Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Tweeting Among Crickets

Help us welcome Leigh Ellwood. An award-winning author of romance and mystery, her latest release, Silver Wings, is an anthology of homoerotic steampunk out from Phaze Books. It is available from Phaze, All Romance, and Kindle. You are welcome to visit her online at or read her blog at

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Friends and family sometimes take issue with the work I do during the day, sometimes accusing me of hardly working at all. "So, you sit on your butt and fool around on Facebook all day and get paid for it, right?" they accuse. I will admit, when I tell people that I work in social media management I must clarify that with a lengthier explanation of what I do. There actually is work involved, and management. You may have a Facebook profile and Twitter account, but for social media firms that handle multiple accounts for a variety of companies, the pace veers off into wild and frustrating tangents. To give you an idea of what my life is like, here's a typical day:

Day job boss likes to stand as close as possible to my desk, eclipsing the sun that filters through my window. His daily overviews of my work are not unlike a pop quiz conversation. "How's Client A? How's Client B?" The questions come rapid fire, as though he's daring me to trip up.

I answer, "They're fine," which is pretty much the standard state of business social media. "Fine" means nobody has vomited all over your Facebook wall with complaints of bad service and spam messages for generic erectile dysfunction medications. "Fine" means you manage stability after Facebook has once again changed the rules of operating your page for actual marketing.

So the rest of the exchange goes something like this:

HIM: What have you got going on today?

ME: I'll be setting up the campaign for Client A. I was thinking a nice focus on their pancakes...

HIM: Yes, that's good, but they really want to market their waffles. Everything is waffles right now. Waffles are hot, and they're on page five in Google under waffles.

(Here I might frown, considering waffles really aren't the focus of the business.)

ME: Sure, I can do something with waffles.

HIM (wandering off, muttering): Waffles...

Three days later, he comes back.

HIM: Hey, on Client A have you done anything with pancakes?

ME: Uh, no. You wanted me to concentrate on waffles.

HIM: Well, their search analytics on low on pancakes. Can you do something about that?

This is how social media works. It basically works until the rules change, and they change often.

Of course, I might exaggerate here with regards to job frustrations. My strength here is in social media writing, which I do rather well. If you need fifty articles on why you should buy a stainless steel sink, I'm your first call. If I do have a weakness with this business, it's that I have no time to utilize my skills for my important accounts - my own. When I do have the opportunity to tweet on my account, the last thing I want to do is sell my own books because I'm too tired to think of a clever pitch.

Some of you who work during the day and write/market at night - tirelessly slugging through the double life - may suffer the same shortcoming. How can one get excited about pimping books when you'd rather split one open, lay it over your face, and start snoring? There are programs and social media tools that allow you to schedule tweets and Facebook updates to release at set times, sort of like an Internet alarm clock. I usually recommend that to authors who can't afford my services. It is probably something I should do right now instead of writing this - setting up tweets to release every hour, on the hour.

Right after I've had something to eat. Waffles sound good.


Anonymous said...

I've found a lot of the same stuff you do for writing/ being an author goes for blogging/ reviewing. All those great little promo tricks I picked up like scheduling tweets etc, are still helpful. Especially if you really hate dealing with social media like I do. LOL! Great post.

Anthology Authors said...

For a while, Blogger wouldn't let me schedule posts. I am so glad I can now. What a time saving device!

Social networking sucks up a lot of time. I enjoy it, but I've got 10 million other things to do. Sometimes I feel guilty for doing it because I am having so much fun. LOL Others, I'm just done. I don't want to talk/tweet/Facebook/see anyone. Just leave me alone! (g)

KL/LE said...

Thanks for the kind words. It is a struggle to balance promo w/work - I'm still looking for what works for me personally.

Melissa Bradley said...

I can so understand a boss like that. I used to work for attorneys who changed their mind every 30 seconds about what case you should be working on. Thanks for sharing about your career. It's very interesting to me as I have just started my foray into social media.

I wish you tons of success with your anthology. It sounds like a sizzler that I'm going to have to get immediately as I cannot resist steampunk.