by Edie Melson @EdieMelson
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.
Of course I’m not insisting you always follow them. Like anything in publishing, we have to work smart and apply the rules when they make sense for our specific situation.
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. 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. (For every 5 social media updates I send, I’m only allowed 1 additional update about me.)
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.
4. Utilize hashtags, but don’t go overboard. No more than two per update. Otherwise you look like a used car salesman.
5. Be consistent in the photos you use to identify yourself 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.
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.
9. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.