When I entered the social media world, I was pretty much clueless, just like everybody else, I guess. Anyone who knows the difference between a Facebook page and profile and all those tiny but oh-so-perceptible differences between hashtags, @ signs and .@ signs on Twitter can now leave this post to get your afternoon tea or coffee, frolic in your garden, call your friends or do whatever it is you people do.
As for the rest of us, I had no idea how much work, effort and expertise were required to get your message across. The amazing – and more than a little irritating – fact is that things change so fast that I constantly have to learn new marketing tips. For example, did you know the best times to post? Apparently, 1pm to 4 pm for Facebook, 1 pm to 3 pm for Twitter, 7 am to 8 am and 5 pm to 6 pm for LinkedIn, 2 pm to
4 pm for Pinterest. If not, don’t worry: next week, they’re bound to have changed.
A few days ago, I posted about how important the title of the blog post is. Today, I ran into a number of articles that all promised to tell me the secrets to a successful social media marketing campaign. I am pleased to say that I know quite a few of those nifty little tricks, so all these hours spent reading and learning did not go to waste.
In a nutshell, though, all these tips boil down to this simple advice: be nice. Acknowledge the people kind enough to engage with you. Don’t pester people to buy your book, but be helpful and real.
Focus on writing out of the ordinary and remarkable stuff, then share it on different platforms – for, as I found out today, it is not as efficient to write something and then promote it in the same form through different platforms. Rumor has it that each medium requires its own approach, which means much more work! Of course, it now makes sense why most experts say that you have to choose which social medium you will place more emphasis on (and I am happy that I have my wife to help with that).
I’m not prepared to follow every bit of advice I read, mind you. Not all of it fits my personality or brand, and I have developed strong likes and dislikes towards some practices. For example, among the many articles I read today, there was one that suggested that a successful blog is a controversial one; i.e., talk about contentious issues, create a buzz, make people want to comment – positively or negatively – and generate the circumstances for people to express themselves.
I disagree with this. I am not a controversial kind of guy: I prefer to walk away rather than enter into a heated debate that will not let me sleep at night because of aggravation, anger and heartburn. And I hate the idea of pushing controversial posts merely to create “buzz”. Not to mention that I tend to find the most persuasive lines well after the fight, which frustrates me even more! Anyway, if anyone tries it, let me know how it works for you.
On the other hand, I love a tip that I see repeated across many experts’ blogs, and that ties in wonderfully with my personal philosophy: help people, and get to know them. Be more personal, because being all businessy without a human touch, just doesn’t work. People are so overwhelmed with info, that they want someone that says, “I care about you, and I will make the extra effort to be your friend” instead of “buy my wonderful book”.
This works on every level. For example, a few days ago I completed a Facebook promotion for a client of mine. It didn’t go as well as anticipated, and I contacted our assigned consultant on Facebook (yes, there is such a person, the ever helpful and sweet Pauline Chbat). She suggested we make the campaign more personal, e.g. “We are Pierre and Paul and we are the proud owners of a guesthouse with a magnificent view to the sea” rather than “Enjoy relaxing holidays with a breathtaking view of the sea”. Upon making such small changes, the campaign exceeded its targets.
I will close this post with a fantastic infographic found on SocialMediaToday that gave it its title. As you can see, I am applying what I preach: helping others instead of plugging my book. Piece of cake! 🙂
Great post Nicholas – thanks for sharing! No surprise you got so many comments on this one. It touches a subject that every indie author relates to. I am still experimenting with the time I dedicate to Twitter & Facebook (hardly ever use Google+ and Linkedin as yet) and also I try to post in diverse times. I find posts sent out late afternoon hours here in Greece (morning in the US) get the most responses. The advice I get through research is still overwhelming to me. Although I am aware I know virtually nothing yet, I try to use my instinct as well rather than follow it all to the letter. As for finding the balance between writing and marketing, there is no balance. The scales have gone out the window since I became an indie author! To find time to write regularly with having to do so much blogging, researching and posting on social media, I’d have to clone myself – like, twice!
Reblogged this on Random Musings from the Mind of a 30 something writer and commented:
Great tips and guidance on how to effectively leverage social media from Nicholas Rossis.
Thank you for the reblog, I’m so glad you found the post useful! 🙂
Reblogged this on How To Ebook.
Hi Sylvia, thanks for the reblog! I’m glad you found the post useful! 🙂
I didn’t understand number 4 on the graphic but yes, the rest makes sense.
It ties in with what I’ve been talking about in my 7 tips and SEO: https://nicholasrossis.me/2014/04/14/7-fool-proof-marketing-tips-to-promote-your-blog/
An… I think I get it now… 🙂
Thanks so much for the timely post about, well, the timing of posts. As someone who’s both relatively new to social media and working an unconventional shift at the real job, I’ve found it difficult to connect with readers during “peak time.” I’m most active late-night in the US during the week, so it’s usually me, some tumbleweeds, and a handful of crickets passing each other like bloggers/tweeters in the night. By morning, my midnight missives have been buried under an avalanche of new posts. Time to find a 9-to-5 with a looong lunch break!
If you think that’s bad, try living abroad! Every time I post, I have to think, “so what’s the time in the States right now?” 😀
very helpful, thanx!
Glad you think so! 🙂
Excellent, thanks for this. Things to keep in mind…
Thanks, glad you found it helpful! 🙂
That’s pretty much what I’ve deduced from my few short months of platform building, but seeing it all in black and white is always welcome! This is a lot of work, though. And now that I’ve moved into a four digit number of Twitter followers who offer support but also require the relevant attention, the time I need to spend on just Twitter, my blog and emailing has doubled. Facebook and Google+ I have on autopilot. I’m afraid the much coveted balance between promotion and writing still eludes me…:(
Ah, yes, I’ve heard of such a thing as a balance between promotion and writing. I believe I overheard Bigfoot mentioning it to a unicorn once… :b
Congrats on breaking the 1,000 follower mark on Twitter! I think you’re doing a great job with both your Twitter account and blog. You have great, original posts on https://mmjayewrites.com and your Tweets are always relevant.
Like you, I’ve focused on these two much more than FB and G+, as I find blogging easy – it allows me to be as brief or verbose as I like. Twitter, on the other hand, multiplies the effect of my posts far beyond the blog’s followers.
Reblogged this on Tea Talks.
As someone taking a second shot into blogging, I can say that a lot of what you discuss applies to my efforts and, likely enough, the efforts of just about every other blogger on the Internet.
If there’s one thing I would tell anyone to take away from this, it’s what you mentioned in your post, specifically to:
“Help people, and get to know them.”
Not only have I found this to be the most effective way to market products and services, but I know in my heart that it’s the right thing to do. When you help someone out, it leads to other people paying you back in whatever ways they can. Even seemingly insignificant actions, when summed up with other similar actions, can create a tidal wave of effect.
Hi Samantha, thank you for your comment! I have this saying, that you have to help 100 people succeed before you, too, can succeed. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget that! 🙂