My Top Five Social Media Picks
I attend a large writer’s group and, at 59, I’m actually on the lower end of the age spectrum. I’ve notice whenever our speakers talk about setting up a platform most of the group goes into zombie eye glaze mode.
This week I spent three hours helping a critique group friend get set up with a Facebook page. I thought it would take a few minutes. It did not.
It’s got me thinking a lot about how to help authors sift through the information coming at them fast and furiously about social media. I mean there are so many options, right? Facebook, Websites, blogging, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Linkedin… the list goes on. So, here is my brief philosophy on the top five places to invest your time in the social media world.
1.Have a website
- Picture this as the center of a wheel, the hub. A website is important because you can sell your books from it but doesn’t have to be complicated or spendy. A WordPress site will work just fine. If you can’t figure it out, borrow a tech savvy friend and have them set it up for you or use a drag and drop platform like Wix.
2. Blog on your website
- You don’t have to do it often, even once a month will work, just do it consistently. If you put tags/keywords on your blog (ask your tech savvy friend) it draws folks in off the internet onto your site. This is called search engine optimization or SEO. It helps people find you. Also, if you’re extremely interested in anything i.e. gardening, grandparenting, writing etc. these topics can build you a following that will, again lead folks to buy your books.
3. Invest time into Facebook and a Facebook author page
- Facebook is user friendly. Or so I thought until I helped my friend. So, either find that techy friend again or offer someone cash to help you get set up, cause once you’re set up, it’s a breeze. My daughter actually spent several months being paid to help this older guy learn how to use all his technology. He advertised for help on Craig’s list. Facebook is really important, if you’re writing for adults. Besides finding long lost friends from high school, each friend becomes a potential person who might buy your books (You may be sensing a theme here. But it’s called social MARKETING for a reason.) Now, you can link your website and your blogs to your personal Facebook page and your author page. See how the wheel is starting to turn. Everything draws people back to your website.
- I know, if you’re an oldster it seems ridiculous that anyone would care about your little tweets. That is not the point. In the search bar on Twitter put in the genre of books you write i.e. science fiction, romance. Then when it shows you a list of science fiction writers, follow them. You can look at their websites and learn lots. And, as you get to know them a bit, you can retweet their announcements for their books. Then when you send their tweets to your 50 friends, they might be willing to send out your news to their 5,000 friends. Sweet deal. Of course, twitter can link back to your website where you can (everybody now) sell books. On all social media sites hashtags are important. They use a number sign like this # to tag a topic. So, whenever you post, hashtag a keyword to help people find you. For instance, #YA, #Romance or #Mystery.
- I like Goodreads because it is a whole website where people who are absolutely crazy about reading books hang out. Guess what? These folks like to read and they might even like to read your book. So, you can set up an author page there, and link it back to your website and your blog and your twitter. Viola, you start to sell books. If you compare the number of reviews for a particular book on Goodreads and Amazon, you’ll see many times more on Goodreads. But, Amazon owns Goodreads so reviews there will help your status on Amazon.