Build Your Social Media Platform

Question: How are some of you successfully sifting through the noise and making headway using social media networking to build your platforms?

I'm not, honestly. Facebook, twitter, all that stuff, I just barely missed the boat as far as growing up in that generation. It doesn't appeal.

Maybe I could have more readers or community if I did take the time to update a twitter or do a podcast. But in truth, I'm in this to write, and I'd rather take the extra time to write something better over making what I have popular.

I've found my Twitter following is helpful for keeping people reminded that I'm working on stuff, but by no means is it the main driver of traffic to my site.

Social media is only really a supplement to your main marketing and readership development, IMO. It helps you get more personal with your readers and build loyalty among them, but it isn't necessarily the best way to bring in new people.

I've posted this link before, but the gist of it is that social media represents a smaller effect on promoting your book than people assume.

Personally, I'm inclined to go with the following approach:

Bearing in mind that only 11.8% of people discover books through social media:

1. I only use social media I personally enjoy. There's no reason to suffer for that small of a gain.

2. I automate things wherever possible and drive the traffic to my blog. Thus Twitter notifies people of an update without my having to do anything but write the update, and my Facebook page does the same.

3. I promote my story in ways outside of social media (paid advertising, a podcast, encouraging people to review it, etc...).

The key point in my view is that social media doesn't work as a high pressure sales tool. Status updates are not a great advertising medium. There are few things that stop me from following a person on Twitter or Facebook, but constant self-promotion is one of them.

What works (or at least what doesn't drive me away) is someone being an entertaining human being with the occasional notice that there is stuff you can buy.

I loved the 'quit spamming everyone' message in this.


I'll put a status change up on FB when I get something done, and update my sig line over at Epiguide when I remember, but that's it. I think if you look at the hard data on this, you'll find out -- like the rest of us -- that social media is largely irrelevant. The only thing that works is having a large quantity of source material, tagging it properly, and sticking to it, month after month, year after year. Social platforms come and go (ex: LiveJournal, MySpace, etc). The web is filled with the now-unpopular wreckage of yesteryear.

Blogger automatically lets me share my updates on Google+ and Network Blogs and my feeds allow me to do the same with Facebook and Twitter. Shadow also has a Facebook page of its own, but I don't do much with it and (perhaps the reason I don't bother, or perhaps because I don't bother) it gets very little attention. I find all the automatic stuff really useful and I certainly get more traffic with than without. For someone like myself, unsure if I can really afford to pay for advertising and with not a lot of time to spend interacting on forums, etc., it's a relatively easy way to ensure at least some readers.

"Question: How are some of you successfully sifting through the noise and making headway using social media networking to build your platforms?"

I'm not. *G*

Honestly, the social media I am making the most headway on is Tumblr, because I have a Tumblr where I blog about WWI and my current (and totally unrelated to my webfic) insane quest to read every book and watch every film/show about WWI and review them all. I haven't even tried to convert this readership to my webfic. And the only lesson I can say I've learned is to blog about what you're interested in, and consistently on a single theme. Suspect there's a similar lesson for all social media. People are drawn to consistency in topic/tone.

@Jim, I think your social media advice is excellent. I use for my plug links on Twitter, and the click-through is miniscule. Which has freed me to just not bother, because I would much rather use Twitter for its original purpose; ie, boring updates about the minutiae of my life. *G*

Sometimes I think the payback is that your social media stuff allows you to get a better handleo n your audience.

Really the thing I like about FB the most right now is that the fan group feature allows me to see /capture something different from the comments I get on the Wordpress site. For whatever reason, most of my commentors (the less shy ones) are female the last few months. The likes on the FB page are more equally gender divided and often reveal some of the folks reading from other parts of the world.

If I were relying solely on what I could see based on comments, I'd believe I had about 95% female readership. I suspect it's not that skewed ... it's just that the guys are quieter :)

Hi, I'm Camille. I'm new here....

I did SEO article writing for a while (writing "how to" articles optimized for search engines -- kind of the original "drive traffic to your site" thing). When I was doing it, I learned a lot about how all this promotional stuff works, and the biggest thing I learned? Don't sweat it. Write good content. Let time and Google deal with the rest.

Seriously, the whole job of Google and it's algorithms is to cut through the noise. Why would you want to make more of it? Concentrate on the "signal" side instead.

That's one of the reasons I started writing my serial. I wanted to improve the signal to noise ratio associated with me and my name. I want to get a higher volume of good reading for them to find.

Yes, when I post something (be it an episode or any other kind of blog post) I tweet it. I assume that if someone is following me, they are interested in what I am doing, so I don't need to hook them, I just need to let them know. I also tweet illustrations sometimes.

I don't use much of any other kind of social media, although I have played with, and continue to play with, various sites. Mostly I find that you can drive a lot of writers to your site that way, but not real readers.