Monthly Archives: March 2014

Social Media Power User Tips

Today I attended a CIPA (Colorado Independent Publishers Association) meeting geared to social media tools for authors. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to revolve around all the tables to pick up new tips and tricks so I chose the Twitter and Goodreads tables.

Well as I sat down to write this power user tips blog post it occurred to me that there tips that work across all social media networks. There are basic things that every author should do on each of their social media networks .Social Media Buttons

1. Branding: Before you even sign up for your Twitter account, Facebook page or even create a single Pinterest board, you need to think about your branding. As an author you are likely to write more than one book so you need to decide if your branding should be book by book or if branding yourself as an author in a specific genre makes more sense. But what if you write in multiple genres? Good question. Here I would have to say “pick one”. Pick the one that you write the most in. Branding yourself as an “author” it’s easier to include the different genres in your bio or about sections.

2. Biography/About: Most social media sites give you a limited amount of space for your bio/about section. As an author consider this your challenge – be concise, consistent and conversational. Here is NOT the place to try and sell your books but on the contrary, tells us about you, the person. If and when something exciting happens in your life, say you become a best-selling author on Amazon Kindle in the Paranormal Romance category, update your bios and about pages to reflect that.

3. Profile: Silly as it sounds complete your profile. This means not just adding your name and bio content but review each social media network for the nuances. Add your website, connect to your Facebook page and/or your blog. See if there are any widgets available (and I’m sure there are!) for your website that help your readers connect with you in that social media network. Things like adding a Twitter feed to your website or even a Goodreads book shelf to your blog. They are easy to set up. If you don’t know how, contact me. I’ll be happy to help.

4. Blog: You have a blog right? It’s on your website right? The days of static websites and unchanging web pages are long gone. Social media helped with that. Your website needs to be indexed by Google and Google is looking for fresh, changing content. So you have a blog on your website (meaning it’s a WordPress or Blogger site that’s connected to your website) and you post regularly. Regularly means AT LEAST once a week.

5. Consistency: It really doesn’t matter which social media networks you use or even how many you use. What matters is your consistency of use. If you have Facebook you’re likely on there at least daily so put up a post. If you have a blog, write a post weekly and connect your blog with Goodreads, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to get the most mileage you can from each post. Twitter is unique in that you should tweet a couple or more times a day. It’s kind of expected. The upside is you can retweet content if you get stumped for something to share. Just be there. Provide relevant content related to your branding but also remember, “It’s a conversation, not a commercial.” (a nod to my peer Rebecca Thompson for that nifty quote)

6. Photos and Links: As human beings we are very visual. Make the most of that by adding a photo to your tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts. If you can’t add something cool visually then add a link to additional relevant information. Remember to use a URL shortening app like Bitly or TinyURL to save characters in your post.

If you do these 6 things across any or all of your social media networks you’ll position yourself ahead of the game.

(This is a cross post from theauthorsassistants.WordPress.com)

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March 22, 2014 · 3:05 pm

Better Tweets – 3 Easy Steps

Step 1 – The Hook

As an author you know you need to utilize your social media networks to promote your books. Twitter is one of those at the top of all social media networks. But maybe you’re not sure how to leverage 140 characters to market your book. How do you create a tweet that gets attention?

The most important part of your tweet is the hook, the text that gets the reader’s attention. Always use an active voice for your hook.

Example:

Passive: Do you want to learn to write better Tweets?

Active: Write better Tweets in 3 easy steps.

Tweets that readers can respond to either physically (by clicking on a link) or emotionally (I need that!) get more attention.

A book tweet should have a physical link that your reader can click. This link should take the reader to you sales page, book review, your website or Amazon page. Beware! Links typically take up 22 characters of your allotted 140. You’ll need to shorten the link via TinyURL.com or Bitly.com.

Step 2 – Twitter Handles and Hashtags

Twitter handles are proceeded by the “@” sign and followed by a Twitter users name i.e., “@AuthorAssistant”. If you are quoting another
Twitter user it’s good etiquette to mention their Twitter handle in your tweet.

Hashtags are important because they serve as keywords or phrases for your Tweet. Hashtags are preceded by the “#” symbol. Also note that there are no spaces between words in hashtags. Spaces take up part of your allotted character count. Hashtags serve as searchable tags or keywords for specific tweets of subjects. For example you could search for the hashtag #bookmarketing or #books.

Select your hashtags carefully and make them relevant to your tweet content. To promote your book think along the lines of the keywords you use in your website SEO (search engine optimization).

Don’t over use hashtags. As a rule limit your hashtags to only 2 or 3 per tweet. Remember they take up precious characters in your tweet.

Step 3 – Add Pictures

Tweets with pictures get more exposure. It’s that simple. We are visual beings and “a picture is worth a thousand words”. It goes without
saying that your picture needs to be relevant to your tweet.

To summarize, the parts of the good tweet are the hook, the hashtag, Twitter handle (if you’re quoting someone or retweeting) and pictures. Happy tweeting!

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March 1, 2014 · 9:51 am