Easy Social Media Strategies for Writers
One of the biggest challenges writers face today, both traditionally and self-published, is marketing. While it does take some work, social media is an amazing tool for writers to use to market their work, because networks of readers already exist. Your job with social media marketing is simply to find them, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.
Although most of us know the value and opportunity of social media, it can be daunting to get started. It’s challenging to come up with ideas, and not get overwhelmed by how many options and decisions there are to make!
But with some planning, marketing your writing online can be something you look forward to, and a way to connect with other writers and readers!
The most important thing, even before you start planning what to post, is to understand that social media is not a sales platform. Although that may seem contradictory, because any marketing activity aims to promote sales, you mustn’t use social media to sell the same way you would on a sales platform like Amazon.
Social media is all about connection. It’s a two-way conversation. Your strategy should be built around this idea rather than simply posting promotional content about your books or writing — that’s what paid ads are for. Regardless of where, or what, you decide to post, put connection and engagement above everything else.
Here are my top tips for social media strategies for writers:
Choose your platform
The platform you use will depend on the genre you write and who your ideal reader is. Having said that, all of the major social media platforms are big enough that you will be able to find networks of readers on all of them.
Another important consideration when choosing your platform is simply where you enjoy spending time as a consumer. Don’t feel pressure to choose a particular platform because other writers are finding success there. If you don’t like it as a consumer, creating content on it won’t be a positive experience for you.
Stick to one, especially in the beginning
The temptation might be to try your hand at more than one social media platform. But I always encourage writers to choose one and do it well, instead of spreading themselves too thin and burning out — especially when they’re just starting.
There’s more value in dedicating yourself to one platform and getting into a good rhythm than posting sporadically on multiple platforms.
Decide on a posting schedule
You don’t have to post every day. You can post as little or as much as you like. Having said that, it’s always better to start with fewer posts per week and build up as you get more comfortable and confident rather than trying too much and struggling to maintain it.
It’s a good idea to plan your content in advance on a spreadsheet or calendar, and schedule it. This means you don’t have to actively create content throughout the week. You can find lots of great scheduling tools online, but most social platforms also have their own, like Meta Business Suite for Facebook and Instagram, and Tweetdeck for Twitter.
Decide on what topics you want to cover
Many writers struggle to come up with topics for their social media, but my advice is not to overthink it, especially in the beginning. Allow yourself to experiment and try new things and new formats. This is the best way to determine what types of content and topics you want to cover, and what speaks to your audience.
In general, you want to have between 3-6 content topics (often referred to as content pillars). Think of it like the themes of your book. In the same way you have recurrent themes in your story, you want to have themes for your social media. It helps your audience know what to expect from you and gives your page meaning and direction.
Not all your content needs to be strictly writing-related, but it is a good idea to think about what your ideal reader would like to hear about.
Optimize your bio
A strong bio is a small tweak that makes a big difference! When someone lands on your profile for the first time, you want it to be immediately obvious to them who you are, what you do, and why they should care.
Your bio should include the genre(s) you write in and any important details you want a potential follower to know about you. If you include a link, make sure it’s not too long. Think of your bio as your business card.
Connect with others in your genre
Connection is absolutely vital to succeeding on social media. While posting regularly is important, it’s equally critical that you actively participate in the community.
How you do this is up to you, but make sure you engage with other accounts in your genre. It’s easy to slip into the habit of passively consuming content, but that won’t help you to grow or reach your goals.
Commenting, liking, and reaching out to other creators on the platform you’ve chosen is far more productive than mindless consumption, and will bring you the connection and results that you’re looking for.
A lot of writers give up before they’ve given social media a proper chance to gain some momentum. It takes time to build a following on social media, so keep going!
Ultimately, my main advice on social media strategy for writers is this; just get started.
It’s never too early (or too late!) to start building an engaged audience of potential readers. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, simply showing up and being yourself is all you need. You’ll tweak and improve your content as you become more confident.