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.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Never over-promote your content via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Never over-promote your content “]

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.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Minimize self-promotion on social media via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Minimize self-promotion on social media”]

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 14, 2017

Social Media Weekly Update

This week’s Social Media Update covers everything from ebook production to making more money with your books to book why the news feed may be outdated.

Are you enjoying spring yet? We got a taste of it one weekend, followed by days of rain again. I hear that hiking the local trails — one of my passions — will be less fun due to the abundance of ticks and poison  oak. However you spend your time on weekends, I hope you stay safe and have fun.


Indie Author Updates

4 eBook Platforms Offering Cool Data, Distribution & Marketing Tools from BookWorks and by Carla King: “There are a lot of eBook platforms out there—how many do you know? I bet you haven’t heard of Kbuuk, PublishDrive, Scribl, or StreetLib but I’ll also bet you’ll want to try at least one of them by the end of this post. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your existing service (IngramSpark, Smashwords, Amazon KDP), but add one or more of these to the mix.”

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 7, 2017

Welcome to another edition of the Indie Author Weekly Update. Below you’ll find an array of posts from social media to fake news in publishing to Amazon keywords. I hope you enjoy them.

I chose a poppy for the above image today because they are blooming all over Northern California where I live. They represent a touch of spring that’s here. I hope you’re enjoying the flowers in your world as well as your writing.


Indie Author Updates

Growing Your Presence on Social Media from Digital Pubbing: “Social media is great. You can connect with people easily, you can learn new things, and you can share awesome content. It’s also a lot of hard work, because you want to make sure you are posting high quality content that resonates with people, and it takes some effort to measure and tweak your strategy.”

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10 Quick Tips About Social Media

10 Quick Tips About Social MediaIf you’re just starting out on social media, it may seem overwhelming. Even if you’ve been using it for a while, the prospect of staying up to date on numerous social media platforms may seem like a full-time job.

Don’t get disheartened.

There definitely are learning curves to social media. That’s a given. But social media needn’t be overwhelming.

Take it from someone who works in social media every day.

As the joke goes, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Take the same approach to the social media networks you want to learn and keep up with.

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10 Things Your Competition Can Teach You About Social Media

10 Things Your Competition Can Teach You About Social MediaWhen writers are new to social media, I always recommend that they spend time lurking around the social media networks they plan to use.

The advice isn’t as unsavory as it may sound. After all, I’m not talking about spying around street corners but instead observing the competition on social media.

For example, how do other authors engage with readers? Who do they follow? Who follows them? How often do they post?

You get the idea.

[clickToTweet tweet=”New to social media? Spend time ‘lurking’ first via @CaballoFrances” quote=”New to social media? Spend time ‘lurking’ first”]

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Sick of Social Media? 10 Steps to Revive Your Enthusiasm

The next episode of Conversations with Frances features Jane Friedman. Jane is a columnist with Publishers Weekly, a professJane Friedmanor with The Great Courses, and she’s been a keynote speaker at several writers’ conferences. She speaks regularly at industry events such as BookExpo America and Digital Book World, and has served on panels with the N

ational Endowment for the Arts and the Creative Work Fund. On November 1 – Tomorrow! – at 11 am Jane will share her thoughts on book launches. She’ll also be available to answer your questions. Join us on November 1st, Tomorrow!


Sick of Social Media? 10 Steps to Revive Your EnthusiasmTired of Social Media?

Do you ever get sick of social media? Come on. Admit it.
I think you know what I mean. The cat videos, the political diatribes, and the men telling you how beautiful you are and with $5,000 they could fly to your location and take you out on a smashing date. Haven’t received any of those messages yet? Consider yourself lucky. What about those pictures of meals that just don’t look that appealing? I’ve seen my share of them.

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Indie Author Weekly Roundup September 16, 2016

Indie Author Weekly Roundup by Frances Caballo

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Roundup is rich with social media advice. I hope you enjoy this edition.

Conversations with Frances Webinar SeriesIf you haven’t signed up for my webinar with Joanna Penn, do so now. I will debut my new webinar series, Conversations with Frances with Joanna as my first guest. It promises to be a lively discussion as we talk about marketing and her new program, How to Write a Novel. Join us!


Not Sure How to Approach Social Media? CARE about Your Readers via Jane Friedman: “Among all the rules you’ll find online—the 80/20 rule (only 20 percent of your posts should be about your books or blog posts), the admonitions against using social media as a bullhorn, the warnings about over-automating—there’s also an unspoken tenet. This tenet isn’t a rule that comes up on the blogosphere. Instead, it’s more of a system of approach; to describe it, I use an acronym that I created while preparing for the San Francisco Writers Conference last February.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”78 percent of Americans have a social media profile via @CaballoFrances” quote=”Fact: 78 percent of Americans have a social media profile “]

Indie Author Updates

Pinning Away Pinterest Social Media by Ronel Janse Van Vuuren: “I had this nagging suspicion that my social media skills are a bit lacking. So I signed up for an email course through social media strategist Frances Caballo’s blog while I was there reading yet another great article. I knew that I was wasting valuable writing-time managing my social media platform. Yet I didn’t know how to fix it on my own. (Yeah, misspelling the title of this blogpost could’ve worked well here…)”

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How Social Media Fits into Your Publicity Strategy

How Social Media Fits into Your Publicity Strategy by Chris Well for Frances CaballoToday I present a guest post from Chris Well (@BuildYourBrandA) of Build Your Brand Academy on the topic of social media vs. publicity. Chris does an excellent job of explaining how you can use social media to gain publicity for your books.


So I was sitting at my desk, probably doing my job, certainly minding my own business, when I got a phone call from an author who had a book and wanted me to do something about it. Granted, at my day job I’m employed by a major media company with a network of websites, magazines, and radio stations.

But this author was going about this “publicity” thing all wrong. No matter how compelling his book might be—and as he attempted to tell me his life story, it did sound like the stuff of which TV movies and after school specials were made—he was talking to the wrong person at the wrong office at the wrong company. His book was not a fit for our audiences.

When I asked which of our brands he was pitching, he didn’t have an answer. All he knew was I was someone in the “media.”

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The Only 10 Social Media Applications You’ll Ever Need

The Only 10 Applications You'll Ever Need by Frances Caballo

When I write my books, I list a lot of applications. How many? Avoid Social Media Time Suck must contain about 100.

Some readers like the variety but others want me stop being impartial and identify those that I would highly recommend.

It’s a fair criticism.

So today, I’m going to do just that. I’m not going to criticize applications because what might be a good app for one person might not fit another at all. But I will tell you which social media apps I think are worth using. Here we go.

Social Media Scheduling

SocialOomph

As some of you know, this is my social media scheduling application of choice. I’ve used it about five years, and I’m dedicated to this app. Here’s why: I get to schedule recurring tweets.

[clickToTweet tweet=”My scheduling app of choice? SocialOomph – Here’s why @CaballoFrances” quote=”My scheduling app of choice? SocialOomph – Here’s why “]

Buffer and Hootsuite are more popular, and excellent alternatives, but SocialOomph has features that the other two apps don’t have — ones that save me time and make me more efficient in my work.

For example, I can easily create recurring tweets. Let’s say I want to tweet about a new blog post. The first day I might want to tweet it three times, and then I may want to schedule it once a week and then once every four to eight weeks for a few months.

SocialOomph makes it easy to accomplish that.

  1. Write your tweets.
  2. Select which social media network you want to send them to. (You can also use this feature for LinkedIn.)
  3. Decide which date and time you want your tweet to start publishing.
  4. Select the frequency schedule (every 8 hours, every week, every five weeks, once a year, and nearly every combination in between)
  5. Indicate the number of times you want your tweet to repeat.

Here is a screenshot of all of the recurring frequencies you can set:

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 2.44.57 PM

To set up your recurring tweets, precede your first tweet with a bracket and end your last tweet with a bracket. Also, you must place a bar – | – between each tweet. On a Mac, press shift + backward slash to produce the straight line.

This is what your recurring tweets will look like:

{Don’t Smoosh that Spider! How Insects and #Compassion are Connected http://dld.bz/dGqdr #parents | Millions of Insects Exist in the World http://dld.bz/dGqdr #parents #kids| Don’t Let All Insects Bug You – Teaching #Empathy to Kids http://dld.bz/dGqdr #parents | Teach Kids Compassion for Insect Life http://dld.bz/dGqdr #parents | What are your tips for teaching children about #compassion? http://dld.bz/dGqdr #parents}

SocialOomph also offers the following features:

  1. It will track your keywords and send you an email twice a day so that you can thank, retweet or reply to your followers from your inbox.
  2. The analytics include click-through rates, a valuable feature.
  3. The app will purge your direct message box of spam-filled tweets.
  4. You can arrange for SocialOomph to find followers for you.

Here is the downside to SocialOomph: you can use it for LinkedIn and Twitter but to set it up for Facebook, you’ll need to get help from your webmaster or another techie. However, it’s always best to post to Facebook either live or by using the native scheduling feature on your Facebook page. Using an application to schedule your Facebook posts will invariably lower your reach and engagement.

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Have You Seen These Social Media Tweaks?

Make Way for Change on Social Media

Have you noticed all the changes happening on social media? Facebook is making most of the tweaks, but I’ve seen modifications in other places as well.

Today I thought I’d share a few items I’ve noticed that may convince you to use Pinterest, buy a Facebook ad, or just take note of what you can do these days on different platforms.

Let’s get started with my miscellaneous observations.

Facebook Advertising

There’s no doubt in my mind that when done correctly, Facebook advertising works. Some people catch onto it right away, others spend too much money, and then there’s me: I just don’t use it often enough.

When I launched my book, The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, on May 19th I thought I’d support the launch with a Facebook ad. Guess what? It worked.

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