An author in one of the LinkedIn writing groups in which I am a member asked the following and I thought it was worth a micro-blog and a more generic response to those who are looking at social media for their business or even their “personal brand“.
Would any writer like to take time to explain the ‘how, what & why” without too much technical detail of the social media sites available to writers?
Heather Whipp writer
How – Google (yep, the verb!) ”top 15 social media”. I suggest that you make a profile in at least the top five.
What – You should consider creating both a Facebook page (personal page for your professional author persona vs your own personal life page) and I suggest a “Facebook Page” advertising your work that could become the central place to which you can direct followers from other social media applications. If you have a web site or blog site, then it is to that location that ALL of your social media should direct readers or followers.
Twitter and Google+ take a little time to build correctly but you should be in there and at least link back to your main page/web site/blog. If you will have alot of visuals or can associate visuals to your personal brand, Pinterest is a good additional choice. Use it to share images from your books, their location settings or themes. Of course you can use other image tools for this too.
Social media is only as good as your followers or friends. With Twitter its an acceptable practice to follow people that you think may be interested in your brand and include them in messages about your brand. They will follow back if they are interested. The wider you spread the wider your coverage and potential audience.
In support of your social media you should examine tools such as Hootsuite to see if you can build a message for, and create interest in, your brand. These tools allow you to send timed Tweets as a way to keep your brand front and centre. Be careful of spamming though, too many repetitive boring messages is a sure way to lose followers and interest.
Why? – With patience social media can get your name out to places you may never reach with traditional advertising or word of mouth. We all need as much attention as we can get and if you are sharp social media can allow you to target your reader population effectively while allowing you to express creativity in new ways.
How do I create a Facebook page?
This is pretty easy, as you’d expect from one of the greatest data gathering systems worldwide! Before you start though, I suggest that you get a couple of graphics together that you want to show on your Facebook page. In addition, write out a plan for at least the next three months with perhaps weekly update ideas and graphics you will use to support your story. This will ready you to make best use of your page and you should have a habit of keeping ahead with your planning. You can also checkout other Facebook pages to see what you like and what seems to work. If you are not using your own graphics be sure to use public domain or properly licensed graphics.
So, how do you set it up? Well, I won’t try to out-simplify Facebook’s own Create a Page instructions but I can at least direct you to where the link is to do this.
On the far right of your regular Facebook page next to the globe where notifications show, there is an inverted triangle that is shaded – click on that and a pull down menu appears and you can select “Create Page” from there.
YouTube is a media based tool, so if you plan on adding videos, or even just audio, of readings of passages of your books, or perhaps details on where to look for your book, it has a use. It may also be useful for snippets of videos from locations you use in your books and you can link to it from your facebook page to lend a more social dynamic to your online persona.
Once again, deciding where your online presence will be and using all other social media tools to point people to that location will be the most effective use of social media for you.
This wasn’t intended to be the complete guide by any means… but I hope it helps!