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Breaking Out of Your Social Media Rut

I had an author talk to me the other day about her Twitter posts and how disappointed she was in the reach or the impact they were having. The first thing I noted was that I had never seen any of her Twitter posts. I’d never been able to ReTweet on her behalf, or even see what she was doing to comment. Apparently, most of her posts are later in the day, when I usually log off. It’s the schedule she’s set for herself to maintain a solid writing schedule. Which makes perfect sense. Except when it doesn’t.

Time management means setting a solid schedule you can keep to. Writing a certain number of hours per day, allotting set times for social media so you don’t get sucked in, and only taking phone calls or meetings during specific hours all make perfect sense. Until you think about the marketing end of it. By maintaining a set schedule with your social media posts you could be missing a huge piece of your own audience. Will readers in CA ever see a post that’s set to run daily at 8am EST? What about those early birds who log off Twitter by 11am? They’ll likely miss your late night, or even late afternoon posts.

Obviously we can’t please, or reach, everyone, but changing up the times you post, even a little now and then, might help you find those people who have yet to see how clever you are.

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11 comments

  1. Excellent points. Have a question. BrandedMe or whatever the new thing is, heard of it? Worth adding yet another something? Just curious. Keep getting requests to join and am like….really? Another one? At the same time, I never know which one will become the next Facebook.

    Thanks Jessica.

  2. I think the writer should also look into an application like HootSuite that allows you to schedule Tweets at different times. It’s what I do, but I admit I’m a reluctant Twitter user; I don’t see much action on Tweets either, even when I do schedule them for different times of the day. I do, however, find a lot of benefit on FaceBook. I’ve taken to using it in a slightly different way when I’m publicizing a blog I’m guesting at, though. I give away a book to one reader from among every one who **shares** my post; that way I get the benefit of their different circle of FB friends. I often get 80 – 100 shares that way, and I also find I receive a lot of FB friend requests from readers after doing that.

  3. One easy answer is to use a scheduler! I run social media accouts at work, and it’s much faster to schedule the minimum number of posts one day a week. If I have time I’ll jump on and retweet something interesting or engage for ten minutes here and there throughout the week.

    Tweetdeck, hootsuite, and buffer are all pretty good. Then she can keep her schedule but still mix up when things are posted.

  4. Good morning, Jessica. Thanks for the post. I, too, have been, and have the same disappointment as the author– probably a lot of authors. I’ve been on Twitter for 8 years and realize it no longer effective, or is what works best for me. My agency has an inhouse social media specialist, and after a meeting with her I felt a lot better. She explained the demographics of Twitter and how they have now changed (mostly male and businesses dominant). She told me the agency wasn’t concerned about Twitter at all, just my writing. The specialist also showed me how to engage my books on Instagram (since I like photography I might try that and only if I liked, she pointed out), and how to keep my FB author page updated and shared a few other social media tips . A lot of good ideas — a lot less stress. Good luck, authors!

  5. I’ll admit a love hate with social media, but also know the extreme power, when used correctly (which I have yet to master) it can hold.

    Not technically writing related, but one the last marketing classes I went to at my former job used two examples. Tide and Domino’s Pizza.

    Big firms hire people to watch tags and respond when needed. Tide for example saw someone tweet how their “stain pens” saved the day before a user when into a big meeting. (Via Twitter) They tweeted him with a proposition. We’ll send you a case of them, free, if you’re willing to pass them out among your coworkers.

    As far as advertising dollars are concerned, they spent merely the case (cost) of the stain pens. Domino’s was geared towards tweeting what customers disliked most about their pizza. From those heard, they were able to narrow down (their crust) and then for certain people in the right places, invite them to taste test new crusts until they hit the “right” one.

    I was fascinated by that meeting. Sure enough, the first time I ran into an issue over something, I tweeted about it. Less than 5 min later, received a tweet back.

    So the potential is there, and reading tips like the one you posted, are so tremendously helpful.

    Thanks again!

  6. When it comes to getting your message heard, many times it’s good to consider what time of day you’re sending the message.

    With email marketing, if we blast out emails anytime after 2:00pm, they run the risk of getting lost in the daily work emails stacks, or recipients leaving the office early for the day. If the latter, those messages sit in the inbox and get pushed way down, which means a greater chance of them getting lost or going unseen entirely.

    In regards to twitter, I would imagine the same logic applies. 8pm is late, and runs the risk that the author’s message (or tweet) is going unnoticed in a sea of other tweets as users have late dinners, start their bedtime routines (especially with kids) or cozy up to a favorite nightly show. Definitely look at what timezone the bulk of your audience is in. What time of day are most poking online to check things out? Is it first thing in the morning when their minds are fresh, during lunch to sneak in a few tweets before the afternoon lull, or midnight when the party starts. 🙂

  7. Word of warning with programs that tweet for you at set times.
    If your new reader (or old) happens to be online when you tweet pops on to their feed and they reply. You don’t know, very quickly you start to look rude, even if you reply as soon as you go online. Would you buy books from someone who was rude to you? Readers have so many choices now, if they don’t think they are important to you, they will go else where.

    Also don’t set the same tweet to run x times a day, I know you want to catch different groups and time zones. But it soon gets boring seeing the same tweet. You’re an author a master of words mix it up a little.

  8. All good points above, but when you live on the bottom of the world and in the totally opposite time zone as America, all social media becomes more tricky. I have a hard enough time working out the time differences, let alone managing to hit the best time to be online. As Hollie said, you don’t want any replies stagnating. Hopefully I’ll have worked a solution by the time I’m published =)

  9. Rotate which social media accounts you use, based on how you’re feeling and how much time you have.

    I’m hardly on Twitter these days, other than a quick peek, because I don’t have the time to camp out and livetweet shows or get involved in conversations like I used to.

    BUT, I do use Instagram on a regular basis because I feel more in “control.” Instagram moves much slower than Twitter, and liking a stranger’s photo feels less intrusive than liking a stranger’s tweet.

    Facebook is great for automatic posts, because its algorithms sync your posts a bit with the people who interact with you (I also link my Instagram posts to my FB page–oddly enough, they’re seen by more people than when I post directly on the FB page).

    Other than that, newsletters and blogging are a more static way to connect with others without feeling overwhelmed by FOMO (fear of missing out)!

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