Consistency. It’s the $65,000 word when it comes to social media marketing. Readers/fans anticipate that once they start hearing from you, they will keep hearing from you. It’s your job to continue to deliver.
At a recent book marketing lunch, several authors bemoaned the necessity for social media marketing. They had tried it; it didn’t work. They would rather invest their time in actually writing instead. Getting into the discussion deeper however proved why the authors had such dismal results.
Yes, it’s necessary to be consistent when interacting with readers/fans on social media, but consistency doesn’t mean the same ol’ same ol’ all the time. When poked, the authors admitted they shared the same thing every day, never fail. A blog post shared every day, a promotional item after that, a picture about their lunch or a place they visited followed that…rinse and repeat and repeat and repeat.
I grew bored just listening to their social media marketing. Consistency isn’t about the same schedule held daily. It isn’t about the exact same post shared regularly. It’s about interaction. A good social media marketing campaign has variety. There are sometimes weeks where I don’t share a single blog post or a note about my books. There are some weeks where all I share are Star Trek memes and pictures of my animals. Sometimes I share them on the same schedule I usually do, and other times I decrease frequency. What is important is that I don’t disappear; I still have a presence. On top of that, I make sure to interact with others, participate.
Consistency in social media marketing isn’t just about what an author puts out in the world, it’s more about how well they play with others. That includes dialogue and discussion, sharing.
Sprout Social has a great article about social media engagement as it pertains to customer relationships here. And that is what engagement is about, building friendships that could one day equal customers and sales. But it isn’t all it is about.
Patience is a virtue.
The next item discovered at the book marketing lunch was how quickly authors abandoned their social media. One author shared that she consistently posted to social media for 3 whole months before she called it quits. Another mentioned how he tried it for about two months and saw zero results so he quit.
A common misconception with social media marketing is that it is either quick or easy. It is neither. A good social media marketing campaign requires a minimum of 6 months of careful planning and study, adjustments and interactions to be successful. Even 6 months would be expectant. The fact is, social media marketing can take a while to bear any fruit, and then it may not be what most authors expect. Social Media Today has a great article about the realities of social media marketing campaign goals. They go on to share:
“Marketers hoping for quick returns from their social media marketing will be sorely disappointed by the long-term plans required to fulfill those campaign goals,” writes Jonathan Crowl for Skyword.com. “Social media strategy can require years to take root and start generating returns.”
According to Crowl, almost half of marketers in a survey reported that they used social media for two years before they saw an impact on sales.
Find the truth.
Social media marketing isn’t about sales. That’s right, you heard me – it isn’t about sales. It isn’t even about followers or clicks. Although followers and clicks are helpful – but not in the way you might think. In fact, Shout Me Loud has an amazing article about success and the followers where they say:
“Having 10,000 followers who are not interested in your product or brand is NOT BETTER than having 1,000 followers who are very interested in your product or brand.” Read the full article here.
The followers every company on social media should be actively seeking are targeted followers. (See my upcoming article: How To Find Targeted Twitter Followers Fast)
Targeted followers interact with you; clicks mean you’re offering those followers valuable information they also find worthy of sharing with others. Basically, it’s about the quality of content you offer and the relationship you build with others. It’s making friends. Friends aren’t sales. They can equal sales, but that’s not the real reason for it. And if it is the reason you’re doing it, well then you aren’t being very genuine anyway.
After a little more discussion, the importance of social media marketing seemed to become apparent to, at least, a few members of the group who previously wanted nothing more to do with it. With a little added guidance, many have started reconsidering their social media campaigns. A few have even started small in re-engaging with people through SM. What’s most promising is seeing the inconsistent consistency they’re posting with and starting to see some results from…I mean, who wouldn’t thought?
BC Brown grew up in Vincennes, Indiana, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 2013. She started blogging in 2006 about one year before publishing her first fantasy novel under the pen name B.B. Walter.
After committing nearly every bad deed in the proverbial book of how to be an author, BC began studying marketing and public relations. She now provides common sense marketing for authors that is simple to implement. She continues to write and publish in the urban fantasy, contemporary fiction, and transgressive fiction genres (see more). Readers will also find her blogging on a number of social justice issues, nerdy fan content, and her obsession, karaoke. BC also blogs frequently about Deaf culture and being differently-abled.
She set up Fantastically Weird Media in 2010 to publish her second novel when she realized she wanted to independently control her own publishing as well as offer editing and marketing services to fellow writers. You can interact with BC online via her blog at www.bcbrownbooks.com on Facebook; http://www.facebook.com/BCBrowns.Books and Twitter @BCBrownBooks or Instagram @BCBrownBooks