As authors, we need to build a relationship with our audience to succeed. Marketing, after all, is about relationships! In this episode of the Writing Momentum podcast, Chris and Gena share some amazing social media stats and talk about WHY you’d want to use social media…or avoid it completely. Whether you’re looking at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest or YouTube, there’s a social media platform in your future!
- Post to social media FAST with our favorite social media scheduler, SocialBee, and get 20% off for LIFE with coupon code MOMENTUM20 : https://writing.fyi/socialbee
- Write with us! Join Chris, Gena, and Rene each Wednesday at noon Central and let’s get our writing DONE! https://www.writingmoments.com
- Statusbrew article: https://statusbrew.com/insights/social-media-statistics/#social-media-usage-statistics
Episode 39 Transcription
[00:00:13].870] - Gena Hi. Welcome to to the Writing Momentum podcast. My name is Gena Maselli and I'm here with my husband, Chris. [00:00:21].890] - Chris Welcome to the podcast. Good to have you here. [00:00:23].820] - Gena Yeah, we are looking forward to doing a three part series. This is going to be the first of three parts on a subject that sometimes can be difficult for writers to tackle and know kind of where to start. [00:00:38].210] - Chris And that is what Chris, it is on social media. Social media can be a huge challenge, of course, for us as we're authors, because we want to spend our time writing, not being social media managers. And yet social media is important because everyone's on social media, and it's really about marketing, right? It's about building relationships, which is what marketing is today. Right. There was a day when marketing was all about creating commercials. Not anymore. Now it's about building relationships. And the primary place to do that is on social media. So in this session, we're going to talk about why use social media. And the next one, we're going to talk about how to find your social media audience. And then the third one is going to have some really cool tips and tricks that we think you're going to like. [00:01:23].060] - Gena Absolutely. And I think social media is one of these things that we like to use on a personal level. But sometimes when it comes to using it on a professional level, as writers, it becomes a little more nebulous. You don't quite know where to start. You don't know what to do with it. You don't know how to use it. And it becomes very intimidating. And a lot of people find themselves in that place where they are intimidated by it. So they kind of freeze. They don't do anything. So let's dive in and let's talk about some of the top networks today. [00:01:59].380] - Chris Well, we're getting this information. There's an article that recently came out from Statusbrew.com, and we'll put that in for the link to that in the show notes, and it's got some really good information. And I think as we go through a lot of the top points in this article, it's a very long and thorough article, but we just pulled out some of the top points. I think the idea behind this particular podcast, what we want to cover is why we should use social media. And I think you'll see by the end of the podcast why it's really imperative that we as authors and writers, start building our audience on social media. Because it doesn't matter whether you've even got your book done yet. You want to be building an audience so that you've got people to sell it to, right? And so, yes. Do you know we're going to talk about the top networks, which are what? [00:02:46].930] - Gena The top networks are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest and YouTube. Wow. So nothing there too surprising, right. That's what we all are familiar with. Now, some people, for different reasons, I'm sure you have your favorites. We all have our favorites, the ones that we use on a regular basis, or at least we check in occasionally on. Right. But they all have their niche audience and they all have their people, different people who use them and why they use them. That's an important thing to think about, depending on who your audience is, because that's what it is. It's not just about what I personally might like. It's about what my reader is using and what they are getting out of it. So that's what we need to keep in mind. [00:03:40].450] - Chris Yeah. And then in the next episode, we're going to really talk about what the demographics are for each of those social networks. And I think that's going to be really eye opening because you may realize that you've been, for instance, posting on TikTok all the time and the people who would read your books are not on TikTok right. Depending on their age and whether they're male or female, what their interests are. But the key here is that every single social network does have a niche that follows what you're doing. Right. There are people in those networks, is what I'm trying to say, that will follow your niche. Right. You just have to find them. But some are more maybe dedicated than others, depending on what the network is. And so here's the first surprising statistic. I think this is amazing. 62% of the world's population uses social media. That's 4.88 billion with a B, and that's increasing. Right. So 62% of the world using social media. That means almost everyone that you know is on some social media channel. And that's key because if you're trying to build relationships and build an audience, you're going to find them more than anywhere in one place on social media. [00:04:58].060] - Gena Right? Well, and I think that that's kind of an interesting topic when we're talking about niche marketing, when we're talking about finding our people. We kind of live in this era where we have access to people that we otherwise would not have had the opportunity to reach. We wouldn't have been able to find those readers who are reading or interested in our book unless we were working diligently with some type of publicist, which would have been very expensive. We were buying mailing lists. Remember the days of thousands of mailing lists? I remember those days very well. And so social media is a little bit of a double edged sword sometimes where we can kind of feel like we don't want to get caught up in it too much, we don't want to get trapped by it. But at the same time, it is a tool. And as writers as entrepreneurs, as Solopreneurs, we have to be willing to get into that space. So one statistics also, Chris just piggybacking off of what you're saying. Chris mentioned that 62% of the world's population uses social media. Two thirds of the world's population has access to mobile devices. [00:06:18].470] - Gena And a lot of the areas that have access to mobile devices today, they completely skipped dial up. [00:06:25].640] - Chris That's right. They went from having nothing to having mobile devices with access to social media. So the world really is open to finding you, right, to building relationships with you. And don't forget that keyword we use there through mobile, okay? If you are on social media, you're creating posts on social media, you're creating images. Anything you do on your website as an author, if you've got an opt in for your newsletter, that sort of thing, it needs to be mobile friendly. We've seen that on our own website where well over half the visitors are on mobile, right? So we've kind of realized, okay, when we're building our website, it needs to be built for a mobile user because that's becoming increasingly more and more the way people are accessing the website. And so because of that, whatever you do, it's got to be mobile friendly. [00:07:20].180] - Gena Well, now, can we just talk for just a second about what you mean by when we're thinking about something being producing posts, producing videos that are mobile friendly. What do we need to keep in mind with that? What's something that we need to do? [00:07:34].840] - Chris The biggest thing to keep in mind is that it's got to first of all, the website needs to look good on a mobile device, right? So some websites you'll go to on a mobile device, and it's hard to even read them because the type is so small, the website should recreate the way it looks based on the kind of devices using it. It's what we call being a responsive website. So you want to make sure that your website is responsive, that it changes to look really good on a mobile device. Now, when you do things like record video, you want to make sure you have captions, right? Because if people are using a mobile device, they many times use it with the sound off. And so you've got to have things like captions. And a lot of the videos too, you don't do in widescreen. Like we're doing this video right now for our podcast is in widescreen, but a lot of videos you want to do in portrait up and down, right? Because that then fills the screen. Now, this works for us because we're broadcasting it onto YouTube, which makes it very easy to view on the widescreen version. [00:08:36].490] - Chris But generally you want to be sure to do it both ways. [00:08:40].210] - Gena So keeping in mind that and I know when I'm doing captions, I do captions for some of our social media pieces, I'm very aware that when someone is looking at this piece, they're going to be looking at it on a mobile device. They're going to be looking on a small screen. So my typeface, my font that I use in my captions, I make it a little bit bigger because I don't want an eight point type on a mobile device that's going to be too small for my users, for our readers. They're not going to want it that way. So I always try to get it up to more like a ten or twelve. And that may look pretty large for some, but at least I know they can read it. So just a few things to keep in mind as you're producing your social media content or your website. Like Chris said, keep in mind that it needs to be mobile friendly. [00:09:37].750] - Chris Yeah. Now, about seven platforms now boast over 1 billion users, TikTok got there really fast. But seven platforms have over a billion users and the average person spends nearly two and a half hours every day on social media. Just on social media. Okay. That's YouTube and everything included, which is probably why it's so high, because a lot of us watch longer videos, right, on YouTube and that sort of thing. But yeah, two and a half hours, that means people are using it a lot. So again, if you want to build relationships, you got to be on social media, right? [00:10:15].970] - Gena Yes. Because actually we discovered that six out of ten people have social network accounts. So that 60% of people have some kind of network account. Now, that doesn't mean that they're always checking them. I certainly know that you have some accounts. I have some accounts that I've got my favorites. So I don't always use the ones that are not my favorites. I have them even maybe because of some of our capabilities that you have found for us. I'm posting to them, but I'm not necessarily we all have our favorites. You pay attention to the ones that are your favorites. But 60% of people have at least one social media network or account. Social media account. And I'm curious to see what percentage of those people have. More than one. I'm sure the majority. [00:11:06].220] - Chris That may be an article. We may have to look that up and see for the next podcast. Because that's the interesting thing, I think probably most people do, right? Yeah. We all subscribe to more than one account, whether we use it or not, but we all have our favorites. And that's when I talk about the niches that you tend to find that people will gravitate toward one social network. And that's why it's okay when you're putting social media content out there to duplicate what you're doing across multiple networks, because people will find you on multiple networks, different networks, and they don't usually cross from one to the other. So it's not like they'll feel inundated with your social media material. And let's see, this is interesting the most effective social media content is short form videos. 85% of marketers use short form videos so if you want to tell people about your book, you want to tell people about what you're doing, what should you be doing? Short form videos, that usually means around ten minutes. Most YouTube videos are around ten minutes long. [00:12:08].200] - Gena Well, and I would say it's much shorter than that for some of the other sites when you're talking about like TikTok, when you're talking about even YouTube shorts are much shorter than that. And here's the thing with the short form video is that the platforms are giving preferential treatment to those short term videos so they're pushing them. So what does that mean for you? That means that when you produce one, the network that you are producing it for the platform is taking it and they're sharing it more often, they're making it more visible to people in your friends or your contacts, but also making it more visible in their friends and contacts. So helping you spread the word a little bit. [00:12:58].080] - Chris We have seen that ourselves where we'll take a post and put a static post out there and we'll also put a short form video post out there. The short form video post will get more impressions which means the network shows it to more people and it has nothing to do with people searching for it or anything, it's just that the network shows it more and it absolutely happens with short form videos to be thinking about that if you want to be online and communicating with people. [00:13:22].720] - Gena Well and here's another interesting fact about social media is that social media is changing a little bit, right? It's not just about when social media was set up, it was about connecting with friends and family and that kind of thing and we all know that that is now changing where we are now doing searches on social media when we're interested in something. So we're looking for information in social media, whether it's how to bake something or other, make some specific kind of recipes or what are the best books for this kind of genre or something else. In fact, 45% of internet users research topics on social media. 45%. So for book writers we need to be getting out there and being aware of that you can even do here's a little trick that you can do is look. Think about your project, your genre, about your readers or the people you're trying to reach. Think about your book and do a search. If you are trying to find your book, what kind of search would you do? So go up if you're looking in YouTube, if you're looking in Facebook, you're looking wherever, start doing a search for that and YouTube, Pinterest, especially Google, which I know is not a social network but look at what that drop down menu shows you. [00:14:57].360] - Gena So if you're writing old west fiction with a female lead, the female protagonist, something like that. You start writing that in that list up at that search space at the top, see what drops down. Because what drops down, that is what people are searching for. So that's just a little extra something. But if you want to see how to position your product, your book on social media, that's one way to do it. [00:15:26].500] - Chris So the big conclusion here from today is that we need to be on social media. If we want to build our audience, if we want to build relationships, we have got to be on social media. But don't feel overwhelmed by that because there are creative ways that you can, first of all, choose what channels to focus on. We're going to talk a lot about that next week on the podcast. And also there are creative ways to post to social media, and one of our favorite ways is by using a content scheduler. And our favorite one is called Social Bee. If you go to writing.fyi/socialbee, that's writing.fyi/socialbee. You can find out all about Social Bee, how it works. I've got training videos on it on YouTube, and I'll be happy to send you links if you want to check it out. It's free to try out. It's a very good service. It allows you to make one post and it will send it to all the social media channels for you. It'll even schedule them out for you. And like most schedulers, it's about $20 a month. But I contacted the developer and we have a coupon. [00:16:34].170] - Chris It's Momentum20, and that gives you 20% off for life. That's a rare coupon. They don't offer this kind of coupon anymore. I'm grandfathered into having this one. So if you want to have Social Bee at 20% off for life, use Momentum20 by going to writing.fyi/socialbee . And I think you'll find that a really good resource. [00:16:57].580] - Gena Yes, it is a game changer, for sure. If you are someone who lives for social media, maybe you love being on there and no problem. But if you're someone who is busy. If you're someone who doesn't really like it very much. Who's only on there when you have to be. That kind of thing. Or like I said. You're just busy and you're like. I need to promote my book. But I don't want to spend a ton of time hitting all these different social networks. Which you don't have to be on all of them. Choose your favorite. Really focus on the one or two that you like. But with Social Bee, it makes it so much easier to be present on these social networks in a regular way. I just can't say enough about it because I'm not somebody who lives for social media. I get on there and I have my favorites that I check, but I try not to spend a ton of time on them. But with Social Bee, I can still be in contact with my audience and I can still be reaching my audience and still getting our message out through Social Bee. [00:18:07].470] - Gena And that 20% off for life is huge. It's really good. [00:18:11].430] - Chris That's good because you get locked into it, which is what I love, because I'm all about the deals. [00:18:15].440] - Gena Yes. [00:18:16].240] - Chris All right. Well, if you've enjoyed this podcast, be sure to subscribe, because that way you won't miss any podcast because it'll just show right up there in your podcast app every single week when we put them out, we put them out every Wednesday. Next week, we're going to be talking about how to choose the right social network to start posting on and to find your niche on. And I think we're going to have a lot more really good statistics from this article as well as some personal experience that we're going to share. I think you're going to like it. So until next time, we hope that you will rate, review and subscribe and share this with someone that you know will benefit from it. And we just thank you for listening. Remember that together we have writing momentum. Bye bye.