Social media for authors is a vast subject, and if you ask ten people what works for them, you’ll get ten different answers. The algorithms and features on a lot of these sites change frequently, so something that worked for you last month doesn’t work the same way now. I’m doing some workshops in March for writers and their social media platforms. Here are the five things that I think are key for writers to know.
Repeat what works for you. Try a variety of the platforms, but choose one or two that work for you and your readers and focus your time and energy there. If not, you will work yourself silly trying to keep up with all the posts, comments, and emails.
Guard your writing time. Life and about a hundred other distractions will get in your way. Don’t let your social media time take over your writing time. You should be writing your next book.
Be real and be social. Participate in conversations and network on these sites. Like, comment, and share others’ posts. Add to conversations. Start a conversation. And be timely. It looks odd if you comment on a thread from three months ago.
Know your readers and your audience. Know the demographics (e.g. age, preferences, and styles) of your audience and post topics interesting to them. Facebook and Twitter analytics can help you see who is viewing and following your accounts. Find your niche. Your audience is not everyone who reads. You need to narrow it down and target your posts and marketing to that demographic.
Make a plan. Decide which social media sites you want to focus on and figure out a schedule that works for you. I check my major sites every morning at breakfast. If I have time, I check during lunch. And I hop on after dinner and review updates. I also schedule posts on Fridays for the following week. A schedule helps me stay active on my sites, while balancing other things.