(As previously seen on the HelaWrite blog.)
Social media can be quite a beast to navigate, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some quick tips to get you started:
1. Be consistent across your platforms
It’s easy to fall into the trap of signing up for every social media platform, setting up a profile, and then forgetting what you have written, only to abandon it and never return. Either choose just a few social media sites to be active on, or keep track of the numerous ones you’ve joined, and make sure your profiles are consistent across the board. It helps with search results and makes you look professional.
2. Add to your following by hosting a giveaway
An easy way to grow your following is to host a giveaway. This is especially true in “author land,” where I’ve seen my peers do so. I’ve participated in giveaways, too, and they’re very valuable. For all my writer clients, I encourage them to do a giveaway as soon as their book launches. Rafflecopter is an easy and free tool you can use to implement a giveaway. It will cost you something, since you’re giving away a prize, but it’s worth the investment, especially if you want to increase your audience.
3. Engage with your audience by encouraging a response
Don’t just expect your readers to respond and comment on your posts or blogs. Encourage them to respond. It can be as simple as typing: “Please feel free to comment” or giving them an incentive (like a mini-giveaway or highlighting them as a super fan, etc.). The first thing I learned in high school economics is that “incentives matter,” and this always rings true.
4. Share interesting information, but try to keep it in your genre
Twitter and Facebook are great platforms in which to share a multitude of information. Being random on a personal page isn’t such a big deal, but being random on a fan page or Twitter feed for your brand? NO. Don’t confuse your followers with your messages. Instead, share interesting and relevant information that continues to build your brand. A little bit of random here and there is fine; just don’t overdo it.
5. Educate yourself by reading what the experts post
Just like any good writer honing their craft through reading extensively, a brand-builder (that’s you!) needs to read up on his or her field of expertise. For example, I am a writer, copywriter, copyeditor, and consultant. Therefore, I am constantly reading articles that will help my business and my brand: articles about writing, copywriting, copyediting, and topics about which I consult for my clients (marketing, branding, strategy, etc.). I also read numerous articles on social media and marketing, because I’m a sole-proprietor. I don’t have a team to run my business; it’s just me. I need to be an expert in a few fields, but everything else I outsource.
6. Use a site like justunfollow.com to get rid of Twitter “deadweight”
Justunfollow.com and similar sites are very helpful when it comes to “cleaning house” on Twitter. Rachel Thompson, a very well-known indie author and HuffingtonPost blogger on Twitter, shares her tips in this article and addresses the importance of dropping that social media deadweight. When you grow a large following, of course you can’t interact with everyone, but you can get rid of spammers and bots who will never help your brand.
7. Don’t underestimate Pinterest
Most people are visual, and Pinterest is a visual site. Don’t just use it for fun, pinning recipes you’ll never make and clothes you’ll never be able to afford; use it for your brand! Create boards that correlate with your brand. As a writer, I create boards about writing, grammar, books, and blogs to share with my followers. Think about Pinterest boards you could make for your business, and look at big brands that are doing it right on Pinterest. (Check out my boards on Pinterest by clicking HERE.)
8. Blogging is a powerful tool to build your platform
Contrary to popular belief, blogging is not dead! It’s the new form of journalism for today, and you should definitely be participating in it. Even if you’re not the most prolific writer, you should be sharing things about your company, your brand, your team, and your products/services. You not only improve your SEO, but you break down the wall between you and your customers and can become more relate-able as you share information.
9. If you’re selling a book, you NEED to be on Goodreads
Goodreads is the #1 site for authors. Click HERE to read more about it on Writers Digest. You can promote your books for free, host giveaways, and connect with other readers and writers. (Friend me on Goodreads by clicking HERE.)
10. Use a URL shortener when sharing a link
If you’re sharing links on Facebook or Twitter (or on other platforms), shorten the URL link. I personally use bitly, but there are others you can use. It especially helps on Twitter, when you’re limited to characters. Hootsuite has a shortener for links as well.
Well, those are some quick tips for you!