Monday, 31 July 2017
Social Media As A Writer
SOCIAL MEDIA AS A WRITER
One thing that you learn very quickly as a writer and an author is that social media is a big part of building your audience. As a small fish in a very big pond, it's something that I have come to learn a little later than I should've. Also because when I started writing, a lot of the things like Twitter and Facebook and such weren't actually around, so I've had to learn as I go. I thought about doing these as a small series based on each social media platform, but I realised that even sixteen years as a writer, and almost twelve as a published author, I don't really have much advice. So I'll break this post down into sections and give you my tips for the social media presence needed on each one.
#1 - FACEBOOK
This is a huge one because pretty much everybody and their family has a facebook page. The idea being that you like pages of people you want to follow, and while some authors go the route of having a personal facebook account and a second account with "author" in the name for anyone else, that isn't the route I've gone. Facebook algorithms are making it harder and harder for pages to get noticed. My way has simply to have a Facebook page and interact with it as I would any other social media, as often as possible but also making sure that I respond to comments and questions. That seems to help spread the post reach without the need to pay for adverts. I will say though that it has been a long time since I did a Facebook advert and things have, apparently, changed as a lot of people have positive experiences whereas mine have been mostly negative. As side step of Facebook itself is to utilise the groups. Find your genre, find groups that are other authors in your chosen niche and work with them. It took me a while to do that and now that I have, I've found so many resources open to me. There are so many groups that you are bound to find one that works for you. Fore me it's groups that deal with YA and the various genres I write it as well as just general indie author groups that help to co-promote and all of that. Helping others can help you gain visibility.
#2 - TWITTER
For a long time I struggled to be active on Twitter for a number of reasons. One, my computer hated the Twitter homepage and it would slow my computer down a hell of a lot. And Two, I wasn't sure what people were wanting to read. I had followed a bunch of people and my feed was moving way too fast for me to have a proper conversation with anyone. That's when I did two things. I installed Tweetdeck and I moved a lot of those followers onto a list that I could view separately. Tweetdeck is one of several things you can use, I prefer it because it works well with my computer and allows me to have everything open at once. It also allows me to schedule tweets for free, which a lot of sites have a limit on and tweetdeck doesn't. It's also free to use. My big advice on Twitter is that you need to interact, talk to people, re-tweet promo and have discussions with readers. Make it so that your Facebok page and other sites feed onto your tweets. Hash-tags are a big thing on Twitter, but word of warning, you only want up to three in a tweets, more than that and people get annoyed. Viability isn't restricted like with Facebook and you can also use Twitter ads, but having never done that I don't have any experience with that. Things to remember are various days have various hash-tags like: #TeaserTuesday - sharing a teaser from a book or work in progress and #1lineweds - Sharing one line from a work in progress on a Wednesday. There are others, but those are two I find work really well. Other hash-tags to note in regards to writing are: #amwriting #writerslife #indieauthor #authorslife and so on.
#3 - INSTAGRAM
Instagram is a treasure trove as far as social media goes. It's a great resource for writers, for readers and for people love both. The hash-tags on here are different in that you're encouraged to use as many as apply to the photo. I generally use a chunk that both apply to wider users and also just to my posts. It's photo based and followers, I've found, are quick to go between the two. It's only been recently that it's been changed to a random time-line. It used to be done by most recent and now seems to go between the two. What to share there? Anything that can be presented as a graphic and/or photo. It should always be relevant of course, but I've done photos of myself, adverts for my books, and random photos as well. It's a great way to connect with readers and it engages people because it's mostly visually based. I've managed to find a ton of followers just from using the right hash-tags.
AND FINALLY #4 - TUMBLR/YOUTUBE/OTHER
I included these together because as a writer it really does depend where you want to place yourself. Some writer's love Tumblr - I'm one of them. Some love Youtube - again I'm one of them. But both of these, and any other social media site are what a lot of people would say, optional. Not every author needs to have a Tumblr or a Youtube channel. I have both and I find them to be a good resource for me, as they grow my platform and help expose me to new readers. On top of that, neither one of them work on an algorithm that will limit who sees my posts/videos. If you're subscribed and following me, then you'll get a notification or see when I post something. As a YA author, I find that it's easier for me to reach the demographic that I'm appealing to with both a youtube and tumblr. Youtube kinda speaks for itself with content wise, but Tumblr is a whole different kettle of fish. You may find it takes a while to build up your audience, but when you do it should be easy enough to keep them following you. Tags are a thing on Tumblr, but a lot of its users are fandom based, and there's a lot of aspiring writers and artists you can find simply by following those tags. I make sure that my blog cross-posts there, same as my Facebook and Instagram.
So those are my tips on social media. If you have any, be sure to add them in the comments below!
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