Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Time to Update Your Social Media Strategy

 


by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Welcome to The Write Conversation! This has been a world-shifting couple of years in the realm of social media. Facebook has continued to tweak their algorithms and format until nothing looks the same. Twitter has had major crack downs on spam accounts and it looks very different as well. In the past two years Thunderclap has been shut down, and so has Klout. So it's definitely time to update your social media strategy.

All these constant changes have many people are scrambling and scurrying. Chasing trends, adding new apps, and swearing off social media completely aren't the best way to deal with this new world. So today I'm going to lay out my strategy in hopes of helping you find a blueprint to follow. It's still a great time to make valuable online connections, we just need to continue to change how we do it. These tips for social media for writers should help you get your online connection plan in tip-top shape. 

Things to Give Up
There are things we can continue and things we need to let go of. These fall into the latter category.

1. Scheduling Facebook posts through Hootsuite, Buffer or any other third-part application. No, I'm not giving up Hootsuite altogether, but Facebook has slanted their algorithm to favor posts that are NOT scheduled outside of Facebook. Since I can't schedule FB effectively, I've cut way back on how many updates I share on Facebook daily. I now concentrate on one or two posts and work on starting—and having—a conversation with what I share.

2. Checking Klout. Klout was a program that provided a snapshot of how an online presence was doing. Now it's gone, so one less things to worry about!

3. Scheduling repeat tweets. There was a time when we could compose a tweet and release the same update to our twitter followers over a period of days or weeks. No longer. Now twitter isn't allowing this kind of repeated update. It's still fine—and even encouraged—that we retweet content. But repeating original content is no longer allowed. This change led directly to the death of Thunderclap. A program that shared the exact same social media update over thousands of networks at the same time.

4. Sharing as many links on Facebook. Another change to the Facebook algorithm is the fact that they want all conversation to stay on Facebook. Because of this, any post with a link that sends people away from Facebook has less visibility. Instead I compose my Facebook updates with conversation starting with text and an image. If the conversation revolves around a specific blog post, I don't put that link in the original update. I wait and post the link in the first comment below the post.

Things to Concentrate On
1. Authentic content that encourages connections. All social media networks are skewing their algorithms to favor anything posted that leads to conversation.

2. Diversification: with all that’s going on in the digital universe we can see the wisdom of not putting all our social media eggs in one basket. Now may be an excellent time to begin experimenting with Pinterest or Instagram or LinkedIn. Remember though, Instagram is owned by Facebook. If you're diversifying by using Facebook and Instagram you're essentially still on only one network. If your Facebook account is shut down, chances are you'll lose your IG account too. 

3. Video: We need to be more open about trying new things and new ways to connect. The hottest thing again this year is video, particularly Facebook live. It's time to be brave and begin to venture out of our comfort zone.

4. Blogging: Now more than ever writers need to build a stable digital foundation. Social media networks no longer qualify as stable. Small changes can hold devastating results if that’s our only audience-building strategy. This means we need a viable website or blog. If we only have a website, it’s hard to get it found because of Search Engine Optimization. That’s why blogging is such an important component.

and the two most important things of all...

5. We must remember that social media is not about me or promoting my books or making sales. Social media is about making connections—authentic—relationships. When we truly bring value to the lives of others our numbers will grow. 

6. Social media allows us to make a positive difference in the world and I must not grow weary in that purpose. We can reach people and places we'd never have the opportunity to if we were going physically. My personal belief is that I'm called to be used by God to share the love of Christ. Social media allows me to do that in ways never possible before. 

It's vital as we become professional writers that we continue to learn and grow—in all aspects of the publishing industry. 

What changes have you made in the way you interact on social media? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Don't forget to join the conversation!
Blessings,
Edie

TWEETABLE

Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.
Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.

12 comments:

  1. Thank you once again, Edie, for sharing your social media expertise. One question - So...if I share a link to a friend’s book on Amazon in my post (so the book appears), my post will get less visibility? Thank you!

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    1. Yes, but you have to weigh that to the value a link like that brings. There's no one right answer. Say you regularly share links to friends' books and those posts garner a lot of interaction, in that case, FB would show a post like that to MORE people because the algorithm has learned that's a popular post from you. Bottom line, go for engagement over any rule following. Blessings, E

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  2. This is very helpful! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. thank you for the reminder of social media as a vehicle for sharing the gospel to places we could never go. Blessings...

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  4. Wow. Thanks for sharing these updates. Social Media continues to be a challenge, although a welcome one, to me!

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  5. Making connections is important to writers. I pray before writing and ask God to give me words He wants me to share. My goal is to bring people to a closer relationship with God.

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  6. This was soooo helpful. Thanks Edie!

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  7. Edie,thank you for the suggestions. I am wanting to engage on social media yet I can't keep up with all the changes. It appears to be a full time job,instead of engaging people face to face.

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  8. I know I'm weighing in late, but my wix site is changing some formating and after a serious illness last year I was just getting my audience and working on getting my stride back. Now I'm floundering again. This is quite timely, Edie. Donevy

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