In one of my posts last week, I shared my experience working with Frances Caballo of Social Media Just for Writers. Frances assessed my social media presence as well as my site. The outcome was beneficial in many respects, and Frances’s comments brought greater clarity to how I spend my time.
A commenter suggested a post sharing the differences before and after Frances’s assessment. Today I eagerly share those with you, beginning with the before:
Literally, before Frances I was doing pretty much whatever I could understand about each social media site the best I could. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t. My greatest difficulties related to LinkedIn and Google+ and knowing how to effectively use each of them. Recently, I had decided to focus more on Twitter, but there again it was not altogether clear. Shall we just say I was living and working in a social media conundrum?
Here’s what Frances found:
- Twitter: Positives included my bio and my avatar. Negatives included the following:
- Not tweeting enough images.
- Needed more assertive attention to building a following
- Banner image difficult to determine its significance, drab in contrast to my ebook.
- Facebook: Negatives included:
- Using my profile as a page. By taking down my Facebook page a few months back, I had stepped across the boundary between personal contact and professional contact.
- I had connected Twitter and Facebook to send simultaneous messages.
- Again, my banner image lacking personality and softness.
- A big no, no–somehow email addresses visible on my About section. Yikes!
- LinkedIn: Not so bad on LinkedIn, except:
- Needing to communicate my mission in my headline.
- Needing to post blog posts to Pulse, an area where blog posts may be published a week or two after originally appearing on LinkedIn.
- Not sharing updates often enough. Share at least once a day.
- Pinterest: No changes needed.
- Google+: In my opinion, I have a miserable presence with Google+, and Frances saw that immediately:
- I barely post here and should post three times/day.
- Failure to always tag people, which I know I should.
- Tagline here different from my site.
- Same banner issues.
- Lacking hashtag usage.
- Tumblr: I’ve often wondered why I was on Tumblr, and I’m still not sure. Frances pointed out:
- Focus here usually young adult and new adult writers.
- Problem with tagline again.
- Amazon Profile: The only comments from Frances related to a slight change in my bio and need to connect my RSS feed to my Amazon account.
- Goodreads: I don’t think I ever provided Frances with the link. Sigh…
- Website: A few suggestions from Frances:
- Change text and site of email subscription widget
- Change to blog subscription call-to-action (“CTA”).
- Who is my site designed for–writers or readers.
- Retitle one page to clarify what followers are signing up for.
- Theme provides the top banner (large banner!) and at the bottom a larger than life footer. Distracting.
After Frances, or here’s what I’ve done so far:
First of all, Frances does not leave you in the lurch. If you have questions about her assessment or if there’s something not quite clear, she’ll lend a hand via email. By and large, however, her assessment was clear and concise.
After reading Frances’s report, I looked at the overriding comments about my header on my site, which I use (or tried to use) on all social media accounts and my newsletter mailings. On my survey earlier this year, I had one comment similar to Frances’s. Following a study of what was going on there (or not going on), I changed to the new banner I’m using above. I agree it’s brighter, and there is clarity about what I’m doing here.
I also made changes to language about my newsletter and free ebook in the CTAs on my site. I eliminated the footer widgets, which I agree cause confusion when there is also a sidebar with other information. From what I had in the footer I chose what I wanted my readers to see and placed a few widgets in the sidebar only.
I also changed my tag line slightly, and I am trying to be consistent with it across the social media board.
Here I likewise changed the banner, and I disconnected Twitter and Facebook. I began following a goodly number of readers and book bloggers each day to build a following among those people as well as the writers and others I’ve followed for some time.
I am attempting to get more images out on Twitter each day. Frances provided a number of resources to gather images.
I have reactivated my Facebook page, Sherrey Meyer, Writer, using the same banner and tag line as my site. Personal connections are on my profile account and if you are a friend there and would prefer to connect professionally, please head over to Sherrey Meyer, Writer, and “like” my page. And yes, I eliminated those mysteriously appearing email addresses in my About Section.
I rewrote my headline to better communicate my mission or goal and revised my summary moving some bits to my work experience section. This draws the focus back to what I’m doing now, not so much what I have done before.
I am attempting to follow the guidelines Frances provided for posting on Linked In, but transitioning to a new way of doing things is sometimes difficult. Change is never easy even if it’s for the better.
Continued consistency with my banner and tagline. I’m working hard at posting more often here, using tags for people and hashtags for catching others’ interest.
I have eliminated Tumblr from my social media toolbox.
Amazon Profile and Goodreads:
On both accounts, I have revised my bio slightly to make it more “now” focused as opposed to “then” focused. I’ve also connected to my RSS feed on both.
I have attempted to share the before and after of my social media assessment with Frances. However, it is hard to put numbers to any of this as the changes haven’t been in effect long enough to see the growth in followers. I do know that I have gained followers both on Twitter and with my Facebook page. I have also picked up a few more followers to the newsletter.
Yet we all know followers come and they go, like the tide coming in and then flowing out. It’s a regular happening. And that’s not necessarily because we’ve failed to do everything we could. It’s because people’s interests, preferences, and needs change.
I hope this has been helpful to you in some way. I know it’s long but there’s no other way to share what happened between Frances and me during our working together.
Are you concerned about your social media presence or the impact your website has? Do you need someone to help you in determining just what is missing? I highly recommend Frances Caballo of Social Media Just for Writers.
I admire the methodical way you approach your writing and branding, which is probably a way to describe one function of social media. Frances would probably have to stifles sighs when she saw my haphazard approach to social media because I enjoy writing far more than I like paying attention to the mechanics you describe here.
Two things I can start doing right now: Use more images on Twitter + start posting reviews in Goodreads. Over a year ago, I started cataloguing books I’ve read and reviews written on Rifflebooks.com, and it’s hard for me to take the time to duplicate this information in another medium. Thanks for showing me the way, Sherrey!
Marian, first I know why you couldn’t see your comment. For some reason, Disqus required me to “approve” it. Don’t know why it did that; I have it set for no moderation.
Second, thank you for your kind words, and I doubt that you are haphazard. I too enjoy writing far more than paying attention to social media. And I’m almost to the point that the “mechanics” seem like second nature.
And lastly, thanks for sharing Cliff with us last week!
Your visit with Cliff is probably a prelude to future encounters which will include me – Thanks for your inspiration, Sherrey.
Indeed that visit is a prelude to future encounters. We even discussed the possibility of our visiting you and Cliff when we travel to TN next spring for grandson’s graduation. Who knows what may happen in the future. Thanks for your continuing friendship.
Just what I asked to see last time, Sherrey. Thanks for the detail. You give a wonderful overview of Frances’ insights and your decisions about how to use them.
When you said email addresses were a big no-no on FB, were you talking about your own email address in the about section? Can you explain the problem?
Shirley, I’m glad I met your request and expectations.
The email addresses I refer to should have been described a bit better. They were extra email addresses I had placed on my “about” section of my FB page. It has been so long ago I don’t remember why, but Frances encouraged taking them down. Extra fodder for hackers.
Thanks for stopping by.
I asked because I see that I have my real email address in my about page.
And that’s the only email address that should be there. 🙂
Thanks Sherry for his detailed analysis of your social media platform by Frances. It is a treasure trove and I appreciate you sharing all these points.. Like, Shirley, I also am not sure what you mean about emails showing up on your FB profile page. I love your new header photo as it targets the heart of your message–both writing to heal and your W-I-P memoir about your mother. Onward!
Thanks, Kathy, for your generous words. See my reply to Shirley below for the explanation on the email addresses. And especially your comments regarding my new header. I worked on that for a couple of days until Frances and I felt it was just right. Indeed, Onward!
Thanks, Sherrey – I love seeing this behind-the-scenes look at your social media use. Streamlining to eliminate Tumblr and disconnecting your Facebook and Twitter make a lot of sense to me. I’m trying to post more images there too, and have found it makes a difference when I do. I haven’t yet decided to start a separate Facebook page, but will go there now to have a look at yours.
April, I had tried the Facebook page previously, and I felt it was just another piece of the “social media” pie I didn’t want to deal with. However, since seeking and taking Frances’s advice, it seems to be pulling in more traffic than before. At the time I took it down, I assumed one had to be a published author with your own book out there. Guess not! 🙂
Sherrey,I am impressed with how thorough you are…what was the reason behind disconnecting FB and Twitter? What I post on my blog’s FB page goes to Twitter….Thanks for sharing. I’m not ready yet for a review as I know it will entail a lot of changes….
Dolly, thanks for stopping by. My FB/Twitter connection ran the opposite of yours, which is just fine. I had Twitter going to FB and it makes some posts rather confusing for others. I have my blog set up to head to Twitter and FB each time I post something new. I know what you mean about making the changes. It was an intensive three days accomplishing everything I changed.
Like I said, I’m impressed, Sherrey 🙂
Sherrey, Wow! How do you keep up with all of that? Thanks for a very informative survey of you social media coverage. I’m very impressed. I’m on Twitter and Facebook and that’s all I can handle at the moment. Maybe after my book is done, I’ll add more.
Joan, I know it sounds like a lot. However, I have a schedule to post by and it usually only takes me between 15 and 30 minutes to get what I need to do in the a.m., and then a little less in the p.m. It’s a matter of building a new habit on how to handle. I’m still struggling with finding time to read and reciprocate. Looking forward to the day when you and I can say, “The book is done!”
Me too, sherry!!
Thanks soooooo much Sherrey for sharing your analysis by Frances. I’m sure it can be intimidating to share the sited imperfections, but we all get the chance to better our own social media through your experience. 🙂
Debby, thank you soooooo much for your gracious comments. If I can help another, my day is complete.
You certainly shared a wealth of information here. 🙂 Graciously I may add.
Thanks, Sherrey. Very interesting. I had to leave behind Pinterest and Tumblr, and I’m woefully deficient with Google+. I can’t do it all and still find time to write. I’ve been grateful for Swenson Book Development’s expert help in getting social media action together, including where to set limits. I’m off to like your re-instated FB author page. Have you seen mine? I enjoy sharing things on my professional page, even though not so many see it because of FB’s stinginess with professional pages. It’s still mine all mine.
Thank you, Elaine, for stopping in and reading. I appreciate everything Frances did for me and I have seen some growth. However, I much prefer writing than tackling social media. So I have trimmed the sails a bit, shall we say, and do what feels comfortable for me as I continue to drive toward the end of my book. I have the same issue with FB’s stinginess. Irritating, but as you say, that page is mine all mine!
BTW, I have your book in my TBR stack and will read it soon. Looking forward to learning from you.
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