I am so happy to be on Delilah’s blog. Today, I’m talking Social Media Marketing. Let’s dive in!
Years ago, I led a workshop on AOL as part of the writer forums. We met in a chat room every Wednesday night to discuss writing. One night during a session on promotion, a participant spoke up and said she could never promote her books. Write them, yes. Promote them? Not something she could see herself doing. In the days of Social Media Marketing now, I often wonder if she’s changed her perspective.
Social media has opened up ways of promoting that even the shyest person can do in some form. The key is finding the venues that work for the individual. Think of them as a conference. Just as you would choose a conference that suits your needs, you can select the social media options that will benefit you the most as well as play a key part in your branding: Who You Are, What You Represent, and Why You Are Here.
There are numerous social media platforms to choose from. TWITTER, FACEBOOK, GOODREADS, INSTAGRAM, BLOGGING and PINTEREST are just a few available. Picking the ones that are right for you can be a challenge. Your first consideration is what you want to do? Do you want to educate other writers as well as have a landing page for your own promotion? If so, then a blog is a good option. Do you want to connect more with readers? In that case, you will want to learn the ins and outs of Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is also a great venue if you envision doing a virtual book launch with fun games, guest authors and prizes to attract readers. All of them are great places to network with prospective editors and agents.
Choosing the right tracks and working them can be daunting for some people. I have Five Tips to take the edge off… consider this your glass of champagne at the conference meet and greet.
1 – Pick no more than 3 to work with.
2 – Make Friends
3 – Be a Friend
4 – Be Genuine
5 – Monitor your TIME
My top three platforms are Blogging, Twitter, and Instagram. I have to admit that I work the Instagram more for my art/music while I want to focus on Goodreads this year for my writing. But Blogger and Twitter are my ‘go to’ for any of my promotions across the board.
When it comes to making friends, build a following before you step out to begin your own promotion. Get to know people. Think of it as being at a conference. Start by looking for others in your genre. Authors, Publishers/Editors. See who they are following or friends with. Walk around the room and introduce yourself. Find out about each of them. For example, I want to write for Hallmark movies so I’m looking for other Hallmark authors, actors, producers, etc. as well as authors who write sweet romances in general.
Be Genuine. Sure, you’re there to promote yourself and your work, but you also need to be interested in what others have to share and say. You would expect no less from them in return.
Share Information. Find things other than your book to talk about. Follow other authors and find things to share that fall in their wheelhouse. Even if you write Science Fiction or Paranormal, find and share links to things that might be of interest to the Historical writers that are on your stream. Think of it as being at a conference and while you don’t write what the person you’re talking to does, you have something he might be interested in. Respond/ Share to others comments/ posts.
Like any other conference or gathering, there has to be a time when you thank your hostess and leave. If you KNOW you can’t control the scrolling through post after post, set a timer. Can’t get enough of those crazy cat videos? Don’t start watching them until your work is done. This is a picture of the page marker in my planner. I run down this check list every morning before doing anything else.
Make a list of what you need to accomplish that day on each of your chosen Social Media tracks.
Do you want to find ten new friends on Titter? Share five posts on FB? Write the blog posts you need for this week? (Blogging is a whole different workshop). As you get into a routine, doing these tasks will begin to take less time. You’ll get into a flow and Social Media won’t be the black hole of time… or as scary.
I’ve given you the bare necessities here. If you’d like a full-workshop on Social Media Marketing, I’ll be speaking at the 52nd Ozark Creative Writers Conference October 11,12,13. This year’s conference information will post on the website in mid-February at www.ozarkcreativewriters.com. This is an intimate, multi-genre conference with lots of great info and pitching sessions. I’m also available as a blog guest or in-person speaking.
Now, go make friends!