Social Media – It’s Not A One Size Fits All World

one sizeYou see a lot of people on social media posting the same thing over and over, across multiple platforms. It could be book links, or promotional blogs, or here’s what I made for dinner, or the same rant about the world. You know, the tweeter who only posts his books and then on google+ does the same thing. The FB friend who only posts photos of her daughter and discusses her beauty over and over. There are definitely people that after awhile when I see their posts, I cringe, because I know what’s coming. You don’t want to become that poster.

The fact is, social media is not a “one size fits all” world. People go to social media for different things, the same way readers love different genres, and magazines are niche. Here’s a quick synopsis of some of the social media outlets and what their participants are looking for.

Twitter: A great place for small little 140 character tweets. You can do a book promo, ask a quick question, do a cute game – but people want something quick, fast and then… you’re outta there. I will tell you – consensus is if you only post book promo tweets you are assured of getting blocked fast. Do two to four a day, but no more and spend more time interacting with people or doing different kinds of posts. And be nice on twitter – I can’t tell you how many people think this anonymous world gives people the right to be mean. Arguing with people on a public forum like twitter is never a good way to make friends.

Facebook: To me this is a more personal place where it’s totally acceptable to talk about your family, what you ate, things you did, ask questions, polls, play games. People expect it. Just mix it up. And, if you expect anyone to see your posts and comment on them, you have to interact with people. There is no way around it. You don’t comment or like any of your friend’s posts, Facebook will shove you down in analytics and folks won’t see your post for hours.

Instagram: This is really Facebook, but in pictures. People don’t really want to talk on there – they just want to post photos. Comments are ok, but liking their pictures is what people are going for – to show you enjoyed their photo post.

Google+: My newest obsession. This is different – people want to read a bit more content and it’s appropriate to give them a bit more – not an entire novel’s worth, but definitely leave more than you would on a tweet. Photos are great on here, but explanations of why that photo is there, or why you are sharing a particular link, is even better. Add hashtags so that google analytics can pick you up. This is a great link on How to Make an Awesome Google Post:

In every one of these mediums above, conversations are key. Answer people’s questions, comment on blogs. In every one of these, continuous and sole self promo to excess is bad. Unless you are on a “Facebook brag group” no one, including your good family and friends, wants to see a book promo post over and over. I heard this cool ratio to do FOUR fun tweets/posts to every ONE promo post. You still need to promote your books, but it shouldn’t be every single post.

Love to hear what you think!

17 thoughts on “Social Media – It’s Not A One Size Fits All World

  1. This was a really useful post with lots of good advice. Thank you so much. You make some very good points. I notice so many repeat promo posts and do try to do retweets and blog posts to spread them out. I am self publishing Grandma’s Poetry Book in November so I shall take note and try not to fall into the traps you mention.

    • Good luck on your book – navigating all of this isn’t easy – but there are these “unwritten rules” and I do admit to breaking many of them – but the more you go on, the easier it gets. Thank you so much for commenting!

  2. Perhaps if SM was used as you so described, book promos would actually be a valid item to read, not what it seems to now be: spam. I have one user who changes the post (basically rotates 3) but nonetheless, a post is made every 12-15 mins about the book and to buy it – 24/7. That is like 100 posts daily. I’d be thrilled with a ‘I went to WalMart’ post to break up the monotony of the 3 tweets. This is a great post and very useful information.

  3. Great concise post Elyse! But on Instagram, comments are huge and can contain more hashtags, which are searchable and clickable. The only things that are NOT clickable in Instagram are links – which makes it tough for promo-ing your website or a link to purchase something. In that case, it behooves folks to get an easy to remember short link to their book from a free service like (you can enter your full name or whatever and it will link to whatever url you like) and put that on the photos they share (I just did one for my yoga book: Just one little tip.

  4. I’m still working on trying to figure out Pinterest and I figure I’m just too old for Instagram. But I am an avid Twitter user with mostly other authors as followers, so 90% of the tweets in my feed are variations on the theme “Buy my book.”. I don’t even bother to read them let alone click on the Amazon link. And when I do take the time to see what they say, I often notice that the same post (word for word) appears repeatedly. I can’t believe this kind of mindless yelling into the void results in any sales, but it shows no sign of stopping.

    • I hear you Judy – I don’t think it sells books frankly… and Pinterest – go play – that is a very fun site. I have an author page on there as well and it’s a great place to link reviews on blogs, put up photos from events, etc… Instagram is hard for me too. I like more than just a photo frankly, which is why I guess I like FB so much – but we need to keep up with the times!

  5. Spot on Elyse – it’s all about relationships at the end of the day, and how hard you’re willing to work on them. A great post, thanks.

  6. Great article Elyse! Being very new, to this electronic corner of the universe, I really appreciated your information and opinions. I can see the fine line between getting your message out, and overkill. Great advice for newbies, like me!

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