One of the things we get asked ( a lot) is how can writers and authors build their social media platforms and boost their profile. It is one of those things that aspiring authors need to know especially as they hope to get published and ultimately, sell books. Having good online platforms will help you create a buzz when publication comes around so here are a few things writers need to consider:
It is advised that you share a post daily (if possible) or a few times a week. These posts can be from your own website or something light hearted or to do with your blog. It is better to mix it up rather than bore people with the same content so pop up funny posts and marketing posts to drive traffic. Run competitions. Let the competition run for a week or two to get traffic and interest flowing to regularly engage with people. Don’t post and disappear!
Getting followers is a major challenge and as Facebook changes the news feed algorithm it is causing issues. Facebook stories is growing in popularity and you should consider it as part of your strategy. If you aren’t comfortable getting in front of the camera, take photos of books or offer your opinion on news/trends as well as sharing your writing routine. Play around with Facebook stories and work on it.
Measure everything and you will know from your insights how posts are performing. Think outside the box and try new things to see how they measure. Keep working on it and improve it, as you go along.
It is a great tool, but it works differently to Facebook, for starters the use of hashtags basically gets you seen. Think of it this way if you have 130 followers (on Facebook) only those people can see your post and you are reliant on them sharing your posts. However, with Twitter and hashtags, they allow you to reach more people. Hashtags expand your network bubble and let you reach out, so if you use the hashtag e.g. #WritersLife #WritersCommunity #Freelancer #WritersWise #AspiringAuthor etc. they will get seen by people who are following these hashtags. This instantly gets you seen by a lot more people – some of which could be agents or publishers.
You can also jump onto trending hashtags which change throughout the day, if it is popular and gathering interest your name/post will be making lots of impacts on Twitter throughout the day. However, make sure it is genuine, don’t just use hashtags for the sake of it. Use them if you have something to say. Take part in Twitter chats by following hashtags to follow and socialise, make it a rule to retweet someone else’s blog or news. Be responsive to people online and mingle! You can follow who you like unless they have a private account and you can build followers by chatting and retweeting. It really is that easy.
Twitter likes pics too and we encourage clients to not link their Facebook to Twitter as usually it doesn’t get traction. Too much clicking, so if you have something to say, be inventive with the character limit and get your point across quickly. Be careful of taking part in politics or anything that has divided opinion. Keep your tweets light hearted or business like, don’t troll or be dragged into heated discussions as this will not do your brand any good. Remember that following celebs is not going to get you traction but follow people who are in your area and those who will be supportive. It sounds clinical, but it really isn’t. It is about building your online profile and being concise about it.
WritersWise is a Twitter chat and it is on every few weeks. Use this to practice your skills and don’t forget to use the hashtag #WritersWise in every tweet.
Create a good bio so people can see what you are about, pick a name that you want to use and begin tweeting! Use Gifs too as they draw the eye in too.
The jury is out on whether this is useful to authors but many get a lot from it and if you are comfortable with photos or have an eye for them, you should use it! Like Twitter, the use of hashtags enables you to be seen by following and mentioning busy hashtags. Post a pic a daily or at least weekly. Keep the pics funny, inspiring quotes or business like. Again, mix it up so your followers enjoy your posts and don’t just scroll through them without taking time to follow them. Instagram usually works best using at least 11 hashtags and you can use them when you post or comment on your post after and with 11 hashtags.
People will see you easily then. Mingling and socialising is important – remember no one will like your post if you never like theirs or comment. Social media is formidable, and people tend not to forget because they have the digital imprint to look back and see who is supportive of them. Basically, you must become a positive person and share stuff, like pages and comment to build a good rapport with people. This will encourage them to do the same and follow you and hopefully drive them to your page.
And now there is Insta stories and full disclosure: It works! If you use Insta stories and Instagram regularly you will see more followers and more engagement. It is that simple. As above with Facebook stories, use them and mess around with them until you get it right. You won’t break anything, and you can delete stuff too! Sharing videos is good too, especially if you are talented with video and with Insta and Facebook video is now accessible without the need for fancy cameras or tools. You can also archive content for later and store stuff for future use – something that helps massively.
It can be very useful in business and again you should use it to the maximum. Follow people and interact with business people online. Send the congratulations message, endorse people and like their articles and links. Don’t be afraid to share some things yourself and respond to people if they contact you, even if the job or advice is not suitable for you remember it is a network and potentially anyone can be a customer or refer someone to you. People buy from people after all!
LinkedIn allows users to upload articles without a website – this works well for people who haven’t got their own website/blog yet but have something to say. It is easy to upload and put it out to your followers. You get a link so you can use it elsewhere too. There are agents on LinkedIn too and it is one way to get noticed. You can keep your work role while stating you are working on a novel in your spare time. Post a few updates every now and then, saying you are working on your novel or attending writing events. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but it helps.
The best tip is to use what you find best for you. You can never be the master of all but decide on your own strategy. Go outside the box and interview yourself. What would you advise yourself to do without all the restrictions of imposter syndrome? What can you achieve? What works well for you? Where are your strengths? How can you communicate your message to the world? Having it all is nearly impossible as writers work, write and must market themselves. It is an uphill battle. If you can get your social media right and it leads to radio or speaking events as well as writing wins then you are doing something right.
Chase the dream and good luck!