Thursday, March 23, 2017

How (not) to Build Your Social Media Platform by Susan Tuttle


Susan and I switched Thursdays this month. She normally posts on the first Thursday of each month, but in March she is graciously visiting with us on the fourth Thursday.
 
I’m in a couple different groups that are giving some great advice about social media platforms. The need for consistency and clarity across all devices is imperative. Your numbers and constant growth is even a larger concern. And as writers, we are brainstorming ways to reach the broadest audience in the most effective way. As I’ve listened to everyone chime in, I’ve learned a lot about what to do. More importantly, I’ve learned what not to do. Today I want to chat about that.

See, publishers want to see big numbers. We’ve heard that repeatedly. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s been rubber stamped across my forehead. But when you are unpublished, it feels like you’re peddling air and asking for gold. How do you market a product that is as-of-yet invisible? But it’s a necessary in this world, and so the work for numbers begins.
We:

  • Push “friend request” on Facebook a hundred times and when someone accepts, our first message to them is, please like my author page.
  • We blindly follow on Twitter and when we receive a “follow” back, we send an automated reply to their inbox saying, if you follow me here, like my author page too!
  • We stalk hashtags on Instagram and blanket the popular users with requests so that they will follow us back.
  • We pay a source to increase our numbers for us.
I know there are far more ways people gain a skyrocketing number across their social media platforms, but do you know what is missing when it’s done this way? Authenticity. Without it, you’ve gained numbers but no relationship.

If we are not interacting with people, it doesn’t matter our numbers because they aren’t going to care what we have to say when we finally have a stage to say it on. Readers want to trust the voice that spins the story they are reading. They want to connect not only to our characters but to us. And as Christian writers, isn’t connecting what it’s all about? Because to share our message of faith, we first need their ear.

If you’re trying to build your social media numbers, I challenge you today to start by interacting with the people who are already there. Begin to build your content and connections. Let God worry about how big your reach is while you worry about authentically following that which he’s called you to do.

Susan L. Tuttle lives in Michigan where she’s happily married to her best friend and is a homeschooling mom of three. She’s firmly convinced that letters were meant for words, not math, and loves stringing them together into stories that inspire, encourage, and grow women into who God created them to be. Romance, laughter, and cookies are three of her favorite things, though not always in that order. You can connect with Susan at her blog, Steps, Facebook, or Twitter.

3 comments:

  1. You make some great points Susan. Thanks for the guidance. Blessings and good luck!

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  2. Wonderful points, Susan! To me, social media is so hard. It's difficult to find the best ways - I know I haven't. Please keep sharing the do's and don't'.

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