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3 questions to ask yourself to determine what social media platforms you should be on

This past year has made abundantly clear the importance of having an online presence as a small business owner. As an aspiring or published author, that includes you!

Whether you’re currently avoiding using social media because you thought it would be a passing phase or simply because it seemed overwhelming or confusing, it’s not too late to get started now. You simply need some direction!

To start determining what social media platforms you should be on to promote yourself and your book, it’s important to answer three questions:

  1. Who is my target audience?
  2. Where are they spending their time?
  3. What types of content do I like creating and consuming?

Who is my target audience?

Knowing the ins and outs of your target audience is a key factor for any marketing strategy. Your target audience describes the people that would most likely be interested in your book.

Starting by making a list of your book’s characteristics can be helpful in honing in on your audience:

  • How long is the book?
  • What kind of language is used?
  • What’s the genre of your book?
  • Where does the book take place?

If you’ve already started writing your book, you likely have a really clear idea of who your reader is, and that’s exactly what you want to look at here. Describe factors like their age, if they identify with a particular gender, what their likes and dislikes are, and what they do in their spare time.

Where are they spending their time?

Once you have a good idea of the demographic and other characteristics of your “ideal reader,” you can determine where they spend most of their time. Namely, what social media sites (if any) they’re on!

Khoros has compiled stats for you in this blog post based on recent data, which is a great place to start.

Where do you like consuming and creating content?

While your main focus should be on your reader and making sure that your content is reaching your potential audience, it’s also important to take into account your own interests.

The energy you put behind your work will show, so if you’re completely uninterested in the content you’re producing, your audience will likely notice.

It’s also important to recognize your own interests because if you always view creating content as a chore, you likely won’t be able to keep up with posting consistently!

Quick platform breakdown

Here are a few of the most common social media sites, along with a brief description to hopefully give you an idea of where to start.

Facebook

If you’ve ever searched a business on Facebook to find out their hours or look at reviews, you know the importance of having a business Facebook page!

On a personal level, Facebook can also be a great place for updates and longer form content, but these updates are generally only seen by friends and family you’ve personally connected with on the platform.

Twitter

With a shorter character limit than any other platform, Twitter is a perfect place for short-form content like quotes, article sharing, and witty remarks.

Instagram

Instagram is great if you enjoy documenting your life in photos. A primarily visual app, the visual appeal of the photos you post is pretty important! 18-29 year olds make up the biggest demographic on Instagram, but they’re definitely not the only ones.

In order to show up in people’s feeds regularly, it’s important to post consistently on Instagram. We recommend 3-5 times per week.

YouTube

YouTube is a great place for longer form video content. If you want to share behind the scenes of your work, or want to expand your content beyond your book, this might be a good platform for you!

Since YouTube is essentially a search engine, content has a much longer shelf-life, compared to other sites where users have to scroll back on your page to see old posts.

Pinterest

Similar to YouTube, Pinterest acts like a search engine, meaning your content can keep working for you long time past the post date! This is extremely beneficial if you want to drive traffic to your website or a sales page.

Content posted on Pinterest must be in the form of a graphic, image, or video, and creating content that captures someone’s eye is pretty important in order to stand out among other creators and users.

LinkedIn

If you’re more in the personal development or business space, it might be important to develop your personal or business LinkedIn page!

LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to connect with others in a professional capacity, and can be a great platform for sharing blog posts or other articles that speak to a more corporate audience.

Tik Tok

A more recent application, Tik Tok allows for short form videos up to 1 minute in length. Tik Tok’s audience is mostly a younger demographic.

Final thoughts

One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that in order to be successful you need to be on all social media platforms. That’s simply not true! In fact, if you’re managing everything yourself it will be much too overwhelming to take on trying to create content for all social media platforms.

Instead, start with the 1 or 2 platforms that seem to resonate most deeply with you and your audience and test out the waters!

Don’t get discouraged if growth doesn’t happen quickly. Having a smaller number of genuinely interested followers is much more important and beneficial for you than having a large number of followers who aren’t engaged in your content.

If you found this helpful, we’d love for you to connect with us on our social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram!

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