How To Make Social Media Work For You

indexWe all know that person who seems to know everyone and whom everyone knows. To all appearances, this person’s popularity is enviable but closer observation often reveals the insincerity of these relationships.

After all…

How many times has an acquaintance stood by you at the funeral of your loved one? How many times has an acquaintance spoke in your defense? How many times do you call an acquaintance when you feel alone, sad or in trouble?

It is a friend who stands by you, speaks up for you and listens. It only takes one friend when a hundred acquaintances won’t do.

The creation and preservation of a real and lasting relationship is determined by one’s intentions, effort and sincerity. You must first decide what is important to you. If it is the cultivation of true friends then you must make the effort by being sincere, honest, and giving of yourself.

This is an equation, which is relevant to forming meaningful relationships not only in the real world but also in the world of social media.

There are those in social media who simply want to game the system. Those who use tricks to acquire the most followers and attain the most “likes.” The reasoning cited most often is marketing and product exposure but often it’s a case of collecting people like game chips instead of cultivating relationships.

If you treat social media like a game, what do you gain?

All those “followers” quickly disappear and those who “like” your page never return. So after the exodus, what do you have left?

Did anyone buy your book? Read your book and become a true fan? Most likely, the answer is no. And it’s probably because they were screaming as loud or louder about their own book, product, or blog. Sadly, no one is heard.

So, how do you get heard?

1. Access your Intentions-

Determine why you want “followers” and/or “likes.” Is it to develop connections and affiliate with those of like interests for the mutual benefit of both parties or is it to have a certain number on your screen?

2.  Determine your Goals-

What is your objective in participating in social media? Is it to reach a particular number count on a platform or is it to find others who will support your effort to sell your book, product or promote your blog?

3. Choose Your Platforms-

Choose the social media platforms that make sense for your intentions and goals. If you are a writer of literary fiction then there is probably no need to converse with the teen set on snap chat. Be strategic.

4. Communicate-

Constantly IMing and Tweeting, “Buy this! Read this!” isn’t proper and meaningful communication. No one wants to listen to people who only hawk their product. Instead of bellowing about your book or product, share your interests and ideas. And, most importantly, ask others about their projects and goals.

5. Cultivate-

Remember, in social media, as in life, real relationships are formed and maintained by mutual respect and interest. Be genuinely interested in someone. Read their blog. Comment. Be engaged. If you seek people in whom you’re interested most likely they will be interested in you. And these are the people who will read your book, promote your blog and help you as you help them.

Although these tips won’t get you 10K followers in a week, the ones who do follow you will be truly interested in you and what you have to say.

Thank you for reading. I’m excited to hear what you think.







4 thoughts on “How To Make Social Media Work For You

  1. This is so true. All the people I impressed with the fact that i write and blog and who went gaga over it were empty followers. The moment i ask them about my works or how I can better myself, they fled the scene. Because they obviously did not read my posts. They just gave a cursory like to the writer just because he is a writer and a popular guy so he can now owe us favours. If you cultivate followers just to get likes or page views, they’ll be expecting some favours in return as well.
    The true audience, the people who are attracted to your blog and what you write are the ones you gain over a long period. You tell them about your blog and they start reading your posts every once in a while and eventually they start liking it. They are the ones who comment without being asked too and send you messages, congratulating you on another amazing piece. There are a lot of these people, but they can only be gained by being true to your work and yourself. They cannot be cultivated.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Shrey. Thank you for sharing your experiece. It is true that, although it is hard work, it is best to create relationships with those individuals who truly like and appreciate your work rather than those who say they do so that some favor will be reciprocated. I understand that most people want the instant gratification of quick followered, but it really does take time and work.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this! It is a very timely post for me as I am trying to figure out how to use social media to promote my writing. I also need it to help promote some new clients that I am currently working for. I think all of us know this, innately in the back of our minds; it is good common sense. However, it is really good to see it spelled out, so we can all avoid getting caught up in a popularity game, or making nuisances of ourselves to everyone we meet online.
    Thanks again!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Evelyn. I am glad that you found this article helpful. I think everyone is guilty of wanting a quick fix (just check out the weight loss gimmicks) but it truly is the dedicated and genuine effort to make a connection that creates relationships that behoove both involved parties.

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About Sherry Parnell