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Friday, December 26, 2014

10 Social Media Rules for Authors in the New Year

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Social media is a tool.
Social media is a tool. But like any tool we need to know how to use it and not be overwhelmed by it. Here are some basic social media rules every author needs to know.

1. Be consistent in posting social media updates. Small regular steps get you much farther, much faster. By posting 4 to 6 social media updates at day, 3 to 4 days a week can help you build a powerful platform much faster than any other way.

2. Utilize hashtags, but don’t go overboard. No more than two per update. Otherwise you look like a used car salesman.

3. Be consistent in what you share on social media. Figure out the audience you want to reach and post updates geared to them. That doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally post random things, but keep them in the minority.

Edie's 5 to 1 Rule.
4. Don’t fall into the trap of self-promotion. Follow Edie’s 5 to 1 rule and you’ll keep social media from being all about me, me, me.

5. Be consistent in the avatar you use across all social media platforms. You don’t have to use the exact same picture, but make sure you’re recognizable from network to network.

6. Don’t be obsessed with the numbers. Yes, we’re trying to grow platforms, but the purpose is to reach people, and that’s what those numbers represent. Without meaningful connections, they’re pretty much worthless.

7. Limit yourself to the social media platforms that work for you. No one needs to be on every network. Find your sweet spots and hang out there.

Remember why we're doing social media.
8. Remember why you’re doing social media. We’re writers first, social media is the best way to connect with our audience, but don’t get the equation upside down. The majority of your time needs to be spent writing, not being social online.

9. Use a scheduling program. To reach the majority of your audience, you need to spread your social media updates throughout the day. The most efficient way to do this is with a scheduling program, like Hootsuite.

10. Promote others over yourself. This give you credibility. Don’t be afraid of the competition. It may seem counterintuitive, but the relationships you build with those offering similar products or services can advance both of you.

These are my rules, I'd love to know what you'd add to the list. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Edie Melson is the author of numerous books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Her blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains ChristianWriters Conference and the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy. She’s also the Military Family Blogger at Guideposts. Com, Social Media Director for SouthernWriters Magazine and the Senior Editor for Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.


  1. Love your "rules" and #6 is especially practical and focuses the writer on the whole purpose of social media. Great job!

  2. Edie, I need a good lesson in the scheduling dept. I hope we can get at least one lunch or coffee time at the Blue Ridge. :)

  3. Looking forward to a new year and new schedules. Thanks for the helpful hints.

  4. Wonderful tips for social media. Thank you for reminding us to be intentional and to be giving. Love number 10!


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