Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Develop a Social Media Plan by Knowing Where You Are & Where You Want to Go

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

When I teach social media, I encourage people to relax and not take on too much at once.So today I want to back up and start at the very beginning. Because social media can reach millions, it’s way too easy to think of it as mass marketing. In reality social media is about one-on-one relationships.

That is the beauty and the dichotomy of the medium. It can be overwhelming—this building relationships with millions—especially when our goal is writing, not advertising. Now the good news: social media is not as difficult as it seems.

It Begins with Community

In many ways, it’s a return to small town thinking. In times past, people patronized merchants because the proprietors were their neighbors or friends. In this day and time, we also find neighbors and friends on Facebook, Twitter and in blogging communities. And those communities are where we need to concentrate our efforts.

It's vitally important to realize that, despite the bad rap it's gotten, social networking and writers are a natural match. Social networking is all about connecting with people through our words—not walking into a room full of strangers, standing on a platform and speaking. We can sit at our desks, write and reach the entire world.

That said, it IS all about connecting with others. If you're NOT willing to be found by others, then the writing industry as it stands today is gonna be tough for you.

Where to Begin 
There are two things you need: 
  • You’ve got to know where you are.
  • You’ve got to know where you’re going.
You are Here
To evaluate where you are, you need to know your numbers. 
  • How many friends/followers do you have on Facebook?
  • How many followers do you have on Twitter?
  • What other social media networks are you a part of? Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. Add those numbers here.
You also need to know where you rank in search engines. 
  • Plug your name into Google and see where you are. Do you show up on the first page of a Google search?
  • Plug your name into other search engines (bing.com, ask.com, etc) and see where you show up there, too.
  • Now search your blog name, if it’s different from your name, and see where you show up.
  • Finally, search some of your blog topics. Don’t just search your blog post titles, but the actual topics. For instance, I wrote a post titled, 31 BIBLICAL AFFIRMATIONS FOR WRITERS TO BEGIN THE YEAR. When I plug that title into the search engine, it comes up number one in the search. But when I search Biblical Affirmations for Writers, I still come up on the first page.
That’s ultimately what we’re shooting for, to be found by topic, not just by someone already knowing our name. 

First, we shoot for getting our names high in the search engine rankings. Then when we’re on the Internet map, we increase our visibility by getting known topically.

Plot Your Course
It’s hard to get somewhere unless we know where we’re going. One of the easiest ways to get somewhere is to follow someone. So for this part, you need to think about two or three people who are where you want to be in the social media universe. Don’t just choose random, well-known people. Put some thought in this and look at people who write things similar to you. You’re going to use their path to success to guide you, so choose well.

Check their Social Media Numbers
  • Do the same things with their names, as you did with yours.
  • Look at their Facebook friends/followers.
  • Check how many followers they have on Twitter.
  • Look at the other social media networks they’re a part of. To do this, visit their websites to see what networks they find important.
Check their Search Engine Ranking
  • Plug their names into Google and look at what you find.
  • Now do the same thing with other search engines and make note of where they rank.
Don’t skimp on the time it takes to do this research. It will give you a good picture of where you are and this will help you figure out where you're going. 

I’d love to hear what you found when you followed the suggestions above. I’d also love for you to share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


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 FACEBOOKTWITTER and on INSTAGRAM.


  1. Thank you for sharing this information, Edie. I'm working on growing my platform, and you gave me great ideas to consider.

    1. Lisa, I'm glad I could help! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  2. Such great information, Edie. Thank you. One of the nice things about having an unusual name like mine is that a google search will always return info about my work. However, I had never used bing.com or ask.com to search, so I did those as well. Each search engine returns a different set of results. Very interesting!

    1. Hi Kay, it is interesting what comes up! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  3. Thanks for the tips, Edie. I've compared follower numbers for myself and others before but haven't ever looked into their search rankings. And this was the first time I've searched for myself on ask.com -- what an odd mishmash of results! It was interesting to see that some of the Google and Bing results were from comments I'd made on other people's blogs.

    1. Leigh, it's important to get the full picture of where we are so we can find the best route to get to where we want to go! Blessings, E

  4. This is awesome! And I will go through it next Wednesday. But ... blog vs. newsletter? And what about those things like Twitter I simply don't do? We can't do it all, right?