Fellow writers, let’s cut to the chase — keeping up your social media presence doesn’t have to be a nightmare.
Dare I say, it can even be fun — if you’re doing it right.
By day, I write on Medium— by later in that same day, I run my social media marketing company. So this whole writer/social media marketing thing is a balance I know all too well.
And I can tell you, that with the right habits and tools, you can succeed at wrangling in your writing social media accounts and really harness them in powerful ways.
Sure, social media is a booming trend right now. But that’s not a good enough reason to invest time into building your online presence when your To-Do list is already the size of Mount Fuji.
One of my all-time favourite mantras in business is this: word-of-mouth is your greatest marketing ally. Especially as a startup or small business (including launching your career as a professional writer).
Wondering what that has to do with social media?
EVERYTHING, because social media IS word-of-mouth marketing.
It’s just an online playing field rather than a physical one.
Think of the possibility! Millions upon millions of people are active on social media, and with the right marketing habits, you have the potential to reach a portion of that audience — if you’ve set the right foundation to do so.
Let’s dig in:
Create content in advance.
It’s far more beneficial to draft a bulk of posts in one sitting than take the time out of each day to string something together on a need-to basis.
Dedicate several hours a week to creating a week or two worth of posts. If your content’s already created, that’s one less task on your plate. You can get that out of the way in 30–45 minutes flat, and then it’s done.
Goodbye daily anxiety, hello social media contentedness!
Use a social media scheduling tool.
You know you should be on social media. You know marketing yourself on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook is the right thing to be doing for your brand as a writer.
But damn it, social media can be a real hassle.
Say goodbye to that everyday dread when you realize you haven’t sent out a post yet. The key is to use a program that does the work for you.
As a social media strategist, this is the bread and butter of making my operation work and servicing my clients in a dependable and consistent way.
Figure out the best time to post.
The answer to this can vary, depending on who your target audience is, and what hour of the day they’re scrolling through their social feeds.
For one of my clients, who targets female entrepreneurs, her lady bosses tend to be most active from 7–8 a.m. when they’re drinking their morning cup of joe before starting the day.
Another one of my client’s followers are most active from 12–1 p.m. — during their scheduled lunch breaks.
You can do some research for a general idea of where to start, but I encourage you to experiment with different times of day for a week or two. Analyze the data, such as your likes and comments, to pinpoint when it’s best for you to be posting for your audience.
Repurpose your content.
Just because you’ve sent out a post once, doesn’t mean you should throw it in the content graveyard.
No, no, my friend.
Have you ever researched how many people are on social media? How many posts go out per second on platforms like Twitter?
At any given second, 6,000 tweets are going out. Six THOUSAND! Odds are, most of your followers will miss your post or tweet the first time around. After all, you have a very small window of opportunity to reach them at any given time you post. You must be mindful of that reality and use it to your advantage.
For that reason, if you have a great piece of content, you’ll want to give users multiple chances to see it. On top of that, it gives your evergreen content a chance to build momentum overtime.
Consider rewording your caption, and sharing your content over again, with a new and fresh face to it.
Keep it consistent.
When it comes to online content, consistency is key.
Maintain the flow of content, as it will increase your searchability online and keep you top-of-mind.
Social media is great for bringing you to the forefront of your audience’s awareness — the businesses and writers rocking in social media are the ones who have ingrained themselves in the subconscious of their readers. They’re the ones who are active enough that users recognize their profile photo and become very familiar with them.
Give as good as you get.
This is a biggy — if you want users to engage with you online, you can’t be greedy.
Your goal is to gain quality fans who keep coming back and engaging with your content because they have a connection and sense of loyalty to you.
It’s far more cost-efficient (both in time and money) to keep 1 loyal fan than gain 6–7 new ones.
Build “community management” on your social media pages into your week. This means checking your notifications, scrolling through your feed liking content and commenting on or sharing the posts of others.
It doesn’t have to be a massive commitment. Maybe 3 sets of 10 minutes over the week. I will often do this while watching a rerun of Friends on Netflix at the end of the day, or while I’m having my tea in the morning.
If you’re not actively engaging with others, don’t expect that they will engage with you. That is a self-serving mentality, and is NOT effective when promoting yourself as a writer on social media.
Writers on social, particularly on Twitter, value authenticity and reciprocity — if they’re going to invest in you, you owe it to them to invest in their content, too.
Otherwise, it’s all too obvious that you’re out for yourself, and that leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of other online users.
Although there are plenty of life hacks to simplify the social media marketing process, don’t forget that it still takes time to build your audience and build loyalty among other users.
Remember that social media is an investment, like any other form of advertising used to build your brand or product awareness.
What sets social apart is not only that it’s free, but just about everyone and your next door neighbour have an account on at least one platform. By building your presence on social media, you’re expanding your audience reach exponentially.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Rather than just sharing your own personal content, also share third-party content (this is content from other users you are promoting along with tagging them to credit their work), start a poll, try out a post with a hashtag that’s trending, ask questions, send out a GIF along with your post.
Join in on the writing communities available online. Twitter has a fairly active and engaging community under the #AmWriting hashtag which I am personally quite active in. The writers on Twitter are very supportive of each other, and go the extra mile to hold each other up through the highs and lows of the writer’s journey.
I hope this article has been informative for you as a writer navigating your online marketing.
Until next time, happy hacking!