Friday, October 3, 2014

Back to Basics: Go To Your Audience via Social Media

In our last post, we talked about how to 'know' and 'define' your audience. Now that you know your audience, let's talk about how to focus your marketing efforts with special attention given to catering to your audience's needs and natural habitats. Today's post will focus on Social Media.

Social Media

There are some authors who believe you have to be everywhere online to find your audience. As we've said before, this sort of thinking is called the 'shotgun method' - yes, you are going to hit something, but you're also going to hit a whole lot of nothing. Think about your target audience and do a little research to determine which social media sites your audience frequents. Then take a moment to think about what YOU enjoy. If your audience loves Twitter, but you hate being confined to 140 characters - then don't use Twitter. Trust us when we say that your love or hate for an activity will shine through. Have fun and your readers will have fun, too.

We Goggled 'user statistics for social networking sites' to do some quick research for this post. Below is an Infographic on some of the major social media platforms.

Here is the link to the Leverage New Age Media to access a printable image.
It is easy to find out which sites have the most users, but it takes a little more work to determine which sites your audience frequents. The Infographic above really got us what are the gender and age breakdowns for each of these platforms? Here's what we found...

Second quarter 2013 data. Here is the link to the article 
12 Awesome Social Media Facts and Statistics for 2013

Morgan says: Ok - I'm a bit of a data geek. I often like to compare multiple sources to try to find a cross-section of information in an attempt to get an unbiased picture of what is really going on in markets I'm studying.( Here's where my corporate day job best practices creep into my writing career.  :D) Below is another graphic using fourth quarter 2013 data across a broader spectrum of social media platforms. (MySpace...really???) Since I am targeting 16-21 year-old readers, I will take a hard look at Instragram and Tumblr. Both platforms are of particular interest to me, since I LOVE taking pictures. (I carry my digital camera with me 24/7.) So it would be easy for me to post pictures from my adventures via my Instagram account to start building a presence even before my book is published. Yes, I am already on Facebook - but, I primarily use this account for interactions with friends, family, and my Author Marketing 101 readers who <no offence to anyone, please> tend to be older than the demographic I'm targeting for my fiction. Are you starting to get a feel for how to pick social media platforms based on your audience and your interests?

Fourth quarter 2013 age breakdowns from Smart Insights.

Please note: the social media landscape is an ever changing landscape. When you revisit your marketing plan, carve out some time to re-evaluate your online activities. Ask yourself these questions:
  • What is bearing fruit? (Decide what 'bearing fruit' means to it number of followers? Is it the number of folks who leave comments? Is it the number of hits?)
  • What am I enjoying? (Have you decided that you really hate Facebook or Twitter or whatever? Cut the chord and move on to other activities without guilt. Remember this choice is a business decision, but be sure to let your followers <regardless of how few or how many> know that you are leaving this platform and where they can find you. No need to give a reason other than you are consolidating your efforts.)

Know your audience and do research to determine the best social media activities for your PERSONA. Work smart to save time so that you have even more time to write your next book!

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