Amanda Luedeke

November 1, 2012

Thursdays with Amanda: Social Media Critiques, Part 6


Amanda Luedeke is a zombie literary agent with MacGregor Literary. Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform and eating brains. You can follow her on Twitter @amandaluedeke or join her Facebook group to stay current with her life as both an agent and a zombie.

A few weeks ago, I offered free social media critiques to those who replied before the 14th. You see, social media is a specialty of mine. Before becoming an agent, I worked for some years as a social media marketer at a marketing agency outside of Chicago. I worked with clients such as Vera Bradley, Peg Perego, Benjamin Moore and more. A somewhat longer description of what I did can be found in the first critique post.

1) Memoir of a Mermaid is a site by Adrianna Stepiano

  • Very visually appealing. I’m wondering, though, about how it appears you have two banners/mastheads. I’d get rid of the stuff at the top and just add “A Young Adult Fiction Series by…” to the main one.
  • It doesn’t seem your blog content is connecting with readers. This may be because it’s focused on your writing journey rather than reader interests. Brainstorm ways that you could provide content that interests readers but also keeps the focus on the YA genre, storytelling, myths, folklore, etc.
  • I don’t see a picture of you anywhere or anything that ties this to a real person. If you want that strong connection with readers, you’re going to have to put yourself out there a bit more.

RECOMMENDATIONS: You do a lot of things right, but I think the main thing lacking is a clear goal. This doesn’t strike me as strictly a sales-oriented site, and yet at the same time, there’s not much of a reason for readers to come  back once they’ve purchased the book. Answer these questions: Why did I build this site? What do I want it to do? What can  I change to make sure that goal is reached on every page?

Adrianna also submitted her Facebook page:

  • With many of your status updates, you’re targeting lovers of aquatic life and mythology. But is that really your readership? I imagine your readership is more interested in paranormal/fantasy fiction as opposed to science and folklore.
  • Again, there’s not much info on who you are.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Why would someone who doesn’t know you “like” this page? What’s in it for them? Answering these questions and then asking “Is that enough?” will probably help you start to think of more appropriate content that appeals to readers and gets them coming back for more.

2. Press On is a website by Crickett Keeth

  • I’m really not getting the “Crickett Keeth” thing. After reading your bio, it clicked, but I think to new readers, it will throw them off. It sounds like a children’s name as opposed to the name associated with a blog about developing a relationship with God. Furthermore, I was confused when it wasn’t the name of your site. Rather, your site is named “Press On”?
  • The “Follow my Blog” title makes me think that I go there to sign up for the RSS feed. It’s just not clear that that’s the only way to view the blog. I’d rename it “blog”.
  • Your blog posts are appropriately titled, but I wonder what makes your content stand apart from all the other blogs out there that claim to help people in their spiritual journeys?

RECOMMENDATIONS: For this blog to take off you need to separate it from the pack. What makes it different? Maybe you could devise a unique approach or catch that readers can’t get anywhere else? Also, it takes a lot of trust-building for people to talk about their spiritual lives on a blog. Especially when it’s with a person they don’t really know. Think about how you could create a safe environment for interaction.

3) Lucy S. R. Austin is a website by Lucy S. R. Austin

  • It’s not clear what the goal of this site is. After poking around, I take it you want to sell books to the homeschooling community? If so, and if your goal for this site is to generate sales, you’ll have to rework the copy to be more sales-y
  • Your bio needs a bit of a refresher. I’d move the important content (your writing credentials, publishing and job histories) to the top. Then, further down the page you can talk about who you are. (In fact, I’d almost just do away with the first two paragraphs altogether).

RECOMMENDATIONS: If the goal of this site is to entice homeschoolers to buy your books, then I recommend you 1) re-do the design to appeal more to that audience. Maybe have pictures of you homeschooling your kids or something. 2) Make the copy on the site more sales-oriented. WHY should they buy your books? Why should they choose your books over other literature and composition books? 3) this can be done by changing the home page. Offer a call to action along with convincing, sales-y copy that encourages visitors to consider the books.

If this site is simply a way for you to showcase your experience (kind of like a resume site), then be a bit more up front about that. Tell me how I should use your site on the home page.

Lucy also shared her Facebook page

  • Again I’m not sure what the goal is here. Are you wanting to develop an author fan page? If so, who are your readers and how can you better appeal to them?
  • This page seems underpopulated. Really fill it with content that sets the tone and lets followers know what to expect. We just don’t know much about you based on this info.

RECOMMENDATIONS: It seems that you like sharing writerly things on this page…so maybe re-purpose it to be a Facebook group of “All Things Writerly” or something. This would target a clear audience and help you build numbers more quickly. You could focus on great pictures of writerly things, quotes, etc.

Chim in! What are your thoughts or questions on these site critiques?

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  • Julia Reffner says:

    “What’s in it for them? And is that enough?” These are great questions that I will put serious thought into about my FB page.

    Like Melissa, its been recommended I should make a FB fan page, but I’m still thinking about how to make it distictive.

    Great analysis, Amanda.

  • Lucy S. R. Austen says:

    Thank you, Amanda. I appreciate your time and suggestions!

  • Melissa Tagg says:

    Amanda, please, please tell me you’re going to show up at the MacLit seminar in full zombie garb! I would a) be very scared and b) be very happy. 🙂

    You give such great blog/web tips. I especially appreciated your facebook page thoughts. I know author facebook pages are on the should-do list, but I haven’t started one yet mainly because I can’t figure out what I’d do differently there than my regular profile. Still mulling. Your thoughts and tips definitely help!

    • Rajdeep "Call me Raj" Paulus says:

      Hey, I want a tiny shout out or something for the “zombie” idea!! 🙂 J/K! Fun! And Freaky, Amanda!

      Btw, Melissa, I started my FB page with one purpose: to only post my writing stuff there, ie. blog posts, contests, any news on publishing. Then I use my personal FB for all the random thoughts that float through my head that I think will make for entertaining status updates. Hope that helps! 🙂 -Raj

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