An Article About Balancing your Social Media Efforts

I’m one of those people who are out of balance in the social media forum. Maybe I’m not utilizing them very well, but then again I think it’s a nearly impossible task without repeating over and over again the same message and run the risk of being removed from our readers/followers media streams. No one likes spam and when you use the micromedia forum, that about what you have to be to stay on top.

I joined Twitter, Digg, Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Facebook because I was told by other writers that these were the places to market and promote on. I had to have these accounts because it would help me succeed. I’ve since removed my accounts from all places except Facebook and Twitter, neither of which I update all that often, usually because I forget or I’m really busy with my other efforts, like writing and publishing a book.

I found this article Expand Your Social Media Mix: Twitter Alone is Not Enough by Jeremiah Owyang who briefly mentions that all our efforts maybe out of balance if we only use micromedia places like overloaded Twitter to market instead of focusing our efforts on things that should be longer lasting, higher impact, and larger form content. These would be better places to focus our efforts (ie writing new books, blogging, and/or article writing) and balance it with the micromedia of our choice. And lastly he calls for a Mindset Change and a way to rebalance your social media mix. This leads me to the second article.

Why 150 Followers Is All You Really Need  isn’t the original article I found, but I like it just the same. The gist of the article talks about devoting  most of your time to creating a backlist of books, then to your blog, and lastly choose one social networking site and utilize it to the best of your ability. If that site is Twitter, then focus on following the rules of Twitterverse. If it’s Goodreads, make sure you participate in an acceptable way. Facebook the same, etc.

Spreading yourself all over the different networking sites means that you’re less effective in your message and connecting with people. The article went on to say that we can only have meaningful relationships with about 150 people, not sure how true that is, but I know from experience that having a relationship with more than 20 starts getting hard for me.

What do you think about your social media efforts?  Do you have any articles that you would like to share on social media?

12 Comments

  1. David Knight says:

    HI Steph, interesting article and one in which I find a lot in common with. With social media I started off thinking , yeah got to get max exposure…..link into lots of forums etc. But know I just about have time to deal with FB and Twitter. Well-known of course is that Twitter is less personal but how anyone can actually form relationships / friendships and sustain links with thousands of people is beyond me. Surely that can not be done? I get about 20 – 30 new Twitter followers per week now up from about 5 a month last year! That said, I only put snippets up via hootsuite but how effect are they? Well, I haven’t sold ONE book from any social network so far which means either my work is crap, or i’d like to think its more likely that i still can not effective market properly yet.
    Spending hours on the pc trying to form relationships and checking out info over the last 6 months has wiped me out some days. I can’t keep up with all the emails which are nearly all about try this / that and the other at xyz price. Now I am trying to take control and I spam lots of stuff as I want / need to have more time for ‘self’ which includes family ,work on the house, writing of course too. Trying to market oneself is a mare and it seems that if you have lots of money or are already well know it can be a piece of cake. Trying to get JVP’s is seems practically impossible for me so i would love to know how others have faired with this.
    Some times I think I must be loopy as over the years I must have spent about £10,000 on vanity publishing 1998 ( when I was like a moth to the flame in terms of naivety). Then POD method left me with an over-estimate 1st run of books in 2008 with my 2nd book. People who are just starting out have a massive learning curve to negotiate but with helpful people just like here on I am sure many won’t make the same mistakes that I did. (I could be ultra positive and say they weren’t mistakes but lessons, but they were hard lessons all the same).
    I think for any newbie you really have to do what makes you happy. As soon as something doesn’t feel right try and do something else that does. Social marketing is massive and can propel you like a rocket, but getting it wrong leaves you frustrated and feeling helpless. Hope i have’nt peeved any one off. Good Luck to everyone. Dave ( Sorry i have ranted on!)

    1. I wasted $10,000 on vanity presses and still can’t get those books removed from their system, no matter how many phone calls, emails, or letters I make. There are so many other things I did wrong too. I’d say they were painful learning curves, but hopefully the more we can share our experiences, the more we can know we aren’t the only ones who ever did something stupid and we can help others avoid the same problems.

      I get burned easily now from too much marketing. I used to have the energy, but I think once you hit that first burnout, you have a shorter tolerance for it, if that makes any sense. I think it’s the emails that overwhelm me more than anything else.

      Anyway, I was nodding while reading your comment because this is how I have felt most of the time.

    2. I’m hoping the webverse doesn’t eat this comment too. Briefly, rant on 🙂 I love to hear how others are doing and their experiences. It’s part of the reason Ruth and I created this blog.

      Also, I find the more you spread yourself over the social networks the less effective you become. Focusing on one social networking site, a forum, and a blog or website can be time consuming. However, if you chose wisely which place to focus most of your time and effort — mostly it should be directed at writing — and just make friends rather than shout out your marketing message over and over again you do better. (Sorry, just removed a really annoying spammer today that screamed over and over about their book contest on Twitter).

      Really I think the best marketing tool is the readers who tell others. I know authors that have never been on Twitter or Facebook that gather awesome readers. And others, like me, that try it all and get nothing accomplished..

  2. Cutting back has helped me a lot. I don’t do the whole Twitterverse thing. I deleted my Twitter account but then decided to hop back on because I did like the articles I was finding through there, but that is all I use Twitter for. I link up my blog posts as Tweets, but for the most part, I scan out interesting topics to post about on here.

    My most effective marketing tool has been the first draft blog. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s been great for me. I got the idea from another author who said if you can’t podcast your book, then make a first draft blog. I tried podcasting one of my books about a year ago, and it was a total failure. Ten chapters in and I could see that people weren’t interested because my subscribers were dropping like flies. Video blogging hasn’t worked well for me either. So I stick with writing blog posts and doing a first draft blog.

    On my first draft blog, I have a facebook badge that allows my readers to friend me on Facebook. This is where I get most of my friend requests now. It took time to build that up though. At first, it was family, friends, and other writers. I started eliminating writers who could only promote themselves. While most people like to get as many Facebook friends as possible, I try to keep mine down to as low a number as I possibly can. Readers, of course, stay on no matter what they do or don’t post about. Writers, however, have to contribute something useful or else I remove them, and sad as it may sound, I ‘hide’ some friends and family members because they end up playing all those Facebook games. I really don’t care who has a cow missing or that someone earned so many mafia points.

    I blog more than anything else, but I love blogging. It’s my favorite promotional activity.

    As for emails, they are the biggest time taker from my day. I try to get back to everyone within a day, but due to recent events, I manage about five emails a day and then I’m wiped out. I don’t want to get overwhelmed when things level off here on the home front and I end up looking at hundreds of unanswered emails. So I do try to keep current as much as I can.

    Like Dave though, I’m exhausted. I think if it weren’t for emails, I wouldn’t be feeling that way so much. But emailing is probably the biggest marketing tool that yields the best benefits in the long run. So I press on. 😀

    1. I will be sorry, the words will come back to haunt me, I know, but I detest the email, LOL! It takes soooooo long to do and every time I log in and see a pile of messages I just want to close it again and say forget it, LOL! Though very few of mine have anything to do with author stuff, and they certainly aren’t fan mail. Maybe if I had a bunch of that I’d like email 😉

      1. What I don’t like about email is wondering if I’m coming off as a goofball because I tend to make jokes that probably sound like a cheesy B rated movie or after getting fan mail, I say ‘thank you’ and worry that isn’t enough–like I could somehow have a better answer since I’m a writer. So I always feel my response isn’t adequate though I aim for it to be, if that makes sense.

        Anyway, I know the type of emails you’ve been getting and understand what you’re saying. Anyone in your shoes would feel the same way.

      2. 😀 I started deleting blog post updates and newsletters over a week old when my inbox gets too full. Emails are a time suck.

    2. Thanks for the sharing, Ruth. I think my biggest promotional tool has been my blog and I like them so it helps. I love the idea of a first drft blog, but I’m just not one of those writers that can pull it off. 😛

      As for Twitter/Facebook I suck at mircoblogging. I have more than 140 letters to say. Good Luck with your emails. I’m glad most of mine remain newsletters.

  3. I have Facebook and Twitter both set up to to get my new blog postings. I agree with Ruth Ann, I can’t stand reading about Mafia Wars or Farmville, but you can option not to see those games, that way you don’t have to hide your friends. I find Twitter to be exhausting. I can’t think in 140-character increments.

    1. That’s what I use Twitter for mostly. Posts and articles I like to share.

  4. I agree. After about 20 people I start to loose focus and the relationships get stretchy. that’s where I’m at now. I have a hard time keeping some people straight, and trying to remember what conversations I;ve had with who about what… it turns into an overwhelming mess. And on top of that I am the kind of person who prefers to do one thing at a time. If I’m working on my book, that’s ALL I want to do. or if I’m doing book covers or websites or social networking, etc. i used to be able to hop from one mindset to another with ease, but the older I get, the harder it gets. 😦

    1. 😀 I know the feeling. 20 people is too many. I’m happy with 5 or less.

      I also have a hard time hopping from one thing to the next. I like to sit and do one thing at a time or it’s too confused.

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