In today’s world, ‘marketing’ is understood as synonymous with Facebook, Instagram and every other trendy new social platform rolled out to the masses. When it comes time to launch a book, new and established authors end up overwhelmed navigating social media, platform-building, list-building and checking off all the other ‘must-do marketing tasks’ required to launch a book.

But here’s the thing — social media isn’t really marketing. Any more than a newspaper is marketing. That’s right, think of Facebook as no different than your daily newspaper. Facebook and all the other social media platforms are merely a quick and easy way to perform the vital tasks of telling a compelling story and building relationships with the people that you need to connect with to share your worthy message.

Don’t get us wrong! We love social media here at Worthy Marketing Group. Not only do we love working with our clients to build great social media profiles and networks, but we love playing on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest in our off-time as well.

Each social media platform has its own strengths and weaknesses and the landscape can shift rapidly. Over the past few years, businesses who have invested a ton of time and money into building a huge following on Facebook have found that their posts are only being seen by a tiny slice of their followers.

Here’s a few tips to best use some of these powerful (and fun) platforms to best connect with the people who are waiting to hear your worthy message.

your goal: build engagement, not followers

Social media lends itself well to chasing likes. Instead of focusing on how big your platform is, focus on how engaged your following is. Are they liking, commenting and interacting with you and with each other? If not, think of fun ways to get ’em talking. It’s better to have 100 super-engaged followers than thousands of silent masses.

tell a story

Are you sick of the clickbaity headlines (“You’ll never believe….”), an endless stream of quizzes, political rants, and game invites from your second cousin?

So is everyone else. Stand out from the crowd by telling a story. Don’t just slap up a pretty picture with an inspirational quote. Slap it up and tell your audience why that quote caught your eye and tell a story from your childhood relating to the quote. Experiment with Instagram stories, mixing video, pictures and text updates to really create a narrative that your following will grab on to. And be sure to share glimpses of your personal life, too. Your audience wants to know you better!

Facebook’s constantly updating platform

In recent weeks Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg threw the marketing and media world into a tizzy, announcing a major change to how Facebook will prioritize showing posts in users’ newsfeed (the posts you see when you log in to Facebook). The changes, which will affect the way businesses, publishers and professionals connect with their audience on the platform has been referred to as the Facebook Apocalypse.

While the changes will certainly affect Worthy’s clients, they are in line with the direction that we’ve been encouraging our clients to go recently. Facebook’s true value for businesses and professionals is its extensive, detailed and inexpensive advertising platform, along with a few of the cool innovations that have been introduced over the past years. In particular, our recommendation to best grow and engage your Facebook audience is to:

  • Go Live: Facebook loves when users talk to each other. If you post content that encourages your followers to start discussions with each other (not with you) Facebook will assume that what you’re posting is worth being heard and show your posts to more of your followers. Instead of posting pretty graphics with inspirational quotes that tend to garner likes and shares, turn on your video feed and go live. Audiences for Facebook Live broadcasts tend to be SUPER interactive, chatting amongst themselves as you share your worthy message!
  • Get chatty: If you’ve used Facebook’s Messenger platform to catch up with friends and family, you already know what we’re talking about. Facebook Messenger allows private communication between users and also allows automated messages on the business level (i.e. your author page). Using third-party software, similar to MailChimp, you can even build ‘lists’ of people who want to hear from you and are waiting to see your name in their inbox!
  • Focus on quality over quantity: A few years ago, the common wisdom was to post a few times a day on your Facebook page to increase engagement. No more. With Facebook’s new direction, they’ve made it clear that what they want to see more than ever are meaningful conversation within communities that know each other. Inundating your audiences with posts — even helpful ones or shares from well-regarded websites — will be seen more as ‘spam’ by Facebook in the future. Don’t overload, get folks chatting!

As tech companies continue to innovate and introduce new platforms and tools designed to connect users, keep your focus on the heart of truly effective marketing — creating connections and engaging with the people who are waiting to hear from you.

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Keep Calm and Engage: How to Prevent Social Media Panic | The Worthy Marketing Gorup Blog