Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I is for Insight

Continuing with my A-Z blogging challenge, I bring you I for Insight (as in Facebook Page insights)

They are pretty confusing

So, I might step on some toes or maybe even lose some readers with this post, but it's something that's been weighing on me for awhile.

When I first created my Facebook Page, I was in a rather large Facebook group dedicated to writers of fantasy. Even though I am no longer a member of that group (I've moved on to others that fit my needs better), the experience was mostly a great one. I connected with amazing writers and found books that I have enjoyed immensely (like this guy, this book, oh this one, and this one- to name a few). I would not have connected with these amazing writers otherwise.

When I was first in this group one of the biggest group endeavors was the one day a week that everyone would share their social media links to get others in the group to like their stuff. This is how I got the first hundred plus "likes" on my page. At first it felt great. Over one hundred people were my "fans" so to speak, and I was ecstatic about having that many people that cared what I had to say.

After a while though, I began to look at the people that liked my page and began to wonder what was it we were really doing. The only followers I had on my fan page were other indie writers like myself. I liked their pages, they liked mine, and we were all happy. But what was I really accomplishing? Who was I connecting with? Were these the people that were going to read my stuff? Were they going to engage with me on my page?

I felt like a bunch of us were just sitting around liking stuff on each other's pages but not really producing any significant groundswell of fans or support. Don't get me wrong. I love my writer friends that like my page and engage with me on it, but that shouldn't be my goal. I should strive for my page and my content to engage those that I want to see as fans.

I started promoting myself less and less to my fellow writers. I started to reconsider what I posted here on my blog, on my page, and really on social media in general. I started to think of my public persona as a brand and I had to consider what kind of brand I wanted to be perceived as.

Did I want to be a shameless self promoter- every other post on my page a spam post shouting, pleading to the interwebs,"Buy my stuff! Love me!" 

Or did I want to have fun with it and craft an online public persona that would attract fans, not from my writing circles, personal friends, and family, but true fans. Those that liked the page because of what they saw, not because I had spammed a Facebook group weekly for a year with a plea to like me.

So, I began to craft my brand. I started sharing on social media the things that I cared about. Which means, a lot of comic book stuff, some science fiction, geek culture, etc... I made my page an extension of what I liked and wanted to share with everyone. And you know what happened?

I started to see likes come in that had nothing to do with the writer circles that I was running in. I had people clicking my "Shop Now" button on my page. I had people that were following my page because they were interested in what I had to say, not because I begged them to like it.

The last two hundred or so likes on my page have been like this, and I have loved to see the shift in the insight metrics on my page. My reach has gone from 10-50 impressions per post to 100-300 impressions. My shop now link is active on my page as well, and I don't even have to plug my book with every post.

I'm having fun with the page, I'm sharing what I like, and it's not really that much effort. 

I guess I'm saying this to all my fellow independent writers out there- you don't have to shamelessly promote yourself. Find your niche, your brand, and craft a public persona that will draw people to your organically. You will see the reach of your page or blog or twitter expand in a natural way from the ground up and not artificially inflated.

That being said, all of my writer friends that like my Facebook page, please don't go and unlike me now... We have so much fun on there together.

Want to expand your reach? Just be yourself and share what makes you happy.

So, now that we've gotten that out of the way, do you want to buy my stuff?

Thanks for reading. I hope you've enjoyed. As always if you enjoyed it, please be sure to like, share, subscribe, plus 1, send by carrier pigeon, etc...


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