^^^^^ This might be the reaction of some writers reading the title of this post.
Many writers dislike–even fear–diving into the world of social media. I’ve talked about how Technology Helps Writing, but I haven’t specifically talked about social media. I had said that it was a post for another day. Well, today is that day. Personally, I love using social media. Not just for personal reasons, but for promoting my books/blog too. If done correctly, you should see more people viewing your blog and/or taking more interest in your personal writing. Writers who can utilize social media correctly are awesome because it’s not something just anyone can do. You have to know the basics first. Whether you choose Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Pinterest, etc. is up to you. I’m going to give you some ways to advertise your writing for some of the websites I just listed. Keep in mind, I don’t use all of these… I’ll clarify if I do. I think that it would be wise to pick 2-3 social media sites to focus on, at least at first.
Facebook is almost a must. You don’t have to create a public author page to use it. You can use your personal account to advertise your stuff. Either way, here’s three ways that Facebook can benefit your writing:
1.Create a public or secret group. I have a secret Facebook group meant for only family/friends. It partially serves as a diary and I update regularly on what I’m working on. My good friend, Ella Douglas, and I are part of a larger group where we all post updates about our writing, blogging, and art. It helps for others to connect online and encourages writers to share their work with people who share the same interests.
2. Share your blog links on timelines–sparingly. Sharing your links for your blog on your own timeline is definitely a great idea, and occasionally sharing it on a friend’s page isn’t a bad idea either, just make sure that you don’t spam anybody. Be sure to be clear what the post is about. This is what I normally post on Facebook:
New post on Quest for Publishment! “Social Media for Writers”
#writing #socialmedia #questforpublishment
[insert link here]
Notice the use of hashtags? I’ll talk more about those in a minute.
3. Although I’ve never done it, creating a public page is a great way to display your works and gain followers. I wouldn’t do it until you were a little bit well known, however. A private group is a good place to start before creating a public page (see #1) Most well-known authors have a Facebook page and post quotes and updates on their novels.
1. Create your own hashtags. This is relatively simple to do. For me, when I was writing Reformation, I constantly used this hashtag: #Reformationiscoming. (it ties into the series) It tied my post together and was memorable. Wondering what a hashtag is? If you tweet it in all of your posts regarding your blog post or book, viewers can click on it and see all posts related to it. Just make sure you use the # (hash) symbol and insert the (tag) Reformationiscoming. It could be any phrase from #onlyIwouldforgettodothat to #DenverBroncosareSuperBowlbound . Type in any hashtag on Twitter, and you’ll see the results.
2.Post updates about your blog posts. Almost every time I post something new, I am sure to tweet about it. Then, all of yours followers see it. I pose it in a similar manner as I do on Facebook, but you have to be conservative with the characters. You might have to shorten it to fit in your tweet.
3.Oh yeah, you also need to get some followers. Go follow a bunch of people who are interested in stuff like you! They just might follow you back. Make sure to interact with them by retweeting (reposting) their tweets and favoriting stuff they say!
I don’t use Instagram for my writing as much, but if I did, this is what I’d suggest:
1.Post pictures of your drawings/book covers/quotes. Decorate your quotes and make them noticeable when people scroll through their news feed.
2.Tying in to suggestion #1, tag people in the photo. If you post something about your blog, tag some people that you follow who might be interested in it. Then, it sends them a notification and they’ll see the photo and hopefully check out the blog/book.
Again, I don’t use this one as much, but I think that it can be a great tool.
1.Create a slideshow using quotes from your writing. First, write down some of the quotes on a piece of paper. Use Vine and film the quotes for 3-5 seconds a piece. String them together and create a unique way of showing off your writing! (You can be so creative with this. You could film singular letters and make a word, film yourself opening your newly finished manuscript… the list goes on). Make sure to use hashtags, too! I can’t stress about them enough. Hashtags are one of the most important aspects of social media now.
I have a whole post about Pinterest. Check it out here.
I hope this helps you see that social media isn’t that daunting. If you use it right, the possibilities are endless. Create some goals for yourself and dive in. the rewards are worth it. This is just the beginning. There are so many techniques to using social media, but this is what I’d suggest to start out with. As you weave through the world of social media, look for clues that can help you get published. Perhaps, some writing agents will follow you on Twitter!
Until next time,