The Key to Social Media Marketing


Disclosure: I work for a marketing firm. While I have no formal education in marketing or business and would never claim to be an “expert”, working in online marketing for two companies over the last  four years has taught me a lot. This series will explore the marketing strategies I will use to promote my upcoming novel.

About two months ago I discussed social media marketing in this space, and how I have been applying basic rules for promoting my author brand on social media to my own Facebook page.

In that post, I provided four basic tips to running a successful marketing campaign through social media and shared my own experiences thus far with building an organic following.

I’d like to return to one of those tips today, one which I think is the real secret to success with a social media campaign.

The Real Key to Social Media Marketing

My third tip in that post was to engage, whether it is with your own audience or with other writers:

“Like their posts, see what they’re talking about, and join in the discussion! … Build relationships with those people by sharing their work and commenting on their posts.”

To this point, when I’ve talked about engagement, it has typically been in “marketing” terms, as in the likes, shares, and comments that fuel any social media post.

In this case, we’re just talking about participating in social media; finding other writers and connecting with them by responding to their posts or tagging them in cool things.

But, writing is all about showing over telling, right? So I’ll just show you what I mean.

Joining Forces with Other Writers

A few weeks ago, I stopped by a comic book shop in the Baltimore area to meet (for the first time) and support another author, MLS Weech for the launch of his second book, Caught. (I even wrote about what a cool experience it was here.)

I hung out with him for a good while as other people also came to visit him, and then I snapped a picture and shared it on Facebook to spread the love.


Before January 28, the day I posted that photo to the RSPC Facebook page, one of my better days of Facebook Reach (the number of people who saw a post in their news feeds) was on January 8, with 39 “Reaches” (Views? Impressions? Impressions sounds better).

So, I shared the photo and tagged MLS Weech in it, because sharing is caring. And this is what happened:


MLS Weech shared the post to his own network, and suddenly the Reach sky-rocketed. Between January 28 and January 30, the RSPC Facebook page reached 593 users! I haven’t done the math, but that number probably dwarfs the reach of all of my previous posts combined.

That individual post tallied the following stats:

  • 533 reach
  • 49 clicks
  • 56 reactions, comments, and shares

Again, those numbers blow all of my previous Facebook posts out of the water. We have also seen a bit of an uptick in followers since then, which may just be correlation, but it’s still cool.

That is the power of social media engagement.

I do not recommend sharing and taking pictures of every writer you encounter in an effort to generate engagement numbers. Your interactions with your audience and with other writers should still be genuine.

But sharing posts of events you have attended or local authors you are actively supporting can go a long way towards not building an “audience”, but building a community.

Steve D

5 thoughts on “The Key to Social Media Marketing

  1. *Looks up from the notes he’s scribbling* Oh, hello there! I seriously just understood what you said. I like and share, comment when appropriate. I like going to WordPress and tweeting the posts I like. I had no idea that was doing anything for me. I seriously thought, “Hey, I’ll share this! It’ll help a friend out.” Keep talking sent into me Steve, I’ll figure it out sooner or later. (Probably much later).

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