Monday, February 27, 2017

What is Your Social Media Purpose?

by Bethany Jett @BetJett

Why do you use social media?

There’s no wrong answer, but it’s probably not a question that you’ve taken the time to answer. After all, social media infiltrated our lives so rapidly that many of us jumped on board on a whim.

I know I did.

When Facebook first appeared on the scene, it was a networking system for college students. My sister had a college email address so she was an early adopter. I hadn’t started at my new university yet, so without the .edu email address, I couldn’t join.


Naturally, I thought Facebook was stupid.

Myspace and Xanga (remember Xanga?!) were the popular forms of self-expression and texting had only recently become normal. So, when Facebook opened up their online doors to anyone, I joined reluctantly. Why not, right?

It’s different today. According to Zephoria Digital Marketing, 1.23 billion—BILLION! people log into Facebook every day, and many users check their accounts multiple times. Facebook has become a second email account in many ways, and there’s an infinite amount of business deals that happen on this platform.

With all the content that’s tossed around (and we haven’t even touched the other platforms numbers!), it’s important for us as marketers (which you are if you’re a writer and author!) to rise above the noise and have a purpose for why we’re using social media.

We’re all on varying degrees of the career spectrum, and that’s okay! If you’re writing, then you’re a writer, no matter who reads your writing or what publisher buys your work. We must give ourselves a break and love the journey God has given uniquely to us. That said…

For some of us, writing is a hobby, an outlet, therapy. We write for ourselves, our families, our friends. If we get published in a magazine, it’s super exciting and if a book deal were to happen, wowza!

For others, writing is a career. It’s the life-force that gets us up before daybreak and leaves alone on the couch with our laptops after the household has gone to bed. It’s the business that puts food on the table, gas in the car, and “spending money” in the kids’ Star Wars velcro wallets.

Where do you fall on the spectrum?

If you’re a hobbyist, throw yourself into it! Love it! Enjoy it! Social media is where you stay in touch with family and friends, updating them not only on your writing journey, but all aspects as well. The “proper time to post” isn’t something you need to worry about. If you share your work, you may have some fans join you in the social world. No stress!

If you place yourself further down the career line, you should also love it, but it’s time to start digging in to your analytics and audience. You’re not only sharing your writing journey plus all the other fun life stuff, but now each piece of content needs to be scrutinized. You’re moving into the land where the opinions of people who don’t know you matter. You’re reaching out to potential new fans, new readers, and as we all know, our readers have high expectations for who they follow.

This can still be fun, and it should be! If you hate your social media marketing plan, you have two options: change it, or quit it. Your audience know when you’re not engaged with them, and this will be reflected in your numbers. (Last month we chatted about what winning looks like. Catch that post here.)

You don’t want to be the spammer . . . only and always asking for sales, likes, and follows.

Buy my book! Did you see my book? Have you bought my book? Please buy my book. I don’t do anything else in life except ask people to buy my book.

You can substitute blog for this, too. Go to my blog. Check out my blog. Here’s my blog. Did you read my blog?


Those posts have a time and place . . . they must be filtered with great content that is relevant to your audience.

Let people into your life.

When you’re writing a book, share some updates, give a look “behind the scenes.” Then for the rest of the week, share quotes, memes, blog posts (a mixture of yours and other peoples), create a poll, tell a story, especially if it’s self-deprecating.

People like it when you don’t come across as too big for your britches, so tell them about the time you walked into the hotel lobby with a used Capri Sun packet stuck to the back of your pant leg. #TrueStory

When your book releases, celebrate! Let your audience celebrate with you. If you’ve managed your content well before the launch, your audience will feel like they walked this journey with you, and oftentimes will buy your book because they feel invested. No spamming required.


When people comment on your pictures or statuses, respond. Like their replies. Comment back. Tag them.

Social media is a conversation, and if it falls one-sided, people will stop dropping by your page. When you love your people, they feel it, and you’ll find that across the board, in the long run, your analytics will prove it.

Social media marketing is a long man’s game. We’re “grifters” without the manipulation. Build your audience strong and deep, not wide and shallow, and you’ll find that no matter if you’re a hobbyist or careerist, your writing will be read by more people than you can imagine.

So today, decide where you fall on the spectrum and what you want from social media. Know it. Own it. And I want to know, too, so share in the comments!


Bethany Jett is an award-winning author of The Cinderella Rule, speaker, ghostwriter, founder of JETTsetter Ink, a consulting and editing company, and was recently accepted into a Master of Arts in Marketing program.

Bethany is a military wife and all-boys-mama who is addicted to suspense novels and all things girly. She writes on living a brilliant #CEOlife at


  1. Thanks for sharing Bethany! This is quite an informative post. Engagement is the key. Too many people are "buy my book" types. What they forget is to give me a reason to buy their book over someone else book. My favorite authors always recommend other author's books.

    1. I love great book recommendations, too! Thanks for the comment Ingmar!

  2. Thank you Bethany. This was a good blog, and helpful.

  3. I remember Xanga. LOL! Great post, Bethany.