I Don't Hang Out On Twitter

I actually do hang out on Twitter. But not everyone does. A while back I wrote about determining which platform is the best one for you. I suggested setting up a profile on each one and then focusing on just one. So what do you do with the platforms you know you won't be as active on or you won't use at all? Why even have a profile if you're not going to be active there?

People are going to look for you on all social media platforms. If someone is a big Twitter enthusiast, that's where they are going to look for you. If you're not there, they may not look for you elsewhere. So you want them to find you there and then from there go to where you are active online.

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Which Platform Works Best for You?

With all the social media platforms available, authors often ask which one is the best platform for them. My answer: it depends on where your audience is and which one you feel you'd be most comfortable spending time using. Here are four popular ones and my thoughts on each one. Then you decide which one is best for you. (I recommend you set up a profile at each one and then focus on one. More on that in a future post.)

Twitter is a Music Festival

It's easy to set up a Twitter account and start following people you hope will follow you back. The trap to avoid is following everyone. Follow people who are relevant in some way. Perhaps they've tweeted about your topic or have a hashtag in their bio that indicates interest in your topic. Create lists so you can categorize those you follow - other authors, book marketers, publicists, and others.

Because you can tweet often, you drive more traffic to your website from Twitter than other social media platforms. That means your tweets need to have valuable information with a link that readers want to click to learn more.

Yes, it's easy for your tweets to 'get lost' in the huge Twitterverse. However you can make good connections and start conversations that may result in taking the conversation into email. Over the years I've made really good connections with people in my industry in this manner, and have even gotten clients through Twitter.

Twitter is like a music festival with many different bands all playing at once on different stages of a huge venue. Thousands of people are attending. It will get noisy, even confusing at times. You might feel lost, that your message isn't being heard. But those who want to hear what you have to say will find you and listen, just like at a huge music festival. Maybe you went to listen to one or two bands. You'll seek them out and listen to them. Your audience will seek you out on Twitter and listen to you too - as long as you've set up your account and tweet in such a way that they can find you.

Facebook is a Tribe

On Facebook you want to be sure to set up an Author page. Read my previous post on 13 Ways to Utilize Your Facebook Author Page. Be sure to link to the page from your website and invite friends and readers to connect with you on this page. This is where your 'tribe' can come backstage with you. You won't have as many followers on Facebook as you have connections elsewhere. That's okay. This is where people who are already your readers will come to learn more about you and even connect with other readers.

Think of Facebook as a place where your tribe comes to hang out. They may have first connected with you on Twitter and now want more. Use Facebook to share more about who you are, what you write, links to other information your audience will find value. And of course have fun! Facebook followers tend to be people who like to have fun. :)

LinkedIn is a Professional Networking Connector

LinkedIn is a more professional setting, perfect for nonfiction authors. In addition to connecting with other professionals, you can join and participate in groups, and publish articles related to your topic. I use LinkedIn to deepen connections. I invite strategic connections to a free 15-minute phone call so we can learn more about each other.

Groups are a wonderful tool you can use to start or join in conversations and share your expertise. Writing articles also strengthens your position as an expert in your field.

Instagram is a Snapshot of Life

This social media platform is primarily about visuals - posting photos or images along with text and hashtags. You may want a separate business account for your book. Instagrammers want to know more about your life as an author. They want to see photos of your writing space, perhaps a book store you visited, your cat. Of course you can post about your book too. Just remember that the audience here is more interested in your life - not your book.

If you need some ideas for visuals to post on Instagram, check out thisĀ post.

So, which platform works best for you right now?

This may change at a later date so you want to revisit this annually.

  • Are you interested in a music festival and reaching a lot of people? Twitter's your thing.
  • Do you want your tribe to connect more personally with you and other readers? Use Facebook
  • Is your goal to connect with other professionals and deepen those relationships? LinkedIn is the place.
  • Would you like to connect with readers interested in a more personal look into your life as an author? Dive into Instagram

I'd love to connect with you on any of those social media platforms and hear your comments on this topic. Share a comment below and links to your platforms so I can follow you.

Focused Daily Monitoring for Social Media

I strongly encourage clients to spend 10-15 minutes each day to monitor their social media accounts. This can be challenging if you don't stay focused. It's so easy to get distracted by what's going on in social media and especially in your personal timeline on Facebook. Stay focused on your purpose to monitor your business accounts and be determined not to get sidetracked.

You can do it! I've timed myself more than once and I spend 10-15 minutes every morning doing this focused daily monitoring on my social media for business accounts. Later in the day I can spend time on my personal accounts.

My Daily Monitoring Routine

I did all this today in just under 9 minutes:

  • Log in to Instagram to check my business account
    1. Check notifications - new likes, comments, messages, new followers
    2. Respond to any comments, messages, new followers
    3. Review and like a few appropriate posts by others
  • Log in to LinkedIn
    1. Check notifications & messages
    2. Respond to any comments, messages, new network connections
    3. Review and like a few appropriate posts by others
  • Log in to Twitter
    1. Check notifications & messages
    2. Follow back as appropriate anyone new who has followed me
    3. Follow at least 5 new profiles
    4. Respond to any comments, messages
    5. Check my lists and like and retweet a few appropriate tweets by others
  • Log in to Facebook to check my business account
    1. Check notifications & messages
    2. Respond to any comments, messages, new connections
    3. Review and like a few appropriate posts by others

The process usually does only take me about 10 minutes each morning. Sometimes a bit longer if there are comments on articles I've posted or group discussions I'm participating in.

For each account, I check only my business accounts. I check my personal accounts later in the day.

I'm happy to answer any question you have about using social media if you'd like to leave it in the comments below. You can also schedule a consultation with me here.

Are You Following Everyone?

The more people you follow on social media, the more people follow you back, right?

Mathematically, it may be right.

From a marketing perspective, wrong.

Even if everyone you followed did follow you back, that doesn't mean they are the right people to follow.

A marketing expert on Twitter recently tweeted "don't make it a goal to appeal to everyone online." Great advice! It's more effective to appeal to those who are truly interested in your topic.

A couple hours later, though, they tweeted "follow random people . . . there's a chance they may follow you back . . . you may sell them something later".

I disagree. Don't just follow anybody hoping they'll follow back. Even if they do, they'll probably unfollow you when they realize your tweets aren't relevant to them after all.

And the goal of following people on social media should never be to "sell them something later". The goal is to Be Social and Get Noticed. If your followers get real value from your messages, they'll know how to find your book, product or services to buy.

That's why we are very selective about who we follow on our client's behalf. We look for people to follow who show an interest in our client's topics. We do this in two main ways:

  1. We review the bio/description to see if they have an interest in that topic.
  2. We review their tweets to see if they are tweeting about that topic and using related hashtags.

It's much better to have fewer, but relevant and engaged followers. We help our clients with engagement by:

  • Checking notifications to see who is engaging with and messaging a client, and responding as needed
  • Retweeting relevant content from Twitter lists we've helped create for a client
  • Sending thank you tweets to selected followers who retweet a client's tweets

Don't follow everyone, or just anyone - only those who want to follow you! Want to know how we can help with that? Just ask.

How do you keep up with all the changes in social media algorithms?

Short answer: you don't.

For the long answer, watch this 1-minute video: