I keep hearing over and over again about how pointless it is to have author friends on social media. You are trying to sell to readers, not other authors, who rarely buy one another's books (supposedly.) I have a lot of author friends on social media and this is the wrong way of viewing it in my opinion.
Here are some advantages to interacting with other authors on social media:
1. They are the only people who get you. In real life, you may not have family or friends who understand you and your need to write, but authors will get it. They'll understand why you are afraid of the fact that the NSA can see your google search history. They'll get why you're having an argument with one of your characters and why you're angry at your book while you're editing it because it's being so difficult.
2. They give better advice than other people. When I have a question, I can post it on facebook and usually get an awesome answer to it within an hour or two from another author who knows what they are talking about. Not only that, but they're constantly sharing that advice without even being asked. They're always posting blog posts with their thoughts and opinions on writing, social media, etc. It helps to hear what other people who have experience think.
3. Authors share opportunities they find. Like, when publishing companies have special submission calls, they might share it on their facebook and it could lead for a big opportunity for you. This happens all the time.
4. You can swap manuscripts when you need a critique. It really helps to get the perspective of another author. They usually know what they are talking about more and can look into your story more in depth.
5. You can help promote each other. You can feature each other on your blogs, doing guest posts or author interviews or sharing blurbs. You can borrow each other's audiences to try to get your work seen by more eyes.
6. They have connections. You need an editor and you have no idea how to find one? Ask the authors you talk to on social media and likely they'll have a bunch of people to connect you with.
7. Sometimes they do read your book. Not that this is the only thing that matters.
So is it really a waste to be friends with other authors on social media? In my opinion: NO.