When it comes to all things marketing, it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve spent thousands of hours working with authors, publishers, and businesses of all sizes — from local small businesses to an international iPhone app — and there are a few common mistakes people make on social media. Tired of feeling like you’re wasting time on social media? Want to connect with your readers *and* sell more books, products, or services? Ready to kick your career up a notch? This is where you want to start.
1. They’re overly-promotional.
Consider this an official warning — it’s time to stop spamming people with your content. As a writer myself, I definitely understand the urge to shout from the rooftops that your book is available. And yes, promotion can be a wonderful thing. But it can also be an easy way to turn people off your content.
So how can you tell the difference? It’s pretty simple. Over-promotion is overwhelming. If all of your posts are about your goods or services, then you’re probably dipping your toes into the over-promotional category.
If you post nothing but “Buy my book, buy my book, buy my book,” people aren’t going to click buy. They’re going to click unfollow.
This is one of the biggest mistakes people make on social media, but it’s also one of the easiest to fix. It’s all about balance! Yes, promote your stuff. Be excited about sharing! Just don’t over-do it.
2. They’re UNDER-promotional.
I get it. Sharing your work is terrifying. Especially if you’re an introvert, or — like me — you’re a wee bit terrified of being seen as overly-promotional or spammy. (Gasp! The horror!) But here’s a little secret for you:
If you don’t share your work, people won’t support it.
Think about it. If you aren’t telling people that you have things for them to be interested in, how can you expect them to know it exists? To know where to find it and (hopefully) buy it?
Information about your goods and/or services should be easy-to-find and accessible. Slap the title of your book in your bio, make sure you’re linking to it somewhere on your profile, or cheat like I do and use your pinned tweet. As new people discover your content and follow you, you want to make it easy for them to check out your stuff. Will they buy right away? Maybe not, but that’s not actually the goal. (Trust me on this.)
When it comes to getting people to buy online, it’s not as simple as “sees product, immediately buys product.” In fact, people usually need to see something seven times (SEVEN) before they’ll buy it. Does that mean you go out and tweet about your new hand-made candle seven times in a row? Definitely not.
Instead, you want to find ways to spread information about your business in a way that is organic. Use your profile header photo or your pinned tweet, re-share *other* people talking about you, and yes — talk about your own stuff. Share the link to it from time to time! Trust me, there’s a way to do it without overwhelming your audience.
3. They’re boring.
Please don’t click away! I know this is harsh, but it happens to be true. (Believe me, I’ve struggled with this myself.) If you’re sharing content on social media, if you’re being active, if you’re going through the motions…and you’re not seeing regular growth? I’ve got some bad news for you.
Your content might be boring. A lot of people treat social media like a megaphone — it’s a way to put your thoughts out there, to share, and (ideally) to be heard, right? And in many ways, that’s exactly what social media is. But — as an author and an entrepreneur — that’s just not good business. You need to start thinking about your audience.
Reaching them requires intentionality.
Think about what they would like, what content would be useful, valuable, and interesting for them. It’s not that you need to abandon everything that you enjoy, but that you should find a happy medium between considering your audience and your own interests.
Learning to understand your audience and discovering how you can provide value on social media has the power to completely transform your social media presence. It will literally change everything — what you post, when you post, how you interact with people, which platforms you’re using, how active you are, and more. And the crazy thing? If done correctly, it also has the potential to REDUCE the amount of time you’re spending on social media. That’s right, knowing exactly what to do on social media makes it crazy easy to get all of the benefits of social media done right — more followers, more engagement, and even more SALES — with way less work.
If you’re interested in learning more about this, including how you can take your social media from blah to banging in just six weeks, check out my new course on marketing for creatives, solopreneurs, and small business owners.
This course is for the dreamers and the doers, for people like you who are DONE putting your goals on hold.
It’s time to get the success you deserve.