with Guest Edie Melson
The thing most authors struggle with is how to boost our social media presence without losing valuable writing time. These 9 tips will help you do just that. Some take a little set-up time, but when your system is in place you’re able to work efficiently and effectively. That means no more than thirty minutes a day, four to five days a week. It’s definitely something we can each commit to.
9 Ways to Boost Your Social Media Presence
1. Develop a Brand. I can hear the groans from here and the post isn’t even published yet. But the truth is, if you share about everything under the sun, no one knows why they should follow you. Our social media followers want to be able to categorize us, just like our readers want that for the books we write. It’s fine to choose several topics to share about, but don’t wander too far afield or your audience won’t follow.
2. Vary Your Posts. This really isn’t a conflict to number 1. By varying the type of posts—not the subject matter—we add interest for our audience. These are the 4 types of posts I share within my brand:
· An inspiring quote or Bible verse.
· An intriguing question. This can range from, “How do you know you’re hearing from God?” to “Which book cover do you like best?” The idea here is to get people talking.
· Something funny. It can be a funny video, picture, or personal antidote.
· The link to something valuable.
4. Be Recognizable. By this I mean it’s vital that our name and the image (avatar) associated with ALL our social media accounts is almost identical. More and more interaction is done from the small screen of a smart phone. If all I have as an avatar is bunch of flowers or pictures of my pet, people are not going to be able to find me. Use a professional—recognizable—headshot, and a version of your author name that’s as close as you can get to what’s on your books and website.
5. Put Others Ahead of Yourself. I built my considerable social media platform by promoting others ahead of myself. I don’t like talking about myself, and when I began this journey I was new to the industry. By sending my audience to the expertise of others I brought value to my followers. Two benefits I didn’t realize were these:
· First, I proved to my audience that I wasn’t all about me. This helped me gain their trust.
· Second, by promoting others, I gained valuable promoters. That wasn’t why I did it, but it certainly helped build my platform.
Now that I do have some authority and credibility, I still follow Edie’s 5 to 1 rule with social media posts. For every 5 social media posts I send out, I then allow 1 post that’s self-promotional.
6. Don’t Try to Do It All. When I checked last week, there were approximately 246 social media platforms/networks. The time before that, there were 275. There is no way we can do it all when it comes to social media. I recommend focusing on two to three networks. I love Twitter, I’m on Facebook because that’s where the bulk of my audience is, and I enjoy Instagram. I don’t bother to work the rest.
BUT, I do have an account on all the major social media networks. I do that because: 1) If that network suddenly becomes wildly popular, I already have my name and account reserved. 2) Readers can find me there, and then connect with me on networks where I’m more active and visit my website. Here are the networks I consider major:
7. Get Organized. A lot of people want to know how I accomplish so much in only thirty minutes a day. My secret is a social media scheduling program. Hootsuite and Buffer are the two best. Personally, I prefer Hootsuite, but they’re both excellent options. I get up in the morning, schedule my social media posts to go live throughout the day, and check back in occasionally to see if anyone has commented or mentioned me. That way I have a presence on social media throughout the day, but I’m not tied to the Internet.
Yes, we should support one another. But there are other ways. I suggest writing short reviews, subscribing to each other’s blogs, following each other on social media. But our social media loyalty belongs to those friends and followers who have give us their trust.
9. Remember They’re People, NOT Numbers. I saved this one till the end because I believe it’s the most important one of all. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype of building a platform that we forget God is using us to bring light. He may plan for us to illuminate a small portion of the world, or a larger one. That is His part of the equation. My responsibility is to connect authentically with those I come into contact with. The thing to focus on is this—what the numbers represent. They are each individuals who can be impacted by what we write, challenged by what we say, and changed by what we share.
Social media is important an important part of being a professional writer. The key is to work smarter, not harder. Now it’s your turn. What have you found are the best ways to boost your social media presence?
Giveaway! Edie is offering one winning commenter her/his choice of one of Edie’s books (listed in her bio below).
Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books, including While My Child is Away and While My Soldier Serves, reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them during these difficult times. Her best-selling ebook has been expanded and re-released as Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. Her popular industry blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month.
In addition, she’s the Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, the Social Media director for Southern Writers Magazine, Social Media Mentor for My Book Therapy and the Senior Editor at Novel Rocket. You can also connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.
While My Child is Away
Parents and children are separated for many reasons: divorce, school, camp, even work. It might be for just a few days or indefinitely. These prayers give voice to all that you are hoping for your child when you can t be the one to meet their needs. Prayers of blessings, protection, instruction and grace. Or prayers for those around your child to choose wisely, see their needs, and love them as you would. Prayers for friends, teachers, coaches and mentors to step in and fill every need. Knowing that a loving Father God is caring for your child, even when you can t, gives you the peace and assurance that all will be well.