Format Magazine (external link) is seeking people to write on this topic:
Opinion: Why I don’t use social media to promote my work
Are you an artist or creator who doesn’t use Instagram/Facebook/Twitter to promote their work? We’re seeking someone who can talk about why they don’t use social media to share their art or connect with clients, and how staying off social has even helped their career. This could be focused on one platform (“Why I don’t post my photography on Instagram”) or social media in general. Looking for a specifically professional, not personal, perspective on avoiding social media.
Social may be a way to promote existing work, but I’m doubtful it can provide new work. In the case of a writer, new work comes from an online writing portfolio, previously done articles, and from carefully crafted and well researched query letters.
I do not know any writer who has landed an assignment from a tweet or an Instagram post. I also do not know any editor who trolls social, looking for a writer. Writers come to them, not the other way around.
As my book nears completion, I am sure I will be drawn into the whirlpool of social to promote the title’s sale. I’ll have an existing product to sell. That’s quite different from having a service to sell, such as writing. In this case of future writing there is no product yet to sell, unless one wants to write complete articles, trying to find a home for them later on. Good luck with that.
In selling a service such as writing, getting new assignments takes the same old tack: reading writers’ guidelines, researching new periodicals, determining editors to correspond with, and, as always, making pitches.
As it is used right now, I see little reason to engage in social. Writing blog posts, as a way to keep a writing portfolio website current, seems a good method to keep a web presence. But it can only do so much. The best approach remains to determinedly and actively pursue work by developing contacts in the field and by keeping query letters and correspondence with editors coming. An Instagram photo can’t do that.