Social media... keeps everyone connected yet apart at the same time in today's age, eh? You just can't do anything without a Facebook page and a Twitter account, and now I have both. Well, I had a Twitter account before, but a FB page has joined it. It looks lonely there, no friends. Le sniffle. It won't stay that way for long, of course, but it looks all weird, and pure, and virginal the way it is.
Is social media needed as a writer? On my Twitter account, I do often get retweets which is nice, and there are rings for retweeting book ads and whatnot. I just ... I don't know. I don't like spamming, although I do want to advertise, and of course this is free. It's just time consuming. The blog here, at least, is more useful as it keeps me writing, even if it's non-fiction, and keeps me focused on what I'm doing exactly, and why I'm doing it. However, just sitting tweeting links and linking shit on FB is just not really my thing.
On the other hand, it does allow people access to those they wouldn't normally. I remember waaaaay back in the days of beginning email when everyone used Netscape (hahah, yea), I found Bruce Campbell's email address, and emailed him! And he emailed back! GASP! That was like the highlight of many of my years (and it's still a top three, honestly), but I didn't spam or bother him. I just asked a question, got an answer, and that was that. However, I will never have a chance to meet him in real life (which is probably a good thing because they'd have to pry me off with a crowbar), so it was really cool having that opportunity to interact with someone whom I admire. It meant nothing to him, but it meant everything to me. That sort of approachableness is commonplace nowadays, and almost downright required.
On the erotica writing boards I frequent, they actually advise against social media. WRITE WRITE WRITE is the chant. However, a certain level of presence is required, I think. It doesn't have to be much, but some place where readers can get in touch with you is good, or where they can hear announcements. A mailing list is recommended, but I'm cheap and I don't want to get a PO box, nor do I want to reveal my real address, so I consign myself to free things... blogs, facebook, twitter, and so on. Maybe it's not as effective, and maybe people don't want to associate themselves with dirty nasty vile smut, but it's there and can be seen, and I think that's what matters.
Besides, it's just odd if a business or person doesn't have a FB account now.