Social Media, and Why It Matters Where You Show Up Online
Welcome to Day Eight! As promised, we’re now finishing the fundamental aspects of platform with a discussion on social media.
I want to reiterate that everything from this point forward is still platform. However, social media, blogs, newsletters, forums, YouTube, and podcasting are engagement aspects of platform.
Think of your website / Goodreads and Amazon Author Central profiles / reviews and blurbs all as static aspects of platform. Readers will find out about you there. Engagement aspects are places where readers will find you and engage with you.
Social Media: Where to Be Found and Where to Show Up
I can’t think of many authors who are not found on social media. These are most (not all) major platforms:
Is it any wonder that many authors end up overwhelmed when they try to show up in too many places online?
From yesterday’s exercise, you’re probably already thinking about who your ideal reader is and where they are going to show up. When you decide which social media to use, take that into consideration. For example, younger readers are more likely to be found on Snapchat, Tumblr, and Wattpad, while adult women are likely to be found on Pinterest. (Here’s a great reference on social media usage stats to help further hone your considerations.)
Your time is valuable—you need time to write, time to live, and time to promote effectively. Trying to be present on every social media channel requires energy, so all the more reason to pick a few of the best places and build an engagement system around those.
Just be aware that in streamlining your presence on social media, you’re also closing potential doors. You might assume that LinkedIn is not a place where you’ll find any readers, but what about those few readers who might be only found there? Effective marketing is not just about hitting large sales spikes but about each and every reader you acquire—because you never know who they are going to tell about your book.
I recommend you set up a profile on every social media site, without the intention to use it (the short 80-character bio you made on Day Five can be used for these). Then link to your website in that profile. If someone who reads your book tries to look you up on, say, Pinterest, where you’re not active, they’ll still know where else they can connect with you.
You may recall on Day Three that when I talked about the “contact” page, I suggested only linking to the social media channels where you are active. If you do set up a basic profile on every social media channel, only link to the ones you are using for engagement aspects. You want to be found everywhere, but once found, you want to send your readers to places where you actually show up.
You don’t have to be present on every social media channel to succeed, though if you are, make sure it’s with the purpose of directing readers to the select places where you are actively engaging. Less is more, and remember, just like with your engagement system, you should always innovate and experiment based on results.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk more about sharing strategies in your engagement system, since that’s a whole other can of worms!
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