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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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.

Facebook

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

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 7.45.29 AM

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:

Facebook

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.”

Screen Shot 2015-01-04 at 8.03.14 AM

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 & Social Media Tips for Writers

8-29-14 blog-400This week’s Roundup includes two posts from Adam Connell of Blogging Wizard because we can all learn a great deal from this talented blogger. Don’t miss the post by Denise Wakeman on how to turn your written content into video. Content is king and video is a super way to deliver it. We have so much to learn from her. There are also great posts from Rachel Thompson — with social media tips for writers — and HubSpot. Enjoy!

How To Turn Your Written Content Into Video Content by The Future of Ink: When it comes to marketing, content is still king. Content drives sales of your products and services, and keeps your customers engaged in your business. However, content is also a hungry beast that must be fed – constantly. In order to stay visible and relevant, you have to continue to “feed the beast” and consistently crank out new content and material. That’s why it’s such a great idea to r epurpose your existing content and give your old material new life.

20 Top Productivity Tools For Bloggers: Increase Your Productivity Immediately by Blogging Wizard: I don’t have time. Have you ever said this to yourself or to someone else? I’m sure most of us have at some point in time, even the best of us. It’s a self-limiting belief which stops us from being more productive. It’s not that we don’t have enough time, it’s that we need to find ways to do more with the time we have. In this post I will show you tools to help you become more productive. Whether you want to stay focused while writing, organize your time better or automate tedious tasks.

8 Blogging “Rules” You Should Probably Ditch by Search Engine WatchAs with everything digital, blogging is an evolving field. What was once an accepted blogging practice may just not work in today’s changed landscape. So it may be time to sit back and evaluate whether generally accepted blog best practices still apply to you or not.

The Most Effective Social Media Channel Is… by Rachel Thompson for BookPromotion.com: Easy: the one you like to use the most! Sounds basic and simple, but with all the advice flying around about ‘author platform’ and being everywhere at once (not possible, I’ve tried), what’s an author to do?

How To Make Every Piece Of Blogging Advice More Effective by Blogging Wizard: There’s a fatal flaw in the way we apply advice about blogging. It’s gotten to a point where the lines are blurred. We are applying advice, it’s not working and we’re giving up. Or in some rare cases we apply advice that does more harm than good. But the truth is that it doesn’t have to be that way. There is an approach we can take to help us focus our efforts and make the advice we’re given work for us. In this post I’ll show you how.

How to Get People to Read Your Entire Blog Post by HubSpot: Once upon a time, you wrote an article. It was a good one. It took you four and a half hours, required a ton of research, and maybe cost you a very late night. After you wrote the article, proofread it, edited it, added images, and published it, you felt good about yourself. Clicking the “publish” button gave you a huge sense of satisfaction. Then, you sat back to wait for the accolades, the reads, the shares, the engagement, the fame. Let me interrupt this fairy tale with a cold, hard fact. Most of the people that see your article won’t read the whole thing.

Avoid Social Media Time Suck Final by Frances Caballo

Does social media take up too much of your time? This book is filled with time management tips and apps to save you time.

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 FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web