The Way We Think About Social Media Is Broken

Why what we think about social media is brokenWhen you first write a book and brave the waters of social media, what are you thinking about?

Be honest.

I know what I was thinking. Sales. Readers. Clients.

It’s a mistake that we all make. We’re enthusiastic. We believe we just wrote the best book ever and we’re eager to turn all those hours we labored over every sentence into something tangible: green dollars. Or euros.

Or maybe we’re more altruistic. What we want is for people to enjoy our book, appreciate our craft.

Regardless of our goals, what we don’t want to see is our books fail to reach people, right?

So perhaps we enter social media with too much naiveté and enthusiasm. We make mistakes. A few trolls get upset with us.

Social Media Learning Curve

Oh, well. We all must travel a learning curve.

The problem is that when we first start out, the way we think about social media is broken. In the beginning, we concern ourselves with two goals: sales and numbers.

We want lots of book sales, and we want high numbers. We want thousands if not millions of Twitter followers, and thousands of Facebook likes. And because we’re new to this work of marketing, it all seems possible, until …

Until a few weeks or a few months pass and we realize that something isn’t working. Our book isn’t selling well and ratcheting up followers isn’t easy.

This is a great moment in our development. Why? Because this is the time when we can start to learn a better way, a truer way, a way that will bring friends and colleagues into our world.

Never over-promote your content Click To Tweet

Notice that I didn’t use the word sales. Why? Because if we use social media correctly, the way it was meant to be used, the sales will happen. But first, we must network. We must make friends with our readers, and we must become friendly with other authors who write in our genre.

Listen to Your Readers and Your Niche Influencers

When you first join a new social media network, it’s always a good idea to listen before you jump in with your tweets and status updates. Follow these steps:

  • Lurk nicely. Check out how people write their tweets and status updates. Find your influencers. Look for readers, book bloggers, authors in your niche, and book reviewers.
  • Retweet information that your readers will enjoy.
  • Then get your game on. Write blog posts, and tweet and post them.
  • Create your own images using Canva, a free application, or PicMonkey that you can use to add text to copyright-free images you find on the web or those you take yourself.
  • Find meaningful quotes to share, and create text-based images using your finest lines of writing. Also, share humorous memes and anything and everything related to reading, books, and libraries.
  • Don’t over-promote any of your content. Instead, follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time promote other users, other writers, influencers, and your readers; 20% of the time post about your books, blog posts, website, and other offerings you might have.
  • Never say, “Buy my book” or “Read my blog post.” Instead, attract readers to your website, your blog, and Amazon by sharing the best content you can find in your niche.
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What to Post on Social Media Plus 38 Examples

What to Post on Social Media Plus 38 Examples by Frances Caballo

Ten years ago, you wrote a book and you never expected to find out anything about the author. Now with social media, everyone wants that connection. I think our readers want to be invited into our lives and brought on the journey and be part of this whole process. ~~ Jane Green

Not Sure What to Post? Try These Ideas

Authors often ask me, “What should I post on social media?”

The answer is simple: Great content that your readers will enjoy. Social media and book marketing aren’t about you. Yes, you have books to sell and a blog you want your readers to visit. But in the end, everything you do is about the reader.

As such, the content you post will be driven by what motivates, moves, and meets the needs of your readers.

In other words, the content you post will need to be:

  • Informative
  • Interesting
  • And when images and videos are used, captivating
  • And at times, your content can be entertaining

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