The biggest mistake in social media marketing is forgetting the audience.

Our first instinct when writing a social media post, commenting or making a blog entry, is to talk about ourselves. After all, that is what social media is for, that is what the people want to read, right?

Wrong actually. The same instinct driving you to talk about yourself, is driving the other people around you.  If you want to capture their attention you have to be different and talk about them.

As a writer building a platform you will have to talk about yourself and promote yourself but, if that’s all you do, people will lose interest very quickly. To get people interested in you, you need to show interest in them. When people socialize, it’s considered polite to ask questions about the other person, and listen to what they have to say: “So how are things with you?” “How is you dog Skippy?” “Did you do well in that marathon?” The reason this etiquette exists is because people’s favorite subject is, consciously or subconsciously, themselves. Who wouldn’t want to be the preening the swan, at the center of everyone’s attention. As much as you want to be that swan too, remember that the ugly duckling also got plenty of attention.

The reality is people are a lot more likely to be captivated by a post or blog entry if it feels like they are reading about themselves, or something that relates to themselves, or presents them with an opportunity to talk about themselves in the comments.

A rudimentary way to engage people in social media is to say: “This is what I think, what do you think? Please comment if you have an opinion.” This invites people to say what’s on their mind, and shows an interest in what they have to say, but it’s still only writing about you and your opinion and about a topic that interests you.

When you are writing something to send out into the social-mediaverse, think of a topic that others will relate to and find relevant to them. Don’t just send a single blast out, over and over, that you have written a book and it’s for sale on Amazon. Think of your target audiences. You want to tailor different posts to different audiences, because not every audience will have the same interests. Perhaps you are targeting fellow writers. Think about what they are interested in and give it to them: “The feeling of finishing a novel, about characters that you have lived and breathed for so long, is such a thrill…
 Notice how the example speaks to a feeling other writers may have had, or may still long for. This will entice them to stop and notice, and maybe click your link. Make a different post directed at fans of your book’s genre, and a different one targeting reviewers and critics.  Expertly craft each to catch the target’s attention by relating to them.

You are a writer, this should not be a foreign concept.  When you write your story, your goal is to draw the reader in with characters they can relate to.  If you are writing to a target audience that is a young adult, you don’t talk with the voice of a 35 year old soccer mom. When you use social media, think along the same lines.  Decide on a target audience for that particular post or blog entry, think about what the audience relates to and find ways to make your topic feel like their topic.

©2012 Amanda June Hagarty. Go Do Some Twitter
Swan Photo Attribution