Monday, May 13, 2013

Social Media Monday—Gain Traction with Social Media instead of Spinning Your Wheels—Part One

“I’m not getting any traction with social media,” is one of the complaints I hear a lot as I travel and teach writers how to connect.

There are a lot of reasons people feel this way, a few are legit, but most are just unreasonable expectations. Today I’m going to address the Unrealistic Expectations, then next Monday, in Part Two, I’ll go over the ways that work to gain traction, and help you get a good read on your actual progress.

Unrealistic Expectations

The more time I spend on Facebook and Twitter, the more friends and followers I’ll have.  I’ve addressed this one several times, but I still hear it the most. Truthfully, after you’ve come up to speed on social media, spending more than thirty minutes a day on social media will trap you in the law of diminishing returns. This is a case of work smarter, not harder.

I’m spending time talking about my book, but my sales aren’t reflecting that. If you’re spending the most of your social media updates on yourself or your product, you’ve missed the point of social media. Social media is about building one-on-one relationships, it’s NOT an advertising platform. Building relationships will increase your reach and more people will hear about your book. THAT is where your increase in sales will come. Making your social media updates all about (or even one half about) you will drive people away and you may see a decrease.

Social Media is a fast way to increase my reach. Well…not so much. Like anything worth while it takes time—and consistency—to build a following. It took me about nine months to go from about seventy-five Twitter followers to one thousand. Then about a year to go from that to ten thousand followers.

I need to stay current with the new social media platforms. Again, not really. The thinner you spread yourself, the shallower your reach. To get to the majority of your audience who’s on social media, you need to be on Twitter and Facebook. And you need to have a place where you are blogging regularly—that can be a personal blog or a group blog. If you find another platform you love (like Pinterest) find a way to work it into your thirty minutes a day.

I need to balance my time on Facebook, Twitter and Blogging. You do need to have a presence on all three, but you’ll find your own sweet spot. That’s where you need to concentrate your efforts. Do you have five thousand Facebook fans and only seven hundred Twitter followers? Then Facebook is your sweet spot. Spend the majority of your time there. Maintain an audience with the other two, but go with your passion. That strategy will always get you further. Beyond that, you’ll enjoy it more.

A social media platform is more important than anything to sell your book to a publisher. It is important, but without an excellent product (a well-written manuscript) it’s practically worthless. That’s another reason it’s so important not to spend more than thirty minutes a day on social media.

All of these things are common complaints about social media. What about you? What part of social media frustrates you? Leave the answer in the comments section and I'll try to help you figure out if it's unrealistic expectations or something you can fix.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

Read Part Two of Gain Traction with Social Media instead of Spinning Your Wheels here!


  1. The part of social media that frustrates me is that it changes so much and there are constantly new things out there to try It I'm so glad you narrowed it down. I know there is some value in all of them, but I can't possibly do it all.

    1. Michelle, trying the latest and greatest is always a temptation. But I'm learning I can only do so much! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  2. Thanks . . . again. Need to keep hearing this. :-)
    Barb Winters

    1. Barb, thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, E

  3. You've hit my biggest frustration- time. Finding the balance, and focusing my efforts, is a constant learning process.

    1. Julia, I think that time thing bites all of us! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Blessings, E

  4. Balancing social media (networking) is my biggest frustration too. A friend once told me to spend fifteen minutes in each writer's group you belong to and always comment intelligently. Well, I've found out that this doesn't always work. Especially, if you're in a discussion that's near to your heart like book promoting. I'll figure out the balancing act in due time.

  5. Thanks for reminding us of what's important with social media, Edie. Great... as always!