I know social media isn’t the best way to promote your work, but it is great for networking. Learning to use it properly, so you don’t waste a lot of time is the trick though, and it’s what I’ve been working on lately (when I’m not writing). The hardest part for me is knowing what to say…
I schedule basic tweets to go out, like promotional stuff, my blog posts, author spotlights that I do and things of that nature. But it’s not enough. You need to connect with other authors. It’s easy to just reply to people who reply to one of your tweets, or even to reply to someone else’s if you have something (hopefully nice) to say. It’s another to know what to tweet that doesn’t involve promoting something.
When I see what others talk about, I think… oh this is easy. I can do this. Then when the time comes, I sit there looking at the screen thinking, “I have no idea what I’m supposed to type.”
I try to talk about what I’m doing, especially when I’m writing or editing, but most of the time I forget. Lately I’ve been leaving Twitter open so every time I get the urge to say something about what I’m doing, I just have to click over to my browser and start typing. I even have a list of hashtags to choose from so I can reach others through my tweets.
Hashtags, I’ve learned in the last several months, are extremely important. They’re how others on Twitter find topics they want to engage in. So learning which hashtags to use has been the second hardest thing for me.
At first I would start typing in different keywords with the # symbol to see if it came up on the list. I figured if it came up, it was a hashtag that was used often, and this is mostly true. The problem is, there could be keywords I’m not even thinking of that are better. So my search began for the hashtags everyone’s using.
One way is to just watch which hashtags other authors are using. Check out those searches and see what is being shared so you have an idea of where and when to use that particular hashtag. I did this for a while, but it still seemed to be taking up so much of my time. I could spend hours researching popular hashtags for authors.
Then Joshua Robertson gave me a link to a site that listed some popular ones that authors use: 44 Essential Twitter Hashtags Every Author Should Know
From there I’ve made three lists. One is hashtags used for connecting with readers, one is for connecting with other authors, and the other is general indie publishing type hashtags. I’ve since done occasional searches for other lists, and I keep updating it, since hashtag popularity changes and new ones are always being used.
It’s so much easier now that I have the lists though. Sometimes, I even read through my hashtags for inspiration on what to talk about.
Here are my lists for those who are interested:
To reach readers:
#1K1H (1000 words in 1 hour)
#WANA (We Are Not Alone)
Are there any hashtags you use (not listed here) that work for you? I’d love to add them to my list! Please share them in the comments and have a great month! Happy writing (and reading)!