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

Conning it up! Making the most of conventions.

Cons, for me, are a ton of fun and just about the most exhausting thing in the world. When you spend most of your time alone or with just a few people being in a situation where you're suddenly surrounded by thousands of people can be overwhelming. Especially when you're on and working the whole weekend.

Yes, at conventions I'm working, connecting with readers, writers, publishers, and friends. From the moment I get there until the moment I go back home, I'm on and working. What that means is smiling, answering questions, and interacting with people. As an introvert with some serious anxiety issues, it can be incredibly difficult.

Over the years I've gotten better. I no longer hide in my room between panels, or eat alone, or go to bed as soon as my last panel is over. I talk to strangers, don't let one jerk ruin the weekend, and I stay out and interact with people (which includes occasionally uncomfortable, creepy situations). I also have fewer moments of 'Oh god why am I here with all these incredibly talented people when I am a potato'  which helps as well. I figured that now was as good a time as any to share a couple of things I've learned over the years and see if maybe it can help anyone else have a better time.

1. Have a comfort group

Have a person (or a few people) that you can go to when you get overwhelmed and that calm you down. This can be a friend, a mentor, etc. It's great when you have a table near this person, but that doesn't always happen. I'm fortunate to have built up a great network of people that make me feel safe and I can go to them when I get frazzled and get my head right again. I also have a great group of people who remind me that I have a right to be here and that my point of view is valuable.

2. Take some time before your panel

Panels scare the ever-loving daylight out of me. The thought of something stupid coming out of my mouth gives me nightmares weeks before I even get to a convention. But they're also one of my favorite things because I love helping people. So, before most panels I try to find a chance to escape to the bathroom and do the wonder woman pose in a stall for a few seconds. There's an awesome Ted Talk that explains more about this, but it helps me feel more confident. I also try to make a conscious effort to not cross my arms or slouch. If I project confidence long enough, I start to feel confident again. I often stand with my hands on my hips behind my table or twirl from side to side to work off my anxious energy. It makes people laugh, but it helps me feel better.

3. Study the convention before you go

Knowing who is going to be there and where it's going to be can help immensely. Learning that a convention is at a hotel you've been to before makes it less frightening (especially for me because I have zero sense of direction and get lost in my own neighborhood frequently). Make a list of addresses you need to know (hotel, convention center, gas station, restaurant, etc.) and keep them in your pocket or purse.

Also, don't be afraid to reach out to people who are going to the same convention. This is especially true if you're a guest and don't know anyone. Email some of the other guests, introduce yourself, and make plans to meet up there! For me, talking to someone on social media first is awesome and way less frightening than talking to a stranger in person.

4. Know when you need a moment

Going to hide in the bathroom or your room when you get overwhelmed is okay! The point is to come back out and get at it again as soon as you can. Take a few deep breaths, and try to calm down. Try listening to your favorite song, reading something you love, or just going on a walk. It's okay to freak out, but the point is to not let it conquer you.

5. Don't let one thing ruin your weekend

At some conventions I have unfortunate encounters with creepers who make it difficult to enjoy anything after it's happened. What I've found works for me is to take a walk with a friend, get out of the area, go get food (or drinks or nothing). The movement helps calm me back down and reminding myself that awesome people way outnumber the creeps helps me remember why I'm here and that at the end of the day I love conventions and the wacky, awesome family I've found in them.

6. Play pretend

Sometimes when I go to conventions I pretend I'm someone else. I pretend to be a really outgoing, boisterous, confident person. I wear outrageous clothes, talk loud and play pretend like when I was a kid and would pretend to be a power ranger. By the end of the weekend, I'm ready to take that persona off, but it can get me through the convention. I have a particular skirt, and a particular pair of shoes that 'transform' me into this persona and when I'm really worried about shrinking away at a convention I'll wear those and fake it till I make it in the confidence field.

7. Remember everyone else is nervous too

Almost every person you meet at a convention is nervous about it. I've even had someone nervous about talking to me (to me!!) and it's strange to suddenly realize that no one is perfect and always confident. This weekend I heard a New York Times bestselling author say that they felt like at any moment someone was going to realize a mistake had been made and come take everything from them. That's a feeling I fight through every day, and realizing even the people you admire fight that battle is incredibly comforting.

You're not alone with your fear, we're all wrestling with it too.

I hope maybe that helps someone else, and if you have any tips or ideas I'd love to hear them!