tips on social media for writers and authors

As an author or writer, do you cringe at the idea of creating a blog, building a newsletter list or connecting with your community via social media? You are not alone!

It is easy to think that because you are good with words, social media will come easy. But this can be far from reality, for many reasons.

When you are immersed in your writing, it can be difficult to pull yourself away for the most mundane of tasks, such as cleaning the house and cooking the dinner, let alone checking social media and posting useful and interesting content! However, some time spent on your social media and blog content each day, can really improve your connections with other writers, agents and publishers, and very importantly, your readers.

On the flipside, it can be easy to become overly engaged in social media, checking multiple times a day to see who has liked or commented or followed you; becoming stressed by what other people are achieving, feeling like you are a failure and experiencing serious cases of FOMO.

The important thing is to strike a balance that works for YOU. Selecting the channels that work for you and your goals, as well as what you enjoy, is important. Nobody can be on every channel at all times. Selectivity and quality, as well as genuine connections, are the key.

When sharing something on Social Media, always ask:

WHY?

Does this content offer something to your audience?
Does it inform them, educate, inspire, support, help, make them laugh, entertain them, make them feel?
How do you want them to feel?
What action do you want them to take?
What problems are you solving?

WHO?

Who is your target audience?
Who is in your community?
Don’t just think about WHAT you say, think about WHERE you are saying it.
Consider the psychology of WHY someone is on a particular channel at that time of the day or night?
What are they looking for?
How can you solve their problems?

WHAT?

What content can you give to your community?
Is it visual, words, video, all of these?
Educate, inform, excite, soothe, inspire, support?
What one off pieces of content can you create? What themes can you use to create ongoing content – such as using a Mind Map of potential content ideas.

WHERE?

Where are the people you are trying to connect with hanging out? Go there to share your content and connect with them. Make your communication appropriate for each channel  –  eg visual messages on Facebook, infographics on Pinterest, a beautiful image on Instagram, a trending topic on Twitter.

BE REAL!

You are not going to find all things working at all times. You can’t be great at every social media channel! Find your best 2 or 3 channels and make them amazing – your content needs to engage people, not just be there for the sake of it – you have to stop the scroll. Understand how your community searches for information and what they like to see by exploring other accounts in your industry.

7 THINGS YOU CAN DO NOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS

  1. Make your message clear & consistent – what is your WHY?
  2. Fill your profiles out properly – use all of the space and be sure to be consistent across channels, clear & cover the most important aspects
  3. Build a Newsletter list on your blog
  4. Cross post on different channels but don’t just repeat the exact same content on all channels all the time.
  5. USe GOOD images as well as your words
  6. Schedule using the various tools available
  7. Respond and interact – don’t just dump posts and never respond to comments – it’s the social part of social media.

Ask yourself:

Are your profiles filled out properly and thoroughly?
Are all of the accounts and profiles on brand?
Would a new visitor follow me after seeing this profile and what would they think I stand for?
What makes them want to follow me?

Spending a little time on researching other people in your community, where they hang out and what they are interested in, finding hashtags on Twitter and Instagram, creating connections on Facebook and encouraging discussions, will go a long way to ensuring your social media profile is working for you and not the other way around.

I have been working online and creating communities on the internet since 2001. I have over 120,000 social media followers. I have worked with small businesses, not-for-profits and large universities, on creating content and social media strategies. If you are interested in a consult with me to work on making your social profiles and content sing, get in touch here.

See you on the socials!

Helen

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