Now, I will be the first to admit that I am not savvy when it comes to social media. I may be an IT guy that is good with computers but when it comes to social media, I am as much an introvert online as I am in reality. Before my first book was published I was something of a social media hermit. I rarely posted and used it more to keep up with my friends and family without actually having to talk to them. However, with The Ascension Legacy’s first release I had to make an effort to do something.
Being a self-published author, there was only so much that my publisher was willing to do to promote my book. In fact, the majority of promotion would fall on my shoulders. This meant that I had to make a choice. I could either continue to be a social media hermit and let my books largely pass by unnoticed by not promoting them on social media or I could force myself to develop a more interactive and outgoing social media presence.
Luckily, my wife is a social media addict. In the early days following the release of book 1, I had asked my wife to handle my social media presence. She was much more knowledgeable about how it all worked and had a much larger following than I could have hoped for. Sadly, that lasted only a few days. It was difficult for her to post during the day with her regular job and at night it was distracting with everything we had going on at home at the time. She was just too busy and too distracted to really devote enough time to help me create the content needed in the intervals the Internet demands to be effective.
And thus the responsibilities fell back on my ignorant shoulders. For a while I posted things randomly but had no over all plan or level of consistency. Some weeks I might post 2, 3, or even 4 times but then it might that many weeks before I post again. Not being very skilled with social media, I had no clue how often I needed to post or what to post. I feared over posting just as much as I feared posting things that others would not find interesting or relevant. The end result was a chaotic social media plan that resulted in barely a scratch in what I had hoped to accomplish.
But when things looked dark, a miracle landed in my lap that would help change my social media viewpoint. In a promotion with my publisher, I was connected with Snowtree Media and they would manage my social media. I worked with Brett from Snowtree and he explained how different things worked with Facebook and Instagram. How different posting strategies achieved different goals. When to post, when to boost, and when to run an ad. It was all things I had tried willy-nilly in the past but thanks to Brett, I was beginning to understand what he did, why he did it, why he did it when he did, and what to expect from it.
I was still a long way from being a social media expert but my knowledge was increasing.
Unfortunately, there came a time when I was no longer able to afford to keep Brett and Snowtree Media in a position to continue managing my social media. A combination of events, including a surgery to repair a busted shoulder, had left my wallet thinner than it had been before and some hard decisions had to be made on where to focus what money was available. After 6 months of Brett @ Snowtree managing pretty much every post made to my social media, I had to say farewell to Brett and once more take on that burden myself.
This time around though I had more knowledge. I would consider myself something of a high-maintenance client because I asked a lot of questions. I always want to know the details of who, what, when, why, where, and how. Brett was nice enough to indulge me on that front so by the time I had to give up their services I had a greater confidence in my abilities to maintain what they had built. Granted it might not be as well executed as what Brett could do but he had established a routine that someone like me could get behind and replicate.
That said, I can honestly report that since Snowtree relinquished their access to my accounts and I have fully taken back the reins that I have not seen much growth in my social media following to date. I may get a new follower here and there but I am still far away from having a significant enough following to be considered a hit.
But on that note, if you are reading this, recommend my Facebook and/or Instagram accounts to all of your friends or family! :-) Even if they don’t read high fantasy fiction maybe they will enjoy one of my future releases in one of the other fictional sub-genres or know someone who will. In today's highly connected world of social media it pays to share everything you can because you never know just how far it will reach. It is a door of opportunities that never closes.