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In my previous post, “Author Platform: Social Media for Writers,” I looked at what platforms you should use, how to set up accounts, how to engage with followers, took a brief look at hashtags, and discussed strategy and scheduling. In today’s post, I take a look at how you can keep up with social media, both in terms of posting and how the platforms are changing.
Getting to grips with social media can be a bit of a minefield and just when you think you’ve understood a platform, something will change and you’ll feel lost again. Just recently, both Pinterest and Instagram have changed their mysterious algorithm. Strategies that were yielding fabulous results for users are no longer showing the same results. Users are therefore having to almost re-learn the platform in order to get the same results they were getting previously.
If you suddenly see that engagement, conversions or clicks have dramatically decreased, it is very likely that the platform has changed it’s algorithm and you will need to re-strategise and work out what the best new approach should be. I would recommend being in Facebook groups etc. where you find experts on the various platforms. For example, I am in a great Facebook group after doing a [AFF] Pinterest course – the course itself was great to learn how to use Pinterest (and has been updated to take into account the new algorithm), but the Facebook is a godsend when it comes to keeping updated and getting help from other users. Find a tribe where you fit in and know you can get help and keep to up to date with the latest changes.
When things do change, try not to panic. You will no doubt find that you won’t be the only one who has seen changes and you’ll find instead that almost everyone you speak to will say that their views, likes etc. have also fallen away. Although it often feels like you’ve worked hard for nothing, do not quit. It is extremely likely that once the algorithm settles, things will pick up again. Stick with it and you will see results but don’t expect them overnight.
A word of warning … do always keep in mind that strategies that work for one person, won’t necessarily work for everyone. All social media strategies are individual and don’t always work across the board. Try things, track their effectiveness and change things up where necessary. Your strategy should be ever changing depending on the results you are yielding, so keep monitoring and switch things up if you need to.
There is pretty much always something new to learn on social media. Most authors, bloggers or businesses will use more than one social media channel (though I’d advise against spreading yourself too thin and trying to be everywhere at the same time), so it is likely that there will be changes on one or other of the platforms quite regularly. Keep being open to change and be willing to learn. There is usually stacks of free advice out there so it’s worth a google, or, as suggested above, find a tribe that works for you.
So far as content is concerned, you will gain more likes and follows if you are posting about topics that are trending. Sometimes this will fit with your niche and sometimes it won’t. Don’t feel that you have to post about trending topics all the time as often this will not work with your niche, therefore won’t make sense and won’t bring you the engagement you want. Keep content relevant to you but if there is a trending topic that relates, make sure you use the hashtags and keywords for that topic.
Periodically search for trending topics on each of the platforms you use, research the relevant hashtags and work out whether they fit with your content. Remember that holidays and seasons are great annual trending topics as you know exactly when they will come up and that you can use them year on year.
- keep things fresh
- do your homework
- keep learning
- research, research, research
- expect things to change out of the blue
- don’t panic and don’t quit
Remember that the basis of social media is engagement and relationship building. That is always the most important element of social media. It’s all very well having a million followers but if no one engages with your brand and no one buys from you, or reads your blog, or signs up to your newsletter – what are those followers worth? It’s far better to have a hundred followers who all like, comment and share your stuff and come back time and time again to read your posts, buy your books (or products, courses or services), sign up to your newsletter etc. It’s those loyal fans that you want.
Have you seen changes to platforms recently? Have they impacted you negatively? What have you done to change your strategy? Or have you done nothing? Has that worked? Let me know your experiences in the comments below.