Getting Attention on Social Media

Getting attention on social media can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. With millions of people on each platform, how do you get the right people to see your content? 

Hashtags

Many people think hashtags are a thing of the past, but they do still have their place on many social media platforms. The landscape around them, however, is constantly changing and every site tends to leverage them slightly differently. It can be very confusing if you’re new to social media or coming back from a long hiatus to find everything has changed. This is why tailoring your hashtag strategy should be a routine part of your social media plan.

First you will want to identify your target audience and search for appropriate hashtags that the audience may be interested in. Get in the mind of your audience. Think about what tags they might search for on social media. If you’re an author, #bookstoread and #bookstagram are popular, community-based hashtags that many bookworms use when looking for new reading material. Complete a search of your own to see which posts get the most traction, and remember to be continually researching as information is changing constantly.

Tags

Potentially the simplest way to get attention on social media is to tag people or accounts that may be interested in your content. Tagging an account will get your post to pop up in their notifications, giving your content a higher chance of being seen by specific people.

Similar to your hashtag research, you will want to find accounts that you think would be interested in your content. Think about your target audience and identify accounts that may want your content to show up in their notifications. Once you have these accounts identified, you can begin mentioning them in your captions. On Instagram, Facebook, and X, start by typing ‘@’ and proceed to type in the account name you want to tag.

For example, if you put @mckinneymediagroup in an Instagram caption, we will be notified and see your post.

The Algorithm

The main way your content will get attention on social media is through the elusive algorithm. Social media platforms will deliver content they think you want to see based on things you have searched for and looked at previously. It looks at content and users and tries to serve the right content to the right people. 

“Beating” the algorithm and getting people to see your content isn’t always so easy and there isn’t one thing or another that you can do that will work every time. What is important is creating consistent, high quality content that you know your target audience will enjoy. Constantly keep an eye on trends in the algorithm on all your social media platforms to make sure that you’re staying up to date on how content is being pushed to users. Check out these 2024 guides to the algorithm on Instagram, Facebook, and X (Twitter) for more information.

Creating Your Social Media Plan

This month we spent a lot of time going through different aspects of posting about your book and your brand on social media.  Now that you know how to get started, make authentic connections, and discover topics, it is time for the most important part.  We are going to talk about creating your social media plan.

Structure Your Social Media Plan

None of the things you have learned so far will matter without a clear strategy and mapped out calendar.  For people who like to fly by the seat of their pants and hate linear structure, this is going to be annoying.   You may need a plan more than most, because without one you will not keep it up.

The great news is that you can automate some of the tasks.  However, you will need to sit down and make a calendar for each month in advance.  Ideally, you have several months of planned content laid out so you can produce it, schedule it and forget about everything but engaging and having fun with your new followers.  Here is how you put a plan together.

Your Social Media Outline

1.  Find a monthly calendar template that you think will serve you best.  Hubspot has one, and if you click on the link you will go to a page with a free download.  We use a customized version of it that has worked well.

2. Think about the forms of your content.  For example, we like to post a blog every week and our social posts include a feed post on Instagram followed by stories throughout the week based on the blog.  We try to create themed months and weeks, which makes it easier to organize content.  It also provides different formats for people who like to consume content in different ways.

3. Go back to your topics and themes.  If one of your topics is world building because you write fantasy, then think about creating content about your process, articles you find online, different resources you use, people whose work you admire, etc.

4. Now it’s time to get specfic.  Let’s plan a week of content on Instagram that includes a blog post about how you got interested in world building.  You can choose to promote that blog on your website via a feed post on Monday, followed by two stories on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.  Mark those in your calendar.

You could also add a reel with a visual like a map and a caption that includes a mistake to avoid as you get started with your world.  Maybe you post your reel on Wednesday.  Mark that in your calendar.  Now you have a full week planned for that topic.

Getting Content Ideas Using AI

Many of us have ambivalent feelings about AI.  As writers and creators we worry that AI will take over our specializations and make us obselete.  Although some of this may be true or false, in the meantime we all need to be familiar with how generative AI works.  So, I am recommending that you try ChatGPT, prompting it with your world building idea to see what article headlines it generates.

You could also go to Google.  Type in “world building” and see what drops down from the search bar.  Scroll to see what topics are listed further down the search results pages where it says “People also searched for”.

You Can’t Break Your Social Media

If you are relatively new to social media with a modest following or zero followers, you don’t need to worry too much about how your plan is executed.  You can’t break your social media at this level.  What is most important is that you jump in and try out a system.  If you are stuck or want a bit of guidance, we do offer a free 30 minute social media overview.  You can also search our blogs or look through our Instagram feed for other posts and tips.

Attention Newsletter Subscribers:  In the February newsletter you will find a brief how to video for the ChatGPT process I mentioned above.  To subscribe to our newsletter visit the home page

 

 

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!

Planning Your Social Media for a New Year

Are you ready to plan your social media for a new year?  It’s going to be a wild one, so hang on tight.  Here are some things to think about as you set up your content calendar for 2024.

Elections and Algorithms

You may think the election, way off in November, is not going to affect you.  Why should it?  You are just one person, marketing yourself and your work.  The amount of global activity that will affect Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok, for example, will create an uproar.  In 2020 we were banned from promoting a film that dealt with post-partum depression because it contained “social issues” and Meta’s algorithm was filtering for topics under that umbrella.  Getting around these filters will require creative messaging and still you might have some challenges.  Also, pay attention to any changes in algorithms that are made public.  Follow Reddit channels and check out websites like HubSpot (link to article from 2023 about TikTok) regularly for any news.

Generative AI

Welcome to the first full year of hype dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, which for our purposes is Generative AI.  Generative means that content is “generated” by AI.  You just prompt ChatGpt or Bard and the rest is easy.  Not so.  From time to time I will include some of my results from AI prompts.  So far I’ve found the content very basic and it needs a lot of editing.  However, many people use it to get ideas for blogs, articles and other longer form writing.  Keep an eye on TechCrunch, which is covering AI closely.

Know Your Audience on Social Media

According to DemandSage.com, “There are 4.95 billion social media users globally.  This means 60.49 of the global population uses Social media.” The good news is there are tons of readers and customers out there to find.  The bad news is that you must know your audience.  In fact, you should have an image of the person you are promoting your book or business to from the very start.  Imagine you are having a conversation over a beverage (coffee is my choice).  Figure out what your audience really, really wants and needs and create your content to fill those desires.  Then nurture your group with a combination of experience based ideas and information.

Be Consistent and Check Your Metrics

Set up your calendar and follow it.  Today my calendar says I need to write my Happy New Year blog.  I’ve been taking notes on what I want to say for a couple of weeks.  My team has to write three more blogs this month, create reels, a how-to video for our newsletter subscribers, a newsletter, and regular posts.  We check each item to see how it is doing and we make adjustments so that we reach the right people with the information they need and want.  Sound familiar?  If you haven’t set up a schedule for the month with your topics and content types, do it now.

No, really, I mean right now.

Check out this link to blogs on AI from 2023 and subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive how-to videos and news about upcoming courses, webinars, and more.

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.