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Anti-social. I remember being labeled that by my aunt one Saturday morning when I was a kid. It’s true; I was not excited to see my aunt and uncle along with their two boys, my cousins, EVERY SINGLE SATURDAY. I mean, come on, it was the weekend! Did I want to spend the day with two boys who pestered me and assaulted my Barbie dolls? No way!
In today’s world with all its social networking sites, I don’t particularly want to be labeled as anti-social. Being social has its limits however. If I took advantage of every social networking site out there, I would be chained to my computer all day. At the same time, I don’t want to miss any networking and marketing opportunities. Adding to this conundrum is the persistent advice of all the marketing gurus out there who insist you must make the most out of ALL these social networks. They always add the caveat that you must “be sociable” on these networks too; you can’t go there merely advertising your books and then leave. I agree with them on that point. It annoys me when an author joins a group, promotes his book, and then leaves the group conversation. It does not inspire me to buy his book. But again, I don’t have that much time in my day to be sociable on a multitude of networks out there.
So, I’ve decided to focus my social behavior on a handful of social networks. Specifically, I have decided to focus on my Facebook author page. Facebook, as annoying as it can be at times, has been my primary social network for several years. I’m familiar with it and I’m comfortable with the platform. My author page isn’t that much different from my primary page, but I haven’t really done much with the author page since I started it. Taking the advice of marketing gurus about being sociable and not just advertising my book, I have reevaluated my Facebook pages. In the past, I put personal “sociable” things on my personal or primary Facebook page, and I put book advertisements for my books on my author page. In other words, I didn’t really engage with people on my author page much.
In light of that, I’m changing the way I use Facebook. I’ve decided to neglect my personal, private page and focus all of my future status updates on my public author page. I feel that this action is necessary due to time constraints. I don’t have the time to split my updates between two Facebook pages. I started to notice a difference right away. I began to get “likes” from people I’ve never met. When I first set up my author page, I invited folks I already knew to “like” my author page. Since I have a link to my author page on my website, I picked up a few more “likes” from that, but primarily most folks on my author page are folks I know personally. That has been changing however, ever since I began changing the way I engage with folks on my page.
I also recently decided to give Facebook’s ad campaign a try. I ran my first ad for ten days. I advertised my website instead of my author page. My book sales had dropped off pitifully before that, but within that ten day time period I sold eight books. It’s not a phenomenal success story by any means, but for a novice writer trying to get her name out there among the myriad of other writers vying for the same thing, it feels like a success to me.
What social networks have worked well for you? Do you have any tips or secrets you want to share?