How to “tame the Beast” of social media

Diann Floyd Boehm

This children’s author describes how she took control when her social media outreach threatened to overwhelm her.

by Diann Floyd Boehm

As an author, I have referred to social media as The Beast. I want to share with you some specific, practical steps to help you “tame the Beast” based on my own journey. That journey started with being overwhelmed by social media, which did not happen all at once. The Beast crept up on me, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, promising much but steadily devouring more and more of my time, attention, and energy.

Do you remember when friends first started telling you about blogs they read? And when you started reading blogs yourself? I recall a friend telling me how I should blog about living in Dubai, but I thought my daily experiences would be too dull, and that sharing those details would mean I was conceited. I believe that is a generational gap issue. When I grew up, the common thought was, “If you are good at what you do, people will hear about you. Don’t toot your own horn.” I had yet to catch on to the purpose of a blog and how to not “overshare.” I was wrong not to have tried.

When Facebook came on the scene, I embraced it to share with family back home what I was up to. When I finally had my first book published, my publisher told me I needed a Facebook professional page. Although I still was shy about doing so, I set one up and started learning the ropes and maintaining the site. The Beast was circling, but so far, the time commitment was not too significant.

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Then came Instagram. I thought, well, this is pretty cool, although I needed to learn about hashtags. Once more, my publisher stated I needed a professional Instagram page. So, another steep learning curve, and more time spent on social media.

Next, I learned about Twitter, and its usefulness for social media marketing. I studied how to select the correct hashtags for the tweets posted and finally realized social media’s power. This meant more time spent learning and posting rather than writing—and, of course, talking about myself (yes, as I am doing now).

Then I discovered LinkedIn. This platform seemed logical, professional. A way to connect with others in my field and gain value with their knowledge. I learned the so-called “rules in society” had changed—you are not conceited if you share your work and insights from different experiences in life. If anything, you are smart.

I had to keep up with both social media and the neverending task of upgrading my website to make it more interesting.

When YouTube came along, I saw it as a powerful tool for everyone of all ages, and I jumped on that bandwagon. Learning, starting my own presentations, buying green screens and halo lights, then co-hosting other shows.

All the while, I had to keep up with the other forms of social media and the “old school” and neverending task of upgrading my website to make it more interesting. I started taking as many classes as possible, and that’s when I was facing The Beast head on.

All the questions started:

  • How to use social media effectively?
  • When to post to improve the algorithms?
  • Why are algorithms important?
  • When to begin discussing a new book before the title is selected?
  • When to post other things besides your books?
  • How to use Amazon effectively?
  • How to be noticed on the various platforms?
  • How to use software to schedule your posts?

The questions kept building, and I saw stars in my eyes the more overwhelmed I became.

So how did I “tame the Beast” so that social media would help me, not hinder me? First, I realized the power of social media. I have always been a connector, which is precisely what social media is, connecting people with common interests, businesses, etc. I knew I could not abandon social media.

What is the point of sharing this with you?

Have you ever felt social media can be overwhelming? You cannot get your writing done because you have so many posts you need to get done that you lose your creative flow by the time you finish. I know this has happened to me.

So I will share a few secrets of incredible people who love to teach, train, or even handle your social media for you:

  • Abundantly Social owner Aimee Ravchandran makes digital marketing easy! Abundantly Social has a membership program, Through the Eyes of Authors. It is a great way to learn from other authors and how they tackle social media.
  • Unleashing the Next Chapter owner Kathryn McClatchy, offers many digital media marketing services including coaching, strategy, and management. I took several of her social media marketing classes and learned more than you could imagine. Kathryn also has a podcast, Authorpreneurs Unleashed.
  • Then one day, I noticed that my daughter Rachel Boehm’s professional Instagram reels were incredible. She shared her secret with me, and I will share it with you: Stefany Gittleman, founder of the Gold Maze. Stefany’s expertise in the digital world is top notch. If you are in the market to rebrand or update your bio, make sure you take a look at her services.
  • Women in Publishing. I cannot say enough about this group. They support authors in their journey and offer various courses at their Women in Publishing Summit.

Finally, my last tip of the day is how to be seen. How to get your name out there. One thing I wish I had known from the beginning is that there are publicists who specialize in assisting authors. You will want to find a publicist that matches your personality, budget, genre, and goals. I was fortunate to learn from Aimee Ravchandran about Creative Edge Publicity, owner Mickey Mikkelson. I recommend that an author consider that it is never to early to start looking for a publicist.

I hope my secret to “taming the Beast” helps you tackle your social media posts, and you have time to write stories for readers to enjoy!

Diann Floyd Boehm is an award-winning international author of children’s books who writes to inspire readers to be kind, like themselves, and embrace imagination. Diann is also involved in various humanitarian projects with multiple organizations. She and her husband live in Austin, Texas.

Learn more about Diann at her website, and check out her Story Garden YouTube channel, which lets children hear different children’s authors read their stories. All of Diann’s books are available on Amazon.

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