S is for Social Media

letter sThe 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.

Finite Boundaries

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.
  • Unplug.

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.

checkboxDid 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.

Move on.

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.

Wait, scheduling?”

Ticking ClockYes, 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

Thank you for sharing The M3 Blog with hashtags.

© Red Dwyer 2013
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  1. You are the queen of social media…I just don’t know how you keep up
    Bearman recently posted..Love BugMy Profile

    • LOL! In recent months I have slowed considerably to accommodate other things. I told you in the post. Schedule. Makes all the difference in the world. 😉

  2. This is a wonderful, informative post, Red! It’s so easy to get stressed, not being able to catch up reading! I don’t think it’s possible anyway, unless one does it 24/7! 🙂 It is interesting after blogging for a year and a half, noticing how many followers have fallen off. I know I have off and on, but seem to return, like it’s some magnetic force bringing me back! I love it, but have to bring balance to home life, too. Thanks for listening and have a great evening! xoxo
    LScott recently posted..Beautiful Existence (Belated re-post for Earth Day) 🙂My Profile

    • Lauren, many fall into the trap of attempting to keep up with all who stop by or follow. I have specific days I do certain things. It keeps me from falling into the time suck and still on schedule with the production end of the websites and the company. I have seen many come and go. You and I have been doing this around the same amount of time. I have watched many leave and return. Balance is key. I hope all is well with you, Lauren ♥ xxx

  3. As Bearman said, you are the Queen. Your ability to time things, track things and manage both input and output is miraculous and awe inspiring.

    This post alone provides the map, would that others would take it and follow it. Someday I will absorb it as well.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..Peeking Out of My Cave, PIIMy Profile

    • I have had a lot of years to practice. The easiest way is to listen to my followers. They let me know what they like and equally what they do not. Over time, you get to where you serve them Brussels sprouts less often. xxx

  4. Hi Red .. I don’t do Social Media – but I need to move into it .. so this was really interesting .. thanks so much -cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..V is for Vegetables …My Profile

    • Hilary, SM can be a wondrous place or the mother of all time sucks. A good plan will get you far. I am glad to see you today!

  5. I feel swamped and super stretched to my limits when I open my social media. I still don’t know how you do it, but maybe in time I will learn the ropes. Perhaps this is the same reason, why many people hire somebody to manage their social networks?

  6. I seriously need to work on my scheduling, I maybe adding an on-line radio show to the mix.
    I’m really going to think about the best way to implement your points along with using my Youtube account.
    So much to do but I have decided to go the self-publishing route, so I’m going to need all the help and assistance I can get/afford. 🙂
    Phil recently posted..The importance of sharing.My Profile

    • Scheduling is the only, only way to go if you are going the DIY route. YouTube is a big place where everyone has a chance to get noticed.

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