Social Media Support Sunday is an idea I’ve been fiddling with for a long time now in various forms. There are SO many times where I realize I’m not following some of my friends on social media somehow or I’m looking for new accounts to follow and I just have no idea where to begin. Sometimes we get stuck in our own social groups on social media or just the opposite — get lost in the sea of social media users and followers — that it’s hard to find new accounts. I’ve also been toying with the idea of posting “social media hacks” (which are really just any tips or tricks I’ve learned over the years). I don’t claim to be an expert on any social media site but I find that it’s always helpful to share information because you never know who has been looking for just that thing for a long time! I decided to combine these two things into Social Media Support Sunday with the hopes that I can help some book bloggers who are aiming to grow their social media presence in the easiest way possible!
Note: These posts are not designed to tell people “how to” or “how not to” use social media. They are simply packed full of helpful information to get knowledge out to people about various functions on social media sites that they may not be aware of or would like to learn more about. I am in no way saying there is a right or wrong way to run your social media accounts! The “best” way can only be determined by each individual user!
Over the next few Sundays, I’ll be doing features for multiple social media accounts that a prevalent in the book blogging community/book industry. Hang tight for:
TWITTER (11/8/15) | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TUMBLR
I first joined Goodreads all the way back in 2010 (wow, that seems like forever ago) and to this day, I’m still learning little tips and tricks to help me use the site better. There are some things we just will never get (like half stars. Sorry, folks but I heard it directly from the mouth of a Goodreads rep. They think it gives people too many options and is confusing so no half stars in the near future, possibly ever) and other things that the site actually does have but I didn’t know they were there, and other things are work-arounds that fellow users have figured out and shown me.
I did a post back in 2013 for Bloggiesta called “How to Make Goodreads Work For YOU” essentially detailing EEEVERYTHING I had learned about Goodreads that I thought people should know. That post is a bit old by now (over two years!) so I’ll rehash some things from ther as well as including some things I’ve learned/discovered over the past couple of years!
Shelves seem like a given since so many people create their own (and I create a LOT). I basically use shelves my own little filing system so I make GR do the work for me instead of creating a spreadsheet or list. They’re easy to create, update, and the bonus is that Goodreads is always gather data for stats if you ever need them. Here are some of the main ways I use shelves to my advantage:
- Readers can create ANY amount of shelves for ANY kind of categories they want. I have shelves from age range (YA/Adult/MG, etc), genre, pub date, if I received from a publisher, and even things like “read in one day” and “omg can’t wait”. I even have shelves like “male POV” or “bromances” for me to go back and reference if I’m ever in need of creating posts based on some of my favorite things in stories.
- You can create MORE exclusive shelves than just what Goodreads offers. I personally don’t rate the books that I didn’t finish and don’t count those as read so I made a special DNF shelf as another exclusive! I also have books that I started to read and put back down so I added an “on hold” shelf since I’m not really currently reading and it’s not quite just a TBR book.
- Shelves can be sorted in SO many ways. Where would I be without this feature!? I’ve found that it’s especially handy for things like Top Ten Tuesday (and other memes). Want to find out what the longest book is you’ve read? No problem. Go to your “read” shelf, make sure you have the “number of pages” column visible (if you don’t, click on “shelf settings” and you can add any columns available there to the shelf you’re currently viewing), sort by page number. VOILA. I use this constantly. Not only for page numbers but sorting by pub date, rating, date added, date read… I’m always always always sorting and re-sorting my shelves to find things. THANK THE HEAVENS that Goodreads has this feature because I don’t know what I would do without it. (Also SUPER helpful with end of the year surveys/fun questions!)
- You can select multiple shelves to view at the same time! YES! I didn’t know this existed for a long time. Down at the bottom of all of your shelves, you’ll see an option for “select multiple” and then you can view several shelves all in one list.
WAYS TO DISCOVER NEW BOOKS
One of the things I use Goodreads for is discovering new books to add to my (ever-growing) TBR. There are TONS of ways to do this on Goodreads so let’s talk about a few that I use:
- Friends. I’m always checking out what my friends are adding to their TBRs and many times I’ll check out anything new that pops up in my feed. (By the way, if you don’t want your feed to include EVERYONE you’re friends with on GR, you can adjust who is your “top friend” aka someone who shows up in your feed in the “Friends” section!) That’s probably the easiest way!
- Recommendations. Sometimes my friends will recommend books to me using Goodreads recommendations feature. I have to implore you to PLEASE only send recommendations to a Goodreads friend if you are either A) already very good friends with them or B) you truly think that’s a book they NEED on their TBRs. I can’t tell you how big of a pet peeve random and illogical recommendations are for so many Goodreads friends! (Unfortunately there’s no way to turn off the ability to allow recommendations if you don’t want them, hence the caution!) Anywho… if you feel comfy sending recs to your friends, Goodreads has a link right on a book’s page to make it easy! (Also, can you tell this picture is old? LOL Ruin and Rising didn’t even have a cover yet!) Goodreads also is constantly analyzing your shelves to come up with recommendations for you at any given time. This isn’t something I use too much anymore since I rely on friend recs the most, but if you’re interested in seeing what Goodreads says you might enjoy, there’s an option in the main menu at the top of your screen that will take you to the recommendations page.
- Listopia. I also hunt for books from time to time with Listopia. Listopia is a user-driven feature full of lists, lists, and more lists. You can browse user-created lists by tags (most often which are different genres), do a specific search, or browse recently updated lists. Some are not as well-put together as others, but most are pretty good! Readers are allowed to vote for books for each list as well, so the more people who vote, the better the lists get. I’ve used Listopia for finding books by a specific publication month (i.e. searching “October 2015”), a specific theme (“Egyptian mythology”), or just a general genre. I’m usually searching for books from next year or the year after to add to my TBR because I have a hard time searching for them otherwise!
Did you know that there’s a lot more you can add to your personal notes about a book? Besides just writing your review, you can keep tracking of where you purchased a book from, what date you purchased it, who recommended it to you, how many times you’ve read it, and so much more — all under your review of that book.
- Review. It should go without saying but there’s a section where you can write your thoughts and — wait for it — REVIEW the book! 😉
- Start and Finish dates. Goodreads will keep track of your start and end days so long as you update them on the site. Your start date will be whenever you moved the book to “currently reading” but you can always go back and adjust it later if need be. Ditto with the end date, and that date is taken from when you mark it as complete. The end date is important because Goodreads takes that date for your yearly challenges and statistics!
- Number of Times I’ve Read This Book. This is really just for your own information and fun to note. This will not automatically update if you re-read — it is a manually updated field. I know there are issues with how to do re-reads on Goodreads… that info is coming!
- I Would Recommend To. Another manually updated field. Just extra info and will be tied to your review from then on.
- Who Recommended to Me. You can either type in a name OR if a user is on Goodreads, you can start typing in their name and Goodreads will auto-populate from your friends list. You can choose the proper person and save them, forever being noted as the person who recommended it to you!
- Private Notes. Private notes can be kind of a neat feature! Personally I don’t use them a lot but some readers add a lot of info there because only YOU can see your own private notes. They’ll never show up for the public to see.
- Currently Own. Checking this box adds the book to your currently owned collection in Goodreads. I always forgot to update my inventory so I opted to stop using this box and instead just made a shelf for what I currently own! Marking a book as “currently own” using this box does not add anything to a shelf.
In my experience, the best way to show re-reads is to add the book as a different edition to your shelves. You won’t be able to have all of your notes in one places but if you move a book that you’ve already marked as completed back to currently reading, you’re more or less writing over your own data. Your previous status updates will still be there, original start date will still be the day you FIRST started the book (unless you manually change it) but once you finish you re-read, your end date will overwrite your original end date, essentially like you only read the book once. Again, Goodreads doesn’t automatically update the number of times you’ve read a book so that job is still yours but if you don’t want that book to disappear from a previous year’s number and stats, you have to add the book as a different edition.
Andi from Andi’s ABCs has a post with a whole tutorial on how to do this so rather than redo her work, I’ll direct you to her blog where you can see exactly how she does this process! (And how many times she’s read ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS!) –> Goodreads Tip: Adding Re-reads
One of my favorite things — especially for my monthly and yearly recaps as well as end-of-the-year surveys — is personal stats. There are two ways to get to your stats:
- Go to “My Books”, scroll all the way down and in the left hand column under a heading called “tools”, you’ll see a link to “stats”.
- Go to “My Books” and you’ll see “stats” next to “batch edit” and “settings” above your list of books.
From this page, you can see ALL or your reading statistics since you’ve signed up for Goodreads, separated by year plus ratings, broken up by genre, and more. If you click on details, you can get a LOVELY picture that will look somewhat like this:
And of course, there’s the actual SOCIAL side of Goodreads. I don’t really have discussions with people on Goodreads but I do love checking in to see what people are reading, commenting on status updates, and adding new friends.
- Currently Reading. Using the “currently reading” feature (a little dash located on the right side of your screen) allows you to update your thoughts on the book as you’re reading. I use this feature ALL THE TIME and I love seeing what other people say about a book as they’re reading. Thankfully my Goodreads friends are courteous and they don’t post spoilers when they’re updating! Sometimes I’ll comment on what someone is said or they’ll comment on my update. I love these little interactions! You can also just “like” an update if you don’t want to leave a comment. I also take screen shots of my final collection of status updates and add them to my reviews as a special extra feature!
- Friends. Of course a big part of the social aspect is actually having friends (duh). But you can determine if you want someone to be a “top friend” (aka show up in your main feed) or not. A friend will not be notified whether they are a top friend or not.
- If you request to be someone’s friend, if they approve they will automatically be added as a top friend.
- If you receive a friend request from someone else and approve, you can choose at the time of approval whether or not you want that person to be a top friend.
- No matter which you choose, this can be changed at any time. You can also change someone’s “top friend” status by removing them from top friends via link at the bottom of their profile page.
- You can delete a friend at any time and that person will not be notified. You can delete by A) going through your friends list and clicking the X to delete them or B) going to the very bottom of their profile page to find the “remove from friends” option.
- Compare books. This is another fun feature to use via Friends or just through a person’s profile page. It’s purely for fun or if you’re not yet friends with a person, you can compare books to see if you have anything in common.
- Groups. Groups are another way to dig deeper into the social aspect of Goodreads. Personally, I don’t use them much and avoid many but some people really love to get into discussions, host read alongs, or just talk with fellow readers.
- Followers/Following. You can also have people who follow your reviews but haven’t added you as a friend. They can still see your updates but you won’t see anything from them. Many users follow authors instead of adding as a friend (some authors/users won’t add people they don’t know as a friend) and still see their updates. If someone follows you, you had the option to add them as a friend or remove from your followers. If you send a friend request to someone, you start following their updates before they approve.
There’s SO much more you can do with Goodreads but these are probably the most popular uses and features. I have more in my previous Goodreads post if you want to check out even MORE that the site has to offer!
Here’s the part where we share and explore! Feel free to add your Goodreads account to help others find you on GR! Part of this process is also to find other people to follow and for us to support each other on social media so please do click on at least a few accounts that you don’t currently follow to check them out. It’s just a common courtesy since people will be doing the same for you!! Try to find at least a couple accounts to follow, or follow back some people who will be new followers to you. This is all about community!
Some of us have Goodreads user names that are different than our blogs/other social media accounts so please add your first name and your Goodreads user name to the “name” section. (So for me it would be “Brittany/bookaddictsguide” — I’ll get it kicked off here!) Your link should be the link to your Goodreads account, NOT your blog!
** This feature is mostly directed to book bloggers since I feel like that is who will use it most but authors and other active book community members are also welcome to link up and share as well! Again… community! **