How to Improve Your Social Media Success

How much time do you spend on social media each day?

How much time should you spend to on social media for marketing purposes?

Every author struggles with knowing how much time to invest in social media. Social media is a time vortex. You can spend hours upon hours each week creating, publishing, monitoring and engaging with content on social media. The important question to ask yourself is whether you see a proportional return for the time you spend on social media.

 

Maybe you feel like you are wasting your time with social media. You are not having much engagement with your material and you are not seeing any return on your investment.

To ensure that you are not wasting your time on social media, first define your goal. Do you want:

  • To increase awareness of your books?
  • To increase engagement with a community of fans and readers?
  • To increase web traffic and book sales?

Know which one of these you want to focus on the most and then plan your strategy based on your goal.

Awareness

If you are looking for awareness on social media, then your goal is to post things that people will share. The more people share your content, the more people see you, increasing awareness. The type of posts that people are most likely to share are:

  • Entertaining
  • Inspiring
  • Storytelling
  • Educational

So, tailor your posts to these themes if you want to raise awareness.

Engagement

If you are seeking more engagement from your followers on social media, then tailor your posts to match those that people engage with the most. A recent study by Sprout Social showed the following:

  • 58% of people prefer visual content, specifically graphics, images and produced videos.
  • 90% of people are more likely to engage with company personality posts.
  • 50% of people are likely to engage with new product posts.
  • 31% are likely to engage with storytelling content.

Create posts that generate engagement. Ask questions, take polls, and share stories to encourage your fans and followers to comment on, react to, and even share your posts.

Web Traffic and Sales

To increase your web traffic and sales offer freebies that are available only through your website. Create incentives for people to come to your website in your posts. Use services like Pay with a Tweet that encourage people to get your freebie as well as share it wider on social media to increase your website traffic.

With as little as 30 minutes a day spent on social media, you can begin to see more success for your efforts as long as you stay focused and create content that engages people toward your goal.

Related Posts:
Are You Using Social Media Correctly?
7 Social Media Facts You Should Know
Is Social Media a Waste of Time?

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Photo courtesy of Alexa Suter.

Evaluating Your Social Media Interactions

Many authors wonder whether the time they spend on social media is treasure or trash. Few can directly equate time spent on social media with increased book sales. For most, increased time on social media does not usually correlate to an uptick in book sales.

How do you determine which social media sites to engage on and how much time to spend there?

There are no hard and fast rules to these questions. However, the following information may help you shape a useful plan for yourself in regards to which social media platforms to use and expectations for the time you spend.

1. The world has embraced social media.

The company, We Are Social, tracks internet and social media usage worldwide. Below is their chart showing that 50% of world’s population uses the internet and three-fourths of these internet users (37% of the world’s population) are actively engaging on social media online.

2.  A majority of Americans use social media.

The Pew Research Center tracks social media usage in the United States. Their studies show that ten years ago, only 7% of Americans used social media. That number grew to 65% in 2016, with 76% of U.S. internet users active on social media.

3.  Facebook remains the most popular social media site across generations.

According to Sprout Social, some 65% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers report that Facebook is their favorite social media site, while 33% of Millennials rate it as their favorite.

4.  Facebook has a greater engagement rate per follower than Twitter or LinkedIn.

Instagram has the greatest engagement rate of all the social media sites—an average of 50 interactions per post per 1,000 followers. However, Facebook’s engagement rate is higher than Twitter or LinkedIn. According to TrackMaven, Facebook’s boasts an average of five to six interactions—likes, comments, and shares—per 1,000 followers per post, while LinkedIn’s rate is three interactions per 1,000 followers and Twitter’s is one per 1,000 followers.

If you are an author, you should be using social media as one strategy to connect with readers and draw people to your books. It’s a medium you can’t afford to overlook since the majority of internet users engage in social media usage.

I believe that knowing the average number of interactions per 1,000 followers for each social media site is valuable information. These figures let you know whether your social media interactions are above average, average, or below average. This knowledge can help you evaluate your social strategy and make adjustments to improve your engagement rates.

Related Posts:
How to Make Your Social Media Interactions More Fruitful
Social Media: An Integral Part of Life in America
A Successful Social Media Strategy

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Social Media Success

One of the clients I provide social media services for recently met a gentleman who was new in her field of business. This gentleman had started a Facebook page for his business and was bragging to her how “successful” he had been with his Facebook page.

My client sent me a link to the gentleman’s Facebook page. After looking at his page, I asked my client what was meant by “successful?”

Was he referring to the number of people who “liked” his business page? Was he referring to the number of posts he made to his wall each day? Was he talking about the types of messages he posted? Was he referring to the number of comments he received to those posts? Or, did he mean that he had increased sales as a result of his Facebook page?

My client did not know the answer, but knew that she wanted to increase the number of fans on her Facebook page. By the way, the gentleman who was having such “great” success on Facebook only had 25 more fans than my client.

Attracting fans on your Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking site is only the beginning of social media success. The key challenge in social media success is keeping those fans interested and engaged and turning them into advocates for what you are selling or offering.

Cone, a social media marketing agency, recently conducted a survey to find out what social media users expect from businesses that they follow. Here is some of what they found out:

  • 77 percent wanted to be offered a discount or coupon for services and products
  • 46 percent wanted customer service
  • 28 percent wanted to be entertained

What the survey found was that what people were not looking for was equally relevant. The top two reasons social media users said they stopped following businesses online tied at 58 percent. These two reasons were businesses sending out too many messages and businesses acting irresponsibly. A close second, at 53 percent, complained that the content posted by the business was irrelevant.

So, if you want to be successful with your social media efforts, keep in mind that too much content or the wrong kind of content will drive consumers away. Post a couple times a day (peak usage times for Facebook are 11am, 3pm, and 8pm on weekdays) and keep your content relevant to your products. In essence, don’t overdo it.

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