Firsthand: Changing up my social media marketing by Sarah A Denzil
Firsthand experiences of creative people marketing their work - because we learn more through sharing and collaboration
I’m opening up the Anna Caig Communications blog to writers and other creative people to share their experiences of DIY marketing. These are posts by the people who’ve been there, done that, rolled up their sleeves and cracked on with finding audiences and promoting their work.
This post is from Sarah A Denzil, a million copy bestselling author of psychological suspense novels. Sarah's use of social media to promote her books is outstanding. One of the things I love most about what she does is the consistent review and refinement - she modifies her approach in the light of what's working well. She's also great at finding that sweet spot where engaging content meets activity she enjoys. If you're looking for examples of authors who use social media well, Sarah's accounts would be an excellent place to start.
What I’m changing about my social media marketing in 2022
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok all have their own ‘personalities’... You might think it would save time to cross post your content on all platforms but for the most part, it doesn’t seem to work.
Posting less often and scheduling all my Instagram posts.
Instagram is visual. It’s all about finding an aesthetic that fits your brand. I find it impossible to take a photograph and post it to Instagram every day and still fit within that aesthetic. I also prefer to have boundaries on social media, which means I don’t post too many personal details. For that reason, I organise my images on Later, a social media scheduling tool. I can schedule weeks of social media content in one afternoon. It allows me to keep my feed looking bright, attractive and professional. I post more personal, spontaneous content in my stories. Often it’s just what I’m binge-watching at the time, which always leads to great discussions in my direct messages!
Creating video content.
This is a bitter pill for many of us to swallow, but the reality is that social media is moving towards video format becoming the norm. TikTok is a powerful app full of potential readers. Even Instagram and Facebook are pushing video content too. While I’m still learning when it comes to video content on Instagram and Facebook, I feel much more confident on TikTok after a few months of trial and error. With a couple of semi-viral posts and 4000 followers, I can say it is worth putting the effort into TikTok, as scary as it might seem. But you have to be willing to lose your inhibitions and potentially make a fool of yourself! Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable is what TikTok is all about.
Curating specific content for each social media platform.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok all have their own ‘personalities’. On Facebook the audience skews slightly older and readers like to be kept up to date and have a place they can talk to you. Instagram is all about the aesthetic feed but it’s important to show the ‘real you’ too. TikTok is harder to pin down but it’s mostly about a shared sense of humour—taking trending sounds and turning it into relatable or branded content. One line from a song can be turned into millions of videos all about completely different subjects. You might think it would save time to cross post your content on all platforms but for the most part, it doesn’t seem to work. Some have found success posting TikTok videos as Instagram reels so there are exceptions. But mostly, it’s important to keep in mind who you are posting for when creating content for each platform. It does sound daunting, but you soon get into the swing of it.
But all of this comes with a caveat—if you hate it, readers will pick up on your discomfort. If you’ve given it a go and can hand on heart say you really tried but you still hate it—what’s the point? It’s also perfectly acceptable to have social media accounts and only post new release updates and leave it at that.
Sarah A Denzil
Sarah A. Denzil is a million copy bestselling author of psychological suspense novels. Her books include number one bestseller Silent Child, which was a Goodreads Choice semi-finalist in 2017. Her books have been published in several different languages and have appeared on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list.
Sarah lives in Yorkshire with her husband and cat, enjoying the scenic countryside and rather unpredictable weather. She loves to write moody, psychological fiction with plenty of twists and turns.
About the Firsthand blog series The Firsthand series is hosted by Anna Caig and open to any creative person who’d like to reflect on an element of marketing and promoting their own work - from the success stories to what we learn from those tumbleweed moments (don’t worry, they happen to the best of us!) You don't have to have worked with Anna and if you have, you don't have to refer to it in your post - this is about sharing and collaboration, not testimonials.
Contact Anna for a brief if you’ve got a Firsthand experience you'd like to to share.
These posts are based on subjective experience and are the view of the individual writer.