Social media sharing
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How Are You Spending Your Most Valuable Time on #Social Media?

 

 

Social marketing

 

As writers and authors, many of us use various social media channels to help brand our names and blogs. The age old question that seems to plague many of us is, what’s working for us in terms of gaining more following and readership?

 

The question may seem simple, but the fact is, different platforms seem to be more and less effective for each one of us. I’m no SEO expert by a longshot, but from what I’ve gleaned from my own experience, and from reading about some experiences of others, certain platforms just seem to work better than others, depending on the type of posts made and sometimes depending on the genre we write in.

The first step to success in gaining followers is to engage with readers and commenters when they do visit our posts. Depending on the genre we write in, and the particular social site we’re posting in should dictate what types of things we should post. We can all try out different sites to see what the feedback is, but keep in mind the more sites we’re on, the more sites we have to babysit.

There’s nothing wrong with posting on many sites and weeding out where we’ll find our most engaged readers are. From there we can decide where to focus more of our attention. Remember, readers want informative information, entertaining posts, and posts pertaining to writing. And when posting about our books, we should be focusing on an interesting element of our book, or perhaps a promotion we’re running to inform readers about the opportunity. Also keep in mind that social media works by informing and sharing. This means, sharing posts from others too because that will bring us more connections with others, and in turn, these people will eventually become willing to share back our posts on their channels.

Every platform seems to have their own niche and focus. The main thing to keep in mind is not to push people by constant posting to ‘buy our books’. Nobody wants to be sold to. If we put out good info and engage with our readers and they like what they see, then we can talk about our books, share a promo on our pages and gain more interest because once a follower enjoys our posts they may very well be interested in our books and letting them know our books are on sale is a good thing.

What and where should we post for effective engagement?

 

Linkedin

I recommend posting things  that are relevant to the things we write about, and gear the posts to the type of social media we’re posting on. When I say this, I mean, take Linkedin for example, Linkedin is a site to make connections with others in our field, ie: writers, editors, publishers, artists, promoters, etc. Linkedin is also a place that anybody can look at our resume and works and take opportunity to contact us for a potential job or interview related to our expertise, etc. So I post my blogs there and articles of interest related to the writing field that I come across. You can also write, post and publish your own articles on your page there. There are numerous groups we can join and interact with others there. I’ve met many new interesting people on that site. Another important aspect of Linkedin is that connections can endorse us for skills. That can look attractive to someone who is sniffing out our profile. When I first began learning about self-publishing, I spent a lot more time on Linkedin participating in group forums with other writers, and I can say I learned a lot from them. I find now that I don’t have the time to spend in forums, but I still check in every day, as new people request to connect with them frequently, and I also receive messages from connections, sometimes asking to participate in a group or an invitation to connect or to an event. Linkedin should be a site that all professionals join. One never knows what opportunity may be offered us from there.

 

Twitter 

Twitter is great for sharing posts to bring blog traffic over to our site. It’s a great site to gather like-minded followers who like to read what we’re putting out. We can link to anything from there and using the appropriate hashtag to gain specific readers to the type of content we’re posting is just one way of gaining new readers of our content. We can advertise our books sales, post quotes and add links to our websites for those who like the meme or quote we posted the link to, to draw them over to our blogs, just to name a few things to do there. The point is to respond to tweets, share back by tweeting posts of others who take the time to retweet us and follow. I spend 20 minutes every morning catching up on notifications and checking out new followers and sending out tweets. That’s all I can manage in my busy days, but there are apps such as Hootsuite and Buffer that allow you to pre-schedule posts at various times. Those are apps I haven’t mastered very well because I’m not a pre-planned tweeter. But throughout the day and evening, when I’m reading an article or blog of interest, I’ll always hit the ‘twitter’ button to tweet out the post I’m reading, so in essence, I still tweet intermittently through the day and night, but I only go there once a day to respond and check out new followers, and after looking at their profiles, decide if I will follow back. I say this because, we all get those ‘followers’ who sometimes have no connection to our writing world. We’ll all learn how to sniff out these followers by clicking on their profiles and most of the time they have no avatar, no website, and an ‘egg’ is representive of their avatar. That’s usually a flag for me not to follow.

 

Facebook 

Facebook is an interesting platform. Before I began writing books, I had de-activated the app because I didn’t enjoy the world seeing my posts, but that all changed when I wanted to start selling books and had to put myself out in the public eye. If we’re writing books, we should have a Facebook author page, and in order to get that you must first open a personal page. Personal is a word I now use lightly because once upon a time, that’s what my page there was for, personal friends and family to share family photos, events, milestones, etc. I opened my author page to post my blogs, articles pertaining to writing, promotions, anything to do with my books, you get the picture. What happened? Well it seems that many of my followers from my author page had found my personal page and began ‘friending’ me and I felt I had to friend them back. So ultimately, over time, my postings have changed on my personal page to more posts related to the things I believe in, and things I write about. I post memes that are funny pertaining to women, aging, menopause, etc. And I post many quotes and memes on kindness and justice. I usually go there in the evenings when I have some time after blog reading to check out other posts, see who has ‘liked’ my posts and thank them, and scour around to some of my favorite pages on Facebook to find some inspiring or funny post to post on my page. I also tend to use my page as a sounding board for little incidents I encounter occasionally that I want to rant about or share a laugh with others about. Facebook is also good for creating an event page when we’re running a promo, and you can pay for ads where they will ‘boost’ your post to get more eyes on it. The ad thing isn’t always a success for everyone. Some authors say it was a waste of time, some like it. From what I gather, depending on the genre we write in and the audience following us is what makes those ads more or less successful. I haven’t tried it yet, so I’m no authority.

 

Instagram 

Instagram, I feel, is a more personalized type of site geared toward people’s passions. I am by no means a pro on that site but I was curious to join because I’d heard that many writers like that site to post personal pictures, book photos, quotes from their books, and snippets of personally liked things there. Apparently, many readers love to get to know more about their favorite authors and snippets from their everyday life. I believe Instagram has recently begun allowing us to make short little videos now we can post there as well as letting us post live links. I haven’t tried the videos yet. Instagram is mostly a mobile based app. So it’s quick and easy to add a photo from your phone or a video you’ve made on your phone, add a caption or a link to your post or book, or your website, etc. to gain more followers of your work and make friends. I often send a photo from my Facebook page over to Instagram and write a caption with a hashtag because just like Twitter, if you hashtag your posts, people who follow those hashtagged categories will be able to see them. I don’t go to Instagram nearly enough to use it to its full potential, but I am there and so are hundreds of my photos. Once or twice a week I go there to see how many ‘likes’ I’ve received and to check for messages.

 

Pinterest 

This is another interesting app I use. Again, I don’t spend much time going to my actual site but I have 40 boards set up there with categories I like to post in. When I come across a blog post I enjoyed and think it would fit one of my boards, I always ‘pin it’ to one of my Pinterest boards. I send all my own blog posts there. I have a board where I send all my author friend’s book covers to, and a board with everything to do with my own books: excerpts, interview links, book covers, etc. There is a myriad of things you can pin there, and other people who enjoy our pins sometimes invite us to be able to pin articles to their boards. It’s great because we can create our own boards of interest and those who are interested in our board topics will see our posts. Again, don’t forget to edit before pinning with your website or a link, it’s just another outlet to draw readers to our work.

 

Google

I send all my posts and many blogs I read to Google. Besides being another place where readers can find us, Google is one of the biggest search engines in town, and the more you feed it, the more discoverability you will have on the web. When I Google my name, D.G. Kaye, I come up on the first 19 pages of Google, that’s good stuff!

 

So these are the sites I use to send my posts and other interesting articles I come across, to. There are many other social sites around, but I have my hands full keeping up with these, and for now, I have my time allotment system in place for all of them. But I know in the near future I am going to want to revamp my system and probably delve a bit more into getting more out of social media than I’m currently taking from it. At least I’m linked up and gathering followers in the mean time and that’s a big plus for us to keep building our platforms.

 

What’s working for you?

 

If you aren’t already connected with me, please visit me at any of my sites and let’s connect!

 

Author Page:   http://www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

Goodreads:      http://www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

About me:        http://www.wiseintro.co/dgkaye7

Twitter:            http://www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (yes there’s a story)

Linkedin:          http://www.linkedin.com/in/dgkaye7

Facebook:         http://www.facebook.com/dgkaye

Google:              http://www.google.com/+DebbyDGKayeGies

Instagram:        http://www.instagram.com/dgkaye

Pinterest:          http://www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

 

 

 

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

55 Comments

  • D. Wallace Peach

    This is great, Debby. I’m still in that struggle for time and can’t imagine being active on all those sites. Maybe someday. I’ll have to slow down on writing a bit to do it… or get a divorce (not). Have a great day and thanks again for the informative post!

    • dgkaye

      Lol, thanks Diana. A few writers had asked what was working for me, so I thought I’d share. Yes it involves time and I’ve learned to shave down where I spend my time, but these sites are what brings me many followers and readers. 🙂

  • Jeri Walker (@JeriWB)

    Twitter has worked best for me for gaining editing clients, and those who follow Word Bank’s Facebook page seem to enjoy the curated content I post there. When I do make a real push at the author thing, I’m not sure what will pan out best. I do know the time I will devote to blogging will be minimal, and I have made a schedule where I will gradually post less on Word Bank as well. Blogging is great, but not when it takes too much time away from creative writing time. All of this stuff takes away from writing time, but is necessary.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing Jeri. That’s it in a nutshell, we have to write, yet we have to work on our platform or who will buy our books? It’s a time consuming double-edged sword for sure. I know I burn the candle at both ends and still struggle to find a way to lessen the load, but haven’t yet so I don’t have much free time for anything else. We do have to learn where we have to make cuts sometimes.

  • Norah

    Thanks Debby for that great information. It’s interesting to find out what places you have found useful. I have my blog posts set up to automatically share on Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook when published. I was thinking of stopping Linkedin but, funnily enough, I had some engagement with a recent one. I find Linkedin difficult to navigate though. I haven’t really figured it out. Still working on Facebook too, though I’m a lot more confident with Twitter. Learning how to use Social Media takes a lot of time. It’s a balancing act.
    I love your heart-shaped word cloud. What did you use to make it?

    • dgkaye

      Hi Norah. So nice to see you here. Good that you’ve hooked up your blog to go to the ‘usual places’. I too didn’t realize the value of Linkedin when I first began publishing, but it turns out I get many invitations from connections there. Honestly I don’t spend near enough time there, so I’m always amazed at how many endorse me and see my work. You never know who’s watching! 🙂
      About the word cloud, there are 2 sites I make them on. One is festisite.com and another I just learned about is tagul.com. Now looking forward to see what you create. 🙂

  • L. T. Garvin, Author

    I loved your in-depth exploration of these sites, Debby. Social media is such a vital component for writers now. It is difficult to establish and maintain several sites but well worth studying which ones work for our audiences. Great information, thanks so much!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks so much for visiting Lana and leaving your lovely comment. It’s true, if we want to be successful writers there’s much we have to tend to. It can be overwhelming, but testing the waters and finding what works best will eventually shave down the amount of time we spend on places that aren’t giving us value. 🙂

  • marianbeaman

    There’s a lot to keep up with, and I admire you for keeping in touch on so many sites. My blog posts connect weekly on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Google sites. My favorite is Facebook because I’m most familiar with it, and Twitter is second. Whenever I post on Twitter, I usually connect with sometimes half a dozen writers would want to follow me. My blog posts there, and I use #1lineWed (memoir theme) and #amwriting as my “handles.”

    Probably my least favorite is LinkedIn because of how it’s structured. I do have Pinterest and Instagram accounts and use Pinterest often because the algorithms shoot out suggestions that align with my interests. Instagram – not so much. I think millennials use it the way older folks use Facebook, just a hunch. In short, I have a lot of learn to be efficient on all the above. Thanks, Debby!

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing Marian. You’re on the right track. I’m still finding that some bloggers don’t have their posts connected to auto send to social media, which alleviates some of the posting, like when you tweet someone’s post and their handle isn’t attached and it says @wordpress.com, they’re missing out on the accolades and not gaining recognition or connections from the post. Linkedin has a lot going on, you could literally spend hours there if you searched around on what it has to offer. I hope to spend more time there in the new year as I’ve made some great business connections and contacts there. And like I said, we eventually gravitate to where our most interaction grows. 🙂

      • marianbeaman

        This morning my post wasn’t automatically shared to my social media links, so I had to get WP tech support people involved to find out why. In the meantime, I manually did a cut/paste to link. I’m thankful at least for a work-around.

        • dgkaye

          There’s always a workaround, it’s just longer, but at least there is. And sometimes that happens Marian, our linked to social media disconnects. Usually when your post is ready to publish or scheduled, underneath where you hit schedule or publish it may tell you that you need to refresh a connection. Also if you don’t see that, go into your dashboard ‘settings’ >sharing, and double check your social sites are linked. 🙂

  • Sherri

    Very helpful and indepth post Deb, thank you so much for this. It’s helped me feel okay-ish where I am right now, with what I can handle while working hard on my memoir rewrites (about two-thirds of the way now, but with Christmas fast approaching, my time will be more limited for a little while…but still progress to be had!). But it also reminds me of where, and soon, I need to be more proactive. We’ve had the Twitter discussion, and I’m trying to work on that, still not that great, but I’ve got it in mind, and I’ve thought of Instagram, but not yet. My FB author page ticks along, and like you, crosses over to my personal FB account, but I try to keep my writing ‘stuff’ on the public page because my family on my personal page don’t seem to be interested in writing posts. Having said that, friends, and now a lot of writing friends who’ve come over from my blog and are now FB friends, do read them. So as with you, it’s a cross over and a learning curve as to what works with the ebb and flow. And I know I’m going to have to get more into this social media lark at time goes on. Although, I know some are coming over to my blog but I have no idea who! As for Google plus, I really don’t use that at all, as I don’t really get it. Reading your post, I think I need to share more posts there. And I am so very grateful for all you share of mine. Thanks for holding my hand my friend! 🙂 <3 xoxo

    • dgkaye

      Baby steps Sher. You’re on the right path already. It is a lot to contend with. I am bad with visiting my Google page directly but I do have my posts sent there, hooked up with my blog to auto send. Google sends notifications when people ‘like’ or comment on them and I just click on the notification when I get it to respond. Plus, remember, Google is one of the biggest search engines. You’ll want your author name floating around their search pages, especially once you publish. You can see what I mean if you go to Google and type ‘D.G. Kaye’ in the search bar, there are pages and pages of my posts, comments, books, etc listed for anyone to click on. This is great advertising that Google displays of me. So it’s worth it. Good food for thought. 🙂 xo<3

      • Sherri

        Thanks again for all this Deb. I do Google my name and my blog name from time to time and am always amazed to see it right there as you describe. It makes me realize that all the hard work I’m doing behind the scenes, even if I don’t blog as regularly as I would like to at the moment, is paying off, somehow! I used to blog 3 to 4 times a week in the early couple or three years, but this year, my fourth, has been my slowest yet as you know. I used to post over on LinkedIn but I barely go over there anymore. Twitter I really need to get a better ‘handle’ on – no pun intended! Knowing I’ve got you by my side to help me through all this though is fantastic…you’ve encouraged me more than you know my wonderful friend! 🙂 <3 xoxo

  • Marsha

    I use all of those, starting with Facebook including joing groups, which I love. I just upgraded Buffer, and so far I love it to promote posts I’ve created that are worth a repost. I don’t part with my money on services easily, but $102 a year seemed like a good investment. Unfortunately, it does not feed itself. 🙂

  • elainemansfield

    Thanks again. LinkedIn used to work for me when I focused only on grief, but it hasn’t been as useful lately–although thanks for reminding me to post my latest blog there. I forget. I’m on it with twitter and FB (where I get the most shares and hits) but can’t seem to manage the rest. I have a languishing Pinterest account and same is true for google+. For me, there simply isn’t enough time to do it all, so I chose what worked best for me. I don’t set scheduled tweets or shares anywhere. Maybe that’s a mistake, but I like the interaction part. Oh, that’s what you’re doing. I’m doing this…

    • dgkaye

      It sounds like you’re doing the same circuit as me Elaine. And that’s enough for us to handle. I’m with you on the Twitter share, on a more personal level. 🙂 Yes, just ‘hitch’ up your blog to Linkedin so it gets auto sent. At least you’re there! 🙂

  • Annika Perry

    I’m beginning to wonder how people manage with so many various forms of social media. Until recently I only ran my blog but after many kind suggestions /nudges finally worked out how to join Twitter. To my surprise I’m actually quite enjoying this…it seems to be a hit and miss whether I come across people the twenty or so minutes I check it every day. Do you know if there is a way of flagging the ones I really want to read? Interesting informative article, Debby. ?

  • Hugh's Views and News

    This is a great article, Debby. Social media can take up so much of our time, so when I first starred to blog I was advised to stick to two or three social media sites. I’m on most of them but Twitter and StumbleUpon have been the ones that bring most traffic to my blog. I tweet a lot everyday and am gradually getting into trying to post at least once a day on Instagram. I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook, so I don’t use it very much, but I am now beginning to see a steady stream of traffic from it.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing Hugh. It’s true we have to try various media site and find what works for us. I didn’t mention Stumbledupon in this post, but I did add a button and have been sending many articles there, and get notifications from them that my pages are being stumbled often although I still don’t know how it really works. Lol 🙂

      • Hugh's Views and News

        It’s still a bit of a mystery to me as well, Debby. ? However, it’s been responsible for bringing over 6,000 views to my blog. One post got over 3,000 of those views. The folks at Stumble Upon have changed things around a little over the last few months. I don’t like everything they have done but I still continue to use it.

  • reocochran

    I do LinkedIn and WordPress. My grown children tell me to stay off Facebook and that I am not really Instagram or Twitter type. I am always busy on weekends “playing catch up!” There is no way unless I quit my job and had someone buying me bon-bon’s, that I would consider spreading myself any thinner than I do. Lol 😀

    • dgkaye

      I hear you Robin. It’s quite time consuming, but since Indie authors have to take control of all aspects of publishing and promoting, besides writing, we have to do the best we can to stay visible. I admire you and others who can know their limits. I’m still trying to balance mine. 🙂

  • Tina Frisco

    I find that I get the most engagement on FB and Twitter. How much of that translates into followers, I have no idea! I don’t keep track, most likely because I’d rather be sitting under a tree in the forest or standing in the middle of the desert singing and playing my guitar. I’m a writer by nature, as well as reluctant self-promoter. But you, my friend; you’re a natural. This blog post speaks to your talent and your eye for what works and what doesn’t. Glad to know you’re out there, Debby Gies! 🙂 ♥

    • dgkaye

      Thank you my guitar strumming, forest lovin’ friend! <3 But as I said, different sites will be more and less effective for each person, although I gather that Twitter and FB are the first choices for many authors.
      And thank you for that very nice compliment T. xo<3

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