The mother of all time sucks is a necessary tool in effective marketing of your book. No, it is not as simple as having a page on Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Reddit, …
No, it does not have to be.
Social media does not have to be a time suck. In fact, it can be the most productive part of your marketing day. Two words:
Discipline & Strategy
Contrary to American slang, discipline is not solely synonymous with punishment. Making your strategy the employment of discipline nets you great results from social media.
If you have a tendency to be attracted to (read distracted by) shiny things, social media can take over your day. To minimize distractions, use a social media strategy which includes time management. You have the tools already in your house/office.
Choose an amount of time to spend on social media. To begin, you will not have millions of clamoring fans. (That will come.) Spend commensurate time with your masses. Start with five (5) minutes per platform.
WHAT?! What can I do in F-I-V-E minutes?”
- Have goals.
- Use your time wisely.
Your first goal should be getting targeted messages to your audience. No, your goal is not to post Buy my book! across all platforms every ten minutes… exactly.
Your second goal should be cultivating more audience.
But I have 146 new notifications!”
Read very slowly: You do not need to respond to them all.
The majority of your notifications are informing you of your audience’s consumption of the last time you posted to social media. Rather than a personal thank you note to each of them:
- Assess engagement.
- Determine what is working.
- Engage the audience as a whole.
Did they love your quote from your book? Check their reading comprehension levels by asking them a question. This encourages discussion.
Did your character sketch get a few comments? Respond with gratitude. Ask what they think you character would get into… let them build plot for you.
Did they vote overwhelmingly for one cover over another? Post about how the audience is playing an active role in making your book the best it can be.
On the first platform, you got information you need to add to your findings on other social media. If you spend all day on Twitter, you are never going to make it to Pinterest.
Each platform caters to a different user experience. What works for one platform may well fail miserably on another. Some of it will cross-pollinate with amazing results. For example:
Who did you poll for the cover image? Pinterest, Tumblr, Google Plus (G+) and Facebook all are good platforms for discussing images. Or did you leave one platform out in the cold?
Who got the quote? The hashtag #novellines is recognized on Twitter, G+, Goodreads and Facebook. Short snippets are great for StumbleUpon and LinkedIn as well.
Gratitude works on all platforms.
Danger, Will Robinson!
Before you get the bright idea to engage Social Oomph or HootSuite to post one message to all of your social media platforms simultaneously, stop. Do you really want to be branded a spammer?
The fallout from simultaneous links across platforms is the link becomes spam. Shake up your scheduling to make the same message hits at different times.
Yes, schedule your social media posts to give your audience who is in a vastly different time zone the opportunity to engage your content. No, there is not a conflict to your strategy.
Recognize the engagement of your other hemisphere by catering content directly for them, gratitude included, tomorrow when you return to assess your results.
As you navigate social media, you will find a more receptive audience on one or two platforms than you will on all the rest. Devote some special attention to these folks because they are your best marketing downline. They are the ones sharing your posts, statuses and pictures.
If you have never stepped away from an active social media, you may be surprised to find after months (or years) of neglect, you will come back to more followers. Rather than letting your audience on your less productive platforms believe you have abandoned them entirely, schedule them as a twice a week date. Be certain to ask for shares.
Why waste time with dead platforms?”
It only takes two or three good engagers to change a dead platform into a rocking one. Cultivate carefully.
All of us have a least one junk follower. This person is an avatar or platform stock profile image (faceless head/egg). Before you automatically press the follow/add back button, look at the person’s (or business’) profile. Some of them are not worth the follow because they will bring no engagement.
- Porn promoters
- Affiliate marketers
- “Buy my ______” profiles
If all of their links go to the same website or there is no shared content (shares or retweets), this person is only on social media to promote services or products for you to engage or buy. In short, this is not a potential reader.
Look for conversations. Is this person talking back to anyone?
Are you going to follow along for information they have you may need? Following those who may be good for you later down the line is the exception to non-engaging social media contacts.
- Networks in your genre
- Reviewers of your competition
- Publicists you want to emulate
Bring it home!
1. Develop a social media strategy which is not Sit in front of social media all day. Include goals.
2. Stick to boundaries and set a timer if you need one.
3. Assess your progress toward your goals.
4. Change your strategy to include more of what works. Ditch what does not work.
5. Cultivate a larger, healthy social media audience by choosing who to follow carefully.
6. Ask for your following to share (without using blackmail).
How many of your social media followers are dead? How do you drive engagement of your content? How often do you use hashtags?
Hashtags: #AtoZChallenge #socialmedia #marketing
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