As I ponder social media in regards to building a platform and marketing our books, two things come to mind.
- Disappointing Results: Most people are frustrated with the lack of results from their social media efforts. I know I am. It seems the hype from a few prodigious case studies is far removed from the meager following attracted by most people’s efforts. Just because one person used Facebook or Twitter to propel one book to a prominent best-selling list, doesn’t mean everyone can. It doesn’t even mean they can repeat the process. As many promotions warn, “Individual results may vary.” We shouldn’t be frustrated if we fall short of their grand results.
- A Time Suck: The second insight is that the amount of time I’ve spent pursuing social media bliss has diverted my attention from more important things, such as family and writing. I wonder how many others have been likewise distracted. This is truly a concern for those who have reallocated time from other marketing initiatives to pour into the black hole of social media.
Although it’s important to not ignore social media, the payoff is further down the road. As authors, we need a social media presence; we need to build a platform, and we need to interact with our fans. We should not expect social media to sell our books or launch us to the stratosphere of success—though if that happens, it will be a welcome surprise.
Like all things in life, we must seek a healthy balance when it comes to social media.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.