Social Media Tips for Writers (And Reluctant Marketers)

Social Media Tips for Writers (And Reluctant Marketers)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So I speak from experience.

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

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

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

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

Curate Stellar Content

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

Scoop.it

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

AllTop

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

Blogs

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

Twitter Lists

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

Schedule Your Posts in the Morning

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

bufferBuffer

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

HootSuite

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

SocialOomph

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

Tweetdeck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check Your Return on Investment (ROI)

I love this quote:

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

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

Sprout Social

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

Social Report

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

Insights

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

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Listen, Subscribe & Review Social Media for Authors Podcast

2-6-15 Indie Author Marketing Strategies

Plus 5 Book Marketing Tips

You’ve been awesome so far. Within the first four days of asking for reviews I received five — the number I needed to get into directories.

As wonderful as that is, to get the visibility I need for this podcast I need additional subscribers and reviews.

So anyone who subscribes, reviews and send me a screenshot of their review will still receive a free eBook of your choice — as long as it’s one that I’ve written.

Marketing the podcast has been thrilling and exhausting. It’s like launching a book.

I’ve learned a few lessons that I think can be applied to your book marketing techniques and I want to share them with you.

How to Market Your Podcast (or Books)

  1. Design your image right away. For me that meant the very first task was to create the Social Media for Authors Podcast logo. For you, as soon as you’ve firmed up your book title, have a cover designed (and let your readers vote on various versions) and start referring to your new book. Discuss challenges, obstacles, and successes.
  2. Podcasting is another form of content marketing. So create the best episodes (chapters) that you can.
  3. Ask your audience for advice. In my case, I devised a survey. You can ask for suggestions for venues or names of characters in your next book.
  4. Grow your email list.Click To Tweet. This is so important. Social media helps you cultivate relationships with your readers but email marketing allows you to communicate directly with your readers.
  5. Create a podcast page on your website. You’ll want to create a web page for each of your books. If you look at my Books Page, you’ll see a summary of each book and the option to read more about each book.

Friday Roundup

This week’s roundup focuses on book marketing techniques. I hope you enjoy these posts — I did!

7 Types Of Book Launch Events You Can Use To Gain Best Seller Status For Your Book by Shelley Hitz: If you have a book that’s being published soon, you’ll want to take advantage of all that a book launch can offer! In this video, I describe seven types of book launch events with resources for you to consider:

5 Steps to Building Your Most Successful Marketing Campaign Yet by Indies Unlimited: As an indie author, you cannot succeed without a marketing campaign.

At its core, marketing is nothing more than telling a story. Indies UnlimitedClick To TweetIt’s just applied in a different context. Here are the 5 steps you already use to captivate your readers that you can use to build your most successful campaign yet. If you have a book that’s being published soon, you’ll want to take advantage of all that a book launch can offer!

Blogger Outreach by Adam Connell:*Note: This is a great post that applies nicely to book marketing. Have you ever emailed another blogger and struggled to get a response? Maybe you wanted to pitch a guest post idea or wanted to invite them to take part in an interview. Whatever the reason, the results are usually the same – silence. Imagine if you were able to not just get a response, you were able to get a positive response that enabled you to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with that blogger.

Don’t forget to head over to iTunes to listen, subscribe and Review the Social Media for Authors Podcast.

iTunes

About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

Free Book Promotions, Testing Book Ideas and Social Media for Writers

6-13-14

This week’s roundup is truly a wild mix of posts. I’ve included an article on the best book promotion sites, on whether lowering book prices is a good idea and another one on how to test market your book idea. In the social media for writers arena, there is a wonderful post from HubSpot on how to optimize your blog and a list of what mistakes you should never make on social media. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Top 10 Free Book Promotion Sites from Angie’s Diary: First and most important is the debate about paid for and free sites. All the websites in my top ten are free to use – but that doesn’t mean paid for sites aren’t worth considering. Some offer a lot for quite a small initial outlay. I’ve considered joining the AuthorMarketing Club, for example, as it’s recommended by Joanna Penn and helps save time by extending your author platform to a wealth of other sites. They advertise ‘Free book marketing resources and tools’ but to really benefit you need to consider their premium service. Another site I’ve looked at is the Independent Author Network, which is very affordable and claims that “over 10,000 readers visit IAN each day to find great books by our talented authors.”

25 Pieces of Advice You Need to Build an Awesome Facebook Page from SteamFeed: During the last couple of months we’ve all read a steady stream of complaints about Facebook’s most recent changes and how they affect business Pages. Yet anyone who pays close attention to what’s happening at Facebook shouldn’t be terribly surprised.

Who’s Afraid of Very Cheap Books? from Let’s Get Visible: A common meme in publishing is that cheap books are destroying the world or literature, and that low prices are undermining the viability of publishing or writers’ ability to make a living. I’ve long thought this position is nonsense – a narrative which plays on misplaced fears of change and a confusion of price and value, which is also based on flawed assumptions and analog, zero-sum thinking. And, if anything, the opposite is true.

15 Blog Optimization Stats from HubSpot: You’ve probably heard many times before that if you want to create and sustain a successful blog, there’s a lot you need to do. You’ve got to create exceptional content. You’ve got to optimize your posts for search engines. You also have to create catchy titles, inspire social shares, and determine the best times for publishing your posts, among a thousand other things.

10 Social Media Mistakes You’re Probably Making from All Twitter: This visual from Daily Genius proposes 10 social media mistakes that you’re probably making.

10 Ways to Test Market Your Nonfiction Book Idea Before You Publish fromThe Book Designer: Writing and publishing a full-length nonfiction manuscript represents a big commitment in time and effort, let alone money. The fear that the book may flop, meaning never sell, stops many aspiring authors in their tracks. But it shouldn’t.

 



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 theWomen’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and theBay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

 

Photo credit: Nicole Yeary via photopin cc

Self-Publishing and the Creative Process

Art 550This week’s post center around the creative process. As writers, we’re always imagining new worlds, thinking about our covers and looking for ways to overcome obstacles to the creative process. It’s my hope that the posts below will aid you in your own creative process, whether you write fiction, poetry or nonfiction. 

Publishing And Marketing Tips For The Apple iBookstore With Mark Coker From Smashwords by Joanna Penn: As ebooks move far beyond the mature markets of the US and UK in 2014, I think all authors should be aware of the other platforms that compete, and in some cases, dominate. A few weeks ago, Mark Coker did a presentation for the Alliance of Independent Authors on the opportunities for publishing and marketing in the Apple iBookstore. It’s a long video but well worth watching if you’re not making many sales on iBookstore, because there are things you can do to maximize your chances of sales. I’ll certainly be making some changes myself based on Mark’s talk.

Why Every Author Needs a Google+ Account from BookBaby Blog: A recent article on Hypebot does a good job explaining why content creators (especially authors!) need to be using Google’s social platform. Here’s the quick summary.

10 Ways to Overcome Mental Blocks & Boost Creativity from Fine Art Tips by Lori McNee: The need to create is a shared desire among artists, writers, musicians and even bloggers. But, sometimes we creatives hit a mental block and often find ourselves stressed, overwhelmed and unable to produce original ideas. This happens to me from time to time, so I compiled a list of my proven ways to overcome mental blocks & boost creativity.

How To Make Your Own Free Book Cover In MS Word from The Creative Penn: Derek Murphy of Creativindie Covers is a brilliant designer and has designed a number of my own book covers. But although I personally believe in paying professionals, I’m also aware that some people want to have a go themselves, or need to because of budget restraints. This post is for the avid DIY-ers!

10 Words to Cut from Your Writing from Entrepreneur by Shanna Mallon: As Mark Twain famously wrote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” His point? Strong writing is lean writing, When you want to make your writing more powerful, cut out words you don’t need–such as the 10 included in this post.

 

socialmediaforwritersAbout 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 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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.