Renee Writes

Posts tagged social media

#IWSG – Learning to use Twitter

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:

#MustRead
#BookGiveaway
#GoodRead
#FridayReads
#AmReading
#Fantasy
#YA
#StoryFriday
#TeaserTues
#FreeBook
#FreeDownload
#Kindle
#InstaFreebie
#FantasyArt
#FreebieFriday
#SneakPeek
#HeadTalker
#Thunderclap

Industry Tags:

#IndiePub
#SelfPub
#SelfPublishing
#BookMarketing
#Ebooks
#Publishing
#GetPublished
#Digital
#IndiePubChat
#IndieAuthors
#PromoTip
#AskAuthor
#IARTG
#SupportIA

Writing Tags:

#AmWriting
#Grammar
#WritingTips
#WritingTip
#Writing
#1K1H (1000 words in 1 hour)
#WriteTip
#WritingPrompt
#WriteChat
#NaNoWriMo
#AmEditing
#WordCount
#WriterWednesday #WW
#WritersLife
#WritingParty
#WANA (We Are Not Alone)
#WIP
#Creativity
#WordAThon
#StoryStarter
#ISWG

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)!

Oh, and don’t forget to read some other great #IWSG posts here!

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Using Social Media Effectively

social-media-cube-1024x922Promoting a new book is hard, but I have found most of the difficulty stems from misinformation available on the internet, especially the use of social media for advertisement and promotion. Authors are being led to believe that the best way to promote themselves and their work is through social media by bombarding people with ads. Worse, we’re encouraged to play the you-follow-me-I’ll-follow-you game to get more followers.

The truth is, people don’t get onto social media because they want to be bombarded with ads. They get on there to meet new people and socialize. So using social media for marketing purposes has to be done with that in mind. The best part it, it can be done effectively.

Building an author platform is all about making yourself visible and getting to know people, so social media is the best way to get this process started. You can use your blog to share helpful information, free short stories, etc. Then you share those on social media to drive traffic to your blog. Once you get people going to your blog consistently because they like what you’re sharing, they’ll likely even sign up to your newsletter (if you have one, and if you don’t I strongly recommend getting one).

In the meantime, you can be connecting with other authors and the readers you attract. Let them get to know who you are as a person and interact with them. The more they get to know you as a person, the more they’ll care about what you write as an author.

Another thing you’ll want to avoid is following people just to get them to follow back. If you think about it, you’re really only hurting yourself by doing this. You want people to read what you share on social media, but they’re not going to care if all they’re doing is trying to get another follower for themselves. I only follow people I’m interested in (or people I know personally), and I only want people following me who really want to read my stuff. Otherwise, what’s the point? Having ten thousands followers won’t mean a thing if none of them even read what you share.

Using social media as it’s intended can really help you as an author. This means meeting new people and letting them get to know you. It means sharing valuable information and entertaining posts. It also means understanding the number of followers you have is less important than having followers who really want to know you as an author.

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