Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn – they each invoke the Marmite reaction from us. You either love them or you hate them.
I love Twitter. I adore Facebook. I’m having fun on Instagram. I haven’t ventured into the Tumblr domain. I do have a LinkedIn account that I avoid as much as possible – it feels too grown up for me like I’m a student who stumbled into the staff room.
Love them or hate them, if it wasn’t for the ability to share on social media sites most of you wouldn’t be reading this blog, and my books would remain undiscovered.
Social Media sites help us to sell our wares. Hopefully, this is done in a subtle way dripping out promos in amongst the chit chat, shared jokes and networking, and NOT in a buy, buy, buy way.
I’m a naturally chatty individual. My school reports always said the same thing, ‘if she stopped talking and worked she could make something of herself.’
As I matured (!!) I used my ability to chat and engage others as a beneficial part of my career. Socialising was a necessity when working in hospitality and remains important within the holistic health sector. Putting people at ease and making them feel great about themselves is a rewarding life path. Interaction is a good thing.
But where do Facebook and Twitter fit in? I use my twitter account to engage with fellow authors, readers, and the incredible blogging community. It’s the most supportive group I’m involved with. I’ve made some wonderful new friends and discovered an array of new blogs, books and websites thanks to this platform. I wrote a post about my top ten favourite blogs last week which I found through Twitter – you can read that here.
On Facebook, I run several pages. I have a page for my personal development blog http://www.facebook.com/motivatemeblog which also covers my non-fiction books. Then there is a page dedicated to my young adult fantasy fiction http://www.facebook.com/FantasyAuthorSLWilson.
There are many people who dislike Facebook, and I respect and understand that. I see every day how people misuse the site. For me, it’s a place to chat, share, engage and interact with my readers, family and friends who live far away, and to meet fellow writers/bloggers. Remember my school reports? – Facebook allows me to chat for more than 280 characters.
Even with the ever changing algorithms on Facebook I’ve continued to reach a decent amount of people per post. With my fantasy fiction page I use the insights button to work out where my followers are based (90% in America), and target my posts for this audience and time zone. It means I schedule a large portion of my posts to go out at 2am UK time, but I am greeted with comments, likes and shares when I get up.
With my motivational blog Facebook page I like to share inspirational quotes, health and wellness articles, and my recent personal development blog posts. I looked at the insights for this page and the majority of my followers are UK based and the same age as me. We also have a lot in common. Taking this information on board, I post funny pictures alongside uplifting messages of encouragement – the humour is always well received!
One week after posting this image, my Facebook page received 299 new page likes, and 11 clicks on my ‘shop now’ button. The image I shared received 1,524,736 views, it was liked 59,817 times, received 16,956 comments and was shared 16,830 times. My inbox was overwhelmed with notifications, and all from sharing one picture.
The lesson I took away from this was one that relates closely to writing – you MUST know your audience. I had assumed that my motivational quotes and inspirational messages were enough, but I forgot one fundamental factor – having a sense of humour is important too.
Since I posted this image, I have had a wonderful mix of interaction on the page. Followers are digging deeper and discovering posts, links and quotes from years ago that they are resonating with. None of the stats above were paid for – I didn’t boost the post or create an ad. Organic reach is possible if you take the time to look at who is liking your page and how they are using it.
I’m interested to hear about your success with social media sites, especially where you haven’t used paid advertising. Please feel free to share in the comments below.
I must add a closing note to stress that when I found the above image I tried to trace it back to the source. Unfortunately, it had been shared across the platform so often that I was unable to find where it originated. Since deciding to write this post I have discovered a website that includes work from the artist – you can find the link here.
‘Share’ Image courtesy of Master isolated Images at Freedigitalphotos.net