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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Is It Time for Authors to Stop Using Google+?

Is Google+ Dead for Authors?When Google+ first appeared on the virtual landscape on June 28, 2011, everyone wondered whether it would destroy Facebook’s popularity the way Facebook tossed a lance into MySpace.

Looking back, I can’t help but wonder how anyone could have thought Facebook would disappear from the digital world.

Au contraire. Today, Facebook is thriving with 1.7 billion monthly active users (and 1..4 billion daily active users) and Google+ seems to be slowly deflating like a balloon losing air.

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Social Media Guidelines for Newbie (& Experienced) Authors

Social Media Guidelines by Frances CaballoI love Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word newbie,

newcomer; especially: a newcomer to cyberspace

There’s no shame in coming to the field of publishing and online marketing right now. It hasn’t been around that long.

The fact that I’m not an early adopter and have learned so much is proof that you can be where I am in little time.

So just because the neighbor’s kid seems to know all about Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, don’t worry.

You don’t want to follow her or his advice. Kids come to social media as a way to connect in expanded ways with their friends.

You’ll be using social media to establish your brand and market your books. See the difference?

Free Social Media Cheat Sheet by Frances Caballo

So what the kid next door knows will not apply to you.

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Social Media for Authors Podcast: How to Conquer Google+

Social Media for Authors Podcast  by Frances CaballoBelow are the show notes from Episode 16 of the Social Media for Authors Podcast. To read the show notes from previous episodes,  please refer to my earlier Friday blog posts.

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This week’s episode includes summaries of four blog posts with awesome tips that will help you get more out of Google+, and, of course, I have your tip of the week.

Let’s start with your weekly tip.

Before I officially launched this podcast in January, I sponsored a survey, and I asked all of my followers to tell me what they (you) wanted to learn about in this podcast.

Well, Google+ ranked high so here I am fulfilling my promise and giving you information you’re going to love, and that will help you better learn how to make use of this powerful, great social media network.

When Google+ first appeared on June 28, 2011, everyone wondered whether it would destroy Facebook’s popularity the way Facebook tossed a lance into MySpace.

Some social media experts expounded on Facebook’s vulnerability and even publicly said adios to Facebook while proclaiming their allegiance to Google’s new social media product.

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Friday Roundup: Survey Results and Social Media Tips for Authors

1-30-15The results from the Podcast Survey are back and I sincerely thank everyone who participated.

In the end, I decided to give away more than just 10 books; I actually gave 15 eBooks to the first cluster of people who responded. To those of you who took the survey, I extend another huge thank you.

Now let’s review the responses.

The majority of you use Twitter (100%!), Facebook (93.75%), Google+ (75%), and Pinterest (68.75%). Forty-three percent use Instagram.

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Social Media Tips for Assault and Domestic Violence Survivors

Social Media Tips for Assault and Domestic Violence Survivors
What can you do to build your author platform if you’re a survivor of domestic violence or rape?

It’s not an uncommon question. Consider these facts from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • Females who are 20 – 24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.

Last year I met a writer who was being stalked. Recently, a domestic violence survivor contacted me, asking for my advice. While attending a conference, a rape survivor asked me a similar question.

If you or someone you know is also in this situation, call 1-800-799-7233. When an author is a sexual assault or domestic violence survivor who want to build a marketing platform, I have these strategies to consider.

Pen Names

The easiest strategy is to create a pen name. Even authors who don’t have a sexual assault in their backgrounds sometimes use pen names.

Either they want to use their maiden names as their author name or they might be public school teachers who write romance or erotic novels and don’t want their principals to discover their books.

Keep reading more additional strategies.

How to Protect Your Identity on Facebook

If you don’t want an abuser to contact you or see your status updates and you don’t want to use a pen name, then I don’t recommend having a Facebook page. Instead, focus on building your profile and tightening your privacy settings.

Your first step will be to block the abuser. Go to your news feed (the Home tab) and click on Settings.


On the left column, select Blocking to block the user you don’t want to have any contact with.

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Next, navigate to the settings under Privacy.

Facebook privacy settings

Here, you’ll want to check these sections:

  • Who can see your future posts?
  • Review all your posts and things you’re tagged in.
  • Limit the audience for posts you’ve shared with friends off friends or Public?
  • Who can send you friend requests?
  • Who can look you up using the email address you provided?
  • Who can look you up using the phone number you provided?
  • Do you want search engines outside of Facebook to link to your profile?

You’re going to want to establish strict filtering on these sections. Here’s an example of my settings under these headings:


There were times when I had very strict settings due to the fact that a few unsavory types almost ruined Facebook for me. So there may be times when you’ll want to be strict, and other times when you’ll feel safe enough to loosen the settings.

Go with your comfort level and what makes you feel safest.

Now check out the box titled “Who can look you up using the email address you provided?” If the abuser has access to your email address, make sure you filter is as strict as possible.

Remember, sometimes, it’s just not the former abuser who is bothersome but his current wife, girlfriend, or buddies. I’m liberal in this section because I want to be found on the Web but if you are avoiding a stalker, I would recommend stringent controls here.

Twitter and Privacy Controls

Twitter is tricky when it comes to privacy. Click on your avatar and then on settings. Then click on “Security and privacy from the menu on the left.”

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These are your options under Privacy:

Twitter privacy settings

My settings are fairly strict.

However, instead of protecting your tweets, which will make being on Twitter pointless, your best strategy is to assume a false identity. As an author, this will mean using a pen name.

And instead of using a profile picture of yourself, you’ll have to do something else, which I hate to say but if your safety is at stake, take that added precaution.

There are quite a few domestic violence survivors on Twitter who use false identities and false avatars.

Here again, your comfort level will determine how stringent your settings are. Do you want to allow others to tag in your tweets and images? As you can see, I don’t add a location to my tweets because I don’t feel this is a safe setting for women or teens.

On other social media platforms that you use, go to the settings feature and make your privacy settings as strict as you need to.

Using social media as a survivor isn’t easy, but with the right precautions it can be done.

Social Media Just for Writers is now just $1.99! But the sale price won’t last forever so get your copy now! It includes a chapter on blogging.

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

Blogging, Video and Bookselling Tips from Penny Sansevieri

8-8-14It’s August yet it feels like fall here in Sonoma County, which is located about 55 miles north of San Francisco. The mornings are dreary, the dew is heavy, and lately we’ve had very little sun. We’re definitely feeling the dog days of summer. (I love dogs, by the way.) However, these posts did brighten my week and I hope you enjoy them too.

26 Ways to Bring Your Blog to Life from Entrepreneur: We all want more engagement on our blog posts. I mean traffic numbers are nice, but when no one comments or shares your posts, you just feel so alone. (Is anyone listening to me!?) User interaction is the soul of a blog. Not only does it help build your confidence, but it could help turn your blog into a cash cow. Here are 26 ways to bring life to your blog.

How to create a video with PowerPoint from Build Book Buzz: Confession time: I view creating videos as a necessary evil. It’s not something I look forward to, and that’s not just because good hair days don’t come around very often.

Never Sell Your Book: Tip #16 of 52 Ways to Market Your Book from Author Marketing Experts, Inc.: So you’re all ready to promote your book. You’ve got a great press kit, a polished bio, and a letter-perfect press release. Now you’re ready to sell, sell, sell, right? Wrong. One of the biggest mistakes authors make is selling their book. Remember it’s not about the book; it’s about what the book can do for the reader.

Twelve Things You Should Do on Your Personal Google+ Account Right Now from KISSMetrics: Like it or not, Google+ is becoming more important in the digital marketing landscape. Google+ is not just a Facebook redux. Instead, it comprises a huge part of the social milieu of your online existence. Google+ has subtly creeped into your emailing, browsing, article writing, creating Google+ business pages, and a variety of other activities across the web.

13 Ways to Impress an Agent from Books & Such : You’ve been trying to crack the code for getting an agent’s attention, whether in a query or a face-to-face meeting. You’ve been searching high and low for the secret to making an agent sit up and say “Wow!”


About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web



p align=”center”>Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web



photo credit: A Guy Taking Pictures via photopin cc

56 Social Media Terms Writers Need to Know

Social Media Terms to Know by Frances CaballoI haven’t ever written a blog post that was merely a list of terms even though I find these types of posts useful. So I thought it would be helpful to create this list of 56 commonly used social media terms that you can copy and keep on hand whenever you run into a term that you don’t recognize. Feel free to share this post with others.

5-19-14 TwitterTwitter

@Reply – Use this symbol followed by a Twitter user’s handle (username) to send the user a tweet. The tweet will appear on your and the other user’s profiles.

[email protected] – When a period is added before another user’s handle, the tweet will appear on both the sender (the person sending the tweet) and the recipient’s profiles.

Blocking – You can block users whose tweets you find offensive, whose tweets are purely spam, or whose tweets are bothersome. When you block another user on Twitter, that user can no longer follow you and you can’t follow that user.

Direct Message, aka “DM” – A message that Twitter users can send each other that aren’t visible on your timelines. Too often, direct messages are used to spam another user (“See my website/blog.” “Download my short stories.”), which is why they are seldom read.

Favorite – This is a feature on Twitter that allows you to mark a tweet as one you like. Once a tweet is identified as a “Fave,” Twitter will automatically pin the message to your account for reference later.

Follow – To agree to receive tweets from another Twitter user.

Follower – This term is used for users who receive your tweets.

Handle – On Twitter, this is another word for username. It’s best to keep your handle to fewer than twelve characters.

Mention/Retweet or RT – On Twitter, repeating information in another user’s tweet and crediting the original author.

Timeline, Twitter – The feed of incoming tweets from people you follow.

Tweeps – This term is used to describe friends or followers with whom you are in frequent contact.

Tweet – A post that a Twitter user writes that adheres to the 140-character limit.

Twitter Chat – An active discussion occurring on Twitter at a specific time. As long as you know the hashtag and time of the Twitter chat, you can join one.

Twitterati – Similar to glitterati, the Twitterati are the stars of Twitter. Users who are in this category include @GuyKawasaki, @mashable and @smexaminer.

Twitterer/Tweeter – Someone who uses Twitter.

Twittosphere – This term refers to a collective group of people who tweet.

Twoosh – A tweet that is exactly 140 characters.

Unfollow – You have the option to unfollow—no longer receive—tweets your followers send you.

Username – An identifier, such as a user’s first name, so the user can access computers and programs

(when used in combination with a password).

Via – This term has gained a lot of traction. Use it in place of RT (retweet).


5-19-14 FBFacebook

Facebook Lists – Categories of Facebook friends and pages that can be used to target messaging on Facebook profiles or keep track of pages you follow.

Facebook Tabs – Specially designed Web pages often used with a call to action. Facebook tabs have their own URLs.

Insights – A free application for Facebook fan pages that provides metrics, trends, user growth, and demographics on fan engagement.

Timeline, Facebook –The timeline is where users post their status updates. You can allow others to post on your timeline or you can adjust your privacy settings so that other uses aren’t allowed to add posts and images directly on your timeline.


5-19-14 LinkedInLinkedIn

Connection – Connections on LinkedIn are similar to Twitter users who mutually follow each other; when you accept a connection, you agree to accept their updates in your news feed, which is located on the Home page.

Group – Groups on LinkedIn provide opportunities to further your education – and to share your expertise – in writing and publishing.

LinkedIn First-Degree Connections – LinkedIn users with whom you’ve worked or shared information with in one of LinkedIn’s groups, or colleagues whose email addresses you have.

LinkedIn Second-Degree Connection – LinkedIn users who are connected to your first-degree connections but aren’t directly connected to you yet.

LinkedIn Third-Degree Connection – People who are connected to your second-degree connections. You will be unable to connect with this category of user on your own; you’ll need to ask another connection to introduce you to third-degree connections.



+1 – Google’s +1 button is similar to Facebook’s Like. When you like a blog post or photo and click on Google’s +1 icon, your status box on Google+ will appear so that you can share the post or photo you liked, write a comment, and share your comments on Google+. You can learn more about the +1 and find the html code to include on your website here: http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/+1/

Center Stage – This is the main video window during a Hangout that shows which person is currently speaking.

Chat – Similar to Facebook’s chat feature, you can send short, instant messages to other Google+ users.

Circle – The Circle is equivalent to a Facebook list. Use this feature to target your messaging to your readers, editors, designers, and critique group members, and to maintain privacy on the very wide open Web.

Hangout – This is a group video chat feature used to lead a Web-based discussion on Google+.

Home – Your home page is your news feed where you see updates from people you follow.

Notifications – These are the short updates Gmail users receive about their Google+ profiles. They occur whenever a user has a new connection or shares a comment. They will fly into your Gmail inbox, which makes replies convenient, efficient, and easy.

Profile – This is where you can see all of your updates and edit your information.

Share – On Facebook, you click on the blue and white Post button to send your Status Update onto your friends’ homepages. On Google+, you click on the green and white Share button to activate an update.

Stream – This is the term used for the display of posts by your connections on Google+.


5-19-14 PinterestPinterest

Pinboard – On Pinterest, a collection of related images.

Pin – Navigate to this page to add the Pin It Button to your browser so that you can add pins to your pinboard directly from your website on elsewhere on the Web. You can add the Pin It Button from here: http://help.pinterest.com/en/articles/add-pin-it-button-your-browser#Web

Repin – This Pinterest term signifies adding images to a pinboard, especially images uploaded by other users.



Channels – This is an interchangeable word for network, as in social media network or social media channel.

Google Adwords – A free tool from Google that helps users determine the best keywords for their blogs, websites, and other platforms.

Google Analytics – A free tool from Google that helps users analyze traffic to their website or blog.

Gravatar – A Gravatar is an abbreviation for globally recognized avatar. Once you register your email address at  http://en.gravatar.com, whenever you leave a comment on someone’s blog and enter your email address, your image will appear next to your remarks. If you register your Gmail email, your image will load whenever you send a message.

Hashtags – Words with the number sign (#) in front of them used on Twitter to enhance search results and track buzz. Hashtags are also used on Google+ and Facebook.

Keywords – A component of search engine optimization. Simply put, keywords are the terms someone would type into a Google (or Firefox or Safari) search bar to find your book, services they want, or a restaurant in a new town.

Lists – On Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, lists are used to group certain connections together. On Google+, lists are referred to as circles.

QR Codes – First developed in 1994 by a Japanese automotive company, Quick Response codes are square-shaped matrix barcodes that can be scanned with a smart phone and take a potential buyer directly from a product on the shelf to a website (or event on a flyer) and information. There are numerous QR Code generators, including this one: http://www.qr-code-generator.com

RSS – This is an abbreviation for Rich Site Summary, but it’s better known as Really Simple Syndication. Once you elect to receive updated posts from a blog using an RSS feed, posts will automatically update and you won’t need to revisit the original website.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization is a combination of actions to bring your book to Page One of a search engine’s first page of results.

Social Media Dashboard – An application, such as Hootsuite, that enables users to read in one spot incoming updates, tweets, and posts from their social media networks. Dashboards can also be used to schedule tweets and updates.

Tag – Tags occur in Google+ whenever you type + before a user’s name, similar to the @ that precedes a Twitter handle or username.

Vanity URL – A Web address that the users create to include their names or book titles.


photo credit: giulia.forsythe via photopin cc

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc photo credit: opensourceway via photopin cc

photo credit: FindYourSearch via photopin cc

photo credit: Coletivo Mambembe via photopin cc

About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Goodreads, Keywords, Facebook Marketing Tips and Writing Google+ Posts

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery week I’m amazed by the brilliant articles on the blogosphere. There are days when I think, “How can anyone write a post that is original? Hasn’t every topic been covered already?” Yet this past week I found blog posts that were simply astounding. So my quench for great content was satisfied, the sun has shining again in Northern California (summer is finally here!), and I couldn’t feel better.

This week’s roundup will provide you with Facebook marketing tips and information to enhance your skills on Goodreads, Google+ and other platforms.

5 Facebook Marketing Tips To Drive Engagement by Jeff Bullas – “It started as a trickle and has turned into a torrent as people and companies target you with multiple media such as Twitter and emails with requests for you to ‘like’ their company Fan page on Facebook. The Facebook  ’like’ scramble is this centuries version of the frantic email subscriber acquisition tactics of the 1990′s. Business started to seriously take to Facebook marketing in early 2010 as the number of Facebook pages more than doubled with the 1.5 million ‘page’s in December 2009  increasing to over 3 million by February 2010, according to Insidefacebook.com. So how do you encourage your brand’s Facebook fans to become more engaged with you rather than just plain ‘begging’ to be ‘liked’?”

A Key Book Marketing Principle That Authors Must Learn (or Not Forget) by Jane Friedman – Most new authors, upon securing a book contract or planning a book launch, are advised they need to establish a Twitter account, a Facebook page, or [list social media channel here]. Why? To market their book, of course. This presents an immediate dilemma: If the author is not already active on these channels, of her own interest and volition, she now has the mindset of using these tools to “market”—and the new author may have no idea what that means beyond telling people to like their page or follow them. No one I know enjoys being a marketer on social media, not any more than people want to be marketed to. It poisons the experience, for everyone. You might respond: Yeah, tell us something we don’t know, right? Yet authors continue to use social media—and their online networks—as blunt instruments, posting things that beg people to pay attention and become a buyer or follower. Unfortunately, asking for such attention on a social media network is likely to ensure you won’t be getting any, except for those who already adore you or feel obligated to support you.”

The Art of Writing Great Google+ Posts by DEMIAN FARNWORTH – “There’s no denying it: we love Google+. Sure, we’ve made hay over other social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. That’s because it’s smart to be where your audience is … to engage them there, and then direct them back to your own digital property. But Google+ is something different. It’s why we’ve gone out of our way to teach you how content creators can build authority and an audience on Google+ … the critical role Google+ plays in authorship and online visibility … and why it’s the best social site for content marketers. High-level stuff. Now let’s get down to the quick and dirty and teach you how to create Google+ posts that get attention, shared, and comments. Lots of attention, shares, and comments. But first … My Google+ hall of fame posts.”

23 Literary Agent Query Letters That Worked from the Galley Cat Blog by Jason Boog – “Once you find an agent you would like to represent your book, the pitch letter is the next step in the traditional publishing process. Below, we’ve collected 23 different agent pitch letters that actually worked in a variety of genres. We’ve gathered these samples from agency websites, agent blogs and the Agent Query forums. No matter what kind of novel you have written, they can help you craft a better query letter. Welcome to our Top Stories of Summer 2013 series. For all our readers returning from trips and vacation reading, we’ve created a short list of the stories you may have missed during this long, strange summer for the publishing industry.”

Making Goodreads Work for You by Alicia Lawrence – “Goodreads is like Facebook for people who love to read books. They have more than 16,000,000 users and are growing every day. If you are a new author who hasn’t yet established a fan base, you can use the site to begin growing an audience. So, as an interested author, how do you join Goodreads? To become more widely known as an author, your books need to have reviews. As more people review your book, your visibility increases. The reviews also help readers take a chance on your book. They’re more comfortable purchasing a book by an unknown author when there are at least a handful of reviews to attest to the author’s work. After all, you wouldn’t attend an online course that you’ve never heard of before, right? Reviews can take you from being an unknown author to a recognized author.”

Easy Guide to Using Keywords to Get your Blog Noticed by Laurence O’Bryan – “Key words is one of those dark arts that most people don’t bother with in their blogs. We know there may be something in it, but have we got the time to get it right for every post? Here are some simple things you can do to make keywords work for you as part of your strategy to get your blog or site noticed. (1) Think about a set of keywords that define what you provide. This can be tricky or easy depending on how straightforward what you do is. One way to think about this is what problem or problems you help people solve. If you can think of a few of these the keywords and phrases should flow more easily.” Keep reading this post!

Social Media Just for Writers by Frances CaballoAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer,  and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Editor for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapterthe San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.