My Writing

Social Media is a Full-Time Job

I have to agree with Dave that real, honest to goodness social networking involves face-to-face contact with another human being. It involves a handshake, a shared smile or exchanged business cards. It’s important not to lose touch with the real world in favor of an alternate reality online.

That being said, if it wasn’t for this website, I can’t say that I would have published Ligonier Valley Vignettes at this point in my life. Establishing this website allowed me to post samples of my history stories online, which attracted The History Press to approach me about an opportunity to write a book on the Westmoreland County region of Pennsylvania. So my website has been an invaluable tool in that sense.

For a while I’ve been trying to establish an online presence through my website and various social media in order to promote my writing and make connections with people I wouldn’t normally meet in any other way. It’s definitely a game of checks and balances regarding the amount of information you can and should make public. On the one hand, you don’t want to broadcast your whole life and either bore your audience or gain a stalker. On the other hand, you want to share just enough of yourself to come across as friendly and engaging.

It’s also been quite a lot of work trying to make sure that the information I post on one social media platform is the same or as similar as possible to the other platforms I use. It can definitely be a full-time job, even for a freelancer like me. But I know that not everyone uses one particular social media platform, so that’s why I’m trying to branch out.

I’ve established social media accounts for myself and for my new book and I have tried to connect everything as much as possible. So far, besides this website, I’ve set up a personal Facebook profile and a Ligonier Valley Vignettes page. I have a Twitter account. I have a Google+ profile and book page. I’m listed on LinkedIn. I also post on Pinterest. I just established two new Tumblr blogs: one for myself and one for the book. On top of that I’m listed on Amazon Author Central. It’s overwhelming!

I’m trying to keep everything as streamlined as possible and cut down on the amount of time I spend posting and re-posting blog entries, tweets and Facebook links. I’ve tried to connect some accounts, but I know I can’t connect everything together and that’s sometimes frustrating. I don’t want to spend my time blogging about my life instead of living it. I’ve gotten some helpful advice from friends so far, but I’d love to hear more about what social media platforms my readers are using and how you are using them efficiently. How am I doing?


5 thoughts on “Social Media is a Full-Time Job”

  1. Hey there! I think you’re doing a pretty good job with the whole Social Media thing. It’s a fine line between having a presence and overkill, and that varies with each platform. Here’s my two cents, and you can take it or leave it.
    1) I love Hootsuite. I use it for my pages and also my GF clients, it’s really easy to search hash tag streams, schedule posts, and see stats to figure out what’s working for you and what’s not.
    2) The more posts on FB, the worse your traffic will be (unlike Twitter). I would readjust your settings to make sure you’re not doubling your posts on FB.
    3) If I were you, I’d have all of your posts here go to your Ligonier FB page and not your personal page. To me, that’s the audience who would want to read those posts, and if you want to share your posts with your friends, you can “share” these posts from the Ligonier page to your personal page and drive your stats up. But again, this is me.
    I hope that helps! Either way, thanks for presenting this question…as our in-person presence changes over time, so does Social Media. You have to keep re-evaluating what works for you and what doesn’t, but we as human beings should be doing that any way.

    1. Hi Cece! Thanks for you tips – I need all the cents (sense, too) that I can get! I think you have a great means of managing all of your social media. I will have to check out Hootsuite and see how it works. I have a hard time trying to figure out what should go on a personal page and what should go on my book page when the content would work for both. I thought about your suggestion to have my blog posts go right to my book page – I changed the settings so that it my blog posts would be directly posted on my book page and indirectly posted to my personal page via Twitter (I was having trouble sharing Twitter posts on my book page so that’s why I doubled up the posts – I could share a WordPress post instead). I wish I could get Google+ and Tumblr to work that way (I have a personal page and book page for both), but at least I can quickly reblog a Tumblr post onto the second page. Your last point is so insightful. Our in-person relationships do change and so does Social Media, especially when new applications keep being developed. What’s too much and what’s not enough?

  2. Good morning! Yeah, G+ and Tumblr are tricky. I know Hootsuite supports G+ business pages, so you can program it to post that way. Not sure about Tumblr, I’ve not really used it before. I think in time some of this social media stuff will die down and/or change again, but I think Tiwtter will always be Twitter. 😉 Let me know if you have any thoughts or problems with Hootsuite (they also do virtual workshops so you can get a handle on how to use their stuff), and either way keep me posted on everything!

    1. Good morning! I still need to check Hootsuite out – I’m a slacker! I will keep you posted on that. I agree with you about Twitter! I think that will be a constant. I just wish I could keep up with it a bit more. I’m trying to keep my efforts focused on the idea that my website is my main repository of information and everything else is just supplementary and ways to bring people to my site. I don’t want to put different things on each social media platform as I want to make sure the same information appears in a variety of places to reach a maximum audience – but I don’t want to be too redundant or boring. So I’m trying to reblog things on Tumblr that I maybe wouldn’t repost on Facebook and share stuff from FB pages I follow on my personal account just on my book FB page, ec. etc. etc. But then my OCD kicks in and I get all twitchy because this post is HERE but not HERE. I need a vacation. 🙂

    2. Hi Cece! Here’s some feedback for you!

      1) Well, I signed up for Hootsuite! 🙂 It’s really not that bad. Like all the other social media platforms, it does have it’s limitations on what all you can post to simultaneously (for example, I can’t post directly to Tumblr from Hootsuite, but I can from my website). I’m not quite sure how easily I can work with the mobile application either. So I’m trying to decide if I should move my posting efforts to Hootsuite or keep doing what I’m doing.
      2) I think where I am getting overwhelmed is the multiple accounts within the same platform: two for FB, two for Tumblr, two for Google+. Sometimes I want to post the same content on both and other times it’s not necessary, yet I don’t have a choice because of how the automatic postings are set up for sub-accounts and pages.
      3) What are you thoughts on connections between FB and Twitter? Do you prefer to automatically post from FB to Twitter or from Twitter to FB? I was thinking that I would follow your advice and directly post to my Ligonier FB page, have that automatically tweet (instead of posting to Twitter when I publish a blog post), and then share only the important stuff on my personal FB page.

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