3 Tips to Control Your Social Media Experience


A comment I often hear from authors is that marketing their work takes so much time away from other activities in their busy lives and social networking is one of the biggest culprits.

I know marketing and promoting your work can wreak havoc on the best laid plans but forming a plan that works for you and being unyielding when it comes to enforcement of that plan can help enormously. Think of it this way, what’s more important; your life and family or Facebook?

Create a Social Media Strategy: Don’t let social media take control of your life or schedule, make it work for you!

First, establish some goals:

Q: ‘What do I want Twitter/Facebook or any social media network to do for me?’

Are you hoping to connect with readers, create interest in your book or find colleagues?

Visibility is important when it comes to connecting with readers and colleagues, creating relationships is vital to promotion; if you ask for a favor you want to be reasonably sure it will be granted. Are you requesting book reviews or participation in an event?

Q: ‘Why should someone read my book?’

Because it has a great plot and characters, can you help people with your expertise, does the world need to hear your message?

Q: ‘Who do I want my messages to reach?’

Do you write fiction or non-fiction, do you offer a service, what is your passion or hobby?

Do you sit down at your computer in the morning and think you’ll just see what’s happening on Twitter today and then get ready for your daughter’s soccer game and the next thing you know it’s 3:00?

1.  This could be THE most important point of your plan: Set aside a 15-30 minute block of time to spend on social media each day and be inflexible when it comes to breaking that new rule. If there’s something you didn’t get done today leave it for tomorrow.

Use a site like hootsuite.com or socialoomph.com to help in saving time and pre-schedule items you’d like to share.

Pick and choose the sites most useful to you and don’t try to be all over the web when it comes to networking. Consider also that millions of other people may be connecting via a particular social networking site but you may not feel comfortable confining yourself to that sites social norms; so don’t.

2.  When you write your post, focus on the message you want to convey. Just by posting you’re strengthening your visibility but you also want to grow relationships.

Be a giver, share articles and information you’ve come across; follow the 80/20 rule. Eight out of 10 posts should be shared sites or information created by someone else and only two should be promotional information leading back to your blog site or book. Maybe you promote alternative medicine and have written an article regarding ergonomics for the office worker; definitely share it but sprinkle in posts from others also.

3.  Target your tweets and messages using hashtags or groups. Remember, social media is a tool, hand it a task to perform; i.e. get the message to the right person.

On Facebook use the search bar at the top of the page and type in a word or phrase to find groups, pages or individuals who share your interests.

On Twitter use hashtags (#) to reach the right audience. Say you have created a 140 character description of the protagonist of your novel or maybe you’re sponsoring a giveaway of the book while on your virtual book tour; you could use the hashtag combos #suspense #giveaway #read #fiction.

Social Media can be valuable when marketing and promoting; just remember you’re in command!

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