Social Media Strategies for Authors: Beyond Beginner

Leverage These Tactics and Tools

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You might be ready for more advanced social media strategies.

When you first dipped your toe into Twitter or gathered friends on Facebook, it was enough to just have a social media presence. Now that you've gotten a little savvier, maybe refresh yourself on social media best practices and etiquette — and then take it to the next level by beginning to think strategically.

Have a Clear Goal for Your Social Media Efforts

Most people want more followers – and large numbers can be a powerful attraction to entice prospective agents and editors.

But if you're not yet an author and want to be, chances are you're not going to get a hundred thousand—or even ten thousand—followers overnight. So, in the short term, your goal might be to connect with a hundred fellow romance writers or readers, or to get noticed and make a connection with a literary agent or a romance editor - many have a presence on social media platforms.

Focus on a Few Social Media Platforms

Sure, there are at least a dozen social media platforms that you've flirted with — you have accounts, a bit of a presence. But be honest — you truly gravitate to just a couple.

Whether you're a cookbook author with a Pinterest recipe addiction or find yourself carefully cropping photos for your visually arresting Instagram feed, you should choose the platforms that speak to you, that are where your potential readers are, and concentrate on growing your audience on those.

Tag and Hashtag to Gain Followers, Engage More Deeply

Sure, you know what hashtags for authors are – and right now you're #amwriting #mystery.

But can you go further? Give it some strategic thought and you might "up-level" your tag and hashtag usage.

  • Find relevant "influencers" whose work you admire, and whose audiences might respond to your work as well. If their content speaks to you enough to write about it and tag it, you might give them a reason to connect with you.
  • Do research to find niche hashtags that more specifically speak to the audience you want to capture.

Use a Content Calendar to Remind You of What to Post, When

Content calendars are content marketing tools that keep your available "assets" and topic ideas top-of-mind. Your calendar doesn't have to be complicated - but a little strategic thinking ahead of time means that when you're too busy to really focus or when you're sitting down with limited time to schedule a week of social media posts (see below). The calendar keeps the "what to post" information at the ready and eases your task.

Use a Social Media Scheduler...

Some social media can be automated with tools like Hootsuite or Socialflow or Buffer or Tweetdeck. These allow you to schedule your "planned" social media content at various times to help consolidate your marketing time but allow you to post at optimum hours (when your readers are most likely to see them).

...But "Show Up" in Real Time

Keep your most used social media feeds current with breaking news, and timely retweets, and comments on new posts. Once you're all set up on a social media platform and a scheduler, a quick daily check-in can keep your feed fresh.

Spread the Word Automatically...

In some instances, you'll want to share the same piece of content over a number of your social media platforms.

Some of them (not all) make it easy to communicate with other ones – so you can feed your Pin to Twitter or your Tweet to your Facebook author page, or make your Instagram photos show up on Tumblr. 

The tactic I take is to feed to the social media I "touch" less frequently — I visit my Tumblr about twice a week so, in between, I post my Instagram photos there, to keep it fresh.

...But Regularly "Touch" Each Social Media Platform

Whether it's once a day or once a week, it's advisable to at least touch upon your social media where it originates. Each social media site has a different personality and each has its own gems. Give even your "lightest" platform a little authentic author love from time to time.