In October I spoke at an Authors Guild event in NYC about social media for authors. It was moderately attended at the library but there were over 100 online attendees, which I thought was impressive. I realize that digital marketing and social media marketing are areas where many people struggle. I have significant experience and success helping authors. We even have a Social Media 101 Guide you can download for FREE. In the meantime, I think there are a few things you can think about right now that can boost your progress.
5 Simple Social Media Solutions
Here are 5 simple solutions to common problems I have noticed when auditing social media accounts for authors.
- Use your photo as your profile picture. The panel I was on in October was unanimous with loud head shaking (if you can imagine that) when someone asked whether they should use their book jacket as their profile photo. No. You may write more than one book, so what happens to the following you have built on the current one? People feel more connected to people and tend to trust profiles that feature a person, not a product.
- Make a plan. Posting here and there is not the way to gain an audience. Algorithms like to get to know you and to find that you are reliably connecting with interested followers. Decide how many posts you want to do on a weekly basis on specific days of the week around pre-determined time slots. Figure out what your topics are beforehand and try to be consistent. This is especially important on your Instagram grid. Random posting looks messy and disjointed. If you want to show people a great photo of you on vacation, use the Stories function. Otherwise think about what you want to share and try to stick to the topics and themes.
- If you hate it don’t do it. My colleagues agree that if you absolutely can not see yourself feeding a social platform don’t get started. It looks worse to have an empty page than it does to have a small follower count, but an active page.
- Spend a few dollars. When you are starting out try boosting or advertising a post to a target audience. See what kind of engagement you get. If it doesn’t work well, try a different topic or image. If that doesn’t work consider changing your targets. Play with the platform and spend $20 for 4 days of boosting.
- Play. Yes, I am telling you to play with social media. Try different combinations of colors, images, videos, text, themes, topics, audience targets, and bids for boosting to see what starts to stick. People born before 1985 have a more difficult time using social media. That’s ok. I’ve seen otherwise completely anti-tech and anti-social people get excited about the amount of creativity they can apply to start a conversation or make an impression.
You Can’t Break Your Social Media
So writers, try testing out a few things and let your work entertain you in the process. You can’t break anything when you start out, because you haven’t built anything yet. Worry about mistakes when you have thousands of followers. The only caveat is that you try to avoid the same topics you wouldn’t bring up at a party: Sex. Politics, and Religion
I would love to see the community you are creating on your social platforms. Follow me at @mckinneymediagroup and I’ll follow you back!
For additional ideas check out our blog channel and search “social media”. You can start with advice on timing: When Should You Start Being Active on Social Media?