Social Media Isn’t Broadcast Media

social-media-not-broadcastWe are all familiar with broadcast media. We grew up watching our favorite television shows interrupted by commercials and hearing our favorite radio stations interrupted, again, by advertisements.

Television and radio programs talk at us. They don’t offer opportunities to engage with their viewers and listeners. When was the last time a TV executive asked you about your content viewing preferences? Sure, they use focus groups sometimes but that doesn’t qualify as conversation. So our only viable option to vote on the relevance of the shows being aired is to use the off button.

Now let’s look at social media. The beauty of social media is the opportunity it provides to meet and converse with our readers – and for them to engage with the authors of their favorite books. Think about it. Wouldn’t you have loved to experience an opportunity to talk with Virginia Woolf or Wallace Stegner?

Social media, unlike even talk radio, is moderation-free.

The error that people who are new to social media make is they mistake social media for broadcast media. Let me explain. Too often their tweets are dominated by requests to read their stories, buy their books or enter a Goodreads giveaway.

If what you predominantly post is information about your books, blog and website, you are turning social media into broadcast media and also missing opportunities to engage directly with your readership.

This is why it’s important to first adhere to the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time you need to post content that you didn’t write but is pertinent to your niche or genre. Twenty percent of the time you can talk about your blog posts and books.

Here are some additional tips on how you can keep the social in social media.

6 Tips on How to Be More Social

  • Newsle will track your Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections and send you an email when a blog post they wrote gains traction. This app makes retweeting content easy.
  • Check your Connect tab on Twitter at least once a day. Thank other users for their Tweets and Fave designations.
  •  Check your news feed on Facebook, which you’ll find on the Home tab. Review your friends’ and fans’ posts, Like those that resonate with you and share content that you find especially appealing.
  • Navigate to LinkedIn and check your news feed. While you’re there, check in on one or more of you LinkedIn groups, review the topics discussed that day and add to the discussion.
  • Review your home tab on Google+. Again, give posts a +1 if they resonate with you, add comments, and share a post that is relevant to your readership.
  • Go to Pinterest and repin some images. Don’t forget to add a comment and respond to comments others have made on your images.

How do you keep the social in social media?

Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.