By: Margena Holmes
As an author, it’s not enough to just have a website for your books. To make your name and work known, you need to have a social media presence, too. But how does one do that? And with so many different ones, where do you start? Here are some ideas to help you with your social media presence.
I would recommend getting an author page. I have a personal page and an author page, to keep things nice and tidy and separate. On my personal page I post about family, work, and other daily life events. These are things that I don’t want to be public (I have my personal page set to private). I have my author page for posting everything about my writing—updates, word counts, events I’ll be attending, and release dates.
Thursdays are throwback days, so I’ll post something from the past related (no matter how loosely) to my writing. I’ve got photos from high school and college, jobs that I’ve had, anything that I’ve done on my writing journey. Hashtags are important to help people find these posts, so remember to use the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. On Fridays I’ll post something funny either writing related or just to make people laugh, using the hashtag #FridayFunny. I’ve just added in #MotivationMonday where I post something to inspire others, either in writing or daily life.
If this seems overwhelming, start small. I started posting on Throwback Thursdays for the first month or so as I got used to posting more, then I added my Friday Funny. My plan is to have five days of these kind of posts. You don’t even have to take time out of each day to do it. You can schedule your posts from your author page with Facebook’s business suite.
Twitter is a little different than FB. Anyone can see your posts, so make sure it’s something you don’t mind your readers seeing (and that’s the point—you want your readers to see YOU!). Using hashtags here is important since the posts are easily lost in the shuffle (and Jenny Kate wrote an awesome blog on using hashtags), but you can use the same posts from FB on Twitter. It’s also easy to retweet a lot of Tweets from other authors.
If you were to think of Facebook as the kids’ table for holidays, LinkedIn is the adults’ table. Political posts and cat videos are pretty much non-existent here. What you’ll find are helpful job related memes and posts, motivational posts, and articles. Here it’s a little more intimidating after being on Facebook for so long. This is the place to post about your release dates, maybe write an article on your writing process, or share an inspiring picture, meme, or story, so you’ll want to make content specifically for LI and not reuse your posts from FB or Twitter. Hashtags abound here, too.
If you don’t know what to post, there are plenty of ways to get content. Angie Gensler has a variety of packages to purchase that takes the guesswork out of posting. I bought year of social media post ideas in 2019 and I just keep reusing the ideas each year. There are also free websites for ideas. Hootsuite has a list of ideas for you to engage your audience. Visit your favorite author’s social media and see what they do on social media and follow their lead. I would also recommend following Gary Vaynerchuk on Linked In. He’s written a lot of articles on how to create content for social media.
One goal of writers is to sell their books, but don’t inundate your news feed with “buy my book” posts. It gets annoying after a while and you’ll end up losing followers. That’s not to say you can’t post those on your social media. Try to keep it to 80-20—80% generic writing/book posts, 20% buy my book posts. You can even make a graphic showing the cover of your book with a quote from it without it being a “buy my book” post. It’s important to post regularly to keep that engagement with your readers.
Start slow and be engaging with your posts. Get to know your fan base and see what types of things they like to talk about. Make it about them as well as yourself, but most of all, be creative and have fun!
Margena Adams Holmes has been writing ever since she can remember, writing her first poem in 1st grade. At her day job, when she’s not kicking young kids out of R-rated movies, she’s sweeping up spilled popcorn from the hallways and aisles (she’s not your mother, though, so please take your trash out). Her days off consist of writing science fiction, short stories, and more movie theater shenanigans. Reading is a close second to writing, and she normally has her nose buried in a book. Her publications are available through her author page. Contact Margena via email: email@example.com.