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An Author's Guide to Social Media Part 1 of 6: An Introduction

Your Website & Building Your Online Presence

 

Linking to Social Media

 

Each social media account you have should be linked to every other relevant account, as well as to your website and/or Deeds author page. For example, your Twitter should link out to your website and perhaps your Facebook page. Your Goodreads author page should link to Twitter and your blog.

(To Note: Every profile you have should have a link to your website and/or Deeds author page. This is where you want to direct followers so they can buy your book.)  

When you create new accounts or profiles, please let Deeds know so we can add them to your author page and spread the word!

If you are active on social media and find yourself working tirelessly to copy and paste the same content from account to account, there are tools online (like www.buffer.com and https://hootsuite.com) that allow you to post the same thing to multiple accounts. For instance, through these tools, an image you share and caption on Facebook will automatically post to Twitter (and format itself to 140 characters). Even better, you can schedule posts to go live while you’re away!

The key is to promote yourself through accessibility and connectivity. When it’s difficult for readers to find more information about you, they may get impatient and give up. By linking each of your social media accounts to each other, information is readily accessible and encourages your readers to learn more about you and your books.

 

Linking to Amazon/Deeds

One very important place to link your accounts to is your Amazon Author Page. While many of our sales come through the Deeds website, some people prefer to buy through Amazon, especially if they stumble across your work there. If you do not already have an author page, you can go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com and follow the steps to set one up. This will direct anyone who clicks on one of your books to a mini-website with information about you, your books, and your other web presences. When promoting your book, be sure to link to either the Deeds store or on Amazon. This makes purchasing your book much easier for your reader. 

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An Author's Guide To Social Media Part 2 of 6: Social Media Accounts to Have

Part II: Twitter

 

Your Profile:

First, your profile must be public! People should be able to find you, follow you and retweet you.

On your profile, be sure to upload a picture of either yourself or your book as your profile picture. This will make you more accessible to readers, and they will be more likely to talk to you. Write a short bio that at least mentions that you are an author. If you have room, link to your newest book. Don’t forget to put your location and website in the boxes offered.

 

What should you tweet about?

Anything you want!

Well, not anything. Try to keep your tweets from your author Twitter account relevant to your genre, writing in general, or small personal anecdotes. Interact with your readers and other authors when they mention you in tweets - retweet their comments and reply to their questions!

 

Do Nots:

None of these are hard and fast rules, but you should try to be diplomatic on your professional Twitter account. The general rule is to avoid any content about politics and religion. Of course, if any of these topics are relevant to your book, post about them!

 

Don’t get into Twitter Wars. Keep arguing out of it. At times, people will disagree with you or what you post. The more followers you garner the more likely this is to happen. If anyone posts negative comments, just take them in stride and either do not respond or only respond in a positive manner. Keep in mind anything you post on social media is out there once it’s out there – you can’t delete it!

Who should you follow?

The first rule of Twitter is follow and you will be followed. Many Twitter users follow back immediately, and this will put everything you post (especially information about your book!) on their timeline, which functions as a homepage. First and foremost, you should follow other authors, especially those in your genre. They may have information about an event you didn’t know about and want to attend, or may be able to connect you with further marketing and promotion resources. Plus, it’s great to be able to rely on other authors for cross-promotion!

You should also follow organizations and clubs with thematic material relevant to your book. For instance, if you are an author of military nonfiction, you may want to follow the American Legion. Keep in mind your location, as well. If there are town councils, local coffee shops, or libraries that may be able to promote you through events, give them a follow so you can stay up-to-date on all their events.

Lastly, you should follow Deeds! We love to interact with and support our authors through conversations and retweets. Also, we’re starting a weekly featured author piece where we promote authors, their upcoming events, and their books on our social media. You can never follow too many people on Twitter!

 

Retweets:

Don’t forget to retweet things you find interesting and add your own comments. Like we mentioned earlier, promoting other authors is a great way to mutually gain exposure and you may discover friends who can help you along the path of being an author. Also retweet tweets by organizations/clubs relevant to your material. Lastly, respond to and retweet your readers. Fans you engage and interact with will be more likely to spread the word about your book and every time you retweet a reader’s review, it adds credibility to your work.

 

Trending topics:

Trending topics are topics that millions of other people are currently tweeting about. They are measured in terms of engagement through hashtags, retweets and favorites. Often, brands will jump on board a trending topic and incorporate it into their own tweets to garner more engagement and impressions. For instance, when the power went out at the 2013 Superbowl and #blackout was a trending topic, Oreo tweeted out a picture of a cookie next to a glass of milk that read, “You can still dunk in the dark.” Including trending topics that are relevant to your genre would be an effective way to garner traffic on your account.

 

Hashtags:

Hashtags are the pound signs (#) you see before a word embedded in tweets. These tags help Twitter identify what’s popular, or trending, at the time. Users can search Twitter for a specific hashtag and all the tweets that include the tag will be listed, in real time, in the search results. If you were to include a trending hashtag in one of your tweets, it would show up in the search results for that tag.

 

When you click on hashtag in a post, it acts as link (url) to other tweets using that same hashtag. It has the same effect as if you were to search for that word on Twitter, displaying all the most relevant tweets that happen to feature that hashtag.

 

Here are some of the top hashtags used by authors on Twitter:

·       #AmWriting

·       #AmEditing

·       #AmRevising

·       #Author

·       #Editing

·       #IndieAuthors

·       #Writetip

See  http://www.bookmarketingservices.org/ultimate-list-of-author-specific-hashtags/ for more hashtags specific to your genre or needs.
One last rule: Do not overwhelm your tweets with hashtags. This is considered tacky on Twitter and often is the sign of an author only interested in selling a book. At most, include three hashtags in your tweet, though one or two is better.

 

 

Promoted Tweets:

If you truly think your target audience gets most of its news about and engagement with you from Twitter, there is an option to pay to promote your tweets. For a fee, Twitter will introduce your tweets into the timelines of individuals who do not follow you in hopes that your brand will be promoted beyond your current scope of audience members. 

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An Author's Guide to Social Media Part 3 of 6: Social Media Accounts to Have

Part III: Instagram

 

Biography:

In your biography, you should have a link to your personal website. If you do not have a website, you can link your social media biographies to your author page on either Deeds or Goodreads. Since biographies can be easily and quickly edited, this is another good way to promote sales. For example, if you were promoting a certain book throughout the course of the week, you could put a link to purchase the book from Amazon or Deeds in your bio.

 

Book covers:

The first aspect of marketing a book is its cover! An engaging cover can catch the eye of a potential reader and persuade him or her to learn more about your book. Post the covers of your book to your account, and include a brief (40-50 words) synopsis of the book in the caption. Additionally, you can direct people to buy the book by including the purchase link in your biography.

 

Pictures from events:

Have a friend or family member attend your events and take photos of you “in action.” This includes book signings, festivals, parties, book launches, awards ceremonies, etc. Have someone capture moments of you physically signing your book, shaking the hand of another author, giving a speech at a lectern, or interacting with your readers and fans. Personalizing your account promotes you as an author as well as your book. Be sure to update the location of your image to reflect where the event took place; photos can also be sorted based on geotags.

 

Hashtags:

Hashtags on Instagram work much like hashtags on Twitter. Hashtags are the pound signs (#) you see before a word that users embed into Instagram captions. These tags help Instagram identify what’s popular, or trending, at the time. They also help organize pictures. For instance, many people create a unique hashtag for wedding guests to use when uploading and sharing pictures to Instagram. By searching the tag, the bride and groom can access all the pictures taken and shared in one place. Organizing your photos by hashtag can help people identify where you’ve been and what you’ve done.

On Instagram, it’s okay to use more than three hashtags. As with Twitter, don’t overdo it, but as long the hashtags you post are relevant to your photo, it’s okay. On Instagram, hashtags can be an incredibly effective tool to attract followers that don’t know you or your work. 

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