Surprising News in Social Media – And a Twitter Tip

Shocking New Social Media Updates – And One Twitter Tip by Frances Caballo
You’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 28 published and copyrighted by Frances Caballo every week.

As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome social media marketing tips and, of course, I have your tip of the week. Enjoy!

One Twitter Tip to Attract New Followers

First up is your weekly tip.

Let’s start by talking about Twitter, my favorite topic.

Do you ever pay attention to Trends on Twitter? You’ll find trending hashtags in a white box in the lower left corner of your Home page, which is your news feed.

Frances Caballo

Some are fun, some are for trending news items, and some are there because marketing companies created them.

As I look at my news feed, #UKYAchat is trending. If you think that hashtag doesn’t relate to writers, well, you’re wrong.

UKYA stands for Young Adult Books written by United Kingdom-based authors. If I were a YA writer, I’d use it regardless of where I resided, and I’d join the chat.

Another day, #picturebooks was trending. And a year ago, #IReadEverywhere was created and promoted by a library in New York. It caught on fire.

A client of mine writes about domestic violence, and that keyword was trending this morning. So I made sure I used the hashtag and retweeted the most popular tweets on that topic for her.

One hashtag trending at the moment is #WhenTrumpisElected. It’s fun to read the tweets.

My point is that you need to check for trending hashtags. Yes, some of them will be about Trump’s comb-over but many of them will be on topics or issues either of interest to you or pertinent to your books, genre or niche.

Authors: Check for and use trending hashtags when possible via @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

So check out the trending hashtags when you visit Twitter each day and see if any of them interest you.

You just might be amazed at how using those fashionable hashtags of the moment will bring new followers – and maybe even new readers – into your sphere.

Now let’s segue to the second part of the podcast.

What’s Up Google+ and Writing Viral Posts

All of the links to the posts that I mention here will be available in my show notes, which I publish on my blog at every Friday morning.

Let’s start with this post by Buffer titled The Complete Social Media Checklist for Writing Winning Posts.

Buffer suggests you ask yourself 12 questions to ensure your posts will be “wildly successful” – or at least generate some retweets and shares.

  • Is your message educational or entertaining? On Facebook especially, users like to be entertained.
  • What’s your voice like? Are you positive in tone and helpful?
  • Is your post too long? On Twitter, keep your tweets between 71 and 100 (that number keeps getting smaller!). On Facebook, Buffer recommends you keep your posts to 40 characters while on Google+ you want your headlines to be no longer than 60 characters.
  • Is the URL is correct?
  • Are you using the right keywords?
  • Did you add a commanding visual?

Check the post for a complete list.

On Twitter, keep your tweets between 71 and 100 via @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

Will Google+ Survive?

There was an interesting post on the Social Media Examiner blog this week titled The Future of Google+, What New Research Reveals.

Here’s the gist of the post.

A web research company named GlobalWebIndex surveyed 83,806 Internet users ranging in age from 16 to 64 from countries around the world, with the exception of China.

Now these numbers surprised me:

While 60% of those surveyed claim they have a Google+ profile, only 21% of Internet users self-identify as active users.

In contrast, Facebook has captured 81% of all Internet users, and among those users 42% are active.

Here are some of the report’s key conclusions:

  • More than 91% of Google+ accounts are empty. Yep, there’s not even one post on these accounts.
  • 16 million people post to Google+ each month.
  • Of the 2.2 billion Google+ profiles, just 212 million are active.

YouTube and Twitter fare slightly better yet no one talks about those networks as ghost towns. I think too many people are comparing Google+ with Facebook and let’s face it, no one can compete with that behemoth.

More than 91% of Google+ accounts are empty via @CaballoFrancesClick To Tweet

And just this week came the announcement that YouTube will no longer be integrated with Google+.

As you’ve noticed, Google forced everyone who wanted to use its products (YouTube, Drive, etc.) to join Google+. But that condition hasn’t helped the network to flourish.

Jillian D’Onfro reporting for Entrepreneur wrote this week in a post titled Google Admits Defeat and Guts a Key Part of Google+

Essentially, Google’s admitting the defeat of one of its original goal of using Google+ to give users one identity across all of its services.

Will Google+ survive? Stay posted.

Next up … I’ve meant to share this wonderful post by Anne R. Allen titled How NOT to Sell Books: Top 10 Social Media Marketing No-Nos for Authors.

She knows how to write with some kick. She starts her post with this message:

Let’s face it. Authors do a lot of obnoxious things online in the name of “marketing.” … Good marketing is not about bullying your customers. It’s about enticing them.

To this I say, “Right on, Anne!”

Here is her list of violations too many authors commit:

  • Forgetting that social media is social.
  • Using too many hashtags.
  • Emotional blackmail in demands for shares and RTs. Have you noticed that I stopped asking for RTs?
  • Projecting a snarky, nasty online persona. Hey, if you want to sell books, be nice.
  • Starting lots of social media profiles, websites, and blogs … One for each book. Don’t do it!
  • Pop-ups on your websites. I detest these.
  • Auto direct messages on Twitter. What will happen is that people (like me) who get tired of direct messages stop reading them. Please don’t automatically send people a direct message for following you. No one appreciates those messages.
  • Have you pitched your book on someone else’s Facebook page? Two people have done this to me, and I’ve unfriended them. I know, I can be ruthless, but it’s too rude.

Be sure to subscribe to Anne’s blog. You’ll love it.

Buffer also wrote a post titled A Scientific Guide to Hashtags: How Many, Which Ones, and Where to Use Them.

Some people say hashtags were so yesterday and yet here comes a post from Buffer in which the author says tweets with hashtags will get you double the engagement.

What’s my take? I use hashtags to curate information, to find people to follow, and to see what’s in the news.

I figure that if I’m using hashtags to dig through my newsfeeds, that I need to use them as well. But here’s a caveat here. I don’t like to use more than one per tweet.

Why? I think the tweet begins to look crowded and even desperate for attention.

So if you want to learn the latest scoop on hashtags, be sure to read this post from Buffer.

Finally, I wrote a post titled Social Media Hacks for Indie Authors.

On February 1 I fractured my left wrist and had to rely on my hacks – tips and tricks – to be efficient while using just one hand.

The apps I relied on are:

To schedule your daily social media posts, I suggest you use a social media dashboard such as Hootsuite.

If you want to up your game in your social media marketing, download my free Social Media Cheat Sheet. This cheat sheet will take the guessing out of when to post your social media messages.

Grab Your Cheat Sheet


Keep reading!

12 Things Every Author Should Know about Social Media

Social Media Strategy for Authors Plus 4 Tweets to Never Send

Social Media Just for Writers by Frances CaballoYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, written and copyrighted by Frances Caballo. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. Loved this episode? Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes!

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Move Over Mignon Fogarty, The Grammar Diva is Here: Grammar tips for authors

Grammar Meets Social Media for Authors by Frances CaballoToday I am thrilled to present this guest post by Arlene Miller, The Grammar Diva, my dearest colleague and friend. She edits all of my books and has written several books on grammar. She understands language and grammar better than anyone else out there on the Internet today. (Sorry, Mignon Fogarty aka @GrammarGirl.) And Arlene is a successful self-published author who has sold thousands of books and been approached by agents. Will she ever publish traditionally? No! Check out her grammar tips for authors below.

Grammar Tips for Authors

By Arlene Miller

“It’s just a Tweet—fewer than 140 characters. Too short to even think about grammar.”

“It’s just Facebook—they’re my friends [all 2749 of them]. They’ll understand what I mean.”

Did you know that the top two things that disqualify a potential date are bad teeth and—yup— bad grammar? And when questioned, people say they would be reluctant to do business with a company whose website contains typos and incorrect grammar.

How you write and speak are two of the important ways you present yourself to the world. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

[Read more…]

How to Step Up Your Author Presence on LinkedIn

4-27-15 Your Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Authors by Frances CaballoYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 27 published and copyrighted by Frances Caballo every week.

As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome tips about how to step up your presence on LinkedIn and, of course, I have your tip of the week. Enjoy!

LinkedIn Statistics and Publishing Options

It’s been a long while since I’ve talked about LinkedIn. We all naturally gravitate to Facebook because it’s been around the longest and Twitter because we know how important it is for authors.

But what about LinkedIn? Did you know that it’s the most valued social media network among professionals?

According to Digital Marketing Research, LinkedIn has more than 350 million users with two new members joining every single second of the day.

[Read more…]

8 Reasons Why I Love Pinterest

8 Reasons Why I Love Pinterest by Frances CaballoWhen I first started using Pinterest in 2011, I fell in love with the beautiful sunsets and nature shots.

I didn’t, however, immediately see it’s use in my social media strategy.

Silly me.

So I created a Phenomenal Photos pinboard and later a popular “Moonscapes” pinboard that Pinterest began introducing to new users.

The Power Behind the Pinboards

As I read more about this site, I gradually appreciated the power behind images.

That’s when I quickly established the following pinboards:

  • Author quotes
  • Bookshelves
  • Bookshops
  • “Lovely Libraries”
  • A “Reading is Awesome” board
  • Colleague’s book covers
  • Fun writing memes
  • A writer’s life board

[Read more…]

How to Rock Your Social Media Updates

15 How to Rock Your Social Media Updates by Frances CaballoYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 26 written and copyrighted by Frances Caballo every week.

As usual, this week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome tips to help your rock your social media updates and, of course, I have your tip of the week. Enjoy!

My Personal Twitter Tip for You

This week I discovered a cool Twitter app. It’s called Pullquote.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, go to the Apple store and download the app. If you use Firefox or Internet Explorer, you’ll need to get the bookmarklet. For Firefox, I found it on the Add-Ons Manager.

Let’s talk about what Pullquote does.

Have you seen blocks of quotes on Twitter? With Pullquote, you’re no longer limited to 140 characters.

Pullquote-LogoI tested it using Firefox on my iMac. Once I added the extension, which now appears on my toolbar, I simply highlight a phrase or paragraph.

The extension opens and offers the options of tweeting it immediately or copying it for later.

With a click of your mouse, you can tweet a quote you’d like to share on Twitter that looks similar to an image quote. You can even select the color and font for the pull quotes you select.

And if you want to use Pullquote for images, you can do that as well.

[Read more…]

How a Social Media Audit Attracts New Followers

7-13-15 Socia Media Audits by Frances CaballoNot long ago, I joined hands with some online writing friends and took a sabbatical from social media. For eight weeks, I conducted my “experiment.” Could I stay away from social media for eight weeks? Was I capable of committing to social media “starvation?”

During those eight weeks, I thought about social media and the communities I missed. Yet, I felt somewhat less than a stellar student of how to use some platforms, specifically LinkedIn and Google+ and sometimes even Twitter. Facebook, not such a problem.

About that time, I received Frances Caballo’s Social Media Just for Writers newsletter. Something in it prompted an email to Frances asking about her social media audit services. We emailed back and forth a few times, and in late March Frances performed an assessment of my blog as well as my social media presence.

The outcome was beneficial in many respects, and Frances’s comments brought greater clarity to how I spend my time on social media.

[Read more…]

12 Tools to Tune up Your Blogging Strategy

12 Tools to Tune up Your Blogging Strategy by Frances CaballoYou’re reading the text version of the Social Media for Authors Podcast, Episode 25, written and copyrighted by Frances Caballo. This week’s episode is on blogging Enjoy!

Let’s start with your weekly tip.

How do I come up with ideas for my blog posts? It’s easy, sort of. I read a lot of blogs.

In truth, I probably subscribe to too many blogs but that’s how I keep up with the changing landscape of social media. In addition to the blogs that land in my inbox, I also subscribe to services that feed information to me for my social media posts.

For example, lately I’ve been reading about recent changes on a variety of social media networks. So I plan to write a blog post that discuss these changes and explain how they relate to authors.

Sometimes I use a blog generator tool, like the one from HubSpot mentioned later in this post.

I also use Google Trends from time to time. This tool tells me which topics and social media networks are trending up and down.

[Read more…]

AuthorRise Expands Features for Authors

AuthorRise Expands Features for Authors by Frances CaballoThere’s now one application that combines marketing tools, analytics and growth strategies and it’s from AuthorRise.

I first wrote about AuthorRise on Joel Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer. Since then, AuthorRise has revamped its website and offerings. Here’s the new version of the online app for writers.

AuthorRise Features

Let’s first take a look at this app’s features:

  • Analytics – AuthorRise provides analytics that will reveal which tweets trigger engagement among your readers and other followers. You can send your tweets from any Platform, even Twitter, and AuthorRise will still track their performance. Caveat: The only problem with this feature is that you will still need to check your Twitter Timeline to determine exactly which tweet did this. You could also simply refer to your Twitter analytics at

[Read more…]

At the Beach Today!

beachWhen was the last time you took a vacation?

For me, it’s been six years.

Writing, maintaining a blog, and working with authors keeps me busy.

So, I’m taking a few days off to relax and enjoy the sun and coastline. (Dixie, my awesome black Lab, is pleased about this decision.)

I hope you’re out there having some fun as well.

Before you go, don’t forget to grab your Social Media Cheat Sheet before you take off!

Grab Your Cheat Sheet

Want to Sell More Books? 23 Pinterest Tips for Authors by Frances CaballoAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+. Be sure to check out my Social Media for Authors Podcast.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

P.S. Fab Friday Finds will not be returning to this blog. You’ve told me that this is how you feel about it, “Meh.” What will I replace it with? Just wait and see!

12 Things Every Author Should Know about Social Media

7-6-15 Social Karma

Social Media Isn’t QVC

I’ve been studying some authors in the last couple of weeks, and I realize that there are still too many writers out there who treat social media as though it were the QVC shopping channel.

Even authors who supposedly know better. As we talked on the phone the other evening, my friend also told me she now unfriends these authors.

That’s the risk.

You see, if you treat social media as though it were broadcast media, your readers – the people who buy your books and adore your writing – will also unfriend, unfollow, block and mute you.

What would happen to your book sales then? They’d head down the toilet.

[Read more…]