5 Little Changes That’ll Make a Big Difference in Your Social Media Presence

5 Little Changes That’ll Make a Big Difference in Your Social Media Presence

When was the last time you analyzed your social media presence?

I mean really took a good look at it.

Once we set up our social media profiles and pages, we get so absorbed or even harried about keeping up with our postings that we forget to review our:

  • avatars
  • banner images
  • bios
  • overall review of our updates
  • return on investment (ROI)

So, let’s talk about these items.

Steps to Improving Your Social Media Presence

Social Media Avatars

When was the last time you updated your avatar?

If you took a selfie in the past or had a friend snap a picture of you, it’s time for you to hire a professional to take some shots of you.

While she’s at it, have her take a picture of you writing and reading. And in other poses as well. You can use these additional shots on the back of your book.

Remember, an avatar needs to be a close-up shot of your head. Don’t wear sunglasses or hats when you take this picture. They will obstruct an image of your beautiful self and won’t let your readers see you clearly.

Banners Are Critical to Your Social Media Presence

Don’t ignore social media banners (header on Twitter) and just put up anything. Use Canva.com to create your banners or use a graphic artist at Fiverr.

I don’t recommend that you fall for the $5 deals. Spend some money and pay at least $30 per image.

Here’s a beautiful Twitter header that I’m certain Joanna Penn hired someone to create:

Joanna Penn's Social Media Presence

Here’s mine. It’s not too shabby, eh? I used Canva.com to build it.

Twitter header

Keep in mind that your banners needn’t be static. On Facebook, for example, it’s a good idea to change the images quarterly.

I know that Joanna will change her Twitter headers when she runs a promotion or when she launches a new book.

My header image above is for the two books I market the most, especially Social Media Just for Writers. In reality, it’s time for me to create a new header and new banner images for the rest of my social media. I’ve used this version for quite some time, so this post is a good reminder for myself.  😎

Is Your Social Media Bio Still Current?

When was the last time you revised your bio? Keep in mind your bios need to be identical on all social media platforms. That rule applies to avatars and banners as well.

I haven’t changed my bio in a while, but I’m still happy with it. It includes my mission for authors, describes what I do, and most importantly, it has a call to action to sign up for my email course.

Your bio should also include a call to action to sign up for your email list in your bio.

Did you write a new book? Your bio should include its title. Are you offering a new freebie? Pitch that in your bio.

I like British thriller author, Mark Dawson’s bio:

The author of the John Milton and Soho Noir series. For free copy of my best-selling novel THE BLACK MILE join my list at http://eepurl.com/Cai5X

Go to Twitter and Facebook, search for your favorite authors or writers you admire, and review their bios. Then mimic the best ones.

Review Your Social Media Updates

Now it’s time to scrutinize your social media posts.

Does every tweet have an image? Do you always add pictures to your Facebook updates? Images increase engagement so don’t even think about posting anything online without adding an image or video.

Next, how often do you post updates? On your Facebook page, it’s ideal to post updates twice a day. At least, post once daily.

On Twitter, I post at least seven times daily. I suggest you at least tweet five times daily. Remember, don’t use those tweets to talk about yourself. Promote the books of your colleagues and your followers’ tweets.

On Instagram, post once daily or at least four times a week.

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14 Facebook Pages for Authors to Review

14 Facebook Pages for Authors to Review and Maybe Follow

I tell writers, “Facebook is tough.” Specifically, I am referring to Facebook pages. The organic reach makes it difficult to gain traction at times.

Like it or not, your posts organically reach just 2% of your fans’ newsfeeds.

That’s horrible.

HubSpot (an all-in-one inbound marketing and sales platform) agrees that organic reach on Facebook business pages (aka Facebook author pages) is dismal:

“In January 2018, according to Facebook’s Head of News Feed Adam Mosseri, Facebook began to “shift ranking to make News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation.”

“As a result, marketing content was poised to take a backseat to content by friends and family — a value that Facebook says it originally had, and that it’s trying to return to. What this means that of the number of people who have Liked your Facebook page, about 10% of them see your posts. This also means that if you want more of your fans to see your posts, you need to provide great content consistently and plan to have a Facebook advertising budget.”

However, worldwide, there are over 2.32 billion monthly active users as of December 31, 2018. With that many users, it’s difficult to ignore Facebook.

And Facebook’s advertising feature is impressive and works exceedingly well and you can use it to boost your reach and find members of your reading demographic on Facebook. With its custom audiences, you can target just about any person, cause, and geographical region with your message.

So let’s take a look at some Facebook pages.

Facebook Pages Authors Need to Watch

There is a lot of variety in how these authors handle their Facebook pages. I like Anne Lamott, Isabel Allende, and Joanna Penn’s pages best.

Anne Lamott 509,111 Likes

Anne LamottAnne Lamott doesn’t post regularly, but she does seem to write her own updates, which is a plus for someone of her standing.

In a recent post, she praised Brain Pickings and Maria Popova. How’s that for networking and helping others out?

In another post, she shared the titles of books she’d read in 2019. As you can see, she’s building great karma with other writers, which is something all authors should do.

A post of her reading from a book triggered 904 Likes, 38 comments, 142 shares, and 29,000 views. Wow!

Be sure to Like her page and emulate what she does.

Isabel Allende 1,072,187 Likes 

Isabel Allende, a native of Chile, writes her posts in both English and Spanish. (Spanish-speaking social media users tend to outnumber other demographics.) In the past, she has shared historical images, birthday messages to the Likes of Gloria Steinem, and information about nonprofits.

I love Isabel Allende’s Facebook author page. She apparently writes posts herself and is very open about her life. On January 5 she wrote this:

Isabel Allende

As you can see, that post has 17,000 Likes, 3,800 comments, and 637 shares.

On December 21, she posted a picture of herself in a market in the town of Achao on the island of Chiloe. That post generated 4,500 Likes, 256 comments, and 235 shares.

Look at Allende’s posts, follow her, and learn from her.

Mark Dawson 28,656 

Compared to Allende, indie thriller author Mark Dawson has fewer page Likes and a great following.

A recent post, Dawson decided to give away a free, signed book. That post triggered 22 Likes and 94 comments. In another post, he asked people to write a review of his books. That post just triggered seven Likes.

It’s worth following Dawson to look for his Facebook ads. They are stellar.

He lacks some engagement on Facebook, but I suspect he’s mostly there for the advertising potential. And having more than 28,000 page Likes is nothing to complain about.

The Creative Penn (Joanna Penn) 25,020 Likes 

Joanna PennJoanna Penn regularly posts to her page. She’s more into Twitter, where she has an active following of more than 84,000 followers.

Her Facebook page has a great profile picture and banner image. She posts information about her podcasts (her podcast is one of the best for authors) and responds to comments her readers leave. Kudos to her!

I suggest you follow her on Twitter, Like her Facebook page, and subscribe to her podcast on iTunes. She knows her stuff and is willing to share her knowledge.

Nick Stephenson 21,302 Likes 

Nick Stephenson, similar to Dawson and Penn, is another British, indie, thriller author. His profile picture reveals his sense of humor and his banner image is perfect in that it points to the sign-up link for his newsletter.

He doesn’t post regularly on Facebook. He posted a funny image of himself in green sneakers on November 9, 2018, and before that a post on March 2. I can’t find examples where he’s replied to readers’ comments either.

It appears that he uses Facebook for the advertising opportunities and focuses on other types of marketing, such as developing a VIP list or street team. He also created an author marketing webinar that he uses to supplement his writing income.

Among the three British, indie, thriller authors, Joanna Penn’s Facebook page is the best.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – January 25, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - January 25, 2019

Welcome to the Indie Author Weekly Update. There are so many posts here for you to enjoy. Anne R. Allen wrote a killer post on guest blogging and Joan Stewart will show you how to make money aside from book sales. If you hold contests using Facebook, reading ShortStack’s post is a must.

Enjoy the selection this week.

Guest Blogging is the Best FREE Publicity for Writers: 12 Tips for Landing Effective Guest Blog Spots by Anne R. Allen: ” Most author marketing gurus will tell you that guest blogging is one of the best ways to promote your book. Beth Hayden wrote on Jane Friedman’s blog about the many ways guest blogging builds platform and sells books. She points out that it increases your authority as well as getting your name out there and increasing sales. And it’s right up your alley. You don’t have to be a great photographer or a telegenic public speaker. All you have to do is write. You got this.”

Building a Platform for Your Work When You’re Unpublished from Jane Friedman and by Michael Warner: “After spending thirty years in other fields, I’ve recently embarked on a career as a writer. And what I’ve found is that great how-to advice—from sources like Jane Friedman, Writer’s Digest, and kboards—actually seems to work.”

9 Inexpensive Revenue Streams for Broke or Struggling Authors by Joan Stewart by from TheBookDesigner.com: “I’ve always counseled my author clients to create revenue streams beyond their books. Print books, in particular, suck up money like a vacuum cleaner, with most of it spent on editing, printing, cover and interior design, marketing and publicity.”

Cover design is a huge factor in your book’s success, so here are 12 questions to ask when hiring a designer from BookBub Partners and by Diana Urban: “Your book’s cover provides a reader with a first impression of your work, and despite all advice to the contrary, people will judge your book by its cover. Reedsy found that professionally designed covers increased display ad clicks between 12.5% to 53%, and early BookBub testing found that a good cover can account for 30% more clicks on a Featured Deal.”

8 Facebook Competition Rules You Should Never Ignore from ShortStack: “To keep your Facebook Page compliant, you need to make sure that you adhere to all of Facebook’s competition rules. Go over this list before you launch your next contest to ensure that you get the exposure you want without risking your account.”

What authors need to know about Snapchat by Sandra Beckwith: “According to a Pew Research Center study, Facebook is the fourth social network of choice for teens ages 13 to 17, after YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat. Only 10 percent of the teens surveyed say they use Facebook most often.” Note: Learn more about Snapchat by buying my book Social Media Just for Writers.

Quote of the Week

Indie Author Weekly Update

 

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – January 18, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update - January 18, 2019

Welcome back to the Indie Author Weekly Update. This week’s roundup has an excellent array of posts from marketers and bloggers on book marketing. Plus, there’s a short video clip from Dave Chesson on Amazon ads. I’m certain you’ll find all of the information below helpful to your book marketing endeavors. Enjoy the posts!

Social Media Throwdown: Facebook Groups by Julie Glover: “So where I have landed in the scheme of social media? Once I passed about a thousand followers on Twitter and followed as many, that platform became overwhelming. I really only use it to share articles, check in on current events, and track certain hashtags. The rest of the time, I default to Facebook.”

A Guide to Getting More Reader Reviews by BookBub Partners: “This guide shares some tried and tested strategies to generate more reader reviews on retailer sites. It will also help you learn what practices to avoid so retailer sites don’t remove them. If you’ve struggled to get reviews or simply need more, check these out!”

Book Promotion: Do This, Not That – January 2019 from TheBookDesigner.com and by Amy Collins: “Another year, another set of chances for you and your book! While I usually focus on authors and publishers in this column, this month, I am the one guilty of committing the errors in DO THIS NOT THAT.”

Amazon has recently updated their Amazon books ads system. Check out this video from Dave Chesson: “And unlike most of their updates, this Amazon book ads update actually has some pretty awesome changes. So, in this video, I will explain all of the changes that have been made to the new Amazon book ads system.”

100 Best Writing Websites: 2019 Edition: from The Write Life and by Dana Sitar: “Whether you’re a novelist, journalist, Ph.D. candidate, entrepreneurial blogger, self-help guru writing a book or some combination of creativity at the intersection of multiple ambitions, you call yourself “a writer.” Whatever kind of writer you are, a blog or online community probably exists to help you succeed. Each year, The Write Life celebrates these vast resources available by releasing a list of the 100 Best Websites for Writers, and we’re excited to do it for the sixth year in a row.”

WITS Throwdown: Putting the “Social” in Social Media by Jenny Hansen: “The real title of this post is How To Put the Social in Social Media Without Losing Your Mind or All Your Free Time. That’s a heavy promise, right? Social media does like to suck up valuable family time, writing time, down time. If you think about it as a big vaccuum that gives nothing back, you WILL be resistant to this whole ‘online social thing.'”

Quote of the Week

indie author

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

7 Horrible Mistakes You’re Making on Social Media

7 Horrible Mistakes You're Making on Social Media

We all make mistakes on social media. It’s just a fact.

When we publish our first book, we tentatively reach for social media because everyone tells us that we need it if we expect to sell books.

What happens next? We go from dreading social media to acting a tad overzealous.

Some people get so excited when they learn about scheduling applications that they start sending automated direct messages.

They are the bane of social media.

Whether you’re just starting or have been using social media for a while, here are seven mistakes you should never make.

7 Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on Social Media

This list could be longer but let’s stick with my top seven pet peeves that people commit on social media.

  1. Don’t use a picture of your dog as your avatar. Look at your avatar. Is it a picture of you? If not, remove the picture of your cat or dog or book cover and upload a picture of yourself.
  2. Don’t forget to update your social media banners. Are your most recent books on your banners? Are your banners consistent across all the social media platforms that you use?
  3. Stop sending automated direct messages on Twitter. No one likes to receive them. If you’re interesting on social media, people will check out your book or short stories or your blog. However, if you send mean automatic direct message, they may block you.
  4. Stop sharing retweets of information about your blog or books. Guy Kawasaki likens this to laughing at your own jokes.
  5. Stop expecting to get high engagement levels on Facebook without buying advertising. The algorithm on Facebook sucks. It’s super hard now to have organic engagement. If you want to sell books using social media, sign up for a Facebook advertising course (Mark Dawson’s is excellent) and learn how to craft your ads.
  6. Don’t talk about yourself too much on social media. Do we like the guy who only talks about himself at parties? Of course, we don’t. Find interesting posts, fun memes, and beautiful images to share.
  7. Don’t blindly decide which social media networks you should use. Determine who your readership is and then figure out where that audience hangs out online. Don’t rush to Instagram just because it’s hot and 1 billion people are using it. Would it make sense for you to use it considering what you write? Figure that out before learning how to use any social media. Once you figure out who your readership is, read this post I wrote.
  8. Bonus tip: Don’t post social media updates without including an image. Ditto for your blog posts.

7 Social Media Suggestions

Now that you know what not to do, here are some tips on what you need to do.

  1. Listen to what others say.
  2. Reply to your readers’ social media posts—and those of influence in your niche —and share their content. Like and leave comments as well.
  3. Win hearts by being authentic, gracious, and thankful.
  4. Be cool. In other words, never write a nasty comment, use profanity, ridicule someone, or denigrate another author or follower. If someone wrote something nasty about you online, turn the other cheek and move on.
  5. Minimize self-promotion. It’s okay to mention that your book is for sale or to share a great review. However, don’t overdo this.
  6. Find the influencers in your genre and learn from them.
  7. Develop relationships with writers in your genre. Get to know them, share their blog posts, and help them sell their books.

Want to know all of my best social media marketing tips? Get a copy of Social Media Just for Writers.

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Well written, well researched – well thought out. This book is a must have!

Ryshia Kennie 

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Are You Ready for 2019? How to Update Your Social Media

Update your social media

Let’s talk about how important it is to update your social media.

When was the last time you changed your password on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest?

When was the last time you updated your profile on Instagram or checked the about section on your Facebook page?

Once we set up our social media profiles and pages, we tend to neglect them.

We instead turn our focus to finding content to post and schedule every day.

Before the New Year rolls in, take time to spiff up your profiles and change your passwords. Yes, you should periodically change your passwords to ward off hackers.

How to Create Hacker-Proof Passwords

I was listening to NPR one day and heard a program about how to create hacker-proof passwords.

Here’s the formula. Think of your two favorite authors or leaders. Let’s use Hemingway and Faulkner in this example.

Use the first few (or last) letters of their names, stick a numeral sequence in the middle, and add one or more characters.

For example, you could create the following passwords:

  • Hem357Fau*&
  • Way731Ner*^
  • Ing259Ulk%@

Or, you can use a program called 1Password https://1password.com. The application devises a hacker-proof password for each of your social media networks. Then when it’s time to open Facebook, 1Password applies the appropriate password.

This program costs just $3.99 a month. What a deal.

Basic Rules About Passwords

Here are some of my most basic rules for passwords.

  1. Do you use the same password for multiple social media accounts? Don’t. Create separate passwords for every social media network you use and every application you try. I know this can be a hassle but if you use the same password across the web think about how easy it will for a hacker to get into all of your accounts.
  2. Keep your passwords in a safe place. Do not keep them on sheets of paper and do not keep them on e-files labeled passwords. Consider keeping them on an online program such as 1Password.com. https://1password.com
  3. Share your passwords with as few people as possible and only if you have to, such as a virtual assistant.
  4. Use a complicated password with uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  5. Never use the word “password” or the numbers 123 for your online programs or ATM cards.

How to Update Your Social Media

Update Your Facebook Page 

Go to the About section on your Facebook page and make sure that everything is current.

If you have 35 or more likes on your page, review your analytics. What are the circumstances that trigger engagement on your page? Does it occur with certain types of posts, images or specific times of the day?

Do you know whether more men or women like your page? Do you know their ages? Check out this section and start planning an editorial calendar for the first three months of 2019.

Review Your Twitter Account

First, look at your following and follower numbers and use a program such as ManageFlitter to fine-tune the balance. I use ManageFlitter to unfollow some users who don’t follow back, to whitelist users I never want to unfollow and to block users who have fake accounts as well as spam and bot accounts. I also unfollow inactive accounts.

There are two Twitter follow limits. If you have fewer than 5,000 followers, the maximum people you can follow are 5,000. (The old limit was 2,000 followers.)

So, if 5,000 follow you, the maximum number of people you can follow is 5,500. So be sure to use Tweepi or ManageFlitter to start unfollowing users who don’t follow you back.

While you’re here, click Edit Profile and determine whether you want to update your avatar (your picture), the banner, or your bio.

Also, if you haven’t pinned a tweet to the top of your timeline, consider pinning a tweet about your most recent book or if you’re an editor, a service you provide.

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Every Author Needs Visual Marketing

visual marketing

In the past, I theorized that we were moving closer to visual marketing.

Guess what? We’re there. We’ve arrived.

According to this awesome blog post by Hubspot, there are many reasons why you should be focused on visual marketing on your blog and in your social media posts.

Let’s review a few of them.

  • Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images. Okay, the source for this statistic is Buffer, usually rated among the top three blogs in social media so I believe them and so should you.
  • In an analysis of over 1 million articles, BuzzSumo found that articles with an image once every 75-100 words received double the social media shares as articles with fewer images. So, if you want more people to read your entire blog post, include multiple, color images.
  • Users view 85% of videos on Facebook without sound. What this tells me is that it’s the images that mesmerize people.
  • Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2021. You can replace the word images with the word video. Whether you post images or video, you need to do one or the other.
  • 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing. Convinced yet?
  • Video (63%), alone, has also surpassed blogging (60%) in usage as a social media marketing asset. Yeah, video is huge. Just look at how popular Facebook Live is.

Also, several sources indicate that including images with your tweets double the chance of a retweet. So don’t tweet anything without including an image.

Finally, I find it interesting that 65% of the population are visual learners. Therefore, it makes sense that we ended up here, in the midst of visual marketing.

Finally, look at the rapid growth of Instagram. The user base soared from 90 million in January 2013 to 300 million in December 2014. Guess where we’re at now?

Instagram has 1 billion monthly users. Incredible, eh?

Free Image Sources for Your Visual Marketing

I’ve written about free image sources in the past but that listed needed to be updated. So here’s an up-to-the-minute list of free image sources that are available today.

visual marketingUnsplash

When you navigate to this website, the following words greets you:“Beautiful, free photos. Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers.”

All images on this website are free to use, which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for commercial purposes, without any attribution to the photographer.

Crediting photographers here isn’t required, but that would be excellent. It’s your choice.

By the way, you’re going to love these photographs.

visual marketingPixabay

Another one of my favorite free image sites is Pixabay.

I’ve been using this site for years, and sometimes I’m amazed at the free images I find.

Pixabay greets you with this message: “Over 1.5 million royalty free stock photos and videos shared by our generous community.”

Once in a while, the folks behind this website ask you to buy them a cup of Java. Otherwise, you can avoid the cost by uploading images of your own for Pixabay to make available for its users.

New Old Stock

This website provides vintage imagesfrom public archives that are free of copyright restrictions. Most are black and while a few are in color.

Picjumbo

This website provides stock images for free. If you’d like, you can donate to this website.

visual marketingGratisography

This website has some fun and unusual images. They are all high resolution pictures that you can use for free both personally and for commercial projects, such as your blog or website. The photographer for all of these images is Ryan McGuire.

Morguefile

Morguefile has come a long way. When researching it in the past, it seemed as though I could only find stodgy looking images. Its website has had a facelift, too. Visit Morguefile today. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

[Read more…]

20 Tips to Rock Your Social Media Updates

20 Tips to Rock Your Social Media Updates
Getting frustrated with your social media updates?

Not seeing as much engagement as you’d like?

Everyone has that complaint from time to time. Even I do. (Yes, me!)

Tips to Improve Your Social Media Updates

There are many ways you can boost engagement and feel better about your social media updates.

Shall we get into the meat of this discussion? Let’s!

Here’s my list of tips to increase engagement on all of your social media posts.

  1. Always post images. Always. It’s easy to do on Instagram and Pinterest because, obviously, if you don’t have a picture to post, you don’t have anything to post. So I’m talking about all of the other platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc.  We can reverse the order of this tip and put it this way: never post anything on social media without including an image or a video. According to CoSchedule, images increase retweets by 150%, and according to KISSMetrics, Facebook photos attract 53% more Likes and 84% more click-through rates than text posts. Besides, Facebook makes it easy to turn a text post into an image post with its array of color backgrounds for your status updates.
  2. Share quick tips with your followers and fans. Remember that Facebook posts limited to 80 or fewer characters receive 65% more engagement. Yeah, this is another example of when less is more.
  3. Ask questions. If you go to a party and ask questions, people will love you, right? The same dynamic works on social media.
  4. Comment on current events such as Warriors basketball season starting 8-), updates from the World Series, or any issue that is fun and not too controversial. They can even be personalized. Did you take a hike last weekend or win a race? Post images.
  5. Post humorous memes. People love these.
  6. Give away a free eBook for the best photo caption to a funny or ambiguous image.
  7. Share a thought or image that moves you.
  8. Get personal. I tend to like to not be too personal online. It has to do with my comfort level. But the few times that I am less private, engagement soars. So, self-reflect before your self-reveal and then decide if you’re comfortable being more personal and opening up more often. People want to get to know the author behind the books they read.
  9. Share a photo from your past and post in on Thursday with the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. Author Mark Dawson does this all the time on Facebook.
  10. Buffer reported that to make a tweet more popular, focus on length, nouns and verbs. Don’t focus on mentions or hashtags. Also, use positive words and use an indefinite article such as A or An.
  11. Use emoticons. People love these, and they aren’t going away. I use them sparingly in my business-related emails, but I do use them.
  12. Don’t over-promote yourself. Let’s return to the party analogy I mentioned earlier. Nobody — and I mean not a single person — likes the guy who only talks about himself. It’s a turnoff, right? What you need to realize is that marketing isn’t about your or your books or your blog posts, or your courses. It’s about the benefit. What benefit do readers derive from your books? Even when you focus on the benefit, you still have to do your marketing sparingly. Promote other authors. Promote your readers. Share or retweet what they post. Leave comments on their updates. Marketing is never about you. Sure, you want to sell books, but you won’t get sales by over-promoting yourself. You’ll get sales if you promote other authors, do things for your readers, learn about your readers, answer their questions, and ask them questions. Got it?
  13. Develop content aligned with your marketing objectives. Otherwise, you’ll just be guessing in your marketing and never know for certain what to post.
  14. Run polls and surveys. That’s right, ask your fans and followers what they want to read by your on your blog and in your books, and what they prefer to see on your social media profiles.
  15. Engage in conversations. You can ask questions, and you need to answer questions when readers ask questions. Look at your news feeds and take time to share, retweet, and leave comments.
  16. Sharing images is the first step, making sure that they are correctly sized is the next. Don’t use an image designed for a  Twitter post on Facebook and vice versa. Resize images according to the platform’s preferred image dimensions.
  17. As best as you can, make sure that all of your images are the best they can be. Never settle for boring.
  18. Everyone loves a smile, right? Well, it turns out that on Pinterest smiling faces get more saves.
  19. Leverage popular phrases or slogans. During the World Cup a few years ago, “because of fútbol” was a favorite phrase. On Twitter, Monday Motivation and Wednesday Wisdom are hashtags that are always used on those days. These sayings can surface suddenly and be time-limited in their popularity. Use them while they’re hot.
  20. Be consistent in your blog images. Always use the same size for the image at the top of your blog post and use the same fonts.

[Read more…]

25 Tips for Posting on Social Media

posting on social media

Note: This is a completely version of a previous post.


Posting on social media can be a quandary for some authors.

Regardless of all the tips posted online, when it comes to a personal decision, many writers don’t know what they should say, especially once they learn that always talking about their books and blog posts is verboten (forbidden).

I get it.

Here’s my confession: I sometimes struggle with what to say on my Facebook profile. My life just isn’t that exciting, you know?

And I’m not into posting selfies. I’m just not that photogenic.

But when it comes to my professional social media accounts — my Facebook page, and Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+ accounts, I have no problem.

Why? Because I know that on those accounts I need to balance inspirational and education information. I want to encourage people, post images, and ask questions.

I have those platforms down, so to speak.

I want you to feel the same way. I don’t want you to ever feel insecure about what you’re posting or sit in front of a blinking cursor wondering, “What the heck should I say?”

So let’s get to it.

You Need Great Content on Your Blog & on Social Media

Sometimes content you found on the internet years ago can still apply. I know that I posting on social media use these tips that I found a few years ago from Search Engine Land. I consider their advice the meat and potatoes of everything I write online.

  • Is the content informative?
  • Is it authoritative on the subject matter?
  • Is it interesting?
  • Is it well-written?
  • Is longer content broken up into well-organized sections by headings? You may have long paragraphs in your books, but that style doesn’t work for blogging or for your social media posts.
  • Does the content make good and interesting use of visual elements? Remember, you need to include images with your blog posts. Multiple photos keep people reading your blog posts. On social media, pictures are a must.
  • Is the writing free of embarrassing spelling errors or remedial grammar problems? I use Grammarly to check my writing and punctuation. Are you using an editing application to check yours?
  • Is it written appropriately for its intended audience? How well do you know your audience? Are you writing for women in their 30’s or men 40 and older? You must know your audience if you expect to sell any books. The same is true for your audience on your blog and on social media.
  • Is the content free of industry-insider jargon, focusing instead on terminology your readers would use (and search for)? Get rid of all jargon and cliches before tapping the publish button.
  • When appropriate, does the content show your unique voice or even a sense of humor? Are your snarky or quirky? Don’t be afraid to show your real self. Being authentic will enhance your brand. Embrace who you are and don’t be afraid to show those sides of yourself online.

The above suggestions apply mostly to blog writing, but you can adapt some of them for social media.

You can also use these suggestions to evaluate blog posts written by other people you might want to share. Since 80% of the content, you discuss on social media will be from sources other than your own, ask yourself if that content incorporates the above suggestions.

If it doesn’t, don’t use it.

So what will you post 20% of the time when you can talk about yourself? When you think about it, you’re still going to be posting quite a bit of information that emanates from you.

What should you say?

posting on social media

25 Tips for Posting on Social Media

Here are some examples of great content for your social media profiles:

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13 Steps to Improve Your Facebook Reach

13 Steps to Improve your Facebook Reach

I often hear authors g-r-o-a-n about their Facebook reach.

You know how it is. If you have a Facebook author page, two percent of your status updates penetrate your fans’ newsfeeds, if you’re lucky.

Unless …

The unless is this: you can better penetrate your fans’ newsfeeds if you buy advertising.

If you have a Facebook author page and you don’t buy advertising, I can tell you that it’s phenomenally difficult to get engagement on a Facebook page without advertising.

Difficult but not impossible.

If you’ve been reading the social media blogosphere these past few weeks, you might have noticed that nearly every social media blogger has complained about the same problem: the precipitous drop in our Facebook page posts penetrating our fans’ news feeds.

In other words, fewer of the posts you carefully plan for your Facebook page are visible to your fans.

If you want your posts to reach more fans, you need to follow a two-pronged strategy: provide the best, original content you can and allocate some funds – even a few hundred dollars annually would help – to an advertising budget.

If you can afford more on advertising, super.

[Read more…]