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Everything Changes

February 28, 2014

2013 Conference Icon compressedIt’s a hard truth, but it’s even more true when you’re talking about social media. While it seems like a huge waste of time that takes away from your writing, there are some benefits to social media. I know people who met their agents there. A Facebook friend was my connection to my publisher. I’ve made a lot of wonderful friends who have been a huge source of support, information, and laughs that make getting through a tough round of edits that much more enjoyable.

But what happens when the rug is pulled out from under you?

Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz about Facebook and its ever-changing algorithms. People with pages that were hopping are suddenly lucky if they get even a couple dozen people to see what they’ve written. That’s when it’s time to adapt. How have I been handling these changes? There are several ways.

  • Stats are key. With all issues and complaints, there is one good thing that changed on pages. We now have the ability to track the performance of each post. For a long time, my most-seen posts were text statuses. Now, some pictures I’ve shared are getting more action. The point is to see what is working for your page and strive to produce more of that type of post, whether it be text, photo, or links. If you see things are starting to stagnate, change it up some and try a different type of post.
  • Groups are your friend. This is a tricky one. A lot of Facebook groups are great, and I’ve been lucky to find many with active bases who post great topics. Other groups are little more than collections of “buy my book” posts. The latter will not help you much, so be sure to carefully vet any group you are thinking of joining to make sure there is actual discussion and interaction. Through these groups, I have been introduced to great online workshops and free content relevant to my interests, people to guest blog for, and, most importantly, great friends. Don’t t just go to writing groups or groups for readers… what other topics are you passionate about? What is the subject matter of your books? What are you favorite non-writing hobbies? These are great questions to ask when deciding what groups to join.
  • Branch out. I know, I know…. Google Plus is hard to keep up with at times and it’s difficult to remember to post. Still, remember that saying about putting all your eggs in one basket. The more active you are on Google Plus, the more you will rank in search results and who doesn’t want greater visibility? Don’t forget Twitter, Pintrest, and others.
  • Utilize lists and Hootsuite. Another author I met through social media, Rachel Thompson, introduced me to the concept of making twitter lists and using the free service hootsuite to schedule social media posts. Basically, you find your favorite tweeters (aka-the ones who actually post more than book links) and put them in lists to make your twitter feed more manageable. Through hootsuite, it is possible to set up several days worth of posts and replies to others in a short amount of time. I personally was able to do so in an hour or less for all the accounts I manage.

By using these tips, you will be able to expand your platform, meet great new people, and worry less about any changes that may happen on any one network. Are you using any of these tips already? Are there any questions you have about these I can help with? Comment, and they shall be answered. Until next time!

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