I knew about Facebook and Twitter, of course, but I had better things to do with my time. There was no way I was going to join social media. Everyone knew it was nothing more than a gossipy time suck.
But the day came when I got that first rejection letter in the mail and it came with a powerful message. The editor liked my book, but when she Googled my name?
She suggested that I resubmit my manuscript after exploring different social media platforms and doing something to get my name out there, to get a following of some kind.
I took her words to heart and signed up for Facebook that day. Then I started a blog and joined Twitter. Before long I had designed my website and joined Tumblr, too. And Google+. And LinkedIn. And everything else anyone suggested that I join.
You can probably see where this is headed. Before long I had my hands in everything except SnapChat, and I only refrained from joining that because my kids wouldn’t let me I didn’t want to embarrass my kids.
But I wasn’t enjoying myself. I wasn’t taking the time I needed to learn about each platform—I was just out there trying everything, waiting to see if anything was sticking. More importantly, I wasn’t taking the time to engage on each platform. I had a bad case of FOMO. I was afraid that if I wasn’t involved in everything, I would miss something important, some opportunity that wouldn’t come along anywhere else.
It finally hit me one day when I was scrolling through a platform that had me thoroughly befuddled and shall remain nameless: this is not working.
I closed out of that platform right then and there and have never logged back in. And it feels so good. And then I did the same thing with three other platforms that weren’t working for me. And again, you can probably see where this is headed.
It feels so good.
I kicked my FOMO to the curb and have come to realize that the opportunities I was afraid of missing have increased tenfold because I’m actually being social. The secret wasn’t to be a little bit invested in a lot of places online—the secret was to be fully invested in a few places.
Today things are different. Today I’m active on social media, but I have a manageable slate of platforms and a schedule that works for me and allows me to do the most important thing an author has to do: write that next book.
So here’s my plan:
Every day (well, almost every day) I am active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I use each platform for a different purpose, but they all have one thing in common: when I’m done with my marketing work, I leave. I may return later if I’m taking a break, but the marketing and promoting are done first thing in the morning.
Every day I also read other blogs. Readers’ blogs, writers’ blogs, industry insiders’ blogs. Some I read on occasion; some I never miss. And very often I’ll leave a comment—a lot of people don’t think of this as being part of social media, but to me it’s a very important component.
Once a week I post to my own blog.
Once a month I send out a newsletter.
As necessary, I maintain my website and author pages on BookBub, Amazon, and Goodreads.
For me, losing my Social Media FOMO was an important step in learning to be engaged on social media and making those essential connections with readers and other writers. Losing my FOMO made me realize that with some judicious trimming and some discipline, I can have a positive social media plan that allows me to reach my goals and stay engaged on the platforms that matter most to me.
What does your social media plan look like?
Amy M. Reade’s bio:
Amy M. Reade is a cook, chauffeur, household CEO, doctor, laundress, maid, psychiatrist, warden, seer, teacher, and pet whisperer. In other words, in addition to being a writer, she is a wife, mother, community volunteer, and recovering attorney.
Amy is the author of Trudy’s Diary, A Libraries of the World Mystery (Book One: Library of Congress), which is due out in April. She has also penned The Worst Noel (Book One in the Juniper Junction Holiday Mystery series), The Malice Series (The House on Candlewick Lane, Highland Peril, and Murder in Thistlecross), and three standalone books, Secrets of Hallstead House, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and House of the Hanging Jade. She lives in southern New Jersey, but loves to travel. Her favorite places to visit are Scotland and Hawaii and when she can’t travel she loves to read books set in far-flung locations.
Her days are split between writing and marketing her books, but uppermost in her mind is the adage that the best way to market a book is to write another great book.
You can find her online here: