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How to Rock Social Media, Part One: Which Networks Should You Use?

POSTED BY doug ON June 25, 2015

how to rock social media which networks should you use

Social media is a relatively new territory. Exploding into existence at the dawn of the internet age, whilst constantly changing and reinventing itself along the way, it’s no surprise that using social media as part of a successful marketing or publicity campaign can be an enigma.

If you’re a non-believer in the importance of social media, check out our post, “Why Does Social Media Matter?” before returning back here to jump into Part One of our series, “How to Rock Social Media.”

The first step to effectively managing social media? Joining it.

Typically, many people make the mistake of interpreting this as a command to join any and every social network available, quickly overwhelming themselves (and creating a generally unpleasant opinion of using social media).

It shouldn’t be that difficult!

Social media should never stretch you thin, which is why it’s critical to select which social media networks best suit your content, audience, and goals, and start from there.

Focus on one social media network (or two, depending on your comfort level and audience), master it, then move on to the next. Don’t feel pressured to join Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and that one social media network you can’t remember.

Remember: it’s far more important to stay true to your audience (and yourself) than to some “rules” stating that you need to join every social media network to be successful.

Content

Think about what your potential content (what you post) on social media will be. Authors should be identifying which topic(s) he or she writes about, whether that’s YA fiction, cookbooks, health & fitness, or another topic.

Also, consider your personality. Are you a natural blogger? Do you like starting and joining spontaneous conversations? Or do you have more visual content than words to share?

These questions will help determine which platform is best for who you are, as well as for what you’re sharing.

Audience

Next, think about your ideal audience. What demographics are you trying to reach? Where are they located most heavily within the social media landscape?

If you’re writing about politics, Instagram probably shouldn’t be your primary social network. Cookbooks? Twitter isn’t the best option for you.

Be selective. It’s easy to say, “This has universal appeal, obviously,” but chances are it doesn’t – at least, not yet. Even if your dream audience is everyone on Earth between the 13 and 93, it’s probably best to start small and focused. Find your audience and build your social media following from there.

Goals

What are your goals for using social media?

Sorry, but if you’re hoping to sell a million copies of your new novel by shooting out a few tweets, it’s time to reassess.

Healthier goals include engaging with fans on a more personal level, building a strong reputation for being relatable, using fans as a focus group to gain feedback, or connecting with new followers to convert them into superfans.

Remember: building a solid foundation for yourself isn’t about sales.

Think of it this way. If you sell 300 books to 300 followers, but fail to connect, you’ve only sold 300 books. If, however, you build a strong connection with 150 followers, sure – some might buy a book – but most importantly, they will tell others about you. As this audience grows through both word-of-mouth and your efforts to build meaningful connections, you’ll have the opportunity to introduce your next book to that audience and watch it grow and repeat the process.

Stay in it for the long haul, even through slow periods, as social media is more of a marathon than a sprint.

Here’s Your Cheat Sheet to Social Media Platforms

Facebook: 

Twitter:

  • Twitter is a microblogging site that limits posts to 140 characters
  • Allows for interaction with anyone, anywhere – even people you aren’t friends with
  • Powerful search tools, allowing you to find users tweeting about a specific subject or hashtag (#)
  • Twitter is about discovering interesting people online
  • Think of it like a cocktail party – you can join conversations and engage as you choose
  • 23% of online adults use Twitter
  • Only 6% of teens use Twitter, and older teens (15 to 17) are more likely to use it than younger ones
  • College grads, urban dwellers, and those earning more than $50,000 are more likely to use Twitter
  • Twitter users are more likely than Facebook users to buy the products of brands they follow
  • 36% of Twitter users login daily

Instagram:

  • Instagram is a photo-sharing smartphone application designed for taking, editing, and uploading photos and videos
  • All photos are public by default, as well as searchable through any captions or hashtags on the photos
  • 53% of young adults aged 18-29 use Instagram
  • Half of Instagram users login daily
  • Instagram is the second-most popular social network among teens ages 13 to 17
  • 61% of teenage girls use Instagram, compared to only 44% of teenage boys
  • Currently, Instagram is the fastest growing major social network

YouTube:

  • YouTube is the second-largest social networking site, behind Facebook
  • It is a platform dedicated to sharing and viewing videos uploaded all over the world
  • Users can find content on news, events, music, film, celebrities, and more
  • 72% of online adults use video sharing sites
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices

Pinterest:

  • Pinterest is a social network allowing users to discover and save things they’ve seen online
  • It allows users to organize pins into categories known as “boards”, making them easy to sort and be discovered by others
  • Often used as a search engine
  • 42% of online women use Pinterest
  • 83% of Pinterest users are female

LinkedIn:

Tumblr: 

  • Tumblr is a microblogging platform that allows users to customize their blogs and share anything in shorter formats than traditional blogs
  • It has over 100 billion posts
  • 3% of American teens use Tumblr
  • 23% of young girls use Tumblr, while only 5% of boys use it
  • Users stay on Tumblr longer than they stay on Facebook

Google+:

Check out this awesome infographic from Leverage New Age Media for more great information on different social networks.

Leverage New Age Media's Social Media Comparison Infographic of Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn

Stay tuned for Part Two: Designing & Optimizing Your Profiles!
By Jandra Sutton, Digital Media Coordinator @jandralee

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{ 1 } COMMENTS

1 Comment

Great post, especially the break down of platforms. Another key might be to check out what your competition uses. Monitoring your social media efforts is also important. Thanks!

Isentia September 15, 2015

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