How to Beat Social Media Overwhelm for Authors
Tell me if this has happened to you. You’ve read tonnes articles telling you what to do to make your social media account grow. More followers, more engagements more posting. But once you start doing all of them, you quickly start to feel overwhelmed.
Social media overwhelm is real and is taking over your life. You’re not using Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to add value to your life, you’re simply commenting, liking, replying and shoving content out there constantly, all to get an arbitrary number up.
Here’s the thing. You don’t have to join the social media rat race.
You can promote your books, yourself and have fun doing it – all while still having the time to write.
So let’s get you there, shall we? This article will give you the basis for creating a social strategy that keeps you off social media as much as possible.
Social media shouldn’t take over your life, so don’t let it.
Pick two social media platforms
You don’t need to be on all social media platforms – you just don’t. By paring down the social media platforms you’re on, you automatically cut down your time.
Picking them can be pretty simple. Who are your readers? What social platforms are they on? Bear in mind that because you’re going to be on them quite a bit, you want to enjoy the ride. Don’t join Pinterest if you don’t like it. Write a list of potential platforms, weigh them up and pick the top two only.
There’s an added bonus to this strategy. By focusing your attention, you will learn what works and what doesn’t very quickly.
I focus on Twitter and Instagram. By doing this, I’m able to engage better and focus my attention on growing those profiles without spending all my time on them. My Facebook page and Pinterest account exist, but I don’t update them often.
One of the reasons we get so frustrated with social media is because we feel a sense of disconnect. I’m willing to bet that when you’re sharing your holiday photos with friends, or talk about your gardening projects on Facebook – you never feel overwhelmed.
This is because you feel relaxed, you’re talking about something with passion, and better yet – you’re not trying to sell that passion to anybody.
When you promote your books on social media, you’re sharing the passion, but it’s backed by sales which can feel pretty rough.
Try mixing in some of your personal passions into your social media posts. Your followers will be able to connect with you as a person, and you’ll feel great sharing them. Your readers don’t just want to hear about your next book, they want to know more about you – treat your followers like your friends and they will love you for it.
Use tools to battle social media overwhelm
Be consistent, be relevant, post regularly. You’ve heard it plenty of times I’m sure. It’s the key to social media overwhelm, it’s annoying, but it’s true.
We can’t fight the machine, but we can work around it.
I’m sure you’ve also been told to schedule your posts ahead of time. Pick a day each month and schedule your entire month’s worth of social posts, then sit back and watch the followers pile up. Doesn’t sound very realistic, does it?
I’ve only found one tool that’s really helped me so far, and that’s Crowdfire*.
Crowdfire isn’t like other social scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. It helps you follow the right people, unfollow inactive accounts, engage with your fans and followers and keep an eye out on your competitors’ followers.
All that’s great, but my there are two things that Crowdfire does that I absolutely love.
- It analyses what time you’ve posted in the past, and automatically posts at the best time in the future. This saves so much headache. It basically optimises your feed for you, without you doing a thing.
- It links up to your blog and has all your posts ready to go. All you have to do is click schedule.
Crowdfire is free up to 10 scheduled posts, so give it a go and let me know how you get on!
Turn it off
Information overload. We’re constantly bombarded with it every. Single. Day.
Take control of your life and remove yourself regularly. I’m not talking about social media holidays – I’m talking about regular, sustainable disconnect from your accounts every day.
Your priority is writing, it takes a lot of time and you simply can’t afford to be distracted by your blinking phone. Sort out your notifications. You don’t need to have your phone go off every time somebody retweets you. Go through your phone’s settings and turn off all push notifications from your social media apps. Trust me, a weight will instantly lift once you do it.
Then, pick when you’re going to check social media. Perhaps with your morning coffee, and then once you finish a big writing session. This part is up to you, what works for you won’t work for others. If possible, pick two-three times a day to check your feeds, then turn it off. It will be hard at first to stay strict, but after a while, it becomes second nature and you’ll feel so much better.
This article is just the beginning, streamlining your author social media life can take a little work but will be worth it.
* The link I’ve used for Crowdfire is an affiliate link. If you click it and go through to purchase (although there is a free version), I get a commission. I only list tools that I love or use myself, so you can be sure they are worth the cost!