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.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – October 19, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update - October 19, 2018

I hope you enjoy this week’s Indie Author Update. You’ll find informative posts from Diana Urban from BookBub, Rachel Thompson, Sandra Beckwith, and Amy Collins. Plus, there’s a podcast episode from Dave Chesson. Enjoy!

How Successful Authors Use Social Media: 23 Content Ideas by Diana Urban: “Social media can be a useful part of an author’s platform, helping them connect with readers, fellow writers, and the publishing community. But deciding what content to post next can be a struggle. So how do successful authors use social media to engage with their fans? And what can authors post on social media besides links to their own books?”

What You’re Doing Wrong on Twitter and How to Make It Right from Anne R. Allen and by Rachel Thompson: “Twitter is a wonderful way to connect with readers, book bloggers, and book reviewers if you are connecting with them strategically. Many writers are completely flummoxed how to do that.

Episode 51: The Cold Hard Truth About Book Marketing Services by Dave Chesson: “If you’re worried about marketing your book and are looking into getting a book marketing service, I advise you to proceed with caution. There are some that will work fine with your book, however many will take any book and put it through a conveyor-belt like process for marketing your book.”

3 ways to pitch your book to the press as the perfect holiday gift by Sandra Beckwith: “Every year at this time, newspapers, online news sites, and bloggers start thinking about their holiday gift guides. You’ll start seeing them in late November and all through December.”

Must read post for all writers

Understanding the Current “Dos” and “Don’ts” of Amazon Book Reviews by Amy Collins and from TheBookDesigner.com: “We would like to bring you up to date on the current rules and share some guidelines we have found most helpful when trying to get reviews for your book on Amazon. Here you will find the most frequently asked questions around the Amazon review process and Amazon’s answers. I have gone right to the source and given you the Amazon rules right from the horse’s mouth.”

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

 

5 Tweets to Stop Sending Today

5 Tweets to Stop Sending Today

(Note: I updated this post and decided it was valuable enough to post again. I hope you agree!)

Are all tweets created equal? Well, no. Read this post to find out which tweets you need to nix and which you should send.


Twitter has been around twelve years and in the social media sphere, that’s a long time.

Its founder sent the first tweet on March 21, 2006 and within four years it attracted 106 million users.

As of the second quarter of 2018, Twitter averaged 335 million monthly active users. (Source: Statista)

Maybe it’s my funky mood today but I find it surprising that despite Twitter’s history and wide usage users still send me promotional direct messages. BTW: I don’t read direct messages.

For today’s post, I decided to break my rule and take a look at the list of recent direct messages (DM). Below you’ll see their messages. (Note: I’ve deleted usernames and URLs to protect the privacy of these people.)

“I’d be so grateful if you could check out and rate my eBook.”

“Do you love eBooks? Download mine.”

“Thank you for following. Like me on FB.”

“My campaign is 51% funded. Link is in my bio.”

“I use TrueTwit. To validate click here: URL.”

“Connect with me on FB.”

“Connect with me on Google.”

“Please check out my books.”

“Please buy my books.”

“Please read and review my books.”

“Check out my website.”

Twitter

Stop Sending These Five Tweets

I’m not saying that you can never tweet about your books, Facebook page, blog, or newsletter. What I suggest is that you space those tweets apart and never send them as a direct message as part of your “thanks-for-following” tweet.

For example, I send tweets about my eBooks. I also send tweets about my new blog posts.

However, the  majority of information I tweet consists of images and blog posts I didn’t write that I hope writers will find interesting.

If I tweeted about my books more often than I do, people like you would get bored with me.

Here are five tweets to stop sending today:

  1. Stop using the TrueTwit validation application. You’ll never grow your tribe if you use this app. If you are worried about spammers, use ManageFlitter to weed them out.
  2. Don’t send direct messages to your new followers. In fact, stop sending direct messages unless you’re trying to contact someone you know to convey your email address or phone number.
  3. Don’t ask new followers to like your Facebook page, read your book, read your blog, or review your website or book.
  4. Think twice before sending someone a thank you for following. In the early days, I did this but I don’t anymore. I think your time could be better spent doing something else, like a writing a blog post or working on your next book.
  5. Don’t send ten tweets in a row. It’s not nice to flood someone’s timeline with a day’s worth of messages in the span of a few minutes.

[Read more…]

Indie Author Weekly Update – September 7, 2018

Indie Author Weekly Update

It’s Friday, which means that it’s time for a new Indie Authors Weekly Update. Be sure to read Mark Dawson’s post on building a successful author career. Anne R. Allen and David Kudler’s posts are also great.

5 Steps to Building a Successful Author Career by Mark Dawson: “I’ll probably say it again before I have finished, but I’d argue that this is the best time in the history of the world to be a writer. I know – pretty grandiose. Let me explain.  When I started writing at the end of the 1990s, if I wanted to get my writing out to readers I only really had one path that was open to me. Once I had finished my manuscript, I would send the first three chapters and a covering letter to one of the dozens of literary agencies that accepted unsolicited submissions.”

9 Pieces of Bad Publishing Advice New Writers Should Ignore by Anne R. Allen: “Social Media is both a boon and a curse to new writers. Online writing groups and forums are an excellent source of insider information on the publishing industry—stuff we once could only find at expensive classes and writers’ conferences. But social media is also a major source of misinformation and dangerously bad advice.”

Retweeting Your Own Tweets Can Boost Your Reach and Engagement from Buffer: “In February 2018, Twitter updated its rules to prohibit sharing tweets that are identical or substantially similar to one another. Before this rule change, re-sharing top tweets (sparingly) was one of our favorite strategies for increasing our Twitter reach and engagement here at Buffer. And while it was a shame to forgo this strategy, we understand the rationale behind the new rules and are fully supportive of them. So, rather than dwelling on what used to work, we started searching for other strategies to try. Here’s one experiment we’ve been working on (and our results in full).”

Amazon Top Reviewer Secrets: The Must-Read Tell-All by Penny Sansevieri: “When you’re pitching Amazon Top Reviewers, have you ever wondered about the things they love, and the things that will absolutely get you shoved to the bottom of their book review consideration pile? We thought so, too, which is why we took some time to interview several of these top book reviewers. Each of them is anonymous in this piece (with the exception of one).”

10 Instagram Tips for Writers from Jane Friedman’s blog and by Annie Sullivan: “So how can writers use Instagram to their benefit? Here are some easy things to keep in mind to find and engage your target readership on Instagram.”

How to Grow Your Email List With Pinterest by Emily Syring: “Do you have an engaged audience on Pinterest? Wondering how to get your Pinterest followers onto your email list? In this article, you’ll discover how to promote your email opt-in via your Pinterest profile, boards, and pins.”

Words Gone Wild: KDP Keywords Revisited from TheBookDesigner.com and by David Kudler: “I’ve talked about keywords before; they’re an essential piece of metadata that determines how easy it is for the right reader to find your book. They are in many ways the key to discoverability. It is best to think of them, not as single words, but as search phrases — that is to say, groups of words that your ideal reader is likely to search for. Put a different way, what question is your ideal reader likely to ask to which your book is the answer?”

Quote of the Week

Patton Oswalt quote

 

 

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! But the sale price won’t last forever so get your copy now!

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.

Practical tips for marketing your books on the social web

How to Get Readers to Share Your Tweets

How to Get Readers to Share Your Tweets

Looking for some Twitter tips to take your tweeting to the next level? Keep reading to discover how to get your audience to share your tweets.

Wouldn’t you love to know which words are the most retweetable?

Can’t you see yourself? There you are, soaring above the competition, racking up shares (does anyone really use the word retweet anymore?).

Ah, can’t you just taste the glory? You’d be a Twitter rock star, right? A member of the Twitterati.

Well, not exactly. You’d still have to figure out how to use the most retweetable words in every tweet.

And you’d feel a little like James Joyce who, legend tells us, struggled with what order to place his words. (Now doesn’t that explain Ulysses?)

Well, a part of your struggle has been fixed. We do know what the most retweetable words are, and that’s half the battle.

20 Most Retweetable Words and Phrases

The 20 most retweetable words or phrases for engagement and retweets, according to Dan Zarella, author of The Science of Marketing, are the following:

[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…]

How I Accumulated 40,000 Twitter Followers

How I reached 40,000 followers on Twitter
I remember when I joined Twitter seven years ago. Within the first day, I had four followers, and I recall running out of my office and into the kitchen so I could tell my husband that four people were following me. “Me!” I said.

I was stoked.

I didn’t know back then that to gain followers you had to follow people, so I did nothing, aside from posting a few tweets every day.

Don’t Be a Twit

Then I did the worst thing possible. (I made other mistakes in those days but, hey, I was still learning.) I signed up for an application called TrueTwit. Basically, the application “verifies” that someone who follows you isn’t a bot or a spammer by making new followers type a captcha. If they don’t type the captcha, you can’t follow them back, assuming they’re worth following.

If someone locks down their account, preventing people from following, it’s their fault for being overly cautious. The result? Their account doesn’t grow. They are virtually turning their back to Twitter’s social experience and the opportunity to socialize with their readers and meet new readers as well as meet new colleagues.

When I used the application, I obviously didn’t know better. After a year or two, I might have had 100 followers. Then I read a radical suggestion. Someone recommended that anyone who used an app like TrueTwit should dump it immediately and start following 50 people a day.

I immediately dumped TrueTwit and started following my target demographic, authors.

By the end of the year, I gained about 5,000 followers, and my account grew from there to its present state of 40,000 followers.

So my first bit of advice is don’t use TrueTwit or any application that’s similar to it and if you want to have followers, you need to follow people. Actively start to follow 50 people a day. Starting now.

Unfollow Inactive Twitter Accounts

Not everyone you follow will follow you back. So after giving people a week or so to follow you back, you’ll need to unfollow them. Just say adios to them.

To unfollow these Twitter users, you’ll need to use an application such as Tweepi or ManageFlitter. I’ve used both apps, and I look them both. ManageFlitter also keeps track of inactive accounts (I believe Tweepi does too but I no longer use it) – those people who followed you but then stopped tweeting. I unfollow those accounts as well because I don’t want to tweet to inactive accounts.

ManageFlitter has quite a few awesome features. For example, it identifies bots and spam accounts, I profiled all of its features in a how-to post some time back. The instructions and screenshots haven’t changed, so I recommend that you visit it here.

[Read more…]