Monday, October 7, 2013

Social Media Monday—Build a Strong Platform by Protecting Your Audience

Did you know it’s your job to protect your social media audience?

I’m not talking about guarding them physically and/or from harmful (and often questionable) content. I’m referring to the job you have of guarding their time.

In today’s digital paradigm people are much more willing to spend time than money.

So your loyal followers have given you a precious gift. They are investing their precious time in reading your blog, your Facebook updates and your tweets. They browse your pictures on Pinterest and Instagram.

Do not take this gift lightly.

Just this week I’ve received eleven requests from friends to help them promote their work and/or ministry. As a writer I understand this dilemma. We all have to market our work. And the best place to start that process is with the people we know. And that’s where I begin as well. The hard part comes when we have to tell our friends no.

But the truth is this, in these circumstance my first loyalty is to my audience. It has to be.

My audience has given me their trust. And I cannot, in good conscience, betray that trust by promoting every random thing I’m exposed to. EVEN if those random things are good ones.

So how do I evaluate what things I pass on to my social media audience? First I have to know who my audience is and what their preferences are.

I do this by:
  • paying attention to the comments and analytics on my blog.
  • watching my social media and seeing which updates are being shared and which ones create conversations. 
Once I know what my audience wants and expects I use these three things as a filter between my audience and anything I promote:
  • 1. Will this information irritate my audience? In other words is it, to them, nothing more than a commercial to be ignored? There are lots of good things advertised on TV, but if I’m not interested, it’s just more noise and irritation.
  • 2. Will my audience be interested in this thing/person/ministry I’m introducing them to? I don’t mind broadening my audience’s perspective, but it does have to have at least a small bit of relevance that I can highlight in my promotion.
  • 3. Will the lives of those who follow me be enriched by the information I’m sharing?
There are times when I share things that don’t pass all three of these filters. I share some personal things on social media, like when I signed with an agent or got a new book contract. I even pass on things that just tickle my funny bone.

The important thing is to make sure these are the EXCEPTION in your regular updates, never the rule.

Truthfully I can’t promote everything I’d like to for my friends because I’d end up driving away my audience. I always try to explain, and most of the time I’m met with understanding.

I truly don’t mind being asked to share information through my social media channels. Heck it’s a great way for me to be valuable with my audience. But I still have to know when to say no. It’s a ticklish line to walk, but it’s a boundary all of us need to establish if we want to keep the respect of those who follow us.

So how about you? How do you respond when friends ask you to share information through your social media platform?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!



  1. Hi Edie,

    I always find something of value here, and it's why I keep coming back over and over again.

    The other thing I guard is what I allow others to post on my Facebook timeline. This is my space and reflects who I am.

    Susan :)

    1. Susan, thank you! We definitely have to be aware what's being posted. Blessings, E

  2. I am very careful about what I promote on my blog, Edie. I blog about being a homeschooling mom, and it seems that so many bloggers in that niche spend half their blogging time promoting products. I understand that many are making extra income that way, and many readers don't mind. But when I first starting reading blogs, I didn't care for finding commercials in my inbox. So I decided then that I wasn't going to make my blog a spot for a bunch of advertising. Hopefully, my readers appreciate it. Thanks for a great blog!

    1. Meghan, I think you're doing a great job! Thanks so much for being one of my loyal blog followers, Blessings, E

  3. You do a great job protecting your audience and giving out relevant info Edie!

  4. You have no idea how timely this advice is. I'm currently in a dilemma about a book someone asked me to read and promote. Your suggestions have been very helpful, and I will very carefully consider my audience as I proceed.

    1. Julia, I'm glad this post will help. it is a dilemma because we all want to help our friends! Blessings, E

  5. I always love visiting your blog. So much good stuff here. I have to sadly admit, I've never had anyone ask for my help/advise on my blog. I'm just not that marketable yet. I won't give up though. Thanks.

    1. Don't be discouraged, that day will come. You have a good site it just takes time. And I'm sure you've been approach by people, if only in a round-about way, to share things on social media, like Facebook. It's never too early to be discerning in hat you agree to promote. Thanks so much for bing one of my loyal friends! Blessings, E

  6. Always helpful information here. One of the things I enjoy doing is promoting others' work, especially if it is something I strongly support. Almost always the choice has been mine rather than someone else asking for it.
    Once, after supporting someone's work by writing about it and submitting it through several venues, I had to explain that after much prayer, I felt God was moving me on to another project. I gave them information and sources I thought they could follow through with on their own. Thankfully, the people understood and their project is still progressing.
    If we pray over each "project," I believe God will help us in our decision-making. It is all too easy to run in a 1,000 different directions to promote the good works of others. We have to sit at the feet of Jesus and determine what is the best use of our time--and that may be focusing on our own project.

  7. This is excellent advice! Another thing I'm careful about--keeping my feed's clean. No, I don't follow back erotic authors, and I unfriend people who use profanity. :)