One of the main reasons people tell me they gravitate to my work is that they find it hopeful, helpful, and uplifting. In this time of much change, I thought I would do something to uplift those who are already following me on the social media site called Goodreads.
Over the past week, this turned into a social media learning that has awakened within me a desire to understand the inner machinations of political posts, Facebook, Instagram, and social media advertising in general. Instagram blocked a sponsored post, and many people have asked me about this.
For the TL;DR, continue reading.
I wrote an eco-fiction novel about fracking, the controversial process of natural gas extraction.
I wrote the novel from differing political points of view.
Because of the timeliness with the current election cycle in the US I thought it would be fun (yes, fun) to run a Goodreads Giveaway of the novel, for people who follow me on that site.
I wrote politically-oriented language about it on the description of the post for Goodreads. Goodreads approved it. By the way, authors now must pay for Goodreads Giveaways. And I did, a little over $100.
I wrote a post about it on Instagram. Because I wanted to cross-post not only to my personal account on Facebook but also my writing page on Facebook, I activated the “business page” option on Instagram to link to my writing page. I don’t usually use that, preferring to keep Instagram more personal.
Because of the “business page” option — I was invited by Instagram to “promote post” and I thought, ok! I will promote post. I will allot $6 for 6 days to boost this post, for a total of $36. I thought of it as a social media experiment.
After a day or so I had not seen any mention of it or interaction with it. This seemed odd since I had in parallel also posted and boosted a link to selling my textile art online and that had received *many, many, many* hearts.
Why so many hearts for textile design and none for a book? This seemed odd.
I looked at the original $6 for 6 post. Guess what? It was not approved! Why? Apparently, I need to declare that I am a political party with a tax and nonprofit structure first. Am I any of that? No! Also note in the image above, I had previously tried to boost a post, shown in the thumbnail at the bottom of the image, but it had also not gone through. I have not investigated that one at all.
I decided to let go of the $6 for 6 and go back to regular posting. I was fine with this decision. Yet people began asking me about a follow up Instagram post which I cross-posted to my personal Facebook page, expressing mild irritation with the process. How to answer all the people who are asking me for context?
I decided the best way would be to write it out. How do I prefer to share a longer piece of informal writing? On Medium.com of course! So here you go.
I drafted the text already shared above. Then I went looking for screenshots on my phone to share with you of the process (including those above, which you will see have a note of October 27 which was yesterday). Interestingly, since I last looked a week ago, much more information has been made available, and I think it is very good.
Instagram links with Facebook, and Facebook has now instigated a higher level of scrutiny of political ads. And being intertwined with Instagram, it is inevitable that the two platforms work in harmony.
There you have it. Am I more knowledgeable for it?
Am I glad I had this experience?
It’s time to get back to revising my next novel. Painting for my next show.
My creativity continues… and I’m evermore inspired to keep uplifting through my craft. This social media interlude has been instructive, and with luck, entertaining and informative for you, too.