You choose your words carefully. You have to choose your medium carefully, too. There’s an art to this. The small nuances can make a big difference to whether or not your content connects. The delivery is as much a part of the content as the content itself. Is it the message you intend? Or, is it working against you?
Where does your audience want to hear from you? If you choose the wrong medium, your message may never be heard. Or worse, it may hit the wrong note.
As an author, your book is the core of your content strategy. But the downside to long-form content is that it doesn’t offer enough opportunities to connect with an audience. You need to make more frequent connections with your audience. Blogs as great for that, especially for non-fiction writers. You are an expert in your realm, you have something to share. For that, you need a central point for substantive content – and one that facilitates easy sharing between your readers.
Maintaining a blog isn’t enough, though. There are millions of blogs out there. No one is going to randomly stumble across your blog. You are not going to get found amid the noise. You have to build hooks. You have to draw people in with teasers.
Selecting a Social Channel
The obvious way to do this is through social channels. Again, choose carefully—each will say something about you. There are some generalizations about each that might help inform which platform you choose:
- Twitter: Open network, text-based social content. Goal = new connections, real-time search.
- Facebook: Closed network, multimedia social content. Goal = (re)connecting with people you already know.
- Instagram: Semi-open network. Image content, plus short video. Goal = more “upscale,” highly curated collections.
- Snapchat: Closed network, image and short-form video content. Goal = share unfiltered, behind-the-scenes content.
- LinkedIn: Closed network, professional content, profiles, and portfolios. Goal = professional connections only.
- Pinterest: Curated visual content, the “Third Way” of social. Goal = connecting through collecting and curating.
- YouTube: Open network, social or portfolio video content. Goal = share video.
- Tik Tok: Closed network, short-form video content. Goal = fun, creative, clever skits and storytelling.
- Tumblr: Open network, multimedia social content, predominantly visual. Goal = Twitter for images, video, and audio.
- SoundCloud: Open network, social or portfolio content, audio only. Goal = share music and podcasts.
- Flickr: Open network, social or portfolio content, photographs only. Goal = share photos, albums, or portfolios.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive, by any means. And, there are plenty of folks who use each of these networks in a way that was not intended – getting great results. But, would you post pictures of your kids/pets on LinkedIn? Probably not. That’s what Facebook is for.
As an aside, I am grateful to have Facebook for this reason (and maybe only this reason). If nothing else, Facebook provides another outlet for causes, chain letters, and vacation pictures. Those things used to wind up in your e-mail inbox. Today, it would seem like an aggressive act to send two dozen photos via e-mail. Now you, the user, choose what you want to see, and when. For better or worse (and with Facebook, it’s generally worse), there is a lot more control in the hands of the user.
Your content deserves to be in the proper medium. It may require some experimentation to find out which outlet is the best for you. But again, make sure it’s where your audience congregates. There’s no point in trying to change the behavior of your audience. You are trying to build authority with your community, which takes energy. Don’t spend that energy fighting a battle you can’t win. Let your audience make that decision for you.
This series is designed to help entrepreneurial authors navigate the landscape of a post-publisher world. For more about Content Strategy for Authors, please see the “For Authors” section of this site.
To hire me for specific help with your content strategy, please see my “Helping Authors” page. I specialize in non-fiction authors, and the first “orienting” session is always free.
Photo credit: “The Art of Social Media” by Mary Henderson is licensed under CC BY 2.0. For more great stuff, please see: http://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com.
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