Social media has became mainstream across every industry these days. Many individuals get their news, recommendations, and entertainment information through social media. People tend to trust their friends and family more than mainstream media and other information sources. If you are a writer this is good news. It is easier today to get your product in front of potential readers than ever before. Writing great content that readers want to share with their friends and family will get you in front of new potential readers.
Writers need to market themselves, regardless of how they are being published. Writes benefit enormously by learning to use social media to grow their base. A writer is defined as anyone that is an author of fiction or non fiction, bloggers, freelancers, or any other way you define yourself as a wordsmith. It is easy to learn how to use social media as a writer to gain readers and make connections with others in the industry.
The writing industry is diverse and expanding. It is vital for all writers to have a platform, regardless of whether you are traditionally published or self publishing. Even the top publishing houses are looking for new writers that already have a following. Branding yourself as a writer is important to your readers and potential publishers. They want to know that there is a market that wants to read what you are writing. Social media is an easy way to develop that brand and let your readers know what you are all about and what to expect in future works. Social media is the outlet to make connections and communicate with your readers on a regular basis, and it is easily available to every writer.
Connections are what is important when growing your social media following, not how many accounts you have. The rule of thumb is to promote and share things other than your projects 80% of the time and then self promote 20% of the time. This way you are connecting with your followers instead of just pushing your products. Your readers will get to know you on a deeper level. They will become more invested in your causes and your vision for your development with a great social media strategy.
Types of Social Media Platforms
There are many social media platforms. There are several platforms that are very similar and then there are those platforms that stand out as different from all the others. When deciding which platform you should use think about your ideal reader. Where do you think they are? What age are they? What are they paying attention to online? Also when you are scheduling your posts you need to think about when they are online. By understanding your ideal readers social media usage you can best decide how to schedule what and when you post.
Facebook is by far the first stop among writers. There are thousands of author pages on Facebook. If you do not have a Facebook page, start one. Link back to it so that all of your readers have a place to get to know you and interact with you. Make sure to make a writers page, as a business, not just a personal page. Facebook is one of the first places people use to search for someone.
Instagram is growing quickly. Many more businesses are using it to grow their clientele and is also a great place for find readers. Book covers and project photos can be shared to show what you are up to with your current works in progress. You might even show pictures of you working or other aspects of your life.
Linkedin is primarily used as a networking tool among professionals. It has grown in the last few years. If you started an account and left it, it is time to go back and spruce it up. Connect with other writers, editors, artists, and publishers to broaden your circle. While other sites can be used for networking, they should be more about your brand for your reader, whereas LinkedIn is your business networking site. This is a great place to connect with others in your industry. Learn and help others in your field.
Pinterest has gained popularity and is steadily growing. It relies heavily on photos, much like Instagram, but it is completely different. You can have a board to showcase your writing as well as having a board for writing resources. You may even start boards that are about your characters if you are
Twitter is still going strong and is a great resource to many writers. Readers can get updates on what you are writing and follow you easily. Twitter is great for offering up quotes from your work. Remember to keep it quick and concise with twitter, perhaps just a quick update can be thrown out with links to upcoming tour dates.
Youtube has become one of the biggest search engines and videos are on the rise, even among writers. You need to get creative sometimes with communicating with your followers and there is much you can do with
Goodreads is a must for any author. Your books will end up on Goodreads, eventually, so you need to have an account so that you can claim those books as yours. Many readers use this platform to share what they are reading, what they want to read, and what they have read. They share questions, comments, and opinions with thousands of other readers.
Google+ is another platform that gets overlooked sometimes. They have communities, that when worked right, is beneficial for adding other writers, editors, publishers, and artists to your circle.
Do not try to join all of these platforms, it would be overwhelming and your posts would suffer. Choose a couple that your readers, your target market, would gravitate toward. Set up shop and work it, each and every day. Make sure that it reflects your brand. Don’t be too pushy or salesy, you want to connect with your readers not push them away.
Your social media strategy needs to be planned out efficiently. Have a strong vision of what and how you want to be viewed by readers. Plan your posts around that vision. Make and maintain a social media calendar to stay organized. Make sure that all of your social media accounts reflect that vision, or brand. When planning blog tours and book tours make sure they reflect that same brand. Any television or radio interviews also need to reflect the same brand. Anything you put out for readers should stay true to your vision of the image you want your readers to have.
Make sure you have a fantastic ‘about me’ or bio page. Most new readers will check this out if they enjoyed your work or if they just happened to stumble upon your page. Connect with them and give them a little taste of what it is you are all about. Show them your personality and again, make sure it reflects the image, or brand, that you want to share with your readers.
Writing can be a lonely venture, but publishing and marketing are not. Writers today have to be able to market themselves. Most of the marketing falls on the writers shoulders, with very little exception. Marketing is less expensive with the aid of a good social media strategy. Take the time to develop it and work it to make the most out of your strategy.
1. Do I need a website as an author?
Absolutely yes. If you are a published author or one that is getting ready to publish, get a website. This will be your home base. You can have all of your social media accounts linked to your website. Your readers can get the most up to date information about you from you.
2. Should I have a new domain for each book I write?
There are some authors that buy the title of their book as a domain. This can be handy if you are sure people are going to remember the title over your name. It can be linked to your author name domain name and landing page. Any domains you decide you want to have in the future can all be linked to open at your landing page. Be sure that you have a domain for your author’s name or pen name.
3. How do I maintain accounts over several social media platforms?
There are several social media management sites such as Hootsuite and eClincher. These sites help you schedule posts over several social media platforms. Not every social media management site has an option to add all social media platforms, research which service would work best for you.