Monday, October 31, 2016

Social Media, Marketing, and Branding Series: Part One by Edie Melson

Edie Melson

Hey everyone, Annette here. Today we begin a three-part series. Parts two and three will follow tomorrow and Wednesday. Enjoy these great tips!

Social Media, Marketing & Branding Basics Part One: Building Your Social Media Platform
by Edie Melson

The prospect of building—or continuing to build—a viable online presence can seem daunting and wearying. With this series of 3 posts, DiAnn Mills and I will be sharing some secrets, shortcuts, and simplifying techniques to take the intimidation out of connecting with our audience.

Connecting With Our Audience
And that’s where we begin—and what we always return to. This is the reason we engage in social media, marketing and branding. Yes, this will lead to sharing about our books and blogs. That will ultimately lead to book sales. But, a successful platform is not built on a foundation of  advertising.

Basics of Relationship Building
·         We should be on Facebook
·         We should be on Twitter
·         We should be blogging somewhere
·         We must own our list

We’re on FB and Twitter because the majority of our audience is on these two networks combined. We can choose to insert another network in place of one of these, but that requires more effort to connect with the same amount of people. If we target a specific audience—such as YA—we may need to add Instagram or Snapchat into the mix.

We are blogging somewhere because that’s where we connect with our audience on a deeper level. 

Owning our list is marketing-speak for building an email list. Here’s why:
1.      Social media is in a constant state of flux. If we rely solely on that, a single change in the algorithm can take our reach from 60,000 to 600 in less than 24 hours.
2.      Having people who have chosen to add their names to my newsletter or blog sign ups means I can send them up-to-date information and know it will reach them.

What to Share on Social Media
I have several guidelines I follow when I share things on social media. First—unless it is launch week for a book—I stick with Edie’s 5 to 1 rule.

For every 5 social media updates I send out, I then allow myself to send out one about me.

An about me update:
·         An update about a book I’ve written
·         An update about a blog or article I’ve written
·         An update about an event I’m part of
Not an about me:
·         Sharing a favorite Scripture or quote
·         Sharing something that happened to me or touched me

I have built my considerable platform by promoting others ahead of myself. It may sound counterintuitive, but when we’re willing to do this we instill trust in our audience and receive respect from our industry counterparts.

We’re sharing the messages God has given each of us and must remember that there is plenty to go around. Scripture reminds us that the harvest is plentiful, it’s the workers who are few. (Edie’s paraphrase of Matthew 9:37)

Types of Updates
·         A Scripture or an inspiring quote
·         An intriguing question.
·         Something funny.
·         A link to something I find valuable.
I share these things in a variety of ways, through plain updates, through memes, and through video.

I recommend 4 to 5 updates a day, 3 to 4 days a week.  These updates should be a mix of things you post and things you share and/or retweet.

Bottom Line
We live in an age where social media is the way to connect with our audience. It’s a valuable tool, and we need to learn how to use it effectively without fear and with minimal frustration. We also have to guard against it taking over our lives.  

Be sure to leave your thoughts, suggestions and questions in the comments section below. None of us can know everything about social media and we’re all stronger together!



While My Child is Away by Edie Melson


Parents and children are separated for many reasons: divorce, school, camp, even work. It might be for just a few days or indefinitely. These prayers give voice to all that you are hoping for your child when you can t be the one to meet their needs. Prayers of blessings, protection, instruction and grace. Or prayers for those around your child to choose wisely, see their needs, and love them as you would. Prayers for friends, teachers, coaches and mentors to step in and fill every need. Knowing that a loving Father God is caring for your child, even when you can t, gives you the peace and assurance that all will be well.



Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s addressing parents, military families, readers of fiction, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books, including While My Child is Away and While My Soldier Serves, reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them during these difficult times.

In addition, as a respected expert in social media, Edie has the proven expertise to teach others how to plug in and reach their target audience without the restraint of physical boundaries. In her role as social media coach she’s worked with clients that range from authors and speakers to business and ministry leaders. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, has been updated, expanded and re-released as Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers.

As a respected blogger, her personal site, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s also a regular columnist on, Just 18, and Putting on the She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, the social media director for Southern Writers Magazine, the Senior Editor at Novel Rocket, and a long-time member of the Advance Speakers and Writers Association.

Edie and her husband of 35+ years have raised three sons. They live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina with their dog, Jake and cat, Emily Dickinson. You can connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.