Longread, nonfiction, update, writing tips

Lessons from the whole Twitter Thing…

So, Twitter is having a rough time as a platform right now, and lots of people are leaving following Elon Musk’s takeover. I’m still there at the moment, but diversifying and looking at places to build a platform away from it. It’s my biggest platform out of all my social media presences at the moment and I’d like that to change!

I think this just hammers home the precarity for authors – especially indie ones – when they rely on social media sites to promote their work and build a base and just generally express themselves. It’s probably a good idea to have multiple places to be, and a static landing page to use as a jumping off point for all your stuff.

In this post, I talk about my own social media and the platforms I’ve chosen to focus on for various reasons. Click on the headings below to jump to the relevant section of the post.


I’m thinking about how to manage all these platforms in ways that work with my ADHD, especially my time-blindness. (Time-blindness affects me in the following ways: I don’t know how long it’s been since I opened an app, or posted something, and I can’t keep up with posting schedules because I have memory issues and I can’t form habits. Once I stop doing something, the “habit” is broken, and I’ll never get it back. This is true for cleaning my teeth: every day is a conscious effort to remember. Imagine how it is with something that’s lower down on my priority scale.)

So I’m thinking about cross-posting and what I’m using these platforms for, and how to work smarter not harder.

First, I’ve got Canva Pro, which I love for making graphics and Insta Reel/TikTok video ads of my books. You can record direct to Canva (audio and video), and use their video clips, audio and images, add transitions and text, and download the video as a complete mp4 file for posting anywhere you like.

Canva Pro also has an automated scheduler, and can link to your social media accounts, when you link them up to it via the Share button on the top right of the screen. It posts immediately or on a day/time of your choice. You can also add captions and tags to your post like you can with any other scheduling app.


I’m starting to create and upload my own pins on Pinterest to the “My fiction” board as an experiment. It’s not going well (good to know!) So I need to figure out where I’m going wrong and try again!

I’ve always used Pinterest as a personal account to pin my own ideas, not create pins for others to share/pin to their boards. I’m now cross-posting my book ads from Instagram and TikTok to Pinterest, hoping that users who pin ideas for their reading lists will see them and share them. I’m not sure how this works, or the best ways to use Pinterest for this.

This is the app with the majority of users and I’m not using it to it’s maximum effect in marketing. I’ve got a Business Account, but I have just been using it more like a “personal” account, and not really marketing my stuff this way. I want to learn to use this better, automating posting schedules so that my audience (majority for me is UK based on my stats for the Instagram ads I ran as experiments) get to see my stuff, but I also have a small fan base in Australia and I’m selling a lot in Europe and North America (USA and Canada) as well. So I need to sit down and work out the times to post things when my demographic is online. Unfortunately, my “demographic” = Lovecraft fans, BBC Ghosts fans, WWDITS fans, Weird Fiction readers, Gothic Horror readers, so that’s not so helpful with age and gender markers that marketing tips keep asking me about re: ad targeting.

I think my main audience is currently between 21-45, so I need to work out how to use this to work out the SEO stuff?? Also my engagement stats are skewed more to women than other genders, but additionally a lot of word-of-mouth sales have been in the LGBTQ+ community especially with asexual horror fans. (Thanks, Ricky).

For the deadly serious, there are paid-for courses online you can take to learn about this. Otherwise, there’s an article by Karin Olafson on Hootsuite which is pretty good basics and very helpful, Kevan Lee’s article on Buffer about what they tried and what worked, and there are lots of YouTube videos about this too.

I will create pins for blog posts I’ve made, and see how that boosts traffic to the WordPress site, and also post the book ads and see if I can make these pins better. You can already see that some of these pins I’ve posted are not the 2:3 ratio for mobile, and that means these pins aren’t going to be very good on the mobile app. They’ll be too small or be weirdly cropped, so I might just delete these and try again.

If the ratio is fine and they look ok, I’ll be editing the descriptions and titles of the pins and the boards I’ve made to include better keywords and 3-5 relevant hashtags, so that they start to show up in more searches.

In Canva Pro, you can resize your graphics, so that you can see how it will look! I’m going to use Pinterest templates in Canva Pro.


You can find me on Instagram, where I’m building up a bigger following. It’s my second largest platform after Twitter and I’ve been slowly building it for a while now, but I’ve stalled on follower count! My engagement has also completely tanked and I’m not sure why. Well – I do know why. This is happening to lots of people not just me! Instagram is now at the monetisation/profit-focused stage and no longer handing out exposure to all users but rather it’s favouring specific things and a select number of users who are proven to be successful at these things… so original content is king, and you need to keep the audience’s attention for longer, so that Instagram can show them more ads. People who stop and watch can turn into customers.

So I need to up my game with content!

I’m cross-posting TikToks to Reels and Instagram doesn’t seem to like that. It likes original reel content posted regularly. I’m not doing that. I’m also using a lot of tags, but I’m not attracting likes and comments that would boost the post (thanks, Insta algorithm).

Find me here: https://www.instagram.com/cm.rosens/

An example of an post that Instagram doesn’t really like: I have 1.3K followers but only 10 likes on this post

Now that Instagram is part of Meta (same as Facebook), the pros are that Insta crossposts to Facebook and I don’t need to use Facebook much any more as my content is basically my Insta stories and WordPress posts. This isn’t helping engagement on Facebook, but I just don’t have the energy. Also, on Facebook, I get better traction in groups, not on the main timeline posts. But being active in Facebook groups is not something I have the mental bandwidth for on top of my everyday life. Also, I just don’t like Groups, and I find it hard to meaningfully engage and click with people in them, especially in groups with very vocal prominent members or ones that are just ad boards. This isn’t a fault of the Groups or the members, it’s just me, and I’m not here to make my own life harder or my anxiety worse, so it’s just something I avoid as Not For Me.

If you really like the energy of the Groups you’re in and have a community built up there, that’s different, and maybe Facebook is a primary place for your marketing. I just can’t juggle all that at the moment and so that’s why for me focusing on platforms I can personally be more passive in terms of talking to people (like Pinterest and Insta etc) is my best bet. I have Twitter to talk to people & shitpost, because that hits the sweet spot for me in terms of firing stuff into the void or just into my Circle, and actively engaging when I want to but in short bursts, not longform comments.

Anyway, I need to re-evaluate how I’m using Instagram and shake this up a bit, so that I can start to build my platform again on there. This will mean I may have to comment more and engage in hashtags more actively for a while, which takes so much energy, but this might help! I need to factor in how much time this takes me and work out a schedule which I can sort of stick to if I have automated reminders.

However, creating content for Insta means I have pins to post, and vice versa. It does mean I can work around the algorithm maybe and use the reels for TikTok if I post at different times? I’ll experiment with this a bit. I’ll also try and post more things in Facebook Groups and my feed, just to see what happens with engagement if I do. That way I can share the same piece of content/ad multiple times across multiple platforms and have a look at my engagement stats to see the impact it’s having.

Hootsuite has an article on Instagram strategies by Michelle Martin. Shopify’s blog also has a Beginner’s Guide to Instagram by Ana Gotter, with an embedded YouTube video.


I’m brand new to TikTok, as that’s apparently the best platform for authors, but I think this is more for certain genres than others that get favoured on BookTok? I haven’t managed to break into HorrorTok yet! Also I don’t write YA or Fantasy or Romance, and these 3 seem to have the biggest share of views. This is all really new to me, and I notice again that my videos where I talk to the camera are the ones that get more traction than my lovely ads made in Canva – EXCEPT for ones that are tagged #Fantasy and use trending sounds.

(My Fantasy aesthetic was for something I’m not even writing, ironically, it’s an embryonic idea I have that I wanted to see if there was an audience for).

I think I can cross-post these videos to Instagram too, but again, as it’s not original content it tanks when I do. So I do need to mix it up and post the same videos on different days or weeks and see how that works. I can also post all my videos as pins on Pinterest and link back to my website or carrd so that my content leads back to my books and that might help me drive sales as well as views?

I need to stick to the 20% promotion rule too – creating 80% of my content for engagement only and 20% as adverts for my books. It’s currently the other way round.

Hootsuite’s blog has an article by Alyssa Hirose on using TikTok in your marketing strategy, as does Kindlepreneur – an article by Jason Hamilton on tips and tricks for authors specifically.

I really need to look into this more, as this is a brand new platform for me. I’m going to check out a few videos like this:


This is where I’ve got my biggest platform, but even that has plateaued now with the algorithm changes and followers leaving due to the latest takeover. I’m going to rethink how I use Twitter – it’s got my Revue newsletter embedded into it, and I hope that I can keep this if I migrate elsewhere.

I also want to think about how I engage with people on that platform and what I actually want that account for. I’m currently using it more personally but also doing book promotion – I think this is where I’m closest to getting the 80/20 rule right.

If I’m going to be taking the ‘social’ out of the equation and not engaging so much on that platform with current affairs and so on, then I’ll need to think more about how to work with the algorithm since it currently nixes links and images and videos. Especially as I’m not planning on paying for Twitter Blue, and that is where video posting is being pushed most. Also, with Elon Musk firing staff and potentially axing a load of server space to save money, Twitter won’t be able to handle all that media anyway.

I’m going to check out a few articles about how to effectively use Twitter for marketing, as I’m not really engaging with the stats and insights as I could be right now.

SproutSocial has an article on Twitter Marketing that looks useful. I really struggle with the interface of TweetDeck and I can’t use that very well, something about it makes my brain go brrrr. Besides, being able to fire off random thoughts as they come to me suits my ADHD really well. I’ll be very sad to leave the platform, and I have no immediate plans to do so, just to change up how I use it for the benefit of my sales.

I can definitely still use it to cross-post stuff and alert people to new content on other sites, and all that kind of stuff, so that everything’s joined up and primarily drives traffic to my website and carrd. Let’s see if it works!

Ultimately, Twitter might not be the best place for me to do this – it’s all about finding your niche.


This brings me finally to the newest social media site I’m trying out: CoHost.org, which has some really sensible community guidelines and seems to be similar to Pillowfort in the way it handles 18+ accounts (I think??) and has a chronological timeline like the Twitter of old. It’s small and growing, so would be a good place to try out and see how I can build a presence there.

Gizmodo has an article on the 5 Best Twitter Alternatives, and CoHost appears on here, but CoHost is NOT Twitter and not meant to be used in a similar way. So I won’t be advertising or marketing on CoHost, I’ll be posting snippets and maybe cross-posting my older WordPress blog posts there to see what sticks and what people want to see there, and if that drives traffic to my other social media platforms, my carrd, this website, and so on. Hopefully this will get me more exposure and I’ll start seeing that translate into sales further down the line.

Again: CoHost is NOT Twitter. It’s a blogging site, but where you can post all kinds of stuff without an algorithm prioritising certain content over others – the timeline is chronological. Harassment is implicitly and explicitly discouraged, it’s very hard to go viral (not impossible, but that’s not really the point of it) and like counts on posts are hidden by design so people can evaluate a post for themselves and not be influenced by how “popular” that post is.

Cohost, on the other hand, has a nicer (for me) interface and you can post longer stuff or shorter stuff, or images etc, and it just pops up in your feed. You can “retweet” (whatever the CoHost equivalent term is) and like and save posts, and comment, and the interface for that reminds me of a cross between Twitter and Facebook before Facebook got overly complicated and unusable for me as well.

Here’s a good article by Alexis Ong for The Verge about CoHost and what you can do with it, and I’m going to look into it more and decide how best to use it. I’m thinking currently to use this in conjunction with my Ko-Fi to post my flash fic that is free for all, and see if I can drive traffic to Ko-Fi for supporter only content this way? I don’t know if this will work, but maybe I’ll get some more interest in my writing that way!

I’m going to start by posting stuff that’s on Ko-Fi at the moment, and see how it goes over.

I don’t think Mastadon is for me, I can’t quite get my head around Tumblr and Pillowfort’s interfaces, I really don’t like them. So I think CoHost is the last (for now) new place I’ll land on, and I’ll focus on these platforms until I find my niche.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s