Social media can be an incredibly helpful tool when you want to build a brand, whether that’s as an author or a business. It can increase the number of people who have eyes on what you have to offer, help you to build your audience and network, direct traffic to your website, and sell your products and services.
It can also turn into a nightmare tyrant who makes you feel that you must constantly be online, jump on every hashtag and trend, and do what the loudest voices are telling you is best practice or the ‘done thing’.
In my eyes, social media should be a useful friend, not a bully. So today, I’m gifting you the chance to say ‘no’ to some of those ‘musts’ and done things.
No, you don’t have to post every day
Consistency is the key to an effective social media presence. Why? Well, when you’re consistent in posting to your social media channels you build your audience’s expectation and familiarity with your brand. That means they:
- recognise your brand and content
- know what to expect from you
- get to know who you are and what you stand for
Consistency is not the same as frequency. Consistency means doing what you say you’ll do when you say you’ll do it.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t post every day. However, if you want to post every day, a plan and scheduling are your best buddies.
No, you don’t have to be on every social media platform
I mean, who has the time or energy to be everywhere? Okay, maybe some of the biggest brands manage to be across all the major social media sites, but for most of us the answer is to find one, two, or a (small) handful of channels to promote our brands on.
There’s plenty of them. There’s the major, best known social media channels:
but you might also want to use sites like Goodreads, Tumblr, Mastodon, Clubhouse, Pinterest, diaspora, The Dots, or Discord.
So how do you choose which channels are right for you? That’s as easy as answering these three questions:
- Which social media channels do your customers and audience use?
- Which social media channels suit the type of content you want to post?
- Which social media channels do you enjoy using?
Your time is valuable so make the most of it by only promoting your brand on the social media channels that will get you a result, be that sales, web traffic, or the right followers.
No, you don’t have to worship the algorithm
Has Fi gone mad? Surely the social media algorithms are god-like and worthy of adoration. I know, I know. Most of the advice out there (including mine) tells you how to appeal to the algorithms with your content. It’s true that obeying the (often hidden) rules that each of the social media channels base their algorithms on will generally improve your chances of being seen by the right people. However, there are rules that are worth breaking now and then.
For instance, if I use the Meta Business Suite to schedule posts to my Facebook page, it will go out of its way to tell me when the optimum day and time is for my post. I ignore it and post when I want to.
Certain social media channels will reduce the visibility of posts that include an external link because they want their users to stay on their website and not go elsewhere. This doesn’t stop me including links to my blog posts, Amazon author page, my other social media channels, or content by someone that I think my audience will enjoy.
I’d always advise that you stay up to date with the various social media algorithms, but don’t let them rule you.
No, your social media posts don’t have to be perfect
Who decides what a perfect social media post is anyway? Don’t get me started on the topic of perfection – it infuriates me. Do, however, read Why I don’t do perfect social media posts (and 5 reasons why you shouldn’t either).
No, you don’t have to sell, sell, sell
Or rather your social media presence doesn’t just have to be sales and promotional posts. It can be about so much more, for instance:
- what goes on behind the scenes of your brand
- news and celebrations
- answering customer questions
The key is to provide content that your audience is interested in, that builds on who you and your brand are, and that serves a purpose.
And by the way, there’s nothing wrong with sales and promotional posts. Just don’t make them the only thing to appear on your social media channels.
Need a few ideas for your social media posts? I wrote The blank page moment for authors but it might be helpful for business brands too.
It can be all too easy to let your social media presence take over your life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Treat it like any challenging person in your life and learn to say no.