Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Social Media, Marketing & Branding Part 3 The Experts Weigh in on Social Media, Marketing & Branding by Edie Melson and DiAnn Mills

Today ends the three-part marketing series from authors DiAnn Mills and Edie Melson. I know it's been helpful to me and I hope you, too. If you have not read Part 1 and Part 2, please go back and check them out. -- Sandy

This post is from both of us. We decided to take specific questions and concerns and amplify them a little more.

Why bother with social media and marketing when I don’t have a product yet?
DiAnn: Social media begins with a writer who is passionate about sharing her expertise with others. It’s not a buy-me mindset but a how-can-I-help-you attitude. As a Christian, I view social media as a ministry. Begin building your platform now so when you have a product, your audience will be excited. If you don’t have a platform and audience, you don’t have anyone to help or market.
Edie: I agree. Social media is all about bringing value to those you interact with. It’s an extension of who you are in person. You are valuable to those around you now, there’s no reason to think you don’t have interesting things to share on social media.
What’s your favorite social media tip for building Twitter?
Edie: I love to mine the followers of those who follow me. I find a similar account to the audience I’m trying to reach – for example DiAnn Mills. Then I visit her profile and click on the list of those who follow her. This gives me a fresh list of people who are active on social media and have interests similar to those I’m sharing.
DiAnn: I use This allows me to manage who I follow according to personal and professional interests. Another advantage is I can unfollow those who are not posting or following me back.

How does branding feed into social media?
DiAnn: Remember the cowboys who branded cattle? This not only allowed the rancher to keep track of his stock, but it also allowed him to develop fine herds of cattle. His brand became his name, and he was known for his excellent stock. The same thing applies to writers. We will be branded by those who read our books and our social media posts. It’s to our advantage to develop our own brand and allow our audience to know we offer quality information.
Edie: Totally agree. However, don’t just think about the narrow topic of one of your books. Think bigger. For example, if you write Biblical fiction, consider sharing info about Biblical archeology or informative reviews about movies that come from a Biblical base.

Do I need a personal profile and a professional/author Facebook Page? Why and/or Why not?
Edie: For a long time I’ve let my professional author page lie dormant because I was unable to get any traction on it. I primarily use my personal profile to interact with my readers and other writers. I have all my posts set to Public, and this allows anyone to see those posts and interact with them. HOWEVER: I am extremely careful about accepting friend requests from people I don’t know. Because my posts are public, I don’t have to grant them Friend status for them to interact. If someone sends me a friend request and I don’t accept it, they automatically become a follower and can see my public posts. They cannot post to my wall, only comment on the public posts that are already there. And although we are only allowed 5000 Friends on a personal profile, we may have an infinite number of Followers.
DiAnn: I have both, and I post on both. Understand some of my followers subscribe to both pages, and that’s fine with me. I never word a post the same on each page, even if the core of my message is the same. Why, you ask? Because I want each friend and professional follower to know I care about them. Cutting and pasting the same message says, “You aren’t important as a unique follower.” No friend or professional follower deserves that treatment.

We’ve enjoyed being with Seriously Write for this series! Be sure to leave any questions you have in the comments section below and we’ll get back with you.


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall. 

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

 DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at


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.