Rachel, writing

All things novelling-related as I embark on my self-publishing adventure

The bit of marketing that people forget

Do you monitor your blog/twitter/Facebook stats?

It’s vital you know what’s working and what isn’t if you’re going to use your  time on social media productively. I know that this blog is the bit of my platform that sees the most action. That’s why this overdue posting is what I should have been doing instead of hanging out quite so much on Twitter.

This blog has been checked out 72 times this week, and it has 4 new followers, despite me not doing very much. This might be because I visited other blogs (I love visiting blogs!) and commented on them.

I’ve been reading tweets (I love reading tweets!) but failing to contribute. Still, I picked up 3 new followers and tweeted 23 times. I’ve tried to diversify my tweets, although they still have a bit of an academic bias. I suspect academics are  my main category of followers, so maybe that’s not so bad – if you want to know why, here’s my day job.

I posted a few times to my Facebook author page, and got a couple of likes for my 1990 youtube indie disco, but there is tumbleweed rolling across the dancefloor. Now that the page is there, it’s not high maintenance, but it’s rather pointless at the moment as a website can provide all the information and more. I’m hoping it will be home to discussions about the book once it’s published (assuming some people buy it!).

I made no effort at all with LinkedIn, and I still don’t ‘get’ it. In return, it made no effort with me.

Ultimately, none of this matters if there is no book. This week (please imagine a small trumpet fanfare) I finished my final ‘does it all hang together?’ read-through of The Syndrome Diaries, so I can now progress to the next stage: formatting it for Amazon.

Last week I mentioned putting together a sheet I could record stats on. Did I do it? Yes I did! That’s where the numbers above are pulled from. They are (ahem) modest, but useful as a picture of what happens if I slack off. That’s a good reason to turn up the activity this week and see how the figures compare.

Do you monitor your author platform? Is there anything you’ve found that surprised you? And do you ‘get’ LinkedIn?

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10 thoughts on “The bit of marketing that people forget

  1. I have a LinkedIn account, but it’s dismal, and I do little with it. I think I have about six connections. Just haven’t found it worth my time at this point.

    • It doesn’t seem great for academics in my particular field or for writers. I’ve approached it from both angles and asked people who do use it a lot for advice, but still can’t get on with it. I suspect for a lot of groups there are simply better options elsewhere.

      • I think you’re right. I do belong to a couple LinkedIn writing groups, and I receive email updates of their ongoing discussions. There is some interesting material there, but I’m more of a ‘troll’ and less of a participant.

    • Thanks for the following, I will also follow you on twitter. 😉

  2. I find stats a great tool for showing what does – and doesn’t – work. But I suspect they are also a double-edged sword, in that too great a focus on them might come at the expense of things like great content on the blog or page.

    I don’t ‘get’ a lot of the social networking sites – personally I’m not on LinkedIn (yet), or Facebook (privacy annihilation machine). I am on Google+, but I have no idea how it works or what I am supposed to do with it. Part of the issue is the perennial one of spreading too thin. I only have certain time available, and I want to give the online places I do use (my blog, twitter) a decent go.

    • Hi Matthew – I set myself up on Google+ the other day then tried to find someone I knew to add to it, or someone famous, or something interesting… fruitless search. Maybe there’s some vibrant online world that we’re missing out on, but I think it’s more likely that everyone’s on twitter instead.

  3. mlfables on said:

    The only social network I am on is Twitter. Probably because twitter feels more conversational, Facebook feels too self-promotional.

    Having said that, wordpress/blogs in general are the best (and in a way the original) form of social networking and will always be my mainstay.

    I enjoy reading other peoples blogs, reading about what they’ve experienced and learned. Its one of the best ways to learn about the world around you (second only to actually experiencing it yourself).

    • Facebook is feeling more promotional than self-promotional to me these days: it seems to be full of links to commercial pages my friends have ‘liked’ instead of the interesting things my friends have said!

  4. I am involved in all of those that you mention. LinkedIn has come in handy in terms of getting a couple of clients (I’m a freelance writing coach/editor), but I agree with you that LinkedIn doesn’t do well without regular tending.

    I have a FB ‘author’ page also, but I need to revamp it to reflect my current status. Right now it’s just like an echo page of posts that I make.

    Twitter is the one I hate the most because I don’t like all the promos thrown in my face. That’s all I seem to see on Twitter, and it bugs me.

    I do most of my work via my blog. I have met the most people and learned the most useful information, and I feel like I have helped others the most. Right now, and for the forseeable future, my blog is where I’ll spend most of my energy and focus.

  5. I still haven’t got anything on LinkedIn to tend! I’ll admit to being quite ruthless with Twitter. I’ll always check someone’s recent tweets before following, and I’m unlikely to follow someone with more than a couple of hundred followers unless they are providing something truly awesome. I have a friend whose tweets consisted of nothing but retweets of news regarding his favourite football team, and I’m afraid I unfollowed (he hasn’t unfollowed me, so maybe he hasn’t noticed).

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