Social Media Tips for Writers

You may be surprised to learn this about me, but I've spent a lot of my life technologically illiterate. I grew up in a family where saving money was always #1, which meant a few things. In the late 90s, I envied my friends who had this cool thing called "the internet." In middle school (which was the early-to-mid 2000s), I didn't have one of those newfangled cell phones. And when I finally got one, it was a hand-me-down from my grandma. It had an antenna. I was 14.

When I was headed to college at 18, my mom finally decided she'd try paying for this thing called "texting." It was 2011. In 2013, my friends would groan when I couldn't text them back because I went over my monthly limit of 500 texts. Here I thought I was being fancy; the 250 texts option was cheaper! But everyone else had this thing called "unlimited texting," which I have learned is now the default.

So it makes sense that social media has had quite the learning curve for me. But now that I've gotten used to it, I can see the amazing things that the internet has to offer! (And usually for FREE! I like that part best.)

Now, armed with a smartphone (I have a GOOGLE PIXEL now, guys! I'm a new woman), I'm constantly posting on my social media accounts, which has given me the platform to share my writing and connect with countless other writers. Now that I'm running a blog that averages about 200-600 views per post, managing a Twitter account with over 1,500 followers, and starting up an Instagram page (for myself, not just for Chewie), I'd like to share some of what I've learned about using social media to your advantage as a writer or entrepreneur!

Mix the Personal with the Professional

Social media can be a great way to advertise! You can connect with your target audience and get them interested in your book/products. However, it's easy to fall into the trap of making EVERYTHING about your job--and that bores people! Social media is about building relationships with people. You don't want to be that guy who monopolizes the conversation at the office party. So, make your social media not just about your work, but about YOU!

There are lots of ways to do this. Sometimes I aim for 10 personal posts for every 1 Furever Home Friends advertisement I put up. Personal posts can be as simple as a picture of your food, or an early morning selfie with #IWokeUpLikeThis. Often, to connect with other writers, I like to tweet about my writing journey. That includes writing tips, or struggles I'm having.

Also, make friends! Comment on other people's posts and tweets. This can be a great way to get followers, as well as make friends with people who have similar interests! Comment, retweet, start discussions!

The point is, post things others will enjoy reading and relate to! You want to show that you're a human, not an advertising bot. If anyone ever has to question whether or not you're a bot account, you're doing it wrong.

Hashtags are Everything!

If you're using a site like Facebook, you're probably already connected to tons of friends who will see what you post in their newsfeeds. However, sites like Twitter and Instagram rely more on hashtags. There are some popular hashtags out there that people often search for, so adding hashtags to your posts can ensure that they're seen by a wider audience than just people you already know.

For example, a really popular hashtag in the writing community is #amwriting. Writers will use this hashtag to talk about their writing processes and what they're currently working on. Then, when we want to see what other writers are up to, we'll search that hashtag. Scrolling through the #amwriting feed is how I've made a ton of my new writer friends on Twitter.

Another popular hashtag for independent authors is #iartg (indie author re-tweet group). Certain accounts want to help indie authors find an audience, so they'll search #iartg and re-tweet ads for indie books. When they retweet your post, all of their followers can see it! So aim to get as many retweets as you can.

There are tons of hashtags for every interest group and hobby. You'll have to look around a little to see which ones are used the most often. I love using #dogsoftwitter when I post pictures of Chewie on Twitter, and #instadog, #dogstagram, and #dogsofinsta for Chewie's Instagram posts.

Use Pictures & Videos

Here's an example of a Furever Home Friends post.
I used the app Over to edit this picture & add text.
Visuals are more eye-catching than words alone. How else did Instagram get popular? Obviously, if you're using Instagram, you're already putting pictures and/or videos out there. But even for a site like Twitter, which is largely text-based, photos will help you stand out in a long newsfeed.

Make your pictures look good! Take an extra second to put some light on yourself or your subject matter. Get a text overlay app like Over or Snapseed and add some text to your images. Make it interesting!

When You're Starting Out, it's Quantity Over Quality

Post OFTEN. When you're just starting out, it's not necessary that every post is beautiful, witty, polished writing. If you've written something groundbreaking, but have no followers, no one is gonna read it anyway! Instead, focus on posting a LOT of things, so that you can connect with as many people as possible and gain followers!

I'll often plot out my social media plans, and then change them as I go. For example, I might aim to tweet 20 times a day, with 2 Furever Home Friends ads, 3 links to blog posts, 5 posts with pictures of what I'm doing that day, 3 pictures of Chewie, 3 retweets of other authors, and 3 responses to other people's tweets. Of course, I never follow it with that kind of precision, but it's good to have some kind of plan or outline to make sure you're maintaining a balance.

But Still Make Sure to Have Some Quality

The previous point does not mean that you should just post random stuff all day. Post your thoughts, your feelings, your opinions. Post about your passions. Post about everything you're doing, all day long. 

That's all!

Were these tips helpful? Let me know in the comments!

Or share your favorite tips with me!

Happy writing!



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