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.

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Got Nothing to Say on Social Media? Check Out These Examples!

Got Nothing to Say on Social Media? Check Out These Examples!

Many people are confused about what they should say on social media.

Feeling like you’re in the same situation? No worries. Just keep reading.

You may remember the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the time, you promote your colleagues, other writers, and great posts, and 10 percent of the time, you can promote your books, blog posts, readings, and awards.

If you’re still feeling confused about how to best present the information you’ve curated, don’t worry. Keep reading and you’ll learn how to write the best social media updates.

Tweets Can Now Have 280 Characters

For about the past year, the character limit on Twitter has been 280, up for 140. However, it’s still best to keep your tweets to 100 characters if possible. Doing so, will increase your retweets according to SproutSocial.

Here are a variety of sample tweets from the indie author/publishing world:

Got nothing to post

Got nothing to post on social media

Got nothing to post on social media

Got nothing to post on social media

You’re probably wondering what you as an author could say. Here are some additional examples that cover an array of genres. All you need to add to these tweets is a URL. If you are promoting a colleague, then add a URL and a Twitter username.

  1. Love #Spain? Read this novel based in #Sevilla + link + name of the book
  2. Are you a #hiker? 7 Tips on How to Find the Best Hiking Boots + link
  3. Great story by +colleague’s username about overcoming #cancer
  4. San Francisco #Writer’s #Conference is this February +link
  5. Do you love reading Indie Authors? Visit http://www.indieauthornetwork.com#bibliophiles

The first tweet is a sample tweet from an author about his or her book. The second tweet would theoretically be for a writer who wrote a book about hiking or local hiking trails.

The third tweet is an example of how writers can help each other. The fourth tweet is presumably by a writer encouraging other authors to attend a conference. The fifth tweet introduces readers to other Indie authors. The hashtags in this example help readers and self-described bibliophiles to find great books to read.

You can also tweet images, quotes from your books, videos, book trailers, Amazon reviews, and information about your colleagues’ books. GIFs are super popular as well because then tend to stop people as they peruse their newsfeeds.

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Social Media Tips for Writers (And Reluctant Marketers)

Social Media Tips for Writers (And Reluctant Marketers)

The biggest resistance writers have to jumping into social media is that they fear they will need to spend countless hours in front of their computers posting, tweeting, updating, uploading images, and of course, and leaving comments or replying to someone’s message.

I refer to this as the “time suck factor” because if you let it, social media can suck precious time from your day and your writing.

But, news flash, marketing doesn’t have to be an ugly word. And it doesn’t have to be a task you accept grudgingly.

We’re not conducting robocalls or telemarketing. And we’re not creating direct mail appeals – junk mail – that people toss without even opening the envelopes.

We’re in the era of social media marketing, and the beauty of it is that it’s not interruption-based marketing. Your message is waiting for people when they choose to navigate to Twitter or Facebook or other social media networks.

But you’re still afraid that if you start to use social media, you’ll lose track of time and spend hours in front of the computer when you should be writing or going to the gym. Am I right?

Nonsense. Fitting social media into busy schedules is easy and takes disciple. That’s right, discipline to not turn a quick internet research for your book into a foray into your Facebook newsfeed, which, by the way, I’ve done.

So I speak from experience.

Over the years I’ve learned that you can manage your social media marketing and still have time to write, cycle, relax with a novel, or soak up suds in a tub by following a simple four-point plan.

  1. Curate your posts.
  2. Schedule your social media updates.
  3. Be social because the essence of social media is engagement.
  4. Measure your results so that you’ll know how to improve your engagement.

By spending as little as 30 minutes a day, you can grow your contacts, further your brand, sell more books, and stay in touch with colleagues, readers, and friends.

Here are my social media tips for writers that will help you to better manage your time while marketing.

Curate Stellar Content

There are applications and websites that can help you to find great content in your niche. These are a few of my favorites.

Scoop.it

Enter your keywords, and this application will scour the Web for you. You can discard or keep the articles and posts that Scoop.it suggests and even create your own customized “magazine.”

AllTop

Not an application but a website, this is the top online source for the hottest trending information on the entire blogosphere from A to Z. Find information on a range of topics from writing to social media to romance novels.

Blogs

Subscribe to the top blogs in your niche. I curate information from the blogs I subscribe to and doing so provides a shortcut to my curation.

Twitter Lists

Create lists of the top thinkers and writers in your industry. Creating Twitter lists helps me to stay on top of my industry, get through Twitter more quickly, and efficiently curate information to retweet.

Schedule Your Posts in the Morning

There are numerous applications to help you plan your day. Here are a few for you to consider and use at the start of your day.

bufferBuffer

The free version allows you to post four tweets daily while with the paid version – starting at just $10/month – you can post as often as you’d like.

HootSuite

HootSuite offers a great free plan that allows users to tweet and post as often as they’d like. The paid version will allow you to also post to your Google+ pages, a range of social media platforms, and the paid version offers analytics.

SocialOomph

This application is a scheduler on steroids. You can schedule recurring tweets, track keywords and hashtags, check your incoming feeds, and analyze your click-through-rates to your website. They offer a 7-day trial plan that’s free. Note: SocialOomph works best for Twitter and LinkedIn only. It is limited in the breadth of social media platforms it serves.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is a free application that enables you to manage your Twitter feed, schedule tweets, and monitor and manage unlimited accounts.

You Don’t Have to Be a Party Animal to Be Social

It’s important to schedule time in your day to be social. What does this mean?

At the end of your day, right before or after dinner, spend some time on social media.

Like and comment on posts you find in your newsfeed on Facebook. Check your Contact feed on Twitter to see who messaged you or followed you. Reply to tweets by telling users that you liked a quote they sent out. Follow back users who followed you during the day – assuming they are interesting enough – and comment on their blog, website, or Facebook page.

Read a few blogs and leave comments. Check in on one of your groups on LinkedIn and add to the discussion. Check in on your Google+ communities.

In other words, put the social in social media to work but limit your time to about 15 minutes.

Check Your Return on Investment (ROI)

I love this quote:

Social media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When it’s finally done there is surprise it’s not better. Avinash Kaushik, Google Analytics Evangelist

Time is precious, so it’s important to check to see whether your marketing efforts are having any effect. Here are some applications that can help you to make that determination.

Sprout Social

The premium plan comes with a 30-day trial period. Use this application for monitoring profiles and keywords, scheduling posts, and producing reports. The premium level, which is the beginning level, includes ten social media profiles. SproutSocial also measures influence, analyzes your audience, and lets you know whether not you’ve been social enough.

Social Report

With Social Report you can track the performance of everything from your Facebook pages and Twitter profiles, website site performance and blogs. The data from your social channels is downloaded and laid out on a dashboard. And you can track your social media profiles. Pricing starts at $49/month.

Insights

Insights is Facebook’s free and incredibly comprehensive analytics. Once you have 35 or more Likes on your Facebook author page, Insights will reveal your demographics, the best time to post your updates and indicate which posts received the most engagement.

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3 Basic Rules of Social Media Plus 5 Best Practices

3 Basic Rules of Social Media Plus 5 Best Practices
Dan Zarrella, author of The Science of Marketing, said in his book, “I’ve long been interested in the idea that engaging in conversation is the single most important function of social media marketing.”

He’s right. That is why it’s so important to schedule time in the afternoon or early evening to converse with our readers, friends, and influencers in your sphere. If you don’t allocate time to converse, you are missing the point.

Social media at its essence is social so to engage in social media and not allocate time to socializing, well, it’s antithetical to the very premise of social media.

Social media at its essence is socialClick To Tweet

Take Twitter, for example. It began as a texting platform. Sure, it’s matured, evolved, and changed. You can include images and video now, and you can even advertise. But at its essence, it’s still a medium for conveying messages.

This premise is true with other social media platforms as well.

Which takes me to those 3 basic rules of social media I promised to discuss.

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14 Twitter Apps and Tools for Writers

10 Apps and Tools for WritersWhen was the last time you tried a new application? I’m often on the hunt for new tools to share with you that might make your day easier and your social media marketing more efficient.

So when I took at course recently, I learned of some applications and I immediately thought how cool it would be to share them with you. I’ve dropped the more expensive ones from the list since I don’t consider those indie-author friendly, but you’ll find most of them below.

Let’s get started!

Apps and Tools for Writers

Scheduling Tools

A scheduling app is like a piece of heaven, or New York cheesecake. I can’t decide. What I do know is that scheduling tools enable us to schedule our posts in the morning and then walk away from the computer or at least spend our day working on other digital projects.

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10 Quick Tips About Social Media

10 Quick Tips About Social MediaIf you’re just starting out on social media, it may seem overwhelming. Even if you’ve been using it for a while, the prospect of staying up to date on numerous social media platforms may seem like a full-time job.

Don’t get disheartened.

There definitely are learning curves to social media. That’s a given. But social media needn’t be overwhelming.

Take it from someone who works in social media every day.

As the joke goes, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Take the same approach to the social media networks you want to learn and keep up with.

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Don’t Confuse Your Avatar for the Movie – Be Yourself

Time to Ditch Your Avatar

Remember Sam Worthington in the movie Avatar? He portrayed the protagonist, Jake Sully.

Here’s a picture of the Sam Worthington as an injured Marine who finished his tour of service and will assume his brother’s avatar:

Avatar - San Worthington

And here’s a picture of his Worthington’s Jake Sully avatar:

Avatar - Jake Sully

Playing a former Marine (is there such a thing?), Jake Sully filled the bill perfectly. His tall, blue avatar with titanium bones were perfect for Pandora, the planet he traveled to and where he spent time learning the culture.

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Indie Author Weekly Update – January 27, 2017

Indie Author Weekly Update

Welcome to today’s Indie Author Weekly Update. You’ll see new bloggers on a range of topics from ebook sales to Snapchat spectacles to hashtags.

On a personal note, we received a break from the storms. Yes, finally. The sun has even shined a few hours every day. Thank you for your patience as I return to my regular blogging schedule.


Indie Author Weekly Updates

A Powerful Shortcut for Discovering Keywords to Increase Ebook Sales from Digital Book World: “Indie authors and ebook publishers have a powerful tool for increasing book sales that costs nothing and already exists in their online book selling setup: keywords. The keywords associated with an ebook in an online store can help drive readers to your sales page. When you attract more people to your book’s sales page, the more opportunities you have to make sales.”

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Not Sure of the Lingo? 59 Social Media Words to Learn

Social Media Vocabulary Cheat Sheet by Frances Caballo

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. Robin Williams

You can’t learn to speak Spanish if you don’t commit to memory vocabulary lists. The task of  memorizing the meanings of “el pan” (bread) and “las galletas” (cookies) may be boring, but the wok it takes to learn the vocabulary will be worth it when you visit Spain, step into a bakery, and know how to order fresh bread or cookies.

Likewise, if you want to ask questions about social media during a webinar or further your knowledge of social media by reading blog posts, it helps to understand the vernacular of the speaker or blogger. In other words, learn the vocabulary so you can learn more about more intelligently and efficiently use social media.

As with any  new language — and learning social media is much like learning a new language —  you’ll never be understood if you don’t first master the lexicon.

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