Happy Monday, SEers! It’s a new week and a new subject. Lately, friends, family, and I have been discussing social media. Even co-workers. I’ve come to realize many people have a love/hate relationship with social media, or at least some of the platforms, and the bulk of activity that takes place there.
I’m not here to debate the merits of social media, rather to offer some suggestions on how to best use it as an author. As writers, we need to have a social media presence. The world exists online, therefore it’s a necessity we’re there too. Obviously, there are tons of social media outlets available, but when does your message become diluted?
In the world of advertising—regardless the nature of your product or service—the goal is to achieve Top of Mind Awareness. TOMA is the golden standard everyone hopes to attain.
If I say “dandruff shampoo” you’ll probably think of Head and Shoulders. If I say, “best-selling horror novelist,” you probably think Stephen King. Best-selling YA fantasy series? How about Harry Potter?
There was a time when businesses used the bulk of mediums available to obtain TOMA. Many felt the need to be everywhere. Web, print, direct mail, radio, etc. Most businesses, however, work with a budget and only have x-dollars to spend. When invested in multiple mediums, there isn’t enough impact, only a ripple. Poof, and you’re done. Advertisers became smarter and realized they weren’t netting a good ROI. Rather than scatter their message across many platforms they focused on what worked best.
I look at social media the same way. I could be everywhere, spending five minutes here, five minutes there, but am I making an impression? I’d rather put most of my eggs in one basket, rather than having many baskets with only one egg.
If I build a social media fiefdom, the bigger the fiefdom becomes, the more likely I am to neglect specific regions. (Click to Tweet)
I currently use the following social media accounts:
My website and blog
Facebook Author Page
Seriously? Ten accounts? Am I insane? Who has time for that? Let’s not forget we’re also juggling writing, editing, promoting (or own work and others), working a regular job and/or maintaining a household.
When my first book was published six years ago, I tried to be everywhere. Eventually, however, I remembered the rule of TOMA. Connect, don’t be a ripple in a social media stream. That means investing more time in a few baskets, rather than minimal time in many. When you stretch yourself too thin, your message becomes diluted.
In advertising, you’re most likely to make a bigger impact by being seen repeatedly in 1-2 markets rather than 1-2 times in many. (Click to Tweet)
Find what works for you and invest the bulk of your time there. For me it’s blogging, Twitter, and Tribber. To a lesser degree, I think I’m going to find Creator Collabs highly useful. It’s a sharing platform two of my fellow SE authors recommended, and I’ve found it works well in conjunction with Twitter, my preferred social media program.
Am I still going to maintain my other accounts? Sure, but I’m not likely to be very visible on them. Facebook is woefully neglected, and I can’t remember the last time I made an effort with Pinterest and Goggle+. Realistically, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day.
Your magic mix of social accounts could be something else entirely—Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Or maybe you like LinkedIn, Snapchat, and YouTube. It’s a matter of deciding how many baskets and how many eggs are right for you.
Quality, not quantity. It’s an old idiom, but it holds true. Social media has allowed me to make friends with numerous authors, bloggers, and readers for which I am grateful. We’ve got a wonderful networking community online, but there comes a point when juggling too many eggs is going to result in the basket tipping over. Then you get—splat!
How do you view social media? When are too many accounts too many? Do you find yourself signing up for everything that’s out there, and then only using a few? Biggest question of all—if you weren’t an author, would you still have all the social media accounts you presently have? Would you use social media at all?