Thank so much for hosting me on your blog today, Rachel.
I am an erotica author who writes under the pen name D.C. McMillen. This is my hobby, my “night” job, and my unique way of unwinding after working way too many hours at my “day” job*. It would be fair to call erotica writing my passion but only if I qualify that statement by saying that my “day” job, my business, which I started about eight years ago, is my first love. So what, exactly does this business entail? Well, a large part of it is managing blogs and social media accounts for clients all over the world. In fact, my business partner of four years and I just opened up an office in Europe to accommodate our growing client base overseas.
As someone who dedicates a minimum of twelve hours per day to keeping up on trends, performing exhaustive research, and writing her little ass off for multiple clients, I feel I am qualified to make the following statement: Social media management is not exactly rocket science. Yes, it can seem daunting when you first get started but, if you put in the research, time and energy, and you are willing to analyze your results then adjust your game plan based on those results, chances are you will see both traffic and sales increase. This is good news for people who have more time than money, and do not wish to hire a management company such as mine.
I am not going to waste Rachel’s valuable blog space by going into an exhaustive, point by point game plan that includes a list of social media avenues, different software to utilize, or my forecast of trends for 2013. Instead, I will offer a single piece of advice for writers who wish to manage their own social media, broken into three steps. Ready? Here it is…
Do your research.
Social media is fun, yes, and your first instinct might be to simply jump right in, feet first. You have an awesome book and you want to tell the world about it RIGHT NOW! But, and I almost hate to say this, the entire world will not care about your book. Some people will, of course, but not all of them. Don’t waste your precious time on the people who don’t – and never will – care about the story you want to tell. So your research begins with identifying your audience.
- Identify your target market.
- What is their age group?
- Where do they live, primarily?
- What is their income, family status, occupation?
- What are their interests and hobbies?
The last one, point d, is incredibly important, and leads to the next stage of your research.
- Brush up on their hobbies and interest
- Learn about the mechanics and trends of their hobbies
- Find forums and follow blogs and social media accounts such as Twitter and Pinterest.
- Scour the online papers for news in this area.
Why is it so important for you to care about your target market’s hobbies? Well, let me put it this way. Would you be more likely to follow a blogger who talks about nothing but their book; what stage it’s at, what the new cover looks like, blurbs and short excerpts, or would you rather follow a blogger who writes about your interests? Chances are you will gravitate towards the blog that proves invaluable to you, or at least entertains you on your level. If the blog you follow ties your interests in with their latest releases then that is even more valuable for you and the blogger.
Once you have identified your main audience and their demographics and hobbies, connected with them through multiple social media avenues, and started writing about topics that interest them (interspersed with or tied to promos for your books), it is time to perform more research.
- Review and Analyze
- Sign up for Google Analytics (it’s free!)
- Use Google Analytics to track where your traffic is coming from (demographics, keywords, referrals).
- Use Google Analytics to find out which blog entries, and therefore which topics bring you the most traffic.
Now that you have identified what is working and what is not, it is time to adjust your social media strategy to better attract your audience. For example, if most of your traffic is coming from the US, and they are looking at a blog you wrote about a horror movie review or scary Halloween costume you made (these are topics you might write about if your book is about a zombie apocalypse, for example), then you know you need to adjust your game plan by writing more about these type of topics, and perhaps stop writing about the progress of your heirloom tomato garden or that folk music festival in the Netherlands.
My last piece of advice is something along the lines of lather, rinse, repeat. It is important to loop back to step one. Many bloggers make the mistake of thinking that research is a task that only needs to be tackled at the beginning of a project. The truth is that the more fastidious you are about research, the more successful you will be in gaining followers and escalating your sales.
Rachel, thanks again for having me on your blog! Before I go, I would like to turn attention back to my “night” job for a moment. My latest release, A Decent December, just hit shelves. If anyone is interested on unwinding with a short, humorous and very erotic story, please visit Amazon. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
*If you are wondering why I am using so many quotations, it is because my day job often monopolizes my weekends, evenings and the wee hours of the morning.
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