Social Media sucks, and Authors, Readers and reviewers need to work together to make the most out of the new ecosystem.
Some of you might think this is going to be one of my legendary ranting posts; it’s been a long time since I have delivered one. Sadly, this is not the case here. This article is a rallying call for all of us, whether we are an author, readers, or reviewers, to start working together to lift all of us up on the now rather pointless and useless hellscape of all social media.
Ever since that spoiled self-important prat in human skin, Musk took over Twitter, which was the last good place where authors and reviewers could easily get traction without having to sell their souls to the promoted post shitstorm on Facebook, or the (and I’m sorry for those of you who love Tic Tok) I hate it, I will not become a performing halfwit to use it. I’m an old man who hates appearing on the screen. Instagram is a place that I just don’t understand; this whole business of shadow banning from the Master of the Hashtags is you use them incorrectly, and not being able to link to articles, reviews, and features directly makes Instagram not the place for me. So that leaves folks like me, and there are a lot of people like me with Twitter or the multiple Twitter clones that are out there.
Twitter has become a nightmare scape of feeds that don’t show those that we follow over random adverts, unconnected accounts and the Blue Tick right-wing nutjobs. However, for most of you, like myself, Twitter is the place where we have the biggest number of followers, and it is the place where we are still the most comfortable using it. And despite it getting worse with every update from the idiot in charge, I will stay there until it sinks completely up his arse.
The alternatives are great; Bluesky is a place that seems so much more pleasant, Threads is OK, but I am not sure if any of you are using Mastodon or Hive. And there lies another problem: we have become dispersed over social media. We don’t all follow the same people across all of the platforms, and most of us don’t check these other places as regularly as we do on Twitter. And these new platforms are still in their infancy and don’t have the same reach as our once-beloved Twitter. Ginger Nuts of Horror is lucky in that the majority of the visits that the site receives are from Google and Google searches. Our viewing figures have dropped, ever since the old site was hacked; we used to rank number 1 or in the top three for every generic horror search, things like “horror movie reviews” Horror Book reviews, and Horror Promotion Websites. It was heartbreaking to see all of that work on SEO being kicked out from underneath me. We are slowly rising back up, but on average, we only rank on the first page rather than right up at the top. We went from over 250,000 hits a month to a still very respectful 70,000 hits a month. And of that figure 69% is from Google rather than social media.
So what can we do to combat this? The relationship between readers, authors and reviewers is one that is intrinsically intertwined, especially the author/reviewer one. We are all in the same boat; none of us have much money, so doing things like paying for promoted posts is not a viable option for most of us. Even for me, there is this great plugin for the website that will fully analyse all of our posts and tell us how to fully maximise the SEO part of the site. It would be a huge boost for the site and, in turn, a huge boost for anyone who appears on the site, as our SEO ranking has an effect on your SEO ranking. But at £120 a year, I can’t afford it. I could go for a monthly fee, but they only offer a 12-month full payment option. So you see, we are all in the same boat. Money is tight, as is time. However, we can all work together we can help everyone. And it doesn’t have to cost a thing other than a few minutes each day.
I get it; not everyone likes everyone; there are presses that I am not as huge fan of, there is one press that I won’t name that a lot of you like, but I know the owner of the press physically attacked a friend of mine. I won’t name them because it is not my place to call them out for this. The person who was attacked doesn’t want any drama. That’s an extreme case, but we all have favourite presses, and we all have “issues” with others. BUT, if we put aside these misgivings, so long as the press isn’t a real nasty piece of work, we need to put aside our minor quibbles and start helping each other out.
So, how do we help each other out?
like, share, retweet comment on all social media platforms
This is the simplest way. It takes no time, and if we all did it, we all get more eyes on the prize. Readers reviewers authors this is were we really need to work together. I always ask that folk tag me in review posts and book announcements from authors and publishers, and I’ll share away like a sharing fairy. This nonsense about having a feed full of retweets being damaging is a load of bollocks.
Authors, link to reviews, interviews etc., on the website that hosts it.
Links to review sites on other sites help to boost our SEO ranking, which in turn lifts you up.
Comment on the reviews on the website.
It’s not as relevant as it once was, but again, this does help with SEO
When you are on the Website, click their social media share buttons.
This is a massive thing for us reviewers; it helps with SEO immensely, and it also helps us when requesting ARCs etc. to show publishers and publicists that we have a valid and thriving audience. It also gives us a wee boost seeing a post taking off. It can get a bit lonely and disheartening, when we see share counts stall.
Buy the author’s books, it’s a basic one, but especially if it is a pre-release review, click the pre-order button. Preorders are hugely important to authors.
If you have any spare cash, please consider supporting authors and reviewers through any revenue-creating platform.
I always joke that if every one of my Twitter followers donated just $1.50 a YEAR I could quit my job and focus completely on promoting horror. And who would miss $1.50 a year?
But joking aside, any donations are greatly received by all of us. Running this site over the 15 years has cost me thousands, and yes it is my choice, and I don’t really mind but any help would be amazing. On that note, my Ko-Fi page is here if anyone reading this fancies dropping a few $’s my way
And finally, be nice to each other; there are some arseholes out there but the vast majority are good folks, and most of the time a lot of falling outs are down to miscommunication. Don’t get me wrong, I used to be like a dog with a bone ready to bark at anyone. But over the years, I have mellowed and sought out to prefix as many broken bridges as I can.
Egos and pride are toxic, and we should all put them aside and work together to make the horror community better. stronger and more friendly place, and while we are at it we might just help to sell some books, isn’t that why all of us here?