I attended Bouchercon 2015 in Raleigh, North Carolina recently. "Tweet This" by Deborah Lacy, Maddee James, Janet Rudolph, Cara Brookins, and DruAnn Love provided some great social media tips for writers. Here's my quick summary of fifteen key points.
1. You don't have to do all platforms. You will get overwhelmed and frustrated if you try.
2. Know the target audience of the platform you choose. The demographics will help you decide if its the same audience for the type of books you write.
3. Social media is about building relationships.
4. All of your posts and tweets shouldn't be "buy my book."
5. Have fun. Don't take yourself too seriously.
6. Make your posts easy to share.
7. Use hashtags. If your audience is over 35, limit your hashtags to two. If your target audience is younger, don't worry about the number of hashtags.
8. Don't put the exact same information on all your platforms at the same time. Mix it up. Fans don't want to read the same post on four different sites.
9. Pinterest has a lot of options for authors. People like to see pictures of what you're writing about.
10. Don't forget to post videos from time to time.
11. Band together with other writers to promote each others' work. Your reach grows with each share.
12. Have discussions. Network and interact with people.
13. Share interesting things (e.g. hobbies, funny pictures, hints, and pictures). People love dog and cat pictures.
14. Build your brand on all your platforms. Your book covers should be on all your banners.
15. Social media can be a "weapon of mass distraction" (Cara Brookins' term). Don't get sucked into spending too much time online.
Social media sites are powerful (and low cost) marketing tools for authors. Step in and try them. Start small and build your networks.