Peter M. Olsen asked, “Do more social media accounts over-saturate the product, or in my case me?” which got me thinking about how we choose our social media channels. With new social media channels popping up every day, knowing the why behind our choices is more vital than ever.
Why most people choose a social media network
The average social media user chooses their channel based on their own interests. If you took to the streets and asked: “What social media channel do you use most? Why?” You’ll get a lot of answers saying something along the lines of “because I enjoy it.” But what does that mean for authors? Is it a valid social media strategy for your author business to only join the channels you enjoy?
Why you should choose a social media network
If you plan on using social media as a part of your author business strategy than choosing a social network because you like it is NOT a smart move. When using social media to connect with your audience and grow your influence, following, and business you must think of your audience first and always. Does this mean you join every social media network out there, even the ones you hate using? No. It means you put your audience first.
A smart strategy to follow:
- Determine your target audience
- Research where your target audience is active online (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc)
- Pick one of two of these channels to start with
- Learn the best practices of the one or two channels you selected
- Grow your channels and reduce the time you need to spend on them to be effective
- Expand into other channels from you initial research on your target audience
- Repeat the learning and growing process for each new channel
A real life example:
- Author determines her audience is female, early twenties, loves books, cats, and geeky things, and is college educated
- Author researches where such a person hangs out online and finds the majority of her target reader hands out of Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest
- Author starts out a Twitter and Instagram account
- Author learns how to best use Twitter and Instagram by reading up on the best practices on sites like BadRedhead Media (shameless plug 😉 )
- Author uses these best practices DAILY to grow her following on Twitter and Instagram and reduces the time she needs to spend on each platform as each platform becomes easier to use and the best practices become habits
- Author expands into Pinterest and repeats the learning and growing process
By using the method above you become a pro at each network you are on, grow your audience where they want to be connected with, and avoid the overwhelm of trying to be everywhere at once all at the start.
Why you should choose more than one social media network
If you do your research (and trust me, you should!) you’ll find your audience is on more than one social media network. My personal favorites are Twitter and Instagram. Someone else might be a big Facebook and blog fan. When you do your research you’ll come away with a list of channels your audience is active on (with many people in your target audience being active on a few of the channels listed). This is why you need to be on multiple networks. (Not sure hot to handle multiple networks? Pro tip: Use a scheduling tool like Buffer.)
Having accounts on multiple channels should never oversaturate your brand, it should improve it. Each channel has their own language and preferences. Once you learn these and use them you’ll find each new channel improves upon the brand that is you. Twitter will showcase your quick thinking and attention to the latest trends, Instagram will showcase the person behind the camera which each picture you post, Pinterest will showcase your loves, dreams, and hobbies. Ever channel, used correctly, will build another layer of the brand that is you as an author.
So get out there and build your brand!
About Kate Tilton:
Kate Tilton has been in love with books for as long as she can remember. A relatively new voice in publishing, Kate has been serving authors behind the scenes since 2010. Founder of Kate Tilton’s Author Services, LLC, Kate works as an author assistant and social media manager with the mission of connecting authors and readers. Kate is the creator and host of #K8chat (Thursdays at 9pm Eastern), a contributor to BadRedhead Media, and has appeared on popular media such as Publishers Weekly, The Book Designer, Kobo Writing Life and Rafflecopter. A cat-lover and fan of many geeky things, Kate can likely be found curled up with the latest Doctor Who episode, plotting world takeover, or connecting authors and readers in any way she can.