Word, and was told with the utmost confidence that Microsoft was a juggernaut who could not, and would not within our lifetimes, be overthrown or changed. Hah. We are already falling all over ourselves trying to make sense of social media. Someone somewhere, an organizational genius, will simplify our quest for connection, and we will be so much happier.