By Judith Briles
This year has thrown EVERYONE online. I like many, have Zoomitis … from daybreak to shut down, it’s nonstop. There are times I will say, “Pick up the phone. You are in California, I’m in Colorado. Let’s sit outside with a drink and just talk and catch up.”
Zoom isn’t going away. But like all things, do you … me … need to be on camera all the time? Nope. And it’s the same with social media. It’s here. It’s a Town Hall format and should be used. With constraints.
In my blog, a recent podcast, and to my Friday morning coaching clients, I asked the questions:
- Are you dealing with social media overwhelm?
- Do you feel you are pulled in multiple directions?
- Are you confused with which platforms you should be using … and which to ignore?
- Do you want to say out loud or do you feel—why bother?
They are all good questions. In fact, essential questions. And need answers.
Did you know that there are a boatload of myths that spiral around what social media is; how to use it; what you should be doing; and why you should be doing it? Myths that the pros and experts don’t open doors to explore.
Myth #1 … You must have thousands of followers, friends, and fans.
Typically, publishers of all sizes, especially the Big Four, absolutely float in the “more is better” myth. You needed oodles of contacts, fans, followers, and friends to attract their attention.
If you believe this, you will be sucked into what I have called for years BB Gun Marketing. Just load up anything—everything—and fire it off.
Do you need thousands of followers, friends, and fans? No … no you don’t. That belief is foolish and so wrong. Two years ago, I wrote a column on finding your super fan and the power that comes with it for the author. It’s time to revisit it HERE.
Why? you ask. Because the super fan is one of the secret sauces of book sales and author success. Instead of seeking to accumulate as many contacts as Hogan has goats, focus on the ones that are looking for you—your expertise, your genre. You will do it with the use of specific hashtags and making sure your social media profiles says exactly what it should say so it’s the magnet to attract them. You will do it by knowing who your comparable author and experts are … and following them and following their followers. After all, if your profile says what you are and deliver, the likelihood of them following you increases.
And then you nurture them with content. A super fan becomes your Super Fan as well. You don’t need mega thousands of followers a few thousand can generate some attractive sales—way ahead of the average author. I promise.
Myth #2 … You must be on all social media platforms.
Nope, nada, nyet. Don’t fall for this. My fourth grade teacher Mrs. Russell embedded in my brain to avoid the words all, never, and always. She was correct—You do not need to be on all social media platforms.
Guaranteed, overwhelm will be the result and lead to disinterest and mediocrity on your part. It’s cherry picking time. Reduce yourself to two. Learn their nuances, styles, and rules—as loose as they may be. Then start. Be consistent. Post daily—sometimes, it’s appropriate to post multiple times.
Your posts should be consistent with who you are and about. Tied into your genre and expertise. If you elect to go down the rant path, there’s an army out there who will either roar back, or totally ignore you—because you are one of them.
Don’t go there.
Myth #3 … Social media is free.
Sure, the social media platforms you will use have an entry fee of $0. They are hoping they lure you in with buying ads and anything else that they come up.
At times, I’m amused at the number of hours that I know authors spending on social media. From posting, to reading others’ posts, to just surfing, being a voyeur of sorts.
Social media is not free. The true factor you need to look at is Time … what is your time worth? If you were charging for it per hour, what would you get? Are you getting your Time money’s worth?
Too many authors get caught up in the “myths” of publishing, using them as their guiding principles … where they should be trashed!
How about you? What beliefs did you hold that you let go of? I would love to hear your myths are.