I read another great piece in Internet and Marketing Report today. This article focused on the most common mistakes people make using — or not using — social media. I’m going to relay some of this information, putting an author slant on it, of course.
Mistake #1: Waiting too long to get started
Are you on the fence about whether or not to build profiles on Facebook and Twitter? Well, stop thinking and act now. There are many problems that you can avoid by getting started sooner rather than later. First, it’s important to grab your profile name before someone else does it for you. Also, you should be aware that other people are already discussing you and your book somewhere in the internet universe. If you don’t start talking about it too, you’re letting others dictate the conversation.
Mistake #2: Only talking about yourself
Much like what I’ve discussed in terms of website content, the posts/tweets on social media sites must have some value to the people you want following them. Your friends may be interested in your family or your trip to the store, but potential readers are not. Write posts that ask for comments and opinions. Offer insight into topics of interest. Keep this in mind as you write your next post: Fill-in-the-blank questions generate nine times more comments than regular posts.
Mistake #3: Posting infrequently or without a strategy
To answer your question before you even ask it … No. Posting once a month on Facebook or Twitter is not enough. Nor is posting randomly about things unrelated to one another. Create a strategy for your social media page. Decide how often you’re going to post (ideally, at least once a day), who your posts are targeting, and what they’re offering people. For example, if you’re an author of a nonfiction book, you might want to decide to post once a day — say, after you read the morning paper — with links to interesting news articles on the subject matter of your book.
Mistake #4: Writing posts that are too long
Don’t confuse your social networking profile with your blog. If you want to write a few paragraphs about something that’s going on in the world, your opinion on the political scene, etc… do it in a blog post. Then use your Facebook and Twitter accounts to write an exciting blurb about your post and include a link to it. Posts with 80 characters or more receive 40% less engagements (likes, comments, and shares). So keep it brief!
Mistake #5: Outsourcing social media
Take classes in social media. Ask for advice from experts. But don’t ask someone else to actually do your social media work for you. While it may be tempting to have an intern (or your teenage daughter) manage it for you, the only way to really get the most out of it is to do the work yourself. Social media may be free, but it does require that you invest something just as precious as money: your time.
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