81% of Americans now have a profile on at least one social media platform. Social media has become as integral to our lives as cars and telephones. If you are an author, you cannot afford to ignore social media.
In today’s world, you are expected to have a website on the Internet if you sell or provide any type of service. The Internet is the new Yellow Pages. This same expectation is now being extended to social media.
It is common for people to ask you for your phone number, email, or website URL. However, now I am running into more and more people who ask to connect with me on social media instead of wanting my phone number or email address.
For years, publishers and authors have been using social media to expand their reach and connect with their readers. Social media is still a great tool for doing these things. To use social media effectively, let these two truths to guide you.
1. Expect to Spend Money for Exposure
The social media platform that you use controls your exposure. Every social media platform employs algorithms. These algorithms determine who sees what you post. In other words, every time you make a post on a social media site, not all your friends or followers see what you have posted.
In fact, the algorithms on these sites (especially Facebook) are designed to narrow your exposure to those friends, fans, and followers who interact with your posts the most. Thus, your reach becomes narrower and narrower until it only touches those people who already are invested in you and your books.
Through algorithms, each social media platform decides what content they want to highlight and bring people’s attention to. For example, Facebook has decided that they are going to focus more attention on Groups and Events moving forward. In addition, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have all participated in censoring users based on various political and religious views.
Facebook is especially notorious for their changing algorithms and decreasing post reach. On average, in 2012, any given Facebook Page post only reached roughly 16% of the Page’s fans. In 2019, that reach has plummeted to less than 6%.
Social media platforms make their money off of ads. To increase ad revenue, they have slowly decreased post exposure, creating a pay-to-play atmosphere. In other words, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses, artists, authors, and the like to make an impact on social media without spending money on marketing on these platforms. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank on social media ads to increase your exposure and experience some success.
2. Video Is Dominating
According to Cisco, video will account for 80% of all internet traffic this year. Due to the increase in video consumption online, Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter are pushing videos. In other words, these social media sites give more exposure to videos than static posts.
Video, whether recorded or live-streamed, has become increasingly necessary to maintain a wide-reach on social media sites. Whether you like it or not, to remain visible on social media, you need to use some video.
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Photo courtesy of stevepb.