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.

[Read more…]

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.

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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…]

7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web Plus Apps & Plugins (Part 2)

Tips to Networking on the Social WebLast week I shared my 7 tips to networking on the social web. In case you missed those tips you can see them here again, in brief.

  1. Don’t engage with people who send you negative messages.
  2. If you don’t want to accept or receive invitations to play Farmville, Scrabble, and other online games, block them in your security settings on Facebook.
  3. Don’t join every social media network at once. Sign up for one, master it, and then move on to another one.
  4. Learn to manage your time on social media by using an online timer.
  5. Don’t use your book jacket as your avatar (profile picture).
  6. Set your Facebook notifications to receive an e-mail whenever you are mentioned or you are tagged in a photo. On Twitter, you’ll want to know when you have a new follower.
  7. If you use SocialOomph, sign up for alerts notifying you of when you were retweeted or mentioned and when your hashtag was used.

This week I’m going to share with you a number of applications that are designed to encourage social sharing while reducing the amount of time you spend on social media.

Streams of incoming messages accumulating in your news fees are some of the biggest hindrances to being social.

If you use TweetDeck, it can be maddening to see an endless influx of tweets pouring in one after the other.

When you’re new to Twitter, for example, your news feed can be fertile ground for finding content to share. But if you have 1,000 or more Twitter followers, it can be difficult to cut through the slush and find the gems that you’ll find worth retweeting.

Apps for Twitter Chats

One way you can cut through the plethora of messages is to find and join Twitter chats that focus on specific areas of interest.

Nothing can replace the feeling of immediacy that interacting with a wide number of people on Twitter will provide. They are interesting, fun, and, depending on the topic, very entertaining.

Use these applications to find a Twitter chat that you might enjoy.

[Read more…]

7 Tips to Networking on the Social Web (Part 1)

3-10-14

Don’t you get tired of broadcast media?

I unplugged my Comcast cable eight years ago, and I’ve never regretted it.

Television programming would interrupt my favorite shows with annoying and idiotic commercials and cancel the few programs I really liked.

The worst part is that I had to conform my personal schedule to my favorite program’s schedule.

In comparison, social media is perfect.

There are no interruptions, and I can visit the networks whenever I have time and the inclination.

And it allows me to interact with colleagues and friends across the country and around the world.

Most importantly, social media enables me to nurture relationships with readers and friends. Petty cool, huh?

Just as a reminder, setting aside time to be social is the fourth step in my four-step cure to social media suck. Here are the four steps:

  1. Be where your readers are.
  2. Curate information in your niche every morning.
  3. Select an application and schedule your tweets, posts and updates.
  4. Make time to be social every day.

Make Time to be Social

Social media is all about nurturing relationships.

Did someone retweet one of your messages? Find a tweet they wrote that you like and return the favor. While you’re at it, consider sending a note of thanks to everyone who retweeted you.

Do you have new followers? Spend some time getting acquainted with them by reviewing their profiles or visiting their websites. (It only takes a second or two.)

Is there an agent or editor on LinkedIn with whom you’d like to connect, but can’t because they are a third degree connection? Ask a friend to introduce you.

Did a colleague just publish a new book? Help her promote it by informing your friends and connections about it.

Socializing on social media involves these three steps: meet, connect, and repeat. You are constantly meeting new people, connecting with them, and then repeating the process with someone new.

Remember to be positive and open-minded and stick to neutral topics.

If you have an iPad, iPhone, laptop or Android, you can socialize online whenever you have some idle time. (If you don’t have idle time, then it’s important to schedule some in.)

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – June 1, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

There are a lot of great posts in this week’s Indie Author Update. Enjoy them all. There are a lot of gems in these posts.

The above photo might not make any sense to you, but it does to me. You see, in the summer my husband and I spend several evenings a week attending outdoor concerts, listening to live music, and of course, dancing. How we love to dance together. However you spend your summer, I hope you have a blast.

3 Innovative New Tools to Discover Promising Blog Topics by @mike_allton   by Mike Alton: “What will your next blog post be about? Do you know what your audience is actually interested in? Addressing these questions is what sets the successful blogger apart. She’s done her homework and understands who her audience is and what they want to learn about. She’s researched the niche and identified the specific topics and questions that need to be covered in blog articles, and she has mapped out a publishing calendar for herself.”

Facebook Launches New Tools for Groups, Improving Functionality and Potential from Social Media Today: “Facebook has been putting increased emphasis on groups of late, with The Social Network seeing them as a way to keep users more engaged, while also enabling a level of user moderation, lessening the load for Facebook’s internal moderation team.”

11 Marketing Tips to Get More Eyes on Your Blog or Author Website by Novel Publicity: “Hopefully, it is to craft amazing posts that people want to come and read and share with others. And you may indeed be crafting those great reads – articles, self-improvement, inspiring topics, and letting readers get to know you. But, unlike the famous statement in the movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come,” this is not true for blogs. You have to market your blog just as much as your market your book/services. While this post is directed at bloggers, there’s a ton of good advice for writer websites too!”

This is Why Your Author Branding Matters More Than You Think by Rachel Thompson: “It’s even become a running joke at this point with my chat community as if they’re waiting for me to throw that line in there. Yet, it’s not just a line. It’s what makes the difference between a successful author and a not-so-successful one. I’ve written about branding before in great detail, so in this post, I want to go more into detail about the importance of author branding and its impact on your success.”

How To Get Your Book Into Schools And Double Your Income With Volume Sales by Joanna Penn: “Making a full-time living as a writer is all about multiple streams of income, and bulk sales are a great way of making revenue by doing direct. In today’s show, Dave Hendrickson talks about the joy of selling books to schools – and takes us behind the scenes of the financial side of bulk sales.”

Are Free Book Promotions Still Worth It? by Frances Caballo for TheBookDesigner.com: “The controversy over whether it’s worthwhile to give books away for free continues. You work hard when you write a book. There are the costs associated with writing workshops, writers’ conferences, book coaches, editors, and book designers. When you’re ready to publish, it’s difficult to think that despite all of your investments of time and money that you need to give your book – your baby – away for free.”

Contests for Writers

Fiction Writing Contests Worth Your Time This Summer from Writer Unboxed: ” … my list of writing contests below includes reasons to submit to that particular writing contest. May you find a promising opportunity among this list and spend less time searching for where to send your exceptional work.”

Quote of the WeekLearn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. PABLO PICASSO

 

Social Media Just for Writers 2nd Edition

Whether you’re setting up your social media for the first time or wanting to take it to the next level, get the newest edition of Social Media Just for Writers.


I would not limit this book to the audience of only writers, it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to take full advantage of the online platforms available. Janet Kinsella

Frances CaballoAuthor of this blogFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com. Frances 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.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

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10 Social Media Tips for Indie Authors

10 Social Media Tips for Indie Authors

You self-published your book (whew!), offered your book for presale, celebrated your launch with champagne, and sold books to everyone you know.

Perhaps you’re even blogging regularly.

Reaching out to the press, contacting book clubs, and reading at bookstores are great ways to promote your book offline. But to reach potential readers across the U.S. and around the world, you need to use social media.

Are you silently screaming, “Argh!” You’re not alone.

Like other writers, you want to get going on your next book and spending time in front of the computer posting on social media, pinning images to Pinterest, or snapping photos for Instagram may seem, well, like a bit of a waste of time.

The thought of creating a social media presence can seem overwhelming to indie authors, but it doesn’t have to be. All you need are 30 minutes a day (really!) and these tips.

10 Social Media Tips Every Author Needs to Know

  • Decide who your intended audience is and use the social media networks that your readers are most likely to use. For example, if you write young adult fiction, you’ll want to have a presence on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram. If your readers are primarily women, create accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. When you wrote your book, you had your readers in mind, right? Now think about that reader and where he or she is most likely to hang out online. Knowing where your audience likes to hang out online will save you time. Long gone are the days when social media experts touted the wisdom of being everywhere. It’s impossible to be on every social media network, too time-consuming, and quite frankly, a waste of your precious time. For more information on where to find your reader demographics online, turn to Pew Research Center.
  • With more than 2 billion people now using Facebook, it’s hard to ignore this social media behemoth. Creating a profile (profiles are for people, and pages are for products, books, authors, businesses, and services) on Facebook is your first step. I always used to recommend that authors have a Facebook page as well. In the old days – say about six years ago – 36% of your fans would see what you posted on your Facebook author page. These days, that percentage is down to 1%. What’s an author to do? You can still have a Facebook author page, but you need to understand that you’ll need to learn and spending money on Facebook advertising. The other option for you is to create a Facebook Group. To learn about how to start and grow a Facebook Group, read this post I wrote for TheBookDesigner.com.
  • Allocate 30 minutes a day to your social media marketing. In the mornings, spend 15 minutes curating information for your social media posts by scanning your friends and followers’ posts and using one or more of these websites and resources:

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