You are a writer.
Whatever you write, you want these writings to be popular and bring you both followers and income. And what’s better than social media channels for building an author platform?
But here’s the catch:
Social media is a tool. Let’s say it’s a hammer. And when you decide to use social media channels with no idea how it works and with no exact plan and strategy in your pocket, it will look like taking a hammer and running around to find what to build with it.
The ugly truth about social media for writers:
- Social media will not grow your fame.
- Far from all followers will become your customers.
- Far from all followers see your social media posts. Speaking about Facebook, for example, it’s only 3-10% of the total number.
- Do you still put your faith in social media strategies that work better than yours, but you don’t know about them yet? Some hopes!
The good news:
- Social media is a great way to build connections.
- When planned and used right, it’s a top tool to make a name and let the world know about your products or services.
Guy Kawasaki would disagree with many experts concerning social media strategy planning:
Do, don’t plan. Social media experts will tell you that the first step is to develop a plan that includes highfalutin elements such as goals, strategies, and tactics. Let me simplify the process of building a platform. The goal is to get 5,000 followers by the time your book comes out. End. Of. Discussion.
Well said, but still:
HOW can writers succeed with social media marketing campaigns?
1) Promote Yesterday!
What do most green bloggers do?
They write content with the best writing apps, publish it, and then wait for the audience to come and share it. Well, the only audience they might expect in that case is their moms or, if they are lucky enough, 10-20 friends or fellow writers who know about this content and come to check it out of curiosity.
What do most average bloggers do?
They write content, publish it, and then promote it on dozens of platforms. Some use 100+ ways of promotion! Go figure!
What do awesome bloggers do?
They promote their content before publishing it.
How do they do that?
- Send content teasers to chats and forums of their audience interest.
- They send content previews to communities of their target audience interest.
- They send content to influencers, asking them to review it and share it with their followers after publishing.
- Plan your content promotion.
- Promote it before publishing where possible.
- Continue promotion once your writing goes live.
2) Use Writing Tricks!
Every social network has a specific audience and mood.
Whether you are a blogger, a marketer interested in more customers, or a fiction writer seeking social media techniques that would win readers, make sure you speak the same language as social media users.
Depending on people who interact at chosen social media, your posts need writing tricks to hook them.
Your perfect post for Facebook:
- is up to 40 words with questions or clear CTA;
- has a picture of at least 400 to 500 pixels wide, a gif, or videos;
- has a link;
- is shared with relevant pages and groups.
Your perfect post for Twitter:
- has relevant #hashtags;
- has bright images;
- has verbs of action, questions, or CTA inviting users to click;
- has mentions embracing a wider audience.
THE STRATEGY: Don’t use all social networks for promotion. You don’t need it, and it’s impossible to manage Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., all at once if you want to do it well.
There are just 24 hours in a day, after all! Pick one or two social media networks and concentrate on them.
3) Blog Less!
Some bloggers still believe that the more often they write and publish content, the better. It leads to nothing but:
- writer’s burnout
- sacrificing quality for quantity
- being sick and tired
What to do?
- Create compelling content.
- Don’t let quantity beat quality.
- Update more, write less.
- Focus on sharing, not selling.
- A bone-lazy fellow? Outsource your writing task.
THE STRATEGY: Frequent replacing of content destroys your social proof; plus, everyday posting leaves you less time for planning, promoting, and creating assets for your business; the longer your writing stays latest, the more interaction it gets; so, don’t be in a hurry.
Moreover, it takes time – hours, days, or even weeks – to create something worth reading and sharing.
4) Use Tools!
It’s challenging to manage social media accounts, especially when they grow and often update, providing marketers with more promotion features.
Not to sink in this deep blue sea of opportunities, determine the particular features you need from each social network for your visibility and promotion, and use tools developed to ease your work with social channels.
Find great content with Buzzsumo:
This tool will help you determine the most shared content across all social networks, find influencers in your niche, share their content to extend your platform or get some ideas for your future writings.
Save time and schedule posting with Buffer:
This tool will help you create social media content, schedule posting, and access the analytics to measure how your audience responds to the content you publish.
Create images for social media with Canva:
This tool will help you create beautiful images for social media content, cover photos for your profiles, infographics, and other graphics. No pro skills in design are needed.
5) Don’t Overplay!
You are a genius writer if the majority of your clients are your social media followers! The thing is, people do not follow you to buy your product, and they will never buy anything if you push them to do that.
I see a lot of authors jump into Twitter and immediately start doing nothing but push their book. They haven’t earned the right to market their products, and all they do is turn people off.
– Mignon Fogarty, @GrammarGirl
What to do?
- Write as if you talk to one person.
- Let them see you are real.
- Hook them.
- Make them believe your service or product is what they need.
- Make them want to learn more details.
- Teach them, solve a problem, entertain them.
- Respond accordingly.
THE STRATEGY: Promote your product or service in less than 10% of your social media posts. It’s okay just after launching, but make sure to generate educational and entertaining content after the first four weeks.
Books/blogs and social media are about making a genuine connection. Build relations – and your readers and customers will find you.
Lesley Vos is a content creator and blogger with more than five years of experience in ghost writing. She is struggling to write her e-book at the moment, and planning to self-publish it once it’s ready. Lesley blogs for Bid4Papers and other publications on writing, content marketing, and lifestyle. Feel free to see more works of her work or say hi to her on Twitter.