In one of my very first posts on this blog I talked about my initial foray into the use of social media as a self-marketing tool for a first time self publishing author. I am now 6 weeks, 18 blog posts, 73 tweets, and multiple Facebook entries and Pinterest boards into the process. I have to say that my social media experience so far has been interesting, entertaining, and educational. Each type of media has different uses, different needs, and different management. Here are a few things I’ve learned about each so far:
The research shows that it’s best to blog every single day about a specific topic. The specific topic part I have. My blog so far has been extremely fun to write. I’ve enjoyed chronicling my experiences with the various aspects of self publishing – from writing, to editing. to book cover design, to social media. But a daily cadence is something I can’t maintain. I try to blog about every two to three days. And that is working well so far I have enough content for that frequncy. Time is harder to come by, so sometimes it’s more like four days. The stats on the blog have been interesting. I have only one “signed up” follower so far. But around 700 page views from countries around the world. So it’s hard to tell how much is being read and by whom, but incredibly cool to think about who I might be reaching.
The research I’ve found on Facebook shows that you should only post 5-7 times a week and at least two of those posts should be specific to your business. That I can keep up with. I use Facebook in a few ways. I make announcements – book cover reveal, edits progress etc. I toss questions out to my followers – requests for ideas or feedback. I put up links to my blog posts. My 50-some-odd followers on Facebook – those that have “liked” my author page – are so far all people I know. The stats on FB are actually pretty awesome. Since it’s a public site, it’s open to anyone to view even if they haven’t liked the page. So I can see how many people saw a specific post. How viral that post was. And even demographics of the people viewing my page. Like with the blog, cool to think about who I might be reaching.
This form of social media has been a bit of a revelation. I’ve blogged and facebooked before, but I had never tweeted a day in my life before six weeks ago. Research on Twitter has said that posting roughly once every hour is the best way to go. Can’t keep up with that, so twice a day is as good as it gets. I’m still working on my tweets. I’m not a funny person in general, let alone in 144 characters or less. What’s been fascinating to me is that almost every single one of my 120-some-odd followers is a total stranger. Most of them are fellow indie authors. I have particularly enjoyed the posts from my followers (most of whom I’ve followed back). It’s been a surprising source of information, tips, good reads, and entertainment. A good majority of my “oooh that’s a good idea – I’ll try that” moments as a 1st time self publishing author have come from finds via twitter.
I’m only just getting started on pinterest. I’m finding this tool to be particularly helpful to me personally. I am using it to save pages related to being an author. Some of my boards are “promotional” – one board is a link to all my author sites. I have a board for Blue Violet which includes the book cover reveal, a link to Estes Park where it’s set, links to actors who look a little like my characters, etc. Then I have “informational” boards – favorite books, etc. Then I have my “self publishing” boards which include links to much of my research on self publishing. I only have four followers so far, one of which is my brother. But it’s definitely been handy for me.
I am new to using these social media tools and still have a lot to learn and a lot of tweaking to do on my own person style and use. There are a TON of other social media tools out there as well. But my first six weeks have been well worth the effort put in. I think I’ll keep plugging at this a little longer.
BTW… if you’re reading this, you clearly know how to get to my blog. But if you want to follow me on any of my author sites, here are the links: