Your social media is one of the first things an editor or agent will look at when they consider hiring you or picking up your novel. It’s a marvelous tool that can expand your audience and boost marketing strategies, too. So, how do you turn Twitter, Instagram, and all the latest platforms into a powerhouse marketing tool?
Build Your Brand
This term is annoyingly business-like, but essentially it’s just a phrase to describe what sets you apart as a writer. Your brand tells others what you’re about, what you do, and maybe even where you’re heading. This means eliciting mood through color schemes and word choice and engaging in niche communities you write for. Are you funny? Do you like to show off your pets? Your brand expresses all those things.
Craft a Snappy Bio
Your bio is often the first thing a potential editor or agent sees. Even if it’s a catchy little post that initially catches their eye, they’ll follow it back to your bio. This is your introduction. Offer details about your work, mention the different genres you write in, and provide the kinds of info an editor needs to fall in love with your brand. Most importantly, make sure you stand out. Showcase what makes you special and make it the highlight of your social media bio.
Pay Attention to Details
The little things matter, unfortunately. Look for wicked little typos that can bring down your credibility and professionalism and go the extra mile when you edit. Although social media is all about casual connections, if you’re a writer with sloppy punctuation and poor grammar, that will hurt your chances of hooking an agent or editor.
Share Content Suiting Your Brand
Always give more than you take, especially on social media. That means not just sharing your own work, but the work of others. If you write fantasy, share updates on major fantasy television news, new book releases, and editorials about relevant subjects. If you write science fiction, share the latest from NASA, keep up with AI developments, and boost fellow science fiction writers. Make sure to use appropriate hashtags as well. See what fans of your genre are using and use that to draw new eyes to your page. If you share content that’s relevant to them that also suits your brand, it makes YOU relevant.
Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Work
Treat your social media account as a kind of resume. Share articles you write, short stories you publish, podcasts you speak on, and definitely any books you’ve written. Make it easy for visitors to find your work.
Engage, and Engage Quickly
Social media is all about speed. Scandals blow up online in mere hours. Friendships are made or fall apart in minutes. While you probably won’t be involved in anything quite so dramatic, remember that your audience expects rapid responses. Answer and like comments quickly, reply to messages asap, and remember that the speed with which you give attention tells your audience whether or not you value them – even if your tardy response has nothing to do with your readers.
If you have so many social media profiles you can’t keep them all updated, then you have too many. Consistency is king. It tells visitors that you have a reliable work ethic, don’t get so distracted you lose the plot, and that you’re actively engaged.
Although the algorithms that govern social media are bound to change, these tips should hold true over time. Build your brand, build it out, share your work and others’, and you’ll be on the right path. Remember, one of the best parts of social media is making new friends and connections. Enjoy yourself!