What to Post on Social Media

It's easy to get caught up in the worry about what to post on social media so much that you never actually post anything. You spend so much time thinking about what you should and shouldn't posted nothing actually happens. Maybe that's just me.; I am a queen at overthinking everything. But I don't think it is, I think it's a common problem that a lot of people deal with. Social media is big and a little overwhelming at times. Who do you follow? What do you post? When do you post? How frequently do you post? And a million other questions seem to always pop up and cause a little bit of unnecessary stress. So let's deal with some of those questions.

Who do you follow?

Figuring out who to follow can feel a little bit like going back to the popular kids in high school cliché. Do you follow only the big name accounts? And how do you even figure out who to start following the first place?

Well it can be really easy to get overwhelmed by the number of accounts there are to follow, there are some ways to figure out who to best follow. Start with you like. Are there blogs you read religiously? More than likely they have a social page, give it a follow see what they're posting, share their content. Are there writers you love? Check out their social pages. Don't forget to check your friends and follow them. Also make sure you tell your friends you have a new account, It's a great way for you to find each other online. If someone you don't know engages with you in a nice way, consider giving them a follow. Find relevant hashtags to your area and see who the big posters are.

Another great way to find who to follow is to look for a list on Twitter. A list is the collection that someone has made of accounts that all meet a certain theme or career. There're a lot of lists out there for literary agents, writers, editors, reviewers, and more. You can even just follow the list and see who like and want to follow on your own. You can find less on peoples accounts on Twitter.

What do you post?

Figuring out what to post doesn't have to be a scary thing. I know for me I have a hard time accepting that the 'buy my book' posts are okay to have occasionally. A lot of the people who follow you are interested in what you're doing what you have available what you're working on. However, I still think it's of vital importance that you also engage like a human. For me, that means posting the things that matter to me. Sometimes that's pictures of my cats or my workspace or what I'm reading and sometimes that's posting something political. At the end of the day, I'm a human and I want to come across as one.

Generally speaking, I try to post helpful content. I share links to a lot of my own blog post that I think will be helpful for people, I try to share new books that are coming out that I'm excited about, podcasts I'm listening to and really enjoying. I share the things that matter to me, but it helped me, or that make me smile. I post a lot of ridiculous cat Pictures and dog pictures because I love them and sometimes, Honestly, you need something cute to escape the hell gate that can be social media.

So figure out what matters To you and why people follow you or why you want them to follow you. Is that because you review books? Or maybe you're trying to get some traction for your editing business. Whatever it is, find ways to include that in what you're posting.

When do you post?

Figuring out when to post and have relayed to post can get a little bit like translating a puzzle. Especially if you don't operate on a normal 9-to-5 kind of schedule. If you're up and working at 3 AM should you really be posting on social media? Will anyone even see it?

Each platform has different times that appeal to it overall. You also have to think about time zones. If you're in California but most of the people you want to reach her on the East Coast you may need to adjust what times are posting so that your content available when they're active. Here are the general guidelines for best posting times for each platform based on information compiled by one of my favorite social media blogs, Sprout Social

  • Facebook
    • Thursday to be the most recommended day to post
    • 1 p.m. on Thursday to be the most active time
    • Relatively safe to post any day between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    • Early mornings and late nights are the least optimal posting times
    • Wednesday through Sunday are the strongest days to post
  • Twitter
    • Monday Through Thursday are the strongest days to post
    • Thursday is the most recommended day to post in the week
    • Noon on Thursday is the most active time in the week
    • Safe to post any weekday between noon and 3 p.m.
    • Early mornings and late nights are the least optimal posting times
  • Instgram
    • Monday through Friday are the strongest days to post
    • Monday tends to drive the most engagement out of the week
    • 3 p.m. each day is least optimal time to post
    • Safe to post nearly any time (excluding 3 p.m.) on Monday through Thursday
    • Most recommended posting times include 2 a.m., 8.a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

(I'm only sharing those three but the link above links to full study which includes other platforms as well.)

As far as frequency I think that all depends on how much content you have to share. For me, I don't have a ton of content yet so I post 2 to 5 times the day depending on platform. As I generate more content I anticipate not going up but for now that feels like a good, safe number so that I'm not just repeating content overtime. Of course there will be some overlap, but generally speaking I don't want to share the same story multiple times in a single day. However, if you have a lot of content that maybe the best strategy period

Social media is a very personal platform. What works and doesn't work is frequently based on the individual themselves, what work they're doing, and what they want to be doing. There isn't an easy post eight time today between 12 PM and 4 AM to reach 1 million followers kind of formula. The Internet is a strange and wild place, figure out what works for your schedule and what you want and commit to it.

The hardest part of is sticking to it. So get your account up and running and commit to posting everyday at least once.

I know you can do it!

Source: Photo by Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash

Social Media: How and Why?

Social media.

Everyone always hears that writers need to be on social media. Every time some new platform shows up, people flock to it, setting up accounts that get abandoned in weeks. It’s easy to set up the account, post for a few weeks or months then run out of ideas of things to post.

Whenever a writer (or anyone trying to build a brand online) gets started, tons of questions appear.

Should you be on it? What platforms are the best? How often should I post? Who should I follow?

But the biggest one is: Does social media matter?

Yes. It does, but you don’t have to be on every single platform. In fact that is a recipe for disaster. Don’t feel like you have to be everywhere. The rule of thumb that I generally use for my writing accounts is that it needs to be a platform that I enjoy using.

I know that sounds maybe a little silly but if you’re going to be using your platform, it needs to be something that you’re going to keep using. Now there’s no platform that will be a joy to use every single day, but if it’s somewhere you HATE signing onto maybe reconsider that account. If twitter doesn’t make sense to you and you hate the platform, then you’re not going to use it and a an inactive account does you no good.

For me, that ends up being LinkedIn. I kind of hate the clunky aspect of it and really don’t like to use it. So generally I don’t post to my personal page on LinkedIn almost ever. I login to manage some professional accounts that I’m paid to manage, but otherwise, not interested much in connecting and networking through that particular platform. So I don’t.

Right now I am managing between 12-15 accounts across a variety of platforms. Some of those are my own, some of those are accounts for other people, and some of them are accounts I manage with other people. So how do I manage them? There are ways to make it easier; to make it a manageable task that only takes a few hours of work to do.

 

Here are some of the things I use to keep

1. Build a word document or an excel sheet of your posts and keep it updated.

Create a living document with your tweets, facebook posts, instagram captions, etc. create 2-3 for every item you want to share. Switch things up every few weeks to keep things from getting stale.

2. Decide your messaging pillars.

This sounds complicated but basically it just means sorting out what things do you want to post about? For my author page, I use the pillars: blog posts, books I love, amazing other people to follow, my books. Then I figure out how much to post about each of those topics and poof it into my schedule. It’s the easiest way for me to not get overwhelmed by content to share. When I start to struggle with what to share, I can look back at those pillars to get inspiration.

3. Schedule, schedule, schedule.

The easiest thing you can do to help yourself out is to schedule your posts in advance, really get yourself scheduled out at least a week ahead, preferably a month ahead. I personally like Hootsuite and Buffer but there are other options like TweetDeck and also within Facebook pages natively. Instagram is a little more challenging because you cannot directly post from a scheduler, but you can set up reminders on your phone or use an app like Later to get posts ready to go.

4. Get some visuals.

It can be helpful to make yourself a few simple images to use to help promote your book or blog post. Canva is (mostly) free, Typorama app is (mostly) free and both are easy to use to build images to use. You can even within the app, specify what size you want for what platform. I also really love Unsplash and get a lot of my blog images from there.

5. Don’t just blast promotion.

Post about your work, be proud and excited about your work but… don’t only ever post ‘buy my book’ stuff. Share other people’s work, post that inspirational quote or funny tweet, get political, share cat photos. Be a real person, people respond to authenticity.

 

That’s what helps me keep managing accounts, and keeping active on social without having to spend hours and hours on social media all day long because that is a recipe for trouble.

 

 

Sideways Grief - Mourning in the Digital Age

Over the past few months I have learned of the death of 3 friends over social media. While none of these people were daily staples in my life, they all had left a lingering impression on my life. One taught me the true act of forgiveness and understanding, one taught me to conquer my fears of strangers, and one taught me how to be kind to everyone, even the people you don't like. I wouldn't be who I am without the impression all three of them have left on my life. But rather than being permanent fixtures of my life, they're ghosts of fingerprints in my past. I miss them. I regret not spending more time with them, not making those extra trips, or sending that email when I had the chance.  The things everyone thinks when someone is suddenly gone and you're left holding a bundle of words left unsaid. 

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