By Ralene Burke
I love editing. Let’s be honest, though, most writers and other potential clients are not going to be fascinated by the intricacies of the comma, the difference between an en-dash and an em-dash, or when the punctuation goes inside or outside the quotation marks. Therefore, what do we, as editors, share with our target audiences on social media?
When I first got my start on Facebook, I posted whatever I felt like posting. In the first year, I saw little growth. Most of my followers were family and friends who wanted to show their support. It was then I began studying different strategies for growing my numbers and, more importantly, the engagement with my posts.
I found that personality and a balance of posts, along with timing and interacting, went a long way to growing my numbers and increasing engagement.
People don’t want to follow boring, bland people. It’s a simple fact. If you look at the people with big numbers and high engagement, you’ll see they all have an online persona with big personalities. Some are funny, some are compassionate, some are even controversial—whatever they are, it comes through in the way they word their posts and the kinds of things they share.
My online persona is bouncy, sometimes funny, sometimes geeky, but always encouraging and empathetic. I share questions that allow my followers to get to know me and each other, memes that highlight some of my fandoms, and quotes that inspire.
Facebook is not a place to show off how much you know. It is not the place to bring on the grammar revolution. It is the place to engage with people. If you peruse pages like Grammarly’s, you will find funny anecdotes, hilarious typos, links to important articles related to writing and editing with questions that foster discussion. A post or two every once in a while, posed in the right manner, can still teach people about the PUGS.
We’ve all heard that timing is everything. At the top of every Facebook page is a nifty little tab called Insights. Insights are the metrics for your page, the way you can tell what’s being effective and what’s not. It also has a graph that shows you, on a timeline, when the majority of your followers are on Facebook.
For instance, my graph starts shooting up between 8 and 9 in the morning, then it stays high but shoots up a little higher around 12:30, then again at about 9 in the evening. This tells me that those are my best times to post so my followers will see it in their timeline.
Be sure to interact with your followers, no matter how popular you get, even if you end up hiring a social media manager. Take a few minutes each day to respond to comments, answers questions, and hang out. When people see you are invested in them, that you truly want to see them succeed, they will invest in you—and hopefully your services.
Personality, a balance of posts, timing, and interaction help you to develop your online persona and give you solid foundation for building a following. Remember, things don’t change overnight. Be consistent in your efforts, but don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works. Building a platform takes time and effort—and a little bit of luck.
Whether she’s wielding a fantasy writer’s pen or a freelance editor’s sword, Ralene Burke always has her head in some dreamer’s world. And her goal is to make it SHINE! She has worked for a variety of groups/companies, including Realm Makers, The Christian PEN, and as an editor for a number of freelance clients. Her first novel, Bellanok, is being published as a 4-part serial.
She is wife to a veteran and homeschooling mama to their three kids. Her Pinterest board would have you believe she is a master chef, excellent seamstress, and all-around crafty diva. If she only had the time . . .