Marketing and social networking

. . . for authors, introverts, and wallflowers

 

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather stay in my writing cave than engage in social networking. In my fondest dreams, my books would sell all by themselves. I want to believe, “If my books are good enough, won’t they rise like the proverbial cream to the top of Amazon’s lists?”

Um, no.

I’ve avoided marketing and social networking for the last six months, and have seen my sales plummet accordingly. (I’m learning how to do animation so I can make book trailers. This is my thin excuse. But really, I’m learning animation because it’s fun, and I’m avoiding marketing because it is not fun.)

Social networking and marketing both feel like overwhelming tasks to me. Mostly because enough is never good enough. More can always be done. In order to sell books, we need to reach out and connect with new readers. Rinse and repeat…

In addition, I agonize over every word I write on the various social networks, wondering if it is good enough, or interesting enough, and so I freeze up, and don’t write anything at all. My readers probably think I’m very boring, because they don’t know anything about me. They don’t know that I love to play guitar, and to listen to classical music, or that I like to change the artwork on my author website every month, and I like to create new websites, graphic design, animation…and writing. And helping many authors and publishers, like you, which I’ve had the privilege of doing for the last nine years.

Despite my natural inclination to be a quiet wallflower, I do know one thing for sure: regularly posting interesting content is a great way to organically connect with people. I want to sell books, so I need to bite the bullet and jump into the social scene.

As you know, it takes time to create helpful, interesting content to share with others. And after we’ve created the message we’d like to share, it takes even more time to post that message to multiple social networks.

This week I had an epiphany. It happened because my daughter agreed to help me market my books. Suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone. Suddenly, I realized that if I spent time marketing all three of my businesses, I might actually start to make some money. Something I need, because our youngest will be going to his second year at a UC next fall.

Finally, we’ve come to the point of this article.

This week I learned that it’s possible to schedule and automatically post content to my Facebook page, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, all at one time. I can set it up a month in advance, and then forget about it (except for checking in to reply to comments, of course). Best of all, it’s free!

I use Hootsuite (free version) and Tweetdeck.

Hootsuite

https://hootsuite.com/plans/free

TweetDeck

https://tweetdeck.twitter.com

Hootsuite is probably the best known platform available to manage social media. When you sign up with the free version of Hootsuite, you can connect to three social profiles, and schedule 30 posts in advance.

TweetDeck is free. It’s owned by Twitter. So if you’re signed into Twitter, then you’ll automatically be logged into TweetDeck when you visit the url above.

Hootsuite and TweetDeck are huge time savers. I use Hootsuite to post to my Facebook business page, Instagram,* and Pinterest. I use TweetDeck to post to Twitter. Each platform is incredibly easy to use. Hootsuite provides a walk-through tutorial about how to use the site when you finish creating your account.

Now I just need to create the content for my three businesses (with my daughter’s help). Posting it is a snap.

Even better, planning the content out in advance is helping to remove my wallflower tendencies. I’m not actually posting in the “right now,” so it removes the social anxiety I feel. Scheduling messages in advance is like taking a step back from the whole posting process. Instead of worrying about how people will perceive what I’ve written in the coming seconds or minutes, I can instead focus on the content, and critically appraise it. I also know I have the luxury of time to change anything I want. It’s not set in stone. And that gives me great peace of mind.

I hope this article helps you find peace of mind with your social networking, too. 🙂
 
 
* In order to connect your Instagram to Hootsuite, you’ll need to first switch your personal Instagram profile to a business Instagram profile. It’s not hard, but you will need a Facebook Page to associate with your Instagram business profile. Read this article to find out how.
 
 
 
 
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


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