Indie Author Weekly Update – July 5, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

I have another Indie Author Weekly Update for you to enjoy. This week’s update focuses on two issues, book promotion and social media. Messenger chatbots are the future of Facebook so be sure to check out the post from Mobile Monkey. And have a great weekend!

Book Marketing

Book Promotion Ideas for Author Events in Creative Venues by Penny Sansevieri: “If you’ve been looking for creative book promotion ideas for booking more (or first) events, take heart. It’s not uncommon to strike out at trying to set up events, but what if I told you I’ve set up successful book signings almost everywhere?”

Public Libraries: How Authors Can Increase Both Discoverability and Earnings by Jane Friedman: “When you see headlines discussing the staying power of print and the decline of ebooks, it’s important to remember those headlines are describing only sales of traditionally published books. Such headlines aren’t factoring in other market trends, such as digital subscription services, self-publishing, and—perhaps the most overlooked sector—library lending.”

Top 10 FAQs About Book Publicity and Promotion from TheBookDesigner.com and by Joan Stewart: “What’s the one question authors ask me most frequently? How long do I have to market my book? I never deviate from this answer: ‘Only for as long as you want to sell it.’”

Social Media

How to Use a Messenger Chatbot for a Facebook Group from Mobile Monkey: “Wouldn’t it be cool if you could send a chat blast to your entire Facebook group? Click. Whiz. Bam. Well, you can. Sort of. Admittedly it’s not click-whiz-bam, but it is possible with some hacky workarounds that we’ve cooked up using MobileMonkey. In this article, you’ll learn and be able to execute exactly the simple hacks that will allow you to message your Facebook group members.”

6 Inspiring Instagram Bio Ideas from Grammarly: “Your Instagram bio is your chance to make a good first impression—and that chance is extremely short-lived. According to Buffer, it takes less than two-tenths of a second for someone to form an opinion of you based on your Instagram. We blink slower than that!”

Quote of the Week

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. Gustave Flaubert

 

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 and building their platform. 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. And follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

Online Book Marketing Strategies for Writers

Indie Author Weekly Update – April 17, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

I think this Indie Author Weekly Update is the longest one I’ve ever compiled. Rachel Thompson’s NaNoProNo is in full swing and I like to bring the best of those posts to my weekly roundup. Anne R. Allen wrote a dynamite piece of the author persona. I start with the most important post: the one on MailChimp by David Gaughran. Read it. Enjoy all the posts in this week’s edition.

MailChimp

Time To Ditch Mailchimp? by David Gaughran: “Mailchimp attracted extreme criticism this week when it became clear how its new marketing services would impact its core email offering — particularly in terms of pricing — leading many long-time users to start explore alternatives (including this one).”

NaNoProNo Bog Posts from Rachel Thompson

Why Writing Your Truth Is an Effective Marketing Strategy by Guest Jackie Cioffa and from the Bad Redhead Media blog from Rachel Thompson: “When Bad Redhead Media’s Rachel Thompson reached out to me to write a post about promoting and marketing my books, my immediate thought was is she kidding? I have been an avid follower and fan of Rachel for nearly a decade, trying to emulate her badass self-publishing skills and as much of her marketing expertise as I could.

How to Make Your Book Marketing Plan a Success by guest Maureen Joyce Connolly and from Rachel Thompson: The very core of my approach was to learn as much about launching a book as quickly as possible, to compile a strategy and to execute it with support if I needed, but for me to be the driver of my plan. I also understood instinctively, that I would need to identify my personal strengths and use them to my advantage since I had no social media presence – nada, zip – as my business had flourished via referrals.

This Is How to Use Harder Working Links to Sell More Books by Guest Jessie Lakes and from Rachel Thompson: “Let me quickly introduce you to what we call “intelligent links,” the hardest working links on the internet. These aren’t the links you copy out of your browser window or a shortened bit.ly links, but rather supercharged links that can help you sell more books and unlock a new stream of revenue. And the best part is that you are already doing the hard and time-consuming work, swapping in the use of “intelligent links” doesn’t take much extra time at all.

How to Best Prepare for Book Marketing by Guest Frances Caballo and from Rachel Thompson: “Book marketing involves so many steps. When people come to me, they erroneously think that all they need is social media marketing. Au contraire. Social media alone won’t cause your books to start flying off the proverbial bookshelf. So, take this quiz and see if you’re ready to tackle book marketing on your own.”

This Is How to Sell Your Book in 20 Seconds by Guest Sharon Goldinger and from Rachel Thompson: “Picture this: You’re in an elevator, your book cupped in your hand, the title clearly visible to the other person in the elevator. While riding from floor 1 to floor 19, she asks, “What is From Fat to Fit about? You respond: “You’ll be inspired by the amazing Community Meltdown, which motivated 1,000 people to have fun while losing 8,000 pounds in 8 weeks, and my personal story as I went from fat to fit and lost 62 pounds.”When the elevator lands at her stop, she says, “Sounds great. I’ve got to get a copy.”

Your Author Persona

What’s Your Author Persona? How to Be Yourself Online—Only Better by Anne R. Allen: “I blog often about an author’s online presence and the importance of keeping your image squeaky clean, especially when you’re starting a writing career. That image is sometimes called your “author persona.”

Book Readings

How to Plan a Book Reading That Delights Your Audience from Jane Friedman and by James Navé: “The audience is on your side. They love writing just as you do; that’s why they’re there. These wonderful people have taken time out of their lives, probably traveled some distance and spent some money, just to hear you read. They’ve come to witness your imagination at work. They’ve come to be moved, entertained, motivated, validated, informed, provoked, stimulated and inspired. In short, they’re receptive.”

 

Quote of the Week

Indie Author Weekly Update - Toni Morrison quote on writing

 

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 and building their platform. 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 Simple Secrets to Totally Rock Your Instagram Account

7 Simple Secrets to Totally Rock Your Instagram Account

The five-part series on Instagram is over, but for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about Instagram. So, if you now want to know how to rock your Instagram account, keep reading.

Be as Original as Possible

There’s a camera on your smartphone, right? Use it. Take pictures as you walk the dog, hike in the woods or along the coast, or as you walk through your city’s downtown.

Whatever is iconic or beautiful to you, snap it and share it.

Creating memes is another way to be original. Add quotes to your own images or sign up for a paid photo service.

Don’t use the images that scream “I’m a stock photo.” Find great pictures and use those.

Focus on Your Demographic and Theme

If you write genre, you’ve got your theme, and you have your reading demographic.

Let’s say that you write romance. You needn’t fill your profile with covers of your books. Go to a lingerie shop and take pictures of sexy outfits.

Go to a shoe store and take pictures as you try on sexy shoes.

So just use your imagination.

Show that You Care

Don’t just go to Instagram to upload an image. Hang out awhile.

In fact, do what you do elsewhere on social media …. Be social.

Like other people’s images, leave comments, and follow your followers.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags on Instagram are huge. You can use up to 30, but 11 are the minimum you should use. The more hashtags you use, the more easily people will be able to find you.

Now, here’s a nifty trick you can use if you want to use more than 30 hashtags. On your 29thhashtag, type &# before your next hashtags. The rest of the hashtags you use won’t count.

Sneaky, right?

Create Instagram Stories

Now, this is a biggie. If you want to have success with your Instagram account, you must absolutely create Instagram Stories.

They are not hard to create. Just read through my blog post on Instagram Stories, okay?

Highlight Your Best Stories

Once you create Instagram Stories highlight the best ones. All you have to do is tap the plus sign below your bio ,and you’re set.

Instagram Highlight

Create Videos

Don’t forget that videos are hot and an essential part of your Instagram experience. You can even add them to your Instagram Stories so don’t be afraid to show yourself live.

What are you best tips for rocking your Instagram account?

7 Simple Secrets to Totally Rock Your Instagram Account

 

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 and building their platform. 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 – April 19, 2019

Indie Author Weekly Update

This week’s Indie Author update is chock-full of wonderful tips and strategies to help you with your book sales. As always, David Gaughran wrote a terrific post. There are also blog posts on Twitter, Instagram, content marketing, search engine optimization, and lastly, BookBub ads. Whew! Enjoy the posts.

Author Platforms

How To Build An Author Platform by David Gaughran: “What is an author platform? Which elements should it contain? And is any of this stuff more important than just writing another book? Perhaps not. But certain aspects of an author platform are important tools for reaching readers and, especially, for holding on to them.”

Twitter

Saying No to Twitter: What Authors Need to Know from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Daniel Berkowitz: “Tell me if this is a situation you’ve been in before: Your agent just sold your book to a publisher, and now you want to do everything you can to ensure your book’s success. The publisher tells you to get a website and to get on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You have a Facebook profile, and you’re not opposed to creating a separate author page, and you really enjoy Instagram—but you don’t like Twitter.”

Instagram

10 Instagram Hashtag Hacks Tricks You Definitely Want to Try from Later and by Benjamin Chacon: “If you’re searching for some great Instagram hashtag hacks to get more followers and boost your engagement, you’ve come to the right place!  Whether you want to find out which hashtags are generating the most interactions on your account, hide your hashtags in your Instagram Stories, or add more than 30 hashtags to your post’s caption, we’ve got a hack for you.”

Content Marketing

Sell More Books With Guest Blogging from TheBookDesigner.com and by Sandra Beckwith: “There’s no question in my mind that guest blogging helps sell books. But it’s a powerful book marketing tactic for other reasons, too.”

Search Engine Optimization

SEO for Authors and Other Search Ranking “Secrets” by Jenny Hansen: “SEO for authors … It’s a catchphrase that makes all my writing pals shudder. As one of our gals at WITS said, “I know how to spell it, but that’s about all.” SEO doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, some of the best techniques are the easiest for writers, because they involve writing.”

BookBub Ads

8 Ways to Target Readers Using BookBub Ads: “With BookBub Ads, authors and publishers can promote any book to BookBub’s millions of power readers at any time. While this is a valuable audience of book buyers to begin with, BookBub Ads’ targeting options let advertisers refine their audience even further.”

Quote of the Week

Don't write about what you know -- write about what you're interested in.

 

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 and building their platform. 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

Get to Know These Instagram Apps

Get to Know These Instagram Apps

In this five-part series on Instagram, we reach the fifth installment. Here, you’ll read about Instagram image and video apps.

Instagram Apps for Your Images and Stories

Canva 
Of course, I first have to start with Canva, my favorite image-creating app. It’s so easy to use, and fortunately, you can even use it to create your Instagram stories.

Also, you can use Canva to create images for your blog and to resize images for social media.

Canva offers ready-made templates, or you can create your own. I used Canva recently to create a two-page Instagram Story about my Pinterest ebook. Then I highlighted it so if you go to my profile, you’ll see it below my bio.

You can learn how to use Canva by watching some of their tutorials.

Canva is free to use; however, there is a paid version. All you’ll ever need is the free version unless you work with teams or want to access its paid features.

Buffer Stories Creator 

Buffer, the social media scheduling app, has Pablo, an image creating app, and now Stories Creator.

Creating Stories with Buffer’s app is super easy so try it out.

PiktoChart 

You can start using PiktoChart for free, but the fees are $24.17 a month for it’s Pro plan.

If you want to hit your following with data-driven Instagram Stories, PiktoChart can help.

Framatic – Collage Editor 

The app has 36 adjustable layouts, 32 vintage borders, and 92 effects to apply to photos. You’ll find it in the app store for iPhones and iPads.

Using my favorite model, my dog, I can show you how it works.

Go to iTunes and pay $1.99 for the Instagram app. Be sure to connect it to your camera roll.

Select a collage style. I chose the three-image style. Using Framatic, I took three pictures of my dog.

Framatic - Instagram Apps

Next, I decided whether I wanted to create an Instagram Story or just add the collage to my feed. I chose only to add it to my feed.

Instagram Apps

Next, there were various options to add filters. I almost chose the black-and-white filter, but in the end, I decided not to add a filter and tapped Next.

Framatic

I think that Framatic would be a great app to use for Instagram Stories. My only complaint is the watermark.

Layout

Instagram also has a collage creator. You can use images from your camera roll or ones that you take live. It also includes filters.

Just go to iTunes if you have an iPhone and look for Layout from Instagram.

Square Sized  

Square Sized is another app you can find in the iTunes store. Basically, it allows users to import photos from personal albums on Facebook and optimize them for Instagram. You can also use this app to edit your images.

LiPix – Photo Collage Maker, Picture Editor 

LiPix has 90 adjustable templates, 54 different borders, and 20 photo effects.

[Read more…]

How to Use and Share Instagram Videos and IGTV

How to Share Instagram Videos and IGTV

This is a five-part series on Instagram. In this fourth installment, we talk about Instagram videos and IGTV. (I kept this post short because I’m at a training today and I didn’t want to lose momentum in this series. Here we go!)

Let’s first review some basics:

  • You can record a video on Instagram and post. When doing this, your live video can be as long as one hour.
  • When you record a video to your phone and then post it to Instagram, your video can’t be longer than one minute. They also must be at least three seconds.
  • Videos posts to your Instagram Story has a time limit of fifteen seconds.

How to Record and Share Instagram Videos and IGTV

Here are the steps:

Record a video on your phone.

Open Instagram and tap the IGTV logo.


Instagram Videos and IGTV

Your phone will take you to your recorded videos.

You’ll see a plus (+) sign. Tap it.

Instagram Videos and IGTV

 

From your camera roll on your phone, tap the video you want to select.

Tap next. (I went back to capture the screenshots so as you can see, you can already see my title.)

Assign a title and description.

Instagram

Finally, tap post. Your video will automatically post on your IGTV app as well.

This video example isn’t one I would typically create for Instagram. It would be better to share tips. But for the purpose of this blog post, I quickly created a more general video.

Note: You can also record a video in Instagram. Go to your newsfeed, tap the plus sign in the lower task bar, switch from photo to video, and record.

Instagram and IGTV

You can also add a video from IGTV to your Instagram Story. Here’s how:

Go to the App store and upload IGTV.

Log in to IGTV.

Select your video from your phone’s recorded  pictures and videos.

Tap the paper airplane icon.

Next, select “Add video to your story.”

Instagram Videos and IGTV

Tap the plus sign in the circle at the bottom of your screen.

Or, tap “Send to >.”

Finally, tap “Share.”

IG Video share

As you go through this process, you’ll see the option to add the story to Highlights. Highlights allows you to group old stories together in a new section that sits below your Instagram bio. This obviously gives greater emphasis to them.

How to Use Instagram Videos

 Wondering how to use Instagram videos as an author?

  1. Talk about your newest book.
  2. Explain why you became an author.
  3. Discuss your process when you write.
  4. Showcase your favorite books (by other authors).
  5. Use a video to talk about a contest.
  6. Ask questions, such as which books are your readers’ favorites.
  7. Do a fun video with your dog or cat.
  8. Create a video showing the room where you write.
  9. Take a walk in the woods and explain why you like the path you chose.
  10. Ask your readers what they would like to see in your videos.

How will you use Instagram videos?

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

 

Instagram Account Lagging? Start Using Instagram Stories

Instagram Account Lagging? Start Using Instagram Stories

If you use Instagram and you notice that your account is stagnating, the problem is twofold:

  1. You’re not engaging sufficiently with other users.
  2. You’re not creating Instagram Stories.

In this third installment of my five-part series on Instagram, we’re talking about Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories are a feature within the Instagram app that allows users to share photos and videos within the Story format. If you share more than one image within an Instagram Story, they will appear in a slideshow format.

Stories won’t appear on your profile grid; they will appear at the top of your followers’ home screen, also called the newsfeed. They stand out more and that’s why they are more powerful than normal posts.

Instagram Stories can have one image or multiple images. For example, when you release a new book you could include the book cover on the first image and on the second image say something about it.

But before we get into how to create Instagram Stories, let’s review some statistics that Hootsuite published two weeks ago. Here we go.

Instagram Statistics to Take Seriously

  • Instagram has 1.1 billion monthly active users. Among those people, 500 million use this app every day.
  • 71% of Instagram’s users around the world are under the age of 35.

Instagram Account Lagging? Start Using Instagram Stories

  • 72% of U.S. teens use Instagram. In fact, in the fall of 2018, Instagram surpassed Snapchat in this demographic.
  • Important to this discussion today, 500 million people use Stories every day. Most brands (2 million of them) are telling their stories with Stories.

Now, let’s look at the breakdown of Instagram’s users:

  • 34%of Instagram users are millennials
  • 22%of all Instagram users log in at least once a day
  • 38%of users check Instagram multiple times a day
  • 25%of smartphone owners use Instagram

Now, let’s get into Instagram Stories.

Instagram Stories

In August 2016, Instagram launched Instagram Stories. Stories are basically a feature that allows users to take photos, add effects and layers, and add them to their Instagram Stories.

Instagram introduced them to combat competition from Snapchat’s Stories introduced in 2013, which disappeared in 24 hours.

When Stories were introduced in 2016, they disappeared at the end of 24 hours, similar to Snapchat.

Now, you can archive your Stories. Here’s how:

  1. Go to your profile and tap the three bars in the top right corner
  2. Tap Settings > Privacy and Security > Stories Controls
  3. Tap Save to Camera Roll and Save to Archive
  4. If you want, you can even tap “Share Your Story to Facebook”

archive instagram stories

How to Create Instagram Stories

Here’s how to create your first Instagram Story:

Go to your home feed and tap your picture with the blue and white plus sign in the top row. Alternatively, you could just tap the camera icon.

instagram story

Snap a picture or a video. Yes, I’m using my dog but, hey, why not?

Instagram story - snap a picture

Select a filter.

instagram story - select a filter

[Read more…]

Instagram for Authors: How to Use Hashtags

Instagram for authors

This is the part two of my five-part series on Instagram for authors.

Let’s start by talking about hashtags.

As you know, hashtags are vital to Twitter.

Likewise, for Instagram.

The good news is that you can use a lot of the same hashtags you’ve been using on Twitter for Instagram. Here’s a link to my post on 45+ Twitter hashtags for authors.

Why You Should Use Hashtags on Instagram

But let’s back up a sec.

Hashtags work two ways. They help you connect with readers and other authors, and they help readers find you.

And a hashtag is two contiguous words prefaced by the hashtag symbol #.

According to the Instagram scheduling app, Later, Instagram hashtags are an effective way to trigger more engagement with your images.

A post with at least one Instagram hashtag averages 12.6% more engagement than posts without a hashtag.

On Twitter, two hashtags are the most you want to use in a tweet. Any more than that and your tweet looks spammy.

On Instagram, you can use up to thirty hashtags on a regular post but using eleven is usually sufficient.

On Instagram Stories, you can use up to 10.

Hide the Hashtags

Some people like to hide their hashtags. Others don’t.

My take is that they can make a good caption spammy so hiding them is the better approach.

Not sure how to hide the hashtags?

  1. Upload your image.
  2. Add your caption.
  3. Once your post is published, click the speech bubble and use that area write your hashtags.

(Can you tell I love my dogs?)

You can also hide your hashtags within the caption. Here’s how:

[Read more…]

New to Instagram? Here’s How to Start Plus 9 Tips for Authors

New to Instagram? Here's How to Start Plus 9 Tips for Authors

Are you new to Instagram? Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve used it for a year or longer, you’ll enjoy this five-part series. It will take you from novice to expert over the coming weeks.

Instagram is growing day by day. According to TechCrunch, as of nine months ago Instagram had 1 billion users worldwide.

TechCrunch noted,

While Snapchat’s daily user count grew just 2.13 percent in Q1 2018 to 191 million, and Facebook’s monthly count grew 3.14 percent to reach 2.196 billion, Instagram is growing closer to 5 percent per quarter.

According to the Pew Research Center’s March 1, 2018 report, Instagram is the sixth most used social media site, behind Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Messenger, and WeChat.

Part of Instagram’s growth might be due to the mother of all social media networks, Facebook. After Facebook purchased the app in 2014, Instagram’s user base soared by 60%.

Instagram took off with teens and Millennials. Today, according to the Pew Research Center, 35% of all internet users in the U.S. have an Instagram account. Of those, 39% are women, and 30% are men.

Also, Instagram figures among three platforms that users visit every day.

More About Instagram’s Users

The age breakdown among users trends toward the younger crowd. Most users are between the ages of 18 and 29.

However, there is a relatively large number of users between the ages of 30 and 49. The older age groups tend to be smaller with the 65-and-above crowd making up the smallest percentage of users.

What we know for sure is that for interacting with readers, Instagram is increasingly an excellent platform for engaging with them.

Readers on Instagram

If your reader demographic is between the ages of 18 and 49, Instagram can be a strategic application for you to use. Those of you who write young adult, new adult, dystopian, and teen and young adult romance and science fiction novels, will need to spend time connecting with your readers on Instagram.

But, some agents are recommending that all authors, including nonfiction writers with an older readership, also use Instagram.

However, if your audience isn’t on Instagram, does it make sense to use it? I’m a huge proponent of saving time on social media by only spending time on those networks where you’ll find your readers and your colleagues.

With Instagram’s popularity, it might make sense for you to follow Jane Friedman’s advice: grab your username anyway. After doing that, play around with Instagram and see whether it’s worthwhile for your genre and readership. If it isn’t, leave Instagram, focus your energy on other platforms, and return to it later to test it again.

The beauty of Instagram – and this is why it’s easy to test it – is that it’s effortless to incorporate it into your life. You’ll see why if you keep reading. For now, let’s leave the statistics behind and talk about how to sign up and use this tool.

[Read more…]

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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