5 Reasons Why You Should Be a Social Media Minimalist

5 Reasons Why You Should Be a Social Media Minimalist

By Chris Syme

There’s something inside all of us that says when we do less, we get less in return. More work means more return, right? Not when it comes to marketing. Especially not when it comes to social media. In marketing, it pays to be a minimalist.

What the Heck Is a Minimalist?

If you look in the dictionary, a minimalist is a person who favors a moderate approach to the achievement of a set of goals. But I don’t think that is focused enough. So, mind if I expand that a little? I believe a social media minimalist is a person that favors a strategic approach to marketing that requires three things:

  • Knowing which social media channel or channels produce the best return for my time and money
  • Knowing how to optimize those channels for engagement and sales
  • Implementing a system of primary and outpost channels to give maximum exposure of my brand with a minimal amount of work.
Know which social media channels to use to promote your booksClick To Tweet

A social media minimalist needs five important skills:

  • Know how to conduct basic audience research—where area readers globally and where are your readers?
  • Know the basics of how to sell (psychological triggers, sales funnel 101).
  • Know how to evaluate which social media platform is the best primary channel to sell their books.
  • Know how to optimize a primary social media channel for engagement and sales (you must engage where you want to sell).
  • Know how to set up secondary social media channels as outposts that redirect fans back to the primary channel of engagement. These are placeholders where you do not engage.

What a Minimalist is Not

There is a mistaken idea that authors (and that be you) can just choose any old social media channel they like and stick to that and be fine. After all, they’re all the same, right? There is only one instance where that is true: if you don’t care if you sell any books. If your only mission on social media is to have a place to connect with some fans (notice I didn’t say the most you can reach), then choosing any social media channel should work for that. There is nothing wrong with this approach. You just have to be careful you don’t expect a return on something you are not developing.

There is another mistaken idea that social media is only for connecting with your fans. This one is mostly championed by people who don’t like selling. The truth about social media is that it has two pieces that work together best if combined: engaging and selling. The trick is, these two entities are seldom implemented in the right proportion.

To succeed at selling without being sleazy or invasive, you need to follow the 80-20 Content Rule—80% of your content gives value to your followers and 20% is about selling. Following this formula earns you the right to sell. It’s one of the most potent psychological buying triggers: reciprocity. It decreases the chances that people feel bullied into buying and increases their desire to give back to someone who has given more than they asked for. That be you.

So why should you consider being a social media minimalist?

The more time you spend on social media, the less time you'll have to write another bookClick To Tweet

5 Reasons You Should Be a Social Media Minimalist

  1. The current social media landscape is such that there is one major platform that rises heads and shoulders above them all when it comes to audience reach, audience diversity (age and gender), time spent on the platform, and ample sales tools designed to help you sell right on your page. I’m tellin’ ya: Facebook is all you need when it comes to social media.
  2. The more time you spend trying to engage and keep up with every social media platform, the less time you have to write. Your best marketing strategy is writing your next book.
  3. With the rapid pace of new channels and changes to present social media channels, the less social media you have to keep up with, the better.
  4. Similar to number two: Distractions are the biggest killer of writing productivity. And social media has a terrible habit of fueling FOMO (fear of missing out) because everything is happening now. The less social media channels you have to manage, the less FOMO you have to deal with.
  5. Social media is just one of several other strategies you need to sell your books. And it isn’t nearly as effective as let’s say, email. Your marketing time should not be dominated by social media management.

About the author of this blog post: Chris Syme helps authors spend less time marketing and more time writing by teaching a proven method of book marketing that is simple: you don’t have to be everywhere, just the right places doing the right things. Are you ready to become a social media minimalist? Her latest book, The Newbie’s Guide to Selling More Books With Less Marketing covers that and much more. Despite the title, seasoned marketers will learn something there as well. But check out the book description first to see if it’s a good fit for you. Remember, the best marketing strategy is writing your next book.

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference. In addition, she’s a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com, and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several social media books including the 2nd edition of Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for my free email course.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

Conversations with Frances Features Chris Syme

Chris Syme

The next Conversations with Frances is September 12th and will feature social media expert Chris Syme.  Join us during our live webinar and ask your own questions.










  1. I know very few people still using Facebook to engage potential or current fans or customers. It’s an age specific, task specific issue. FB is fine for running ads & maybe for a private focussed group but it’s pretty useless as an everyday means of engaging people. Twitter is better for that. Instagram has it’s own purpose too. As does SnapChat & other platforms. I think it’s far too narrow to suggest Facebook is the main or only social media to use. Check out recent data on Facebook – it’s going into decline especially amongst older people. Possibly effected by the revelations of it’s use by Russia to interfere in various countries elections. People are losing trust it the platform. Personally I see much more activity on twitter relating to authors and their fans than on Facebook so if I was advising people to pic ONE platform (which I would probably not advise but anyway) it would be twitter (for authors that is)

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