From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Number One Key to Effectiveness in Social Media

I want to boil things down today.

There are so many posts about social media, obviously. But lately I feel like I've read some really excellent posts (not the least of which is this one by the ever-genius Anne R. Allen) about getting through all the passe, irrelevant-to-the-online-age advice to what really works in modern social media.

The great metaphor in Anne's post is in thinking of Twitter (and other social media sites) like a telephone. You pick up when you want to, to people you want to talk to. You call specific people with specific news, you don't randomly cold-call the entire phone book. (If you do...well, that's another blog post.) I think that's a perfect analogy. It highlights what I think all the best posts about social media marketing are telling us: it's all about relationships.

And I think it's clicked for me lately because it's been broken down even more. It's all well and good to say it's about relationships, but relationships can mean a wide variety of things, both positive and negative. What does it mean practically, for every day social media use in my writing career? The light-bulb moment happened for me when I put in a different word.

Effectiveness in social media is all about responses.

That's right. You responding to other people. Not you putting your book cover on Pinterest, not you carefully coordinating tweets about your latest release, not you getting more likes on your Facebook page. I'm not saying those aren't important, and I'm as obsessed about it all as anyone. But the number one strategy, the most effective thing, is your responses.

Your responses to tweets from writer friends. Your mentioning someone else's blog post on your Facebook page. Your repinning and commenting on your friends Pinterest boards. Your highlighting blog posts by other writers on your own blog. Someone sees you retweeted them, they remember a funny thing they saw on your blog last week, and they check out your book. Whatever platforms you use, you reaching out and responding to what other people are saying is what's really going to get you connections. Everyone likes to talk about themselves, everyone likes to be listened to. So if you make an effort to respond to people and give them that listening friend, they are much more likely, when the time comes, to return the favor.

Social media has never been the best for mass marketing, and anybody who tells you otherwise is an exception or wrong. Algorithms and luck will take you much farther than any social media platform can do. But what social media can do is get you those connections, those relationships, that will not only lend you wisdom and support, but might just be the crew that can get the ball rolling. This social media response thing is definitely a slow, brick-by-brick process, but I personally think it's worth the effort. This is one topic where I'm definitely thinking this through for myself, and hope/want to do much better, become much more involved, in the future.

Do you think social media is worth it in this sense? What is your favorite type of response to get on social media? Blog comments? Repins? Mentions on Twitter?

Sarah Allen

15 comments:

  1. This was great, thank you for this blog post. :)

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  2. Great post. Agree.

    I love replies on Twitter--not the automated IMs, but personal ones. I make sure to personally thank folks for follows and RTs.

    I'll rejoice with authors on cover reveal and release days. Heck, tweet bomb all you want, but then tone it way down, and soon. After a few days, the constant self-promo gets old.

    I also appreciate people taking the time to comment on my blog. That means a lot. I try very hard to make a return visit for each one.

    I'm not on Pinterest, but I might do that later when I'm closer to publishing. I like the idea of the graphics my CP made with notable quotes from her book. I think those would be great to share--and tweet, too--as long as one doesn't overdo it. ;)

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  3. Great post, Sarah! Thanks for the shout-out and the comment on my blog. You've said it so well. It's more about the responses than it is about the broadcasts. We all need to say a little more "there you are" and a little less "here I am."

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  4. "Algorithms and luck will take you much farther than any social media platform can do."

    True! Algos are our friends. I will definitely cuddle up to any passing algo. Now if we could only bottle luck! ;-)

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  5. I love this analogy! I'm still afraid of Twitter, but I do love blogging. Talking to people who share the same passion as you is awesome. Maybe someday I'll take it to Twitter. ;)

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  6. Great post. You made valid points.

    I don't do or schedule auto tweets, I always try to answer personally.

    Nas

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  7. That's so true about social media being about responses. Great analogy for it!

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  8. Brilliant reminder on how to use social media properly. I'm trying hard to share more stuff, but getting the balance right so I don't fill up people's feeds with stuff. I'm bad at balancing.

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  9. Lightning strikes where it will. We can only prepare to take advantage of it when it does strike.

    But treating people on FB and Twitter with empathy, compassion, and respect will at least not have us hanging our heads in shame upon reflection, will it? :-)

    Google and Amazon changes their Algorithms periodically. So we cannot predict with any accuracy just what to do or write. We can only connect honestly and kindly with one another in the blogverse, hoping to be treated the same.

    I'm glad you and your roommate liked my LOKI video on my blog. I'm a big fan, too!

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  10. Great stuff, Sarah. I like the metaphor. I also like the emphasis on connection. I am tired of getting blasted by self-promotion.

    When I speak on this, I talk about social media as a buffet table--think Old Country Buffet. Can't eat all of it or you'll get sick. We need to choose what works at different times.

    Will be thinking of this throughout the day!

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  11. Exactly. The more time I spend on social media, the more I find this to be true.

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  14. There are so many posts about social media, obviously. But lately I feel like I've read some really excellent posts (not the least of which is this one by the ever-genius Anne R. Allen) about getting through all the passe, irrelevant-to-the-online-age advice to what really works in modern social media. instagram followers

    ReplyDelete

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