With recent algorithm upheavals and ownership changes creating shifts in the social media universe, many writers are looking for alternatives to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The social media team at Web Design Relief is always on the lookout for the latest developments and learned that the popular newsletter platform Substack has recently launched a chat function! Substack Chat is similar to Twitter, but what sets it apart is the way it feels like a live chat and allows writers to hang out with their subscribers. Here’s what you need to know about this new way to connect and interact with your readers and followers.
What Writers Should Know About Substack’s New Social Media Chat Feature
If you’re not familiar with Substack, it’s a platform where readers can subscribe to and pay for newsletter emails from writers. Substack is also an excellent option for writers who want to serialize their writing and earn income in the process. The monthly fee for newsletters can vary from free to $5 a month to a yearly fee of $200. If you charge for your newsletter, Substack takes a percentage of the subscriber fee.
You can also use the platform to network: The Substack Recommendations feature lets writers cross-promote each other. Through Recommendations, writers and subscribers can discover different types of work on Substack.
Unlike Recommendations, Substack Chat isn’t limited to offering endorsements of other writers on Substack. This opt-in feature provides a social media chat functionality and feels similar to Twitter in the way it looks and in how users engage. Think of it as a private community space where you can share posts, quotes, comments, images, and links. Keep in mind, no one will want to be hit by a barrage of sales pitches! By sharing different types of content, you can set the topic and tone for a discussion and engage in interesting conversations with your subscribers. You can choose to make these conversation opportunities available only to paid subscribers or to all of your Substack followers.
Unlike blogs, where comments are now few and far between (or are nothing more than spam from bots), Substack actually thrives on real discussions. Actively interacting with your Substack subscribers will help you cultivate a community of engaged, motivated readers; writers who have hosted two or more chats on Substack are earning 19 percent more annual revenue than those who have not.
If you’re in the market for an alternative, easy-to-use social media platform and you’re ready to create your own newsletter to boost your outreach, Substack offers you a unique combination of newsletter and social media capabilities. And for writers who already publish a newsletter or serialized writing on Substack, activating Substack Chat is a great way to connect with your audience.
Question: How important to you is your social media outreach?