Content Pillars Lead Your Social Media Plan

What is a content pillar?  That’s marketing speak for a theme.  Content pillars lead your social media plan to build an audience.  Once you feel comfortable posting on your social platform, the next step is to identify what you want to write about regularly.  These “pillars” will support your platform and help you create many great things for your followers.

Authentic Content Pillars

Many people are stuck on what to talk about, so they randomly post stuff just to be “active”.  Sadly, that won’t work if you are serious about using social media as a tool to build a following.  You are fighting short attention spans, an overwhelming amount of users, and a mysterious algorithm.  I know it can feel artificial to “create” based on marketing principles and conventions.  However, many people  strike a balance between what comes natrually, and what they need to communicate to grow.

The Content Pillar You Know Best

So here’s what I know from working with artists and writers for most of my life–you are not the best judges of what is interesting to the people who consume your books, music, films, etc.  To authors writing is a purpose, a curse, a discipline, a dream, annoying, easy, difficult, frustrating, and whatever other terms you want to throw at it.  To readers or aspiring writers, your world is a mystery, filled with things they can’t reach on their own.  With this in mind, let’s play with some sample topics around the content pillar of WRITING:

Topic 1: A writing journal, what do you feel like when you write.  Repeat for every day that you sit down at your computer.

Topic 2: Writing advice, tips you provide and those you find from other famous or non-famous writers that you research online.

Topic 3: For fantasy writers, world-building and character-building.  Here you can talk about your process and those of your colleagues, or you can literally talk about the world and characters in your books.   Bring them to life for your audience and talk about what you can’t find between the pages.

Your Goal When Creating Your Content

Your goal is to be able to start with your theme, then take your topics and create a combination of feed posts, stories, reels, or their equivalents on your platform of choice.  For example if you choose to do a journal you could include views that inspire writing as your images.  You could do a reel of something your house pets do when you sit down.  My cat likes (demands) to jump on my lap, then she meows like crazy because I’m typing instead of paying attention to her.  I would put your topic at the top of a page and then jot down all the things that go with it from a visual and an internal point of view.

Cat takes over my work station constantly.
Not mine, but you cat lovers totally get it.

Now, look what you’ve done.  You have some topic ideas that are original to you, and. they can educate and engage your audience.  Ideally it is a good idea to have a couple of pillars that you plan on your content calendar for the month.  Think about who you are trying to reach and what will encourage them to pay attention to what you are saying.  Here are some things we have done for clients over the years that have been successful:

  • For a writer of plausible thriller fiction, we created a tag line for a content pillar that tells readers about Things You Should Know But Don’t.   Every week there are posts relating to something going on in the world that isn’t on the front page, but is important to know.  We organize the posts by topic depending on what is being covered in the news.
  • A male author writing a female character has a platform dedicated to the character who covers her fascinating life, and how to navigate the world as a twenty-something woman.  Her pillars are a regular “Diary” and “Ask Gina”, which is a parody of Dear Abby.  When a new book comes out she talks about what’s happening in her life and teases out aspects to look forward to in the future.

The Simple Things

Once you establish the content pillars to lead your social media planning, you will feel more grounded. It will be easier to generate ideas for different kinds of posts.  As you grow your following, you will learn about your audience and may get suggestions from them.  Sometimes it is the simplist thing that can delight a community.  Recently, an author I met said that she started posting sunrises, because she likes to write at that time.  This took off for her, because, as she said, who doesn’t love sunrises?

For more information and to read more about content creation search “content marketing” on our blog page.  You can also read a recent post Optimizing Your Link in Bio

 

 

 

Creating An Effective Instagram Bio

Having an effective Instagram bio is a key factor in growing your audience since it is the first thing profile visitors will see. Potential new followers will see your bio and profile before making a quick decision whether to stick around or click away. Optimizing your bio in 150 characters or less in a way that showcases your brand identity is pivotal but tricky! Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Keep It Short & Sweet

The number one tip when it comes to creating your Instagram bio is to keep it concise while continuing to be informative about your brand and personality. You want to communicate who you are and what you offer as soon as a visitor clicks on your profile. If they don’t know why they should follow you at a quick glance, your bio may not be effective enough. Between users’ short attention spans and the 150 character limit, you must strive to grab visitors’ notice right away.

Use Keywords

Your Instagram bio should contain keywords relevant to you and your brand that describe who you are and what you do as an author. This will increase your visibility online in search results to help new people find you and attract a target audience. For example, you can use words like “author” and “writer,” or more genre specific words like “romance,” or “mystery” to attract the right kind of readers to your page. As a starting point, brainstorm words that your ideal readers may use as search terms on Instagram to find books and authors similar to you. Instagram SEO will help your profile and content to be shown in search results.

Add a Call to Action

A call to action encourages page visitors to do something, whether that be to follow you, click a link, send a message, etc. This is a good way to get people interacting and engaging with you and your content right away. Choose a call to action that aligns with your goals and include it in your bio to optimize your audience’s sense of curiosity. We recommend including a link as your call to action. Try directing users to your own website where they can buy your book online, a newsletter sign up, or even a link in bio tool such as Linktree. A link in bio tool will show all of your most important links at once! Your bio is the first thing Instagram users will see when they visit your page, and these few simple tips are a great way to get started with your optimization. Your main goal is to drive readers into some type of action, such as following you or buying your book. Check out these fun bio ideas for some more inspiration on what to add to your profile and how to have an effective Instagram bio!

Generating Awareness with Influencer Outreach

With the prevalence of social media continuing to grow, influencers are becoming incredibly powerful tools in content marketing. Generating awareness with influencer outreach can be incredibly useful when it comes to relationship development. A simple Instagram post or story can go a long way in terms of making a lasting impact on consumers.

Using Bookstagram to Generate Awareness Around Your Book

A bookstagram is an Instagram account dedicated to — you guessed it — books. The bookstagram community itself is massive. It encompasses authors and readers who love sharing their passion for books. This can be a great place to share your book, especially if you have a budget. Unlike in newspapers or on the radio, people who follow these influencers and engage with their content are a lot more likely to love books. If you connect with bookstagrammers that have a specific niche that is relevant to your book, then you are placing your book directly in front of an audience that is likely your ideal audience for sales.

The key in initially building durable relationships, in my experience, is to come across as genuine as possible. Considering the numerous amounts of DMs these influencers sift through every day, taking an unorthodox, new approach can help achieve the attention you desire. Here are some tips to help you pitch bookstagrammers and begin working with them:

Tips for Pitching & Working With Influencers

1. Design your pitch around how your book can be beneficial to the individual influencer and less about how they can be beneficial to you. Any salesperson will tell you that people are of course more interested in what they stand to gain, so always keep that in mind. For instance, when reaching out to a teacher influencer, emphasize why your book would be a great addition to their classroom libraries. What teacher doesn’t love free books!?

2. Be relatable. It’s basic human nature to be drawn to people who you can relate to. It further shows these influencers that you’ve taken the time to scroll through their feed to find out what they’re all about.

3. Do not expect large creators to share your book for free. Many of these influencers have huge, active audiences. Would you want to give something of value away for free? Probably not. Smaller bookstagrammers may be more willing to trade for a free book — but make sure they have a public profile.

4. Research before reaching out. If you write thrillers, it would be a waste of time to reach out to a bookstagrammer who only enjoys romance. Show them you know who they are. Social media bios are convenient, go-to places to find that kind of personal information – so utilize it!

5. Engage with the accounts you would like to work with prior to reaching out to them. Although this is not absolutely required, it is good etiquette, especially if you are hoping to get something for free.

All in all, generating awareness with influencer outreach can be extremely advantageous if approached properly. Authenticity is essential when building any type of relationship, so treat influencers more like people and less like brands.

What is the Best Social Media for Authors?

Most people have multiple social media accounts in order to consume a wide variety of content. However, for creators themselves, it’s better to stick to one or two social media sites in order to better build a focused audience. This post is meant to help you discover the best social media for you as an author, rather than the best overall. Each has its own demographic, so no one social media is best for everyone.

TikTok

Tiktok is much more popular with the younger generation than anyone else. 25% of TikTok users in the US are aged 10-19, with a 2:1 ratio of female to male users. YA books are popular among TikTok’s younger demographic. The best tag for authors to use is #booktok, as many readers use that tag to find new books to read or talk about.

Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites. Thanks to it taking inspiration from several other sites, its content is fairly generalized. The same goes for its audience. Most Instagram users are 18-34 years old, and the split between male and female users is miniscule. There’s a slight lean toward men, with 50.6% of users being men and 49.4% being women. Like TikTok, it has its own tag for authors and readers: #bookstagram. There are also widely used niche hashtags by trope and micro community.

Facebook

Meta’s very first social media site, Facebook, is well known as an early pioneer of social media. Because of its age and fame in the online world, it’s possibly the most popular social media site. Many people assume Facebook is used by primarily older generations, however the majority of its users are 25-34 years old. The gender demographic skews toward men, with 56.8% of users being male and 43.2% female.

Reddit

Reddit is incredibly useful for building an audience in a certain subject. Subreddits are helpful for finding people who enjoy the same things you do. Like Instagram, the majority of Reddit users are young adults, with 42% of its users being 18-24 years old. Reddit has the biggest gender split so far, with 63.8% being male and 36.2% female. However, all of these stats can change depending on the specific subreddit you’re using.

Tumblr

Tumblr is the most unique of the social media listed. It encourages people to reshare and engage with posts they like, and more unexpected people use it than one would think. Niel Gaiman and John Green are two well known authors who regularly use Tumblr. 28% of its users are 18-29 years old, and 69% are millennials overall. Its gender split is very even, like Instagram’s. 48% of its users are female, and 52% are male.

X

X, previously Twitter, is incredibly popular. It’s best for short-form content and short bursts of advertising due to its character limit, but that doesn’t stop it from being useful. The majority of X users are 25-34 years old, and 70.4% of its users are male. This is the biggest gender gap of the social media discussed. These are some of the most well-known and used social media platforms you can use as an author to build an audience and market your book. As said earlier, it’s best to stick to one or two, preferably the ones that will have the biggest potential audience for your content.

References

TikTok User Statistics (2023) (backlinko.com) Instagram Users, Stats, Data, Trends, and More — DataReportal – Global Digital Insights Facebook Users, Stats, Data, Trends, and More — DataReportal – Global Digital Insights Reddit Statistics For 2023: Eye-Opening Usage & Traffic Data (foundationinc.co) https://blog.gitnux.com/tumblr-statistics/ 23 Essential Twitter Statistics You Need to Know in 2023 (thesocialshepherd.com)

Threads vs. X – Competition in the Social Media Sphere

With the complete rebranding of Twitter, now known as X, it’s a ripe time for some competition in the social media sphere. Meta has eagerly jumped at the opportunity and created Threads in hopes that previous Twitter users will migrate over to their new platform. Though both platforms look similar on the surface, there are some key differences with Threads vs. X.

The most notable difference is that Threads is linked to your Instagram account. You log in using your Instagram, and any Instagram followers will be notified when you make a Threads account. However, this also means that once you make a Threads account, it can’t be deleted without also deleting your Instagram account. Unlike Twitter, Threads is intended for longer discussions. The character limit of the initial post is 500 as opposed to Twitter’s 280, and posts can be linked together as threads, hence the name. This means you have to think things through before posting on Threads to make sure the narrative is cohesive.

Interestingly, Twitter and Threads share a similar gender distribution. According to this article, 70% of Twitter users are male. Another article states that 68% of Threads users are male. Threads’ demographics is unexpected because Instagram and Facebook are used primarily by women. Potentially, the style of content appeals more to men and thus more male Instagram users are joining Threads.

Inactive Users

Unfortunately for Threads, despite the high user count, not all of them are active. The app’s use peaked on July 7th at the time of writing at only 45% of Twitter’s daily use. This is due to a combination of factors.

First of all, Twitter users don’t want to lose the followings they’ve amassed over the years. It can be discouraging to have to build yourself up from nothing, so people are reluctant to switch platforms.

Secondly, Threads doesn’t have the activity of Twitter. There’s less happening on Threads because people aren’t as active on it. That makes scrolling through the activity feed less appealing because there’s less content to see.

Lastly, Threads just isn’t complete yet. Meta has been planning to release Threads for a while, but recent backlash against Musk and Twitter’s rebranding is likely why it has been released at this point. It doesn’t have all of the expected features of an app of its type just yet. There’s no direct messaging, no search function, no hashtags, and no access to trending topics. It feels more like an open beta than a completed app.

Potential

Threads does have a lot of potential, but it currently isn’t in a state worth investing in. When more features are released and its active user base grows, it certainly has a chance to overcome Twitter. For now, it’s good to keep an eye on it as it progresses.

References

Why is Twitter called X now? Elon Musk’s rebrand explained and where it’s going next | TechRadar

PSA: You Can’t Delete Your Threads Account Without Also Deleting Instagram (makeuseof.com)

23 Essential Twitter Statistics You Need to Know in 2023 (thesocialshepherd.com)

Threads App Statistics 2023 – By Country, Sign-Ups, User, History (enterpriseappstoday.com)

Threads Usage Drops By Half From Initial Surge | Similarweb