Monday, December 14, 2015

Facebook Is A 'Cocktail Party' and More on Social Media

Think of your writing as a way to reach other people. Our readers are all that matters. Being an author these days is a business, just like any other. It means marketing, marketing, marketing. Marketing takes away from writing time. It is what it is.

For the author entrepreneur, it becomes essential to utilize social media and understand how each generation uses it.

I recently attended a social media marketing workshop for women starting or already established in their own small businesses.  Some highlights and facts about posting your business content geared to the generations:
  • Baby Boomers (born between 1945 and 1960) and those born into the World War II or “greatest generation” spend more time consuming content on blogs and YouTube than Millennials (1981-2000).  
  • Gen-Xers (1961-1980) prefer Twitter to any other social media platform.
  • Teenagers have shifted from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Snapchat.
  • The best day to post on Twitter is Wednesday.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7:30-8:30 a.m. and 5 and 6 p.m. are optimal for LinkedIn.
  • Baby Boomers consume most of their content online between 9 a.m. and noon; Millennials and Gen-Xers between 8 a.m. and noon.
  • Best days to post on Facebook are Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The most ‘clicks’ are at 3 p.m. on those days and the most shares at 1 p.m.
  • The best platform to curate articles is LinkedIn.
(Information, provided by SCORE of Chester and Delaware counties, Pennsylvania, is from surveys by Buzz Stream and Fractl.)

Social media may have become “dirty words” for some, but for women owning or operating their own businesses, it is an economical and essential tool. Online users continue to increase and expand.

Websites and blogs are foundations to who you are and what you are selling.

Blogs need great images and great content. As one of the moderators at the panel noted: “If you don’t have a blog, consider starting one. A website is essential.”

Blogs that inform and engage in storytelling and are posted on a regularly scheduled basis are most effective. And it is encouraging to know that Baby Boomers – my generation – are the largest age demographic reading blogs.

This past week on Google Plus, my author profile surpassed 800,000 views. The Women’s Writing Circle blog and website has over 500 followers and receives over 4,000 views a month. On Twitter I no longer have to seek out followers, they find me.

That said, there is much more that I could be doing, but either don’t have the time or expertise; (for example, posting videos online.) I don't plan to get into a frenzy over social media and what I'm doing or not doing. It's progress that I'm doing it as well as I am. And there's always time and room for improvement.

As one SCORE panelist said: “Facebook is a cocktail party." While you can use your wide variety of contacts from friends and family to bring them into “your selling space,” never forget that it’s about social engagement.

“Overselling” is not only boring, it lacks the warmth to build relationships with future contacts and clients.  Value each new person and don’t shout to the world “how great you are.” .

More advice from this forum:
  • Boost your posts on Facebook: spend $5 or $10 to boost a post targeted to a specific audience. Paid advertising is a way to break through Facebook’s ever-changing algorithms.
  • Become an “expert” in your field. This is achieved by appearing as guest blogger, becoming a regular contributing commenter on other blogs in your field and always writing great and informative articles.
Memes are going viral every day. Social media is ubiquitous. Knowing which apps to use and which not are all part of a huge and shape shifting landscape that no one person can be expected to master.

This past month, a half dozen people reached out to me for editing or memoir writing services after finding me through a Google search or our Women’s Writing Circle Facebook page.

Would they have found me otherwise? Maybe. Maybe not. Meanwhile, I'm encouraged to keep hanging out at the "cocktail party."

How about you? Your comments, thoughts and reflections are most welcomed.

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