Can Social Media Work for You?

Everyone seems to equate marketing with social media. That goes double for authors. Step one: Write a book. Step two: Publish said book. Step three: Push your book and sage wisdom via social media!

So why all the hype? Is it really worth it? If so, what's the first step? How can you make it work for you? 

When discussing social media with his marketing clients, he refers to "The Big 7" which are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube, and Google +. 

In my Tutorial that will be coming out soon for subscribers, we'll go over all 7 of these, and discuss whether or not they can help you as an author. And we'll take a moment to review Goodreads as well and whether or not it supercedes one of the other "Big 7" platforms when it comes to authors. 

But for this Featured Article, you get two: Facebook and Twitter! So let's dive in. 

1) Facebook

Post at least once a day, preferably 2-3 times, in order to begin showing up on your followers' feeds. Facebook fortunately allows you to schedule posts so that you don't have to log in multiple times a day to write your posts.

Start by drafting your post. 

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Add your text, add your image(s), etc and then look to the little "Share Now" tab with the down arrow next to it. Note this is NOT the blue "Share Now" button at the bottom that will immediately launch your post. 

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Once you click that "Schedule" button, you can set the exact day and time you'd like your post to go live. 

Facebook shows you how many posts you have scheduled and you can review them by clicking the "See posts" button as shown below. 

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Again, 2-3 a day will help you begin to gain traction. The key is to not continually push your work. Post some quotes, from your books and from your favorite authors. Post some funny memes. Post some pics of your writing/typing. Keep it light. Keep it fun. Remember to consider your audience.

If you're trying to draw in a political crowd, post about politics. If you're trying to draw in people who enjoy romantic comedies, alter your posts to suit them. 

2) Twitter

Twitter actually becomes slightly more complicated in that you can't schedule posts and you have to keep them under 140 characters. Sounds simple enough, but trying to get your point across without any extra fluff and without making it so obscure that no one can understand you can be a bit difficult at times. 

The first dilemma is easy enough to solve. While you can't schedule Tweets on Twitter, you CAN get a Hootsuite account for free and schedule in there. You can also link your Facebook and Instagram accounts if you'd rather schedule everything in one place. (Quick note: You have to be careful scheduling Instagram posts via Hootsuite. That will be explained in the Instagram section within the Tutorial version.)

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Once you link your accounts, this is what your dashboard will look like. Take a look at the drop down box in the upper left hand corner. That is where you'll type in your posts. You can choose to post the same thing to each account or post separately. And of course, you can schedule days and times you want them to go live. 

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Use the very top of the upper left hand screen to compose your messages and choose what social media channels you'd like to push the content to. 

And Twitter is similar to Facebook. Aim for at least 1 post a day. But 2-3 will really help boost your presence. 

Now, this is just barely scratching the surface as to what Hootsuite is capable of and how they strive to help in advertising and marketing. You can get analytic reports and ad spend to help boost your posts with some of the paid account options. 

There is also HootSuite Academy that helps you "Advance your social media skills and career." There is a free HootSuite platform course and a free Social Media course. 

Now for the second problem with Twitter: the short post length. 

You're a writer. Be creative!

I'm just kidding. 

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Get to the point. No fluff. No detailed descriptions. Point readers towards your blog, website, books, and other social media. But infrequently. Post some humor. Retweet people you follow. Interact with people you follow and people who follow you. And utilize hashtags. Yes, the little # that used to mean pound or number. It's now a hashtag. 

Use these to indicate what's included in your post or what you'd like it linked to. Posting about the new X-Files episode? #xfiles #thetruthisoutthere Posting about your new book? #newrelease #booksimreading You can't use punctuation (keep that in mind). Want to tag a friend? Insert @ and then their Twitter handle. Mine would be #annliviandrews. 

My moderators often use this to initiate goofy conversations on Twitter and force other authors into the conversation by tagging them. Entertaining for you and often fun for your readers.

And all of this boosts your online presence! Just remember, it's public. So anything you don't want linked back to you needs to stay off of your profile! 

To learn about the other social media channels and how to utilize them for official (aka paid) advertising, Click Here to become a Subscriber!