Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Making Your Presence Known on Social Media

By: Margena Holmes

As an author, it’s not enough to just have a website for your books. To make your name and work known, you need to have a social media presence, too. But how does one do that? And with so many different ones, where do you start? Here are some ideas to help you with your social media presence.

Facebook

I would recommend getting an author page. I have a personal page and an author page, to keep things nice and tidy and separate. On my personal page I post about family, work, and other daily life events. These are things that I don’t want to be public (I have my personal page set to private). I have my author page for posting everything about my writing—updates, word counts, events I’ll be attending, and release dates.

Thursdays are throwback days, so I’ll post something from the past related (no matter how loosely) to my writing. I’ve got photos from high school and college, jobs that I’ve had, anything that I’ve done on my writing journey. Hashtags are important to help people find these posts, so remember to use the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. On Fridays I’ll post something funny either writing related or just to make people laugh, using the hashtag #FridayFunny. I’ve just added in #MotivationMonday where I post something to inspire others, either in writing or daily life.

If this seems overwhelming, start small. I started posting on Throwback Thursdays for the first month or so as I got used to posting more, then I added my Friday Funny. My plan is to have five days of these kind of posts.  You don’t even have to take time out of each day to do it. You can schedule your posts from your author page with Facebook’s business suite.

Twitter

Twitter is a little different than FB. Anyone can see your posts, so make sure it’s something you don’t mind your readers seeing (and that’s the point—you want your readers to see YOU!). Using hashtags here is important since the posts are easily lost in the shuffle (and Jenny Kate wrote an awesome blog on using hashtags), but you can use the same posts from FB on Twitter. It’s also easy to retweet a lot of Tweets from other authors.

LinkedIn

If you were to think of Facebook as the kids’ table for holidays, LinkedIn is the adults’ table. Political posts and cat videos are pretty much non-existent here. What you’ll find are helpful job related memes and posts, motivational posts, and articles. Here it’s a little more intimidating after being on Facebook for so long. This is the place to post about your release dates, maybe write an article on your writing process, or share an inspiring picture, meme, or story, so you’ll want to make content specifically for LI and not reuse your posts from FB or Twitter. Hashtags abound here, too.

What To Post

If you don’t know what to post, there are plenty of ways to get content. Angie Gensler has a variety of packages to purchase that takes the guesswork out of posting. I bought year of social media post ideas in 2019 and I just keep reusing the ideas each year. There are also free websites for ideas. Hootsuite has a list of ideas for you to engage your audience. Visit your favorite author’s social media and see what they do on social media and follow their lead. I would also recommend following Gary Vaynerchuk on Linked In. He’s written a lot of articles on how to create content for social media.

Buy My Book Posts

One goal of writers is to sell their books, but don’t inundate your news feed with “buy my book” posts. It gets annoying after a while and you’ll end up losing followers. That’s not to say you can’t post those on your social media. Try to keep it to 80-20—80% generic writing/book posts, 20% buy my book posts. You can even make a graphic showing the cover of your book with a quote from it without it being a “buy my book” post. It’s important to post regularly to keep that engagement with your readers.

Final Thoughts

Start slow and be engaging with your posts. Get to know your fan base and see what types of things they like to talk about. Make it about them as well as yourself, but most of all, be creative and have fun!


photo of margin holmes

Margena Adams Holmes has been writing ever since she can remember, writing her first poem in 1st grade. At her day job, when she’s not kicking young kids out of R-rated movies, she’s sweeping up spilled popcorn from the hallways and aisles (she’s not your mother, though, so please take your trash out). Her days off consist of writing science fiction, short stories, and more movie theater shenanigans. Reading is a close second to writing, and she normally has her nose buried in a book. Her publications are available through her author page. Contact Margena via email: jedi_anegram@hotmail.com.

Clubhouse – Everything you need to know for now

By: Jenny Kate

Clubhouse is the hottest social media outlet on the internet right now.
But how familiar with it are you? Is it right for authors? What can the book industry get out of it?

Let’s dig in.

What is Clubhouse?

It’s the social media outlet all haters of live video have been waiting for!
It’s basically a conference call without video. Like having your own TedTalk with a bunch of people. You can listen in to any open room on the platform.
You don’t have to speak if you don’t want to. Or you can host your own room and have a conversation about a topic of interest.

Clubhouse is new

First, a little background. It’s only been around since the spring of 2020. So if you haven’t heard of it, don’t despair. It’s super new. And my guess is you had other things on your mind back then than worrying about a new social outlet. But there is nothing like it out there and I’m super excited about it.

Poll after poll shows people like to listen. Whether it’s to audiobooks, podcasts or the radio, listening while working out, driving, gardening, cleaning, working has shown to be extremely effective as a marketing tool.

How Clubhouse works

Right now it’s in beta and only on iOS so Android users have to wait until late 2021 at the earliest. Without an invitation from an existing user, you’re on the outside looking in. So, if you’re an iPhone user it is easy to create your account. Once you receive your invitation, just go through the steps. If you want to find out if any of your contacts are on Clubhouse, you can search via phone number. If you want to invite others, the platform gives you two invites. You’ll need to input their phone number and Clubhouse will send them a text. (Of course get their permission first). 

I got mine through a colleague who posted about it on Facebook.

A really great workaround came from Tiffany Lee Bymaster on Amy Porterfield’s Online Marketing Made Easy podcast where she suggested finding an old iPhone, connecting to wifi, download the app, get an invite and explore. It’s a great idea! I borrowed a friend’s old iPhone since we’re Samsung users.

What can authors get out of it?

For now, I see two ways authors can use Clubhouse.

  1. Authors can listen to great conversations for research. The exposure to experts and celebrities is unreal. Take advantage of that.
  2. Name recognition through speaking will be way easier than on other social outlets. You can add to conversations or host your own. Either way, participation will have a tremendous payoff down the road.

I think Clubhouse has really filled a hole in the social media market. So many people don’t do live video because it’s intimidating or just not fun. Speaking where no one can see you gives you a lot of freedom to connect without worrying about the extras (lighting, being camera ready, location, etc..).

This is one of the reasons I like podcasting over video. I can just talk to people without a lot of technical know-how and external prep. So for now, I’m doing a lot of listening and will continue to explore how this platform will be a game changer for authors.


Jenny Kate

Jenny Kate is the founder of Writer Nation, an online space dedicated to helping writers market their work. With 19 years communications experience, she regularly writes on social media, internet marketing and face-to-face publicity. You can find her on her WebsiteFacebook, and  Instagram


Cover, Fresh Starts

FRESH STARTS, Pikes Peak Writers first anthology will be released April 9th.
From more information, visit our webpage.

Just How Beneficial IS Instagram?

By Jennifer Lovett Herbranson

Are you getting FOMO? The Fear of Missing Out by not being on Instagram? Well if you aren’t using it, you should. It’s the hottest social media platform out there and the fastest growing. According to Statista, Instagram now boasts more than 500 million daily active users. That’s daily. Twitter has only 126 million.  It’s nowhere near Facebook’s 1.5 billion daily users, but it’s gaining, and gaining fast. And Americans report more engagement on Instagram than on Facebook on a daily basis these days.

So how do you take advantage of Instagram as part of your author brand?

  • Use Stories!
  • Hashtags Galore & Engage!
  • Your Feed!

Use Stories.

Stories are showing the most engagement these days. Since you are a storyteller, this one is a no-brainer. Tell a story with a beginning, middle and end. Even if you’re doing a story about pizza (the most common food pic on Instagram), create the story: the search for pizza, the finding of the pizza, the eating of the pizza. Anything can be a story.

There are several ways to create the story.

  • Type
  • Music
  • Live
  • Normal
  • Boomerang
  • Superzoom
  • Hands-free

Type is a simple post with text with creative fonts on fun backgrounds.

Music – add music to your story by choosing the song on this tab before capturing your video

You can go Live and tell the world what you’re up to, just like Facebook Live, only this will fade off Instagram after 24 hours.

You can do a Normal story and create it with photos and/or video. Video is only 15-seconds.

Boomerang is a burst of photos that repeats over and over. Like a wave or jump in the air or opening a book.

Superzoom – really focus on something and zoom in on it Add music to make it sound creepy or funny.

The Hands-free feature just allows you to create video without having to keep your finger on the record button.

Hashtags Galore & Engage!

Hashtags are super important on Instagram so people can find you. Choosing the right hashtags will put you in front of potential readers.

For a regular Instagram post, I recommend only two hashtags in the main caption. Then add up to 30 in the first comment. Make a list and rotate your hashtags so you aren’t stalking the hashtag.

For stories, you can simply add hashtags to the Story so people can see them, or you can add them and then put a sticker or shape over them to hide them.

Distraction and engagement are why people are on social media. The more compelling, interesting, funny and creative your posts, the more people will enjoy them. It’s important to be a presence on Instagram to make it work. That doesn’t mean simply posting photos, slapping on a few hashtags, and then ignoring it. This isn’t a “build it and they will come” scenario. You must engage.

Find the hashtags that represent your author brand, your community, your interests and likes. Then start liking and commenting on those. Be a presence.

Your feed!

There is debate in the Instagram world about the effectiveness of your feed these days with Stories taking off. Tyler J McCall, Instagram Guru and Coach, recommends feed posts only every other day or so and to concentrate on your Story.

That being said, your feed should look like your author brand. What is your brand? What are your themes? The Instagram feed represents the window in the window-shopping metaphor of people looking to find others to follow. If your feed is a jumbled mess, then it’s unclear what you’re offering.

Look at other authors in your genre and see what they are posting. Do they have a theme?

Try celebrities you like. What is their theme?

Sometimes that’s a certain dominant color. Other times it’s a regular pose, like with a book reading or playing with the dog. Other times it’s a certain camera angle. The possibilities are endless, so get creative. Think about your author brand and the themes and messages in your books. What can you out of those to make part of your theme?

Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform out there. If you are considering social media for your author brand and you like photos, I recommend jumping in the Instagram deep end. It’s not as overtly political as Facebook. And it’s not as time-consuming as a YouTube channel. It’s a fun platform and who knows, you might even find some new friends.

Sources:

The 43 Instagram Statistics You Need to Know in 2019

Number of Instagram users in the United States from 2017 to 2023


Jennifer Lovett Herbranson

Jennifer Lovett Herbranson is the founder of Writer Nation, a podcast and Facebook group dedicated to helping writers market their work. With 17 years communications experience, she regularly writes on social media, internet marketing and face-to-face publicity.
You can find her on her WebsiteFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest: @jennylovett