Have You Seen These Social Media Changes? Part II

social media changesLast week I wrote about several social media changes, namely to Facebook and Twitter. Today I continue the discussion.

Let’s start the discussion with Twitter Moments.

Changes to Twitter 

Initially a feature for news organizations, Twitter Moments are now available for everyone to use.

This is how to get started:

Go to your Moments tab, located between Home and Notifications on the taskbar. (Look for the lightning symbol.) Give your Moment a title by clicking Title your Moment. Then add a description, and upload an image to set the cover. Then, select some tweets you’ve sent, liked, or retweeted. Once you’ve completed your moment, click Publish in the top left-hand corner. (Note: Be sure to crop your photos right on Twitter for mobile navigation.)


I created a simple moment that includes a tweet about book patches, the Hay Festival in Segovia, Spain, news about the Pulitzer Prize winning The Underground Railroad (read it and loved it!), and two more tweets.

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Indie Author Weekly Update – April 21, 2017

Indie Author News

This week’s Indie Author Weekly Update focuses on social media news including what’s new with Instagram and how best to use Pinterest.

Indie Author Updates

Instagram Just Revamped Instagram Direct, Which Now Has 375 Million Monthly Users from AdWeek: “Instagram revamped its Instagram Direct messaging feature—which now includes disappearing photos and videos, along with texts and reshares—and the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network announced that Instagram Direct now has 375 million monthly active users, up from 300 million last November.”

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10 Quick Tips About Social Media

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

Don’t get disheartened.

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

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

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

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Authors- Want to Reach Millennials & YA Readers? Check out These Facts Plus 10 Tips

Authors- Want to Reach Millennials? Check out These Facts Plus 10 Tips by FrancesAre you using Instagram?

I usually advise writers that if they’re trying to reach Millennials or the young adult market, Instagram is a must because that’s where these demographics primarily hang out.

Now I have information that furthers my belief in my opinion.

The website Red published an infographic last year. (Yes, I know, it’s not up-to-date data, yet it’s still mind-blowing. Besides, data is often a year old when it’s reported.)

Okay, here we go:

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Have you seen these? Guest Posts from TheBookDesigner.com

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There’s no place I’d rather be than the beach, especially the beaches on the Monterey Peninsula where I was born and raised. While I’m away, please visit these posts I’ve written for Joel Friedlander’s blog at TheBookDesigner.com. I’ve been writing for Joel’s blog since November 2013. (Wow! Time does fly.) Below you’ll find pots that date back to December 2014.

Reader Audiences and Analytics: What Do They Really Reveal?

When I ask authors whether they know who their audience is, I’m surprised when some of them reply, “everyone should read my book” or “everyone will like my book.” Well, not exactly. If you write grammar manuals or cookbooks, you may be under the false impression that everyone needs your book. But everyone won’t buy it or even think that a grammar reference, dystopian novel, or low-fat cookbook would be worth its purchase price.

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What to Post on Social Media Plus 38 Examples

What to Post on Social Media Plus 38 Examples by Frances Caballo

Ten years ago, you wrote a book and you never expected to find out anything about the author. Now with social media, everyone wants that connection. I think our readers want to be invited into our lives and brought on the journey and be part of this whole process. ~~ Jane Green

Not Sure What to Post? Try These Ideas

Authors often ask me, “What should I post on social media?”

The answer is simple: Great content that your readers will enjoy. Social media and book marketing aren’t about you. Yes, you have books to sell and a blog you want your readers to visit. But in the end, everything you do is about the reader.

As such, the content you post will be driven by what motivates, moves, and meets the needs of your readers.

In other words, the content you post will need to be:

  • Informative
  • Interesting
  • And when images and videos are used, captivating
  • And at times, your content can be entertaining

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Awesome Social Media Updates Authors Need to Know

Social Media Updates for Authors by Frances Caballo

Social media is always evolving, and that’s why I like it. If you don’t keep up with the latest innovations, you’ll get mired in old ways that worked six months ago but have since bit the proverbial dust.


Perhaps you’re like some people I’ve met you believed that Snapchat was an app that would never apply to your marketing efforts. Well, that’s how social media is.

This little app easily found users among teens and soon big brands figured out how to use to reach their buying demographic.

Now even authors who write Young Adult novels and stories have even more reason to give it a second look.

Not sure when to post your social media updates? Get the Cheat Sheet than tells you when. Download now!

Free Social Media Cheat Sheet by Frances Caballo


Snapchat, the app with a logo consisting of a ghostly icon on a blindingly yellow background, now has an app for authors.

That app is Hooked, and it allows Snapchat users to read stories on smartphones for free.

Hooked allows Snapchat users to read stories on smartphones for free Click To Tweet

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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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Email Marketing or Social Media? Authors Need Both!

Indie Authors Need to Use Both Email Marketing and Social MediaSocial media workshops are all the rage at writers’ conferences but what about email marketing?

It would be smart if some conference leaders started including either mentioning email marketing or including sessions on how write effective email marketing messages.

The focus on email marketing may seem like a sudden shift, but it isn’t. Every webmaster worth her weight has been recommending that writers include an email sign-up form, along with a great giveaway, for years.

Pew Research recently gave further credence to this practice. In a study, it conducted, Pew Research discovered that found that 94% of employed adults use the Internet for work. This number is no surprise when you consider the widespread use of technology across industries.

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Writers: Use Visuals to Market Your Books

Create Your Own VisualsI never describe myself as a visual person. I can open the refrigerator door expecting one of our lunchtime salads to be gobbled up and not see a big, fresh salad that my husband made for me in the morning.

Really, I won’t see it.

Or I can walk into a friend’s home and not notice freshly painted walls or wallpaper newly added to the entry.

If there were an accident while I was standing on the street corner, I would not be able to give the police any details. I wouldn’t recall the color of the car or any details about the suspect.

Despite this quirk of mine, I am always drawn to visuals on social media. In fact, I more often gloss over (or not read) text posts on Facebook and instead jump ahead to the beautiful images and short, meaningful quotes.

I’m not the only one who prefers visual posts over text. Look at these statistics from Wishpond.com:

  • 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.
  • Videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86%.
  • Visual content is social-media-ready and social-media-friendly. It’s easily sharable and easily palatable.
  • Posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without.
  • 67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to carry more weight than product information or customer ratings

 Canva – A Free Application to Create Visuals in Your Messaging

I signed up for Canva about six months ago, and I’ve used it extensively to create Twitter and Facebook headers and images with text for Pinterest and other social media platforms. Canva is free to use (so far) and easy to learn.

Take a look at a few of the images I’ve created. The first image is my new Twitter header.

Frances Caballo - Social Media Just for Writers

This is one of the images I created  for Nina Amir’s Author of Change Program last December.

BEST Retweet Contest

Create Your Own Visuals

To start creating your own visuals, go to Canva. You can select a template or create your custom dimensions.

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Next, you will need to select your layout and image and your text. If you’re not using an image, you’ll need to select a background. If you don’t have any images of your own that you’d like to use, you can select from Canva’s one million images.

Canva provides some images for free and charges $1/image or $10 for eleven images for other pictures. In this example, I typed the word clouds and selected an image that will cost $1.

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My next step is to add a text overlay to the image.  Once I selected the text overlay, I changed the color from green to a pale blue. Then I added my text, added my branding at the bottom, paid for the image, and saved it.

 Canva will remove the watermark overlay once you purchase the image, and you can revise the image as often as you’d like over the following 24 hours.

Here is the visual I created. You’ll notice my branding at the bottom.

 Write Every Day

If you are artistic and you enjoy playing with visuals, you will enjoy this application. If you’re like me, you will be happy to discover how easy this application is to use. Canva has a series of short videos that will help you select complimentary colors and mix designs. 

Use Canva to create visuals to market your books by creating images for your blog, workshops, Goodreads giveaways, and book promotions. Once you create them, upload your visuals to any of your social media platforms, especially Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

What’s exciting is that now you can use Canva to create a cover for your ebook. Check out their pinboard on Pinterest to see their different layouts. 

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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