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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: http://dustn.tv/perfect-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!

Facebook – Getting Around the Darn Algorithm…

facebookFacebook – people seem to have either a love or hate relationship with it. They’re upset about the new layout changes, they’re upset at not seeing photos of loved ones, they’re disappointed their FB Fan pages are not being viewed by their fans.

All of these disappointments are completely valid. Now let me help you get around them.

Problem: You’re not seeing posts of your friends and family that you think you should be seeing.
Solution: Facebook has built a model around “engagement.” They have decided that if you like or comment on people’s posts, you obviously are engaged with them. They also believe that certain friends on your friends list, who get a lot of comments, are people you would want to see more of because OTHER’s engage with them. As a result, they might show you these periphery friends because they think you might find them engaging as well.

If you are not seeing some of your friend’s posts, your relative’s posts, there is a reason. You have not engaged them enough. Do you smile at their photos and posts and simply move on, without liking or commenting? Do these same people do the same thing to your posts? You’ll get a phone call later that “Oh yeah, I saw that but I didn’t respond.” My suggestion is to like every single thing they do and COMMENT on it. Yes, it’s a game and it sounds silly, annoying and time-consuming, but play it. Go to some friend’s/family pages right now and start liking and commenting. Facebook’s algorithm will ascertain these people are important to you. Not just because you’ve listed that they’re a close friend or relative (which does help when you click those options of delineation), but because they want to make sure, for certain, you like these people before they serve them to you time and again.

Problem: Facebook Layout. It’s confusing. It’s busy. I liked the old way.
Solution: Deal with it. They’re simply playing around with the experience to figure out how to honestly, get more ads in there in a way that’s not too intrusive, while still giving the user what they need. (remember, FB IS a business) Just note, the experience is also very different on Mobile, Tablet and PC. On the phone I see hardly anything, on the IPad it’s a bit better, and my best experience is on my laptop. Don’t expect the bells and whistles of FB if you’re just on your phone. Maybe you should check onto it on a computer now and again to get the full experience. It’s like your webpages – they look very different on a phone versus on a computer.

Problem: People say you post too much.
Solution: There’s a very good reason I try to post a lot. How will I ever know what will make people respond? Is it a photo? A link? A review of my book? Is it a great, goodwill video? A recipe I found? A person’s thoughts I’d like to share? We must continue to post often. If we don’t spam our readers with the same topic over and over, and continue to switch things up and be witty or informative, then folks shouldn’t have a problem. The important thing is to keep getting your name out there because the more people that respond, the more engagement and exposure we will have, and the more you will make it to the top of that algorithm.

Problem: Facebook Fan Pages. Fans not seeing my posts. This is in my own craw, to be sure. How is it I have 1282 fans, yet only 4% of the people will see my post? Easy. Maybe my fans have not responded in the past. Maybe they’ve seen some of my posts, but because they have NOT engaged, they do not get served my posts as much, or as often, as other fans.

Solution: Pay to Play. This is FB’s new model of business, because yes, it is a business. I suggest you boost a post and target it only to your fans and your fans friends. I do this for $5 and I jump up to 1200 views. Why is this important? Because now your fans will get served the post and if any of them like it or comment, guess what? You just got bumped up as being engaged with them. And if they like and comment, their friends will see it on their stream as well. I just boosted a post the other day after I saw only 2% of my fans had seen my post. Suddenly I saw fans like my post that I haven’t seen in months and months.

You see, it’s not enough that someone is a fan, a close friend, a brother or sister. Facebook has no idea, nor cares, about anything but your interaction with these people. And you have the option for people you are not seeing, at any given moment, to go to their page and like and comment. In fact, every single fan, friend, and relative has the option at any moment to GO to your page to see your own posts whenever they wish as well. But most people won’t take the time and prefer to get “served.” By actually and forcibly engaging them, you become automatically top dog, front and center, where you wish to be.

So I leave you with this: “Engagement is key.” You must play the game if you want the most out of your facebook experience. But one thing to note, folks. Please remember… Facebook is FREE. Authors, ever notice how mean people can be when you offer a FREE book? Ever think how opinionated someone is with a free book and they might start it and not even finish it? It’s like Facebook – it’s there, it’s free, but to get the most experience, you need to use it properly – just like a book – for the most experience, you need to finish the darn thing before you judge.

If you found this helpful, how about we engage a little bit? Would you go to my author page and like and comment on a few posts if you’ve not done it before? It would be most appreciated. I will do the same and engage you back. http://www.facebook.com/elysesalpeterauthor