Monday, February 8, 2016

The TWO Most Important Things that will Take Your Social Media to the Next Level

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I teach social media all over the country. My students include writers, authors, ministries, even businesses. I’m asked over and over again for the secrets to my own success. Everyone is looking for that insider tip that can take social media to the next level.

Today I’m going to give you 2 of them.

But I’ve got to warn you, they’re not some difficult algorithm or complicated series of steps.

The simplicity of what I’m about to tell you will cause many to shake their heads and walk away. These tips seem too easy to work. Truthfully though, they are the secret to my own success.

TWO Most Important Things that will Take Your Social Media to the Next Level
1. Don’t talk about yourself, your product, your book, or your blog very often. I can see the head shaking from here. I can also hear the questions.

I’m doing social media to get found and to get work out about my book. How can I do that when I don’t talk about it?

Bear with me while I explain.

Think for a minute about what you like and don’t like when you’re on social media. Do you like to read posts asking you to buy a book, post a review, read a blog? Unless you’re in a very tiny minority the answer is NO. None of us is on social media to read commercials. We get enough of those on television and in magazines.

For me, I’m on social media to connect with others. I want to see what’s going on in my friends’ lives. I want to see pictures and share life.

I follow other authors because I want to know THEM. I love to get to know the person behind the book.

I hate social media posts selling me something.
I don’t mind an occasional sneak peek at a new cover or sharing the joy at the first box of books to arrive. But I hate post after post trying to sell me something.

That is why I instituted Edie’s 5 to 1 Rule. I never wanted to be the source of more commercials (I call it noise) on the Internet.

When we stop talking about ourselves, we take the focus off of ourselves and put it where it should be—on others.

I promote others by sharing things they post. Even for others, I don’t do a lot of “buy this book” posts, because too much can read like a commercial. I find things that I find valuable and I share those.

By doing this, I build trust with my audience. What I’ve found is that when they trust me, they will go to the mat to support me. It’s that simple.

Practice small, consistent steps.
2. Practice small, consistent steps. By this I mean, no more than 30 minutes a day on social media 4 – 5 days a week. BUT do it consistently.

Social media success is found in momentum. Momentum is built through consistency. If we spend two hours on social media one day, then don’t set foot on it again for several weeks, everything we’ve built has evaporated and we’re back to square one.

By spending even only 5 – 10 minutes on social media 3 – 4 days a week, we can begin to build momentum. And it’s those small steps, done consistently that give us amazing progress when we do them over weeks and months.

I hope you’re not too disappointed, but these two things really are the secret to my success. I’d like to know what you’ve found to take your social media to the next level. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


2 Simple tips from @EdieMelson will take #SocialMedia to the next level (Click to Tweet)


  1. Edie, Thank you for all your help. I follow your advice and I have doubled my twitter followers. I try to thank everyone who follows me. I retweet what I find informative or fun. I was asked to write for an online magazine after following and retweeting them.

  2. I'll admit I was dubious at first about the five-to-one rule, but IT WORKS!!! But there is another incredible side to this rule that isn't mentioned: I feel wonderful when I promote another person's work. Truth be told, promoting others' work gives me more joy than promoting my own. Thanks so much for this great advice, Edie.

    1. Cynthia, it definitely seems counterintuitive. Funny how following God's statutes always works! (Being humble and putting others above myself) Blessings, E

  3. Thanks Edie. I love this because it IS simple. And you reminded me of why I write. Since Christmas, I've been wondering if I should resume my blog. But God has continued to astound me with life lessons and He is now teaching me to stop fretting over what I'm not doing and to concentrate on finding the joy in the moment, regardless. Since consciously doing this, I feel a re-kindling of the fire in my belly that keeps me writing.So I'm declaring to God and myself to relax, enjoy the moment for what it's worth or what it teaches me and to trust God for His direction for my writing. Thanks for all you've taught me in the past and the reminders that spur me on. I appreciate your wisdom and humility.
    Love you, Lizard

    1. Elizabeth, you are definitely one of my heroes! I'm glad you're sticking with it. Blessings, E

  4. Should have previewed!!! That darn auto-correct. Think there's a life lesson in that? LIZ

  5. Good stuff Edie. I have been trying to follow your advice since I first met you. It works! Love you. Brenda

    1. Brenda, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

  6. Thanks, Edie! WE need to be reminded again and again--focus on others, love others!

    1. Linda, you're so right! I love posting these types of tips because it helps me stay accountable. Blessings, E

  7. Edie, your suggestions and encouragement are always a welcome part of my day. But... hmmmmm. I'm not sure what "spending no more than 30 minutes on social media means." Is that time spent on posts I write and/or share? Or time I'm reading????
    And, are you recommending that I stop announcing my blog posts on social media? I have an automatic link to my FB, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. My direct-notification follower list (people who have intentionally asked to be notified via email, I mean) is pretty short. Although I mention my blog to others I meet when it's fitting, I don't yet have another means of "getting the word out." Now I fear I'm doing this all wrong. My mind is spinning a bit...
    Thanks for listening, Nancy

    1. Nancy, it's a difficult concept to process. First, what I mean by 30 minutes a day on social media includes reading posts and sharing things on social media. I take one afternoon a week and write all my blog posts for the next week.

      I'm not suggesting you completely quit sharing your blog posts, but that you use Edie's 5 to 1 rule. For every 5 social media updates I send out, then and only then am I allowed to share something about my product. A product is your blog, your book, an article you wrote, etc. Otherwise, my social media posts become all about me instead of about my reader.

      A side affect of promoting others instead of myself is the fact that the majority of those I promote, now promote me because they want to reciprocate what I've done for them.

      As far as auto-linking accounts, that's a big no-no. Here's a blog post I wrote explaining why it doesn't buy us anything. The exception to that is LinkedIn, GoodReads and Amazon. I do have my blog auto-feed there. But with Facebook and Twitter, it's a hindrance, not a help. Here's the link to the blog post (you'll have to copy and paste it into your browser window):

      Remember, while we do want to "get the word out" it's more important to provide value for our readers. When we spend the majority of our time NOT promoting ourselves, we prove ourselves trustworthy to our readers. We con't appear to be in it for ourselves.

      Social media is NOT advertising. Social media is about building relationships. When we have those connections, those people will work hard to hep us succeed.

      It is counterintuitive, but it works. It's worked for me. This is the way I built my platform. And it works for the hundreds of writers I've helped build solid online platforms.

      Hang in there. All your questions are good ones. Blessings, E

    2. And the processing begins.

      Thanks very much for all of this. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one that feels wobbly on a regular basis. I'm glad there are those like you that have gone before and are generous with their time and experiences.

      Blessing to you, Nancy

  8. Here's a possible alternative for our friend Nancy Wolfe. What do you think, Edie? I know you have recommended sharing "writer things" on our personal Facebook walls, but I had trouble with the idea of sharing about my books and blog posts there. If I did, I love the 5 to 1 idea. I also like to look at friends' pictures and statuses. To not bombard friends with writer stuff, I have kept my author page in addition to having a personal account on Facebook. Now I don't feel so bad about sharing blog posts, because if someone follows that page, they understand what they will receive in their feed. I do like to share things that friends write and to also post beautiful pictures and quotes just to delight the reader and encourage them.

    1. Dear sweet Katy... I was typing while you were sending and I'm intrigued by your idea. I zipped over to FB and think I found you (beautiful stained glass?) so I'll look around and see if it's a good fit.

      And, I'll come back here to see what Edit has to say to both of us...

      Thanks ever so, NW

    2. Or... I can see what Edie (not "Edit") says. Good golly, Miss Molly... it must be getting late for me.


    3. Hello, Nancy! Yes, I have a stained glass window as my cover photo. I do share some writer things on my personal wall now that I think about it, but it more often than not follows Edie's 5 to 1 rule. Thanks for looking at the page. I probably need to post some more things on there besides blog posts. :) Take care!