After a great deal of pestering by my husband, I finally sat down and watched Netflix’s The Social Dilemma which is all about the emerging evils of an ever-increasing digital age where the algorithms are ultimately in charge of what we’re shown. The documentary asserts that the end goal of all social media is to simply make money. The way they do that is by keeping you engaged (time and clicks), regardless of the healthfulness or truthfulness of the content being served up. Of course, this led to the discussion of the ever-increasing polarization of our society, online addiction, unhealthy body expectations, and the decreasing ability and willingness of today’s youth to interact face to face.
The level of manipulation discussed in the documentary was not news to me. I am fully aware of the fickle rules of Facebook and other platforms. I am old enough not to have grown up with social media recording my every mistake. Thank goodness! Though I enjoy seeing 👍 and 💖 in response to my posts, I don’t judge my self-worth by the lack of them. I’ve reached a point in my life where the opinions of others mean very little to me.
With that said, as an indie author, I don’t have the luxury of deleting my social media footprint. To know me is to google me. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are the bedstones in my branding and marketing efforts. Online is about the only way I can reach potential readers. I am forever juggling posts between seven different platforms. And it is time-consuming. Much of those hours would be better spent writing my next book. That is a point I am willing to admit.
So what is someone like me, who needs Google’s search engine to work for me and not against me to do? How can I work smarter not harder?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve taken a few steps that I hope will streamline my online workflow. The aim is to simplify my posting efforts while cutting the overall time I spend promoting myself and my books online. Again, the ultimate goal is to clear room for more writing time.
To reach this level of efficiency, I am limiting myself to fully working three platforms. Two of which are purely disseminating marketing sites/apps.
The first and obvious place to start is my website’s blog. I need to kick it into high gear. This the only space where I can fully express myself without limits on length or substance. I used WordPress to create my author site and some time ago I made the decision that when I post a new blog entry, it would also be shared with my Twitter feed, my Facebook Author Page, my Linkedin profile, and with Goodreads. (Goodreads profile page screenshot below)
The second platform I’m using to its fullest potential is AllAuthor. I recently did a blog post explaining their many marketing benefits. To read more about what they offer, click here. The reason I included AllAuthor in my simplification plan was that they give me the ability to create a long list of tweets using their tweet scheduler. Once the list is made, I don’t have to think about whether or not I have posted something to Twitter that day. It’s all automatic. Three book-related tweets a day until each tweet I created has been used five times. I can edit those tweets at any point to suit my promotional purposes. But for the most part, AllAuthor works for me in the background while I spend my creative time elsewhere.
The third platform I’m trying out is called Later. This is strictly a media post scheduler. There are others out there like Buffer, Hootsuite, TweetDeck, and SocialOomph to name a few, but Later fit my requirements of being free and easy to use. Hopefully, it will eliminate the need for me to log in to each platform on a daily basis just to keep my name and book titles floating around the internet.
Unlike AllAuthor and TweetDeck which only posts to Twitter, Later allows me to simultaneously post to my Instagram, my Author Facebook page, Twitter, and Pinterest. For a price, I could add more social media links but to suit my purpose I need to remain with their free option.
After a bit of Google research and downloading the Later App to my phone, it took me the better part of a day to figure out how to link my current accounts to Later, explore this platform’s capabilities, and schedule a week’s worth of posts. Now that I understand how Later works, I estimate I can limit myself to a single day of dedicated online marketing time which includes replying to comments, liking other people’s posts, and writing/scheduling future blog posts. That’s a definite win for me! With any luck, I will spend my newly discovered free time finishing up the two books I am currently ignoring.
The extra step I took to simplify my online life and satisfy my overall anger with Facebook’s ever-changing, human-oversite removed community policies in regards to product promotional posts, I deleted all of my past posts from my personal Facebook page using a Chrome extension called Social Book Post Manager. This extension allowed me to delete my past posts in bulk. And it didn’t take very long to do it. I would have deleted the personal profile altogether but Facebook won’t let me keep a professional PAGE without a personal profile page to anchor it. So, I left a single post on my personal profile page that reads:
To all my 249 Facebook friends… I’m going to stop posting on this personal page. I’m irritated with Facebook and probably will remain so for quite some time. If you want to follow me on this platform, please jump over to my author page https://www.facebook.com/LegendsofthePale I promise to post on occasion. Mainly blog posts from my website, book updates, and indie-author life struggles. Thanks for all your support.
As for all the many Facebook author groups and reader groups I have posted to over the years, I have received very little interaction with members of those groups. To make matters worse, the money I have spent with Facebook advertising has never translated into sales. Facebook, in terms of book promotion, has been an enormous black hole for me. It’s time to redirect my efforts away from Facebook as a whole. It is a toxic relationship that I don’t need but it’s one that I also don’t have a good replacement for… yet. So, I will keep the list of Facebook groups I have gathered and shared on this site’s Author Resource Page but I will add a caveat to how ineffective I now believe them to be.
As always, when I find a better way of doing something, I will share it here for other authors to try…because sharing information helps us all.
Thanks for stopping by the Chalkboard today,