Deciding On My Social Media Strategy

Mark's HootSuite dashboard May 2017

Of all the pre-writing promotional tactics at my beck and call, deciding on my social media strategy tops the list. Which for me is kind of a shame, since I’m not thrilled about the constant self-boasting – and artificially polished imagery – that saturates the web.

Is this something of a blasphemous statement given the necessity of having an “author platform” as a wannabe self-published novelist? I do want to find a way to interact with potential readers, stoke their interest in issues my novel will cover, and ultimately, organically, want to buy and recommend the novel(s) I write.

A quick update: I’ve been dormant online for the better part of a year, and before that an additional year of radio silence. Life intervened. Prior thereto I was pretty active in my postings and Tweets, having set up HootSuite as my distribution tool several years back.

Mark's HootSuite dashboard May 2017

Mark’s HootSuite dashboard as of May 2017

Till now I’ve focused on my Twitter page (1,842 Followers, though I’m following 2,071 at present); my Facebook profile (1,007 people have friended me, but just 49 people are following me) and Mark D Swartz – Author Page on Facebook (344 followers, but that took a harrowing month of effort doing mutual Likes through an author promotional group called ASMSG, a.k.a. Author Social Media Support Group).

Then there’s my underutilized GoodReads author account – thank goodness I qualified as a bona fide author because of a non-fiction book I’d written that was published by a major house back in 1998! (1,192 friends, yet a mere 27 followers). Of course this Blog you’re reading from is the cornerstone of all my Internet marketing activities.

This past week I updated my YouTube author page, but there’s nothing on it yet so I won’t bother linking you there. I eventually want to point to a bunch of videos relating to the four key themes/issues in this first novel of mine that I’m dying to start drafting:

  • Down Syndrome and medical advances that pose a potential threat to those who have the condition
  • Intersex and the spectrum of human sexual biology as it affects identity
  • Rights and fundamental freedoms in an age of religious freedom vs. modern mores and legal decisions
  • Geopolitical shifts, in particular the evolving relationship between the U.S. and non-democratic countries of influence

I’ll follow up soon with some tactics I intend to employ in approaching people and groups that I consider to be “influencers” in their respective arenas. Now back to customizing my link shortener. Then, hopefully, some time to consider a grand unified strategy for creating awareness while I don my Scribner hat.


  1. Susan Barrett   •  

    Hi Mark, I read this with interest. I’ve been moaning about the way looking after an author’s platform takes eons of time away from the actual business of writing. Looking at your website, I understand you are bringing lots of life experience and business acumen to your new career as a writer. Good luck! I’m an old hand at writing, having had seven novels published in the past by mainstream publishers in US and UK; but new-ish to self-publishing and very new to self-publicity which I am squeamish about. It’s a necessary task though. How else to sell our wares? .I’m impressed by the number of followers you have. As yet, mine on social media can probably be counted on the fingers of one hand.

    • Mark D Swartz   •     Author

      Hi Susan, thank you for your encouraging comment. Full disclosure: almost all of my social media “followers” are from two or three years ago, when I first made a concerted effort to start creating a presence for myself as an aspiring novelist.

      Mark's Twitter stats for May 2017

      Life then managed to insert itself until early this year. Now I am back at it, though this time out I am being more measured, and focusing on producing quality blog posts/tweets/Facebook updates. I want to create engagement and see where that takes me.

      As for your being “impressed” by my current number of followers, fact is I need to increase these figures drastically. My sense is that until one has at least a few hundred dedicated followers, plus several thousand more occasionals, there is not a critical mass to leverage.

      If anyone is bowled over it’s me, by your feat of having seven novels published thru mainstream houses. Now that’s something to celebrate!

      All the best,
      Mark D Swartz

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