Friday, October 10, 2014

Help! Social Media Isn’t Working For Me

It's Social Media month on NovelSpaces. (Wait ... isn't that every month? Every day?) Anyway, I get many subtle hints and nudges from my dear friend and media expert, Nerissa Golden about my lack of a strong social media presence. So, I figured that you all would be much better off hearing from her on this topic than from me. Here are a few of her tips on making social media work for you. Check out her most recent publication Like. Follow. Lead. Mastering Social Media for Small Business for more, simple but very useful tips on how to get the best experience and results from your social spaces.

Here's Nerissa:

With all of the attention social media gets, the message seems to have spread that it would be easy to get results and customers loaded with cash would roll right up and spend, spend, spend.

For every guru telling you they can teach you how to make a million a month using Facebook, there are a million people wishing they knew the secret for free. Here are a few tried and true ways to increase your level of exposure and gain those all-important fans and followers.

First off, social media will only work if you work it. So post frequently. You won’t get any traction and build an audience if you only log on periodically to browse or retweet someone else’s work. As an author these platforms are ideal to let your audience see how creative and quirky you are. They may not become fans overnight but as they watch your continued engagement they will become a follower and hopefully a loyal customer. Use your electronic calendar to remind you to post at specific times. You can also schedule posts on some of the social spaces so no need to feel attached to your phone or computer.

Step outside of your comfort zone. All of the authors you know say Facebook has been the missing link in making those all-important sales. You’ve tried what they’ve tried without the same results. Why not step over to Twitter or Instagram and create a new space all your own? Research the various social media and find one that appeals to you and which can help you connect with your audience in a more entertaining and meaningful way.

Spend a little to get a little. You will only get out what you put in. While setting up an account on social platforms is free, it will cost you time and money to build and position your brand. Costs can include taking ads targeted at specific audiences, having professional photos taken so you can display an impressive profile image and graphics to promote your books and products. If you don't have the time to manage your social spaces, you may need to hire someone to do it for you.

Know where your audience hangs out. Ladies tend to hang out on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter more than men do, so if your potential customers are most likely male then find the platforms where they spend most of their time. Most popular are Google Plus and LinkedIn but check out Vine and Instagram as well. There are thousands of others so do your research.

What’s in a name? Everything. Make it easy for readers to find you on any social platform by using the same handle. Here’s an example using the handle #1author.,, and your website then should be If you already have a popular handle on one platform but it’s already been taken on other social sites, then find a version of the handle, which will be memorable and ensure it is visible on business cards and other promotional products. Use to see which social spaces your handle is available on.

With focus and lots of perseverance you can build a social media audience which can have the long term results you are after. Grab my new book, Like. Follow. Lead. Mastering Social Media for Small Business, for more, simple but very useful tips on how to get the best experience and results from your social spaces.

Nerissa Golden is an award-winning media strategist, business coach, and author who helps her clients accelerate their business growth by leveraging high impact communications solutions and income generating strategies. She is the author of four books: Like. Follow. Lead. Mastering Social Media for Small Business, Island Days, a collection of illustrated poems about growing up in the Caribbean; The Making of a Caribbeanpreneur: Strategies for Overcoming Fear and Building Wealth as well as Truly Caribbean Woman’s Guide to Good Love.


Charles Gramlich said...

Good advice!

Sunny Frazier said...

I know so many authors who back away from social media, afraid to bring attention to themselves. The trick is not to hammer people into buying your book but rather to encourage you to get to know them. I post something on FB every day, usually a meme about reading, writing, or something deliciously bratty. When I have a column up at this site, I promote not just my article, but Novel Spaces.

Promotion and marketing should be FUN! Make friends first, fans later. Pay attention to others, this is not a one-way promotional street.

Liane Spicer said...

Great advice! I need all the social media help I can get.

KeVin K. said...

I'm going to read your book.