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  • [Reality Check] Does Redundancy Work in Social Media?
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[Reality Check] Does Redundancy Work in Social Media?
Written by
Zetta Brown
March 2014
Written by
Zetta Brown
March 2014

Toi Thomas is a newly published author facing a dilemma both experienced and new authors face: how much social media is too much?

She can be found in the same social haunts most of us already hang out in, but she worries about boring while informing her followers.

Toi (and I, for that matter) would love to hear your suggestions in answer to her question...


Does redundancy work in social media?
By Toi Thomas

I ask myself this question all the time and still haven’t found a real answer yet. I think it’s safe to say that variety is a good thing and repetition is annoying, but what are you left to do when you’re trying to cover a lot of ground?

If you’re a little lost about what I’m talking about and where I’m going with this, then you are pretty much where I am with this dilemma; however, I at least know what’s going on. So, here’s my issue.

I have a presence online because I feel it’s necessary to promote myself. I have a website with a blog, a Facebook page, a Google+ page, a Twitter profile, a Pinterest profile, and a YouTube channel. Being an author, I’m also involved with Goodreads.com and Amazon Author Central. Along with all that, I’m also tapped in to social communities such as She Writes, Wordpress, Bloglovin, Networked Blogs, and more. For me, this all seems like a bit much and it all feels overwhelming.

I like the idea of covering all the bases, even though I’m not involved in other venues such as Instagram, Tumblr, and more because I feel that I’m just being repetitive. All my information and my daily blog posts are auto-posted to my all media outlets so no one who follows me will miss anything, but what do I do beyond that? How do I make all these different outlets standout and reach out to the masses?

Of course there are always actions steps and practices one can execute to mix things up a bit. You can retweet relevant tweets from others to share with your following and support or network with other personalities. The same goes for liking, sharing, and commenting on Facebook, Google+, and blog posts. Then there are the ever present and addictive activities of sharing and liking YouTube videos and Pinterest pins.

How does one find the time to do all that? I don’t know, but that’s a question for another day. What I want to know is, is all that really making a difference? By posting and participating in all these social media outlets, do you really increase your exposure? Is there a way to work the system that pulls it all together to give you maximum exposure without being redundant?

I’d love to know your thoughts on this matter--as for me, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and continue to seek ways to improve and grow in my efforts to master social media and not bore the masses.


A self-proclaimed techie and foodie, Toi Thomas was born in Texas, but considers Virginia to be home. She enjoys reading, cooking, baking, painting, collecting vinyl records, and spending time with her family. Currently working as a special education teacher’s assistant while blogging and writing full-time, Toi finds comfort and peace of mind in chocolate, green tea, and naps. For some reason, which Toi admits has escaped her, she married a frat boy who has continued to be her best friend and love of her life. She and her husband are now embarking on the adventure that is book promotion with the release of her first novel, Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel.

You can find Toi here:
Website: http://etoithomas.com/
Google+ : ToinetteThomas


Got a [REALITY CHECK] about the publishing life to share? If you would like to be a guest on my blog, please friend me on She Writes with a message! :)

©2014. Zetta Brown is the author of several published short stories and the novel Messalina: Devourer of Men. If you like this post, then stop by Zetta’s Desk or Zetta’s House of Random Thoughts.

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  • Toi Thomas

    Diane Jortner It's hard to know where to start. Everyone's story is different. I started blogging first before trying to promote anything. I started out by blogging about the things I was writing, not knowing if anyone was reading. Social media marketing is an different matter altogether becasue it implies that promotion is included. But like so many have suggested already, do what you think you can manage and try to have some fun it. 

  • Toi Thomas

    Valerie Bonham Moon Thanks for sharing it. I think I'll see if I can link my twitter with Pinterest. That could be fun!

  • Diane Jortner

    I am just getting started with social media to sell.  My first book is off to a publisher, and of course, so far all I have his fingers crossed.  I want to get more involved with social media, but without a book to tie into yet, do  wonder if I just start blogging, set u an author Facebook page and hope?  I am thinking the best would be to start reviewing on GoodReads and amazon for practice before really getting a blog going.  Actually, I don't know at all.  If anyone could help me know where to start, I would be so appreciative.

  • Valerie Bonham Moon

    Excellent question, to which I have no answer.  Still, I tweeted it, which goes to my blog and also to my Facebook page.  Can't remember if I've plugged Twitter into Pinterest, but probably not given the general lack of pictures on Twitter.

  • Toi Thomas

    Jennifer L Myers Thanks for sharing. I think we all agree that "giving more" works in the long run.

  • Toi Thomas

    Sheryl J. Dunn Thank you for sharing. I've been following the 10:1 rule from the beginning (on my blog at least). I post daily about different things that are related to my writing without  just talking about myself. I also help promote other authors and books that aren't too far outside my related topics. I think you are right about not being able to do it all. I also agree about putting out more quality products. Pehaps when I look back down the road, I'll wonder why I thouht this was such an issue. 

  • Jennifer L Myers

    I'm a believer in quality over quantity. I always think that if we spend the time to write well, think our topics through, provide honest and passionate ideas/suggestions/opinions/analysis, then this is what will draw readers to our writing. In terms of social media, I've limited my presence to those sites I can manage on my own on a regular (usually weekly basis). I personally think it's a waste of valuable time trying to cover all the social media bases. I also agree with Sheryl below about contributing/participating more than receiving. This is how I've gotten in touch with other bloggers and writers out in the universe.

  • Sheryl J. Dunn

    From what I've read, but haven't yet tried, one of the most important things is to contribute way more than you receive/i.e., promote. 10:1 isn't a bad rule of thumb.

    If your work has a tie-in to what your target audience(s) are interested in, all the better, e.g., historical fiction often has a tie-in to people interested in the time period in which your work is set. You can share your knowledge about that time period in serious and funny ways.

    However, I do think people notice when you're not "being you," so don't force yourself to be interested in things that leave you cold. 

    I wouldn't worry about those who will disagree with you on certain topics (e.g., politics, feminism, religion) because you can't please everyone all the time. [Aside: I posted a review of THE GOD DELUSION on Amazon, and the tea party types hated it. I didn't worry because they're not my target audience anyway.]

    Try to have fun - if it's too much like work, don't do it.

    The Social Media Examiner has a newsletter that offers social media tips...worth subscribing to this one.

    Always be polite and helpful; engaging with hecklers/trolls isn't useful at all.

    Whether or not all the effort results in book sales largely has nothing to do with your contributions, e.g., blogs with tons of followers don't translate into book sales, according to Nathan Bransford, former literary agent. Getting noticed isn't enough - you need to be lucky, too.

    All this assumes, of course, that your product is a good one. Get that right, and then cross your fingers that enough people will notice you and your work to get the "sales ball" rolling.

    It's a lottery, and can be very discouraging. That's why it's important to do what you enjoy doing. You can't do everything, especially if you want to be working on the next book, and many say that the more quality products you get out there, the better. I think that's the best tip of all.

  • Toi Thomas

    RYCJ Thanks for that. I agree that when I'm using social media simply for enjoyment I sometimes get a surprise and move forward in goals, sometimes I don't but at least I'm haveing a good time.

  • RYCJ Revising

    Monetizing social media is like deciding how to sell a product at a flashing lights, music, dancing, drinks and all out party-party you've been invited to. Small tip: If you go primarily to have a good time, but without removing your business hat, it works much better.