Social Media Marketing Tips
Social media is our greatest tool for getting the word out about anything these days… everywhere
we go, social media goes with us. Even though it’s sad to admit, the old ways of spreading the word
about things have changed. Social media platforms work differently, though, of course. So keep reading
for tips about each platform!
Twitter is best for making contact with people you normally can’t… people more famous than you,
people you admire, people who admire you, friends in your area, online friends and strangers alike!
Twitter is a great chance to talk to literary heroes, actors and musicians. It’s also an AMAZING way
to share information about whatever it is that you’re trying to sell. You could, for instance, tweet that
you just finished reading a book you loved, and instantly your followers will see the name of that
book and have a chance to find out more about it. You could tweet that you’re on a trip somewhere
for research for a book you’re writing, and instantly people have heard about your book before it’s
even finished. You can retweet announcements, pictures or funny tweets from authors you
represent, thus sharing their information with your own followers. This circulation will help more and
more people see whatever it is that you’d like them to see. Twitter is my favorite social media for
business related things. Plus it’s fun!
Some twitter tips:
Don’t feel bad about keeping your twitter personal! Tweet about funny things that happen to you, places
you go, experiences you have. Your twitter ultimately should be a fun mix of business and pleasure,
because no one wants to follow someone who is only trying to sell something- no matter how good it
is! Look at Neil Gaiman’s twitter for an example of a good balance.
Don’t be afraid to contact famous people! Tom Hiddleston, Jonathan Ross, Neil Gaiman, and many others
have replied to my tweets. It’s a great feeling and you never know when you might open dialogue with someone you’ll
need contact with later. Twitter is the great equality-creator.
Let's talk about hashtags. Okay, I know. People think hashtags aren't "cool," so they don't use them. The casual ironic posts on social media only work for people who are already established enough that they don't NEED social media.
That being said, you also don't want to hashtag your hotdog photo with the same 15 hashtags you use for your work posts, and your pictures with your besties. This is where a little social media instinct comes in.
Here are some suggested hashtags for authors:
You can also hashtag your home city (#NYC #Philly #Austin, etc) and other local related hashtags so that people in your area might discover your writing that way. Also, consider hashtagging your book's name, and keep an eye on how you can join into
popular hashtags that are trending.
Suggested post types for an author's IG include pictures of your unique author experience (travel, work desk, research materials, fun coffee/tea mugs, pets, etc), as well as your book in fun and different places. And go nuts! Make it personal and fun!
What else should you do? Tag people who are in the picture. Friends, fans, family members. People like to be noticed, and some accounts want the promotion. They will like, follow accounts, repost, share, etc, more often than not.
Some people hate Facebook but I love it, partly because my name-recall is about as reliable as Dory’s
from Finding Nemo. Facebook allows you to match names and faces and share longer amounts of
information in one click than twitter does. You can share updates and news from your colleagues,
friends and heroes on your own page, and they can share your updates to their pages. If you feel
uncomfortable having a load of people on your Facebook page that you don’t know in ‘real life’, I
suggest you make a separate Facebook page for your business contacts. Author pages are a good
idea if you have a book out, as well as Book Pages. A few fun things you could share on your Book
Page would include links to songs that inspired your writing, announcements about bookstore
appearances, excerpts from your book and links to sites that are talking about your book. All of
these can be shared on your regular Facebook page as well. If you don't feel like you can keep up with
all of that, though, I suggest you stick with an Author Page that you update regularly, and a personal
page. It can get overwhelming! Take it easy.
Update regularly. No one wants to visit a blog and see that the last post was 4 months ago. If they
do, they most likely won’t come back.
Post cohesive content. Even if your subject is ‘chaos’, keep it chaotic. Some form of cohesion will
help your readers to want to come back again and again, because they know what to expect. Think
of your blog posts like issues of a magazine. You expect certain things in a magazine subscription,
each month, and most people feel the same about blogs.
Write in a human voice. Don’t worry about sounding professional, for instance, if you’re writing about
decadent London nightclubs and boys in eyeliner. Write in the voice of your subject. So perhaps
instead of “Hello readers, this blog will update regularly. Thank you for visiting” you could say,
“Good evening my darling little lovers. I’ll have a new post for you as soon as my wine-induced
hangover wears off. Until then I need to crawl back into bed and listen to Chopin records and dream
of gumdrops and filthy club floors.” Or… you know. Whatever.
Across all platforms:
Think about your captions. Consider making them interactive by asking a question occasionally.
Post regularly, repost funny things, add comments as you want, and INTERACT! Interaction is the most important part of social media.