Being an author on social media

I'm a marketer. While my experience may lie more on the traditional side, I have a decent basic understanding of social media and its importance in the marketing mix -- especially for those brands that sell direct to consumer. I get the different audiences that use the different platforms: LinkedIn for business, Instagram for the more visual set, Facebook for the groups that skew older, and Twitter for...well, just about everyone.

I've been working on building my author platform on Twitter and Facebook for the better part of a year. Facebook I get; I'm a prolific user in my personal life, and have great engagement. Probably I have my kids to thank for that. :) Twitter, though...I cannot figure Twitter out.

I abandoned my personal account a while ago because I couldn't get any traction, and because it was becoming a toxically political place. But I heard at a conference that Twitter is the first place agents are going to go looking for an author; so I reluctantly set up my author profile, determined to get a handle on the massive platform.

Since then, over the last ten months or so, I've managed to amass about 2,400 followers...but none of those followers was engaging with my posts. I pulled out every marketing tool I could think of: writing-related messages, non-writing messages, posts about my cats, posts about my book, humor, hashtags, different times of day, tagging other users, liking and commenting on others' posts, retweeting. EVERYTHING. Still managed maybe one or two likes, if that, on my own posts. I have no idea how in the hell one breaks through the noise on Twitter.

I vented my frustration in a post yesterday, and something unexpected happened: people responded. BIG TIME.

I guess I'm not alone. For every post I saw that had hundreds of interactions, there were hundreds of folks like me who felt like they were broadcasting to crickets. Responders offered up a number of theories: my posts got lost among the many other posts, Twitter's maddening auto-refresh feature caused people to lose me, Twitter's algorithm was hiding me, some folks saw me but just didn't interact, someone with a large following retweeted my post and NOW they see me, I should look deep down inside and find validation there, I should solicit feedback to my posts (in fairness, I tried that too), they have a pinched nerve and the painkillers make them foggy...and so many more. 

I have no idea why that particular post took off, and I also have no idea if this will unlock some kind of magic gate in the Twitter algorithm for me, but it's nice to finally get a bit of validation. It's basically impossible to get and keep people's attention on Twitter, and I suspect that is not going to be a place that will help me sell books when the time comes. I vastly prefer my carefully curated Facebook world. Come visit me at Brenda Lyne Books!


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