10 Social Media Rules for Authors in the New Year

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media is a tool.
Social media is
a tool. But like any tool we need to know how to use it and not be overwhelmed
by it. Here are some basic social media rules every author needs to know.
1. Be
consistent in posting social media updates.
Small regular steps get you much farther, much faster. By posting 4 to
6 social media updates at day, 3 to 4 days a week can help you build a powerful
platform much faster than any other way.
2. Utilize hashtags, but don’t go overboard. No more than two per update. Otherwise you look like a used car salesman.
3. Be
consistent in what you share on social media.
Figure out the audience you want to reach
and post updates geared to them. That doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally post
random things, but keep them in the minority.
Edie’s 5 to 1 Rule.
4. Don’t fall into the trap of self-promotion. Follow Edie’s 5 to 1 rule and you’ll keep social media from being all about me, me, me.
5. Be
consistent in the avatar you use across all social media platforms.
You don’t have to use the exact same
picture, but make sure you’re recognizable from network to network.
6. Don’t be
obsessed with the numbers.
Yes,
we’re trying to grow platforms, but the purpose is to reach people, and that’s
what those numbers represent. Without meaningful connections, they’re pretty
much worthless.
7. Limit
yourself to the social media platforms that work for you.
No one needs to be on every network. Find
your sweet spots and hang out there.
Remember why we’re doing social media.
8. Remember
why you’re doing social media.
We’re writers first, social media is the best way to connect with our
audience, but don’t get the equation upside down. The majority of your time
needs to be spent writing, not being social online.
9. Use a
scheduling program.
To
reach the majority of your audience, you need to spread your social media
updates throughout the day. The most efficient way to do this is with a
scheduling program, like Hootsuite.
10. Promote
others over yourself.
This
give you credibility. Don’t be afraid of the competition. It may seem
counterintuitive, but the relationships you build with those offering similar
products or services can advance both of you.

These are my
rules, I’d love to know what you’d add to the list. Be sure to leave your
thoughts in the comments section below.
Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriters Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for SouthernWriters Magazine and the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.