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Welcome to the Friday Roundup where you’ll find practical tips for marketing your books on the social web. This week’s segment includes summaries of four blog posts, and of course, your tip of the week on how to save time on social media
Let’s start with your weekly tip.
How many hours have you unintentionally spent in front of your computer reviewing Facebook posts, retweeting your Tweeps, and uploading photos?
We’ve all done it.
Maybe your only intention was to post an update and an image on Facebook, but then what happens instead? You see a post from a friend who is feeling down so you stop to write an encouraging note. Then you notice that a colleague posted a great article about self-publishing and you can’t resist the temptation to read it.
Next, you navigate to the website where the article is and you find a book for sale there.
You’ve got to have it, right?
So you click the purchase link, navigate to Amazon, check out the book further, read the reviews, and decide whether you want a new or used version or an eBook.
You eventually return to Facebook, upload your image, and write the update. But how much time did you lose? Fifteen minutes? Maybe twenty?
If you took the time to look for another book while you were on Amazon, you may have spent even more time.
Who has the time for that?
Getting lost in the vortex of social media time suck — while trying to sustain an author marketing platform — is easy and it’s the greatest fear among writers who are new to social media.
But there are remedies.
There are four basic principles to social media that will help you to save time and become more efficient when marketing your books. Here are the steps.
- First you need to curate: Set a timer and spend 10 minutes each morning scouring your news feeds looking for great nuggets to share.
- Next, schedule your posts. No one has time to spend hours in front of a computer or staring at a smartphone posting content. Instead, use a timer and spend five minutes scheduling your posts for the day using apps like SocialOomph or Hootsuite.
- The third step is to socialize. After all, this is social media, right? Use your favorite mobile device in the evening while you relax to check your social media accounts. Spend 15 minutes commenting on your friends’ posts, sharing their photos and updates with your friends and fans, retweeting interesting stuff and re-pinning amazing images or uplifting quotes. Consciously schedule this time into your day and enjoy the time you spend getting to know members of your audience – your readers.
- The final step is to weekly analyze your statistics so you’ll know which pieces of content your audience preferred so you’ll know what to post the following week. You can use free apps such as Insights, a Facebook feature, or Twitter’s own analytics program. Or you can aggregate the information into a single dashboard by signing up for a paid program such as Social Report or SproutSocial.
Roundup of Posts
First up, let’s talk about the Buffer article: 23 Tools & Resources to Create Images for Social Media.
We are increasingly moving toward a visual social web. That explains the undaunted popularity of social media networks such as Pinterest, Instagram and Medium. In this post, Kevan Lee discusses my favorites, such as Canva – a free tool – and PicMonkey, and also shares some other cool tools:
- There’s Skitch, a screen capture app, which comes in handy for blog post images.
- Ease.ly, a drag-and-drop infographic creation too. Now I haven’t created any infographics yet but we know how important they are at conveying data easily and quickly and in a manner that’s easier for our brains to absorb.
- Isn’t it great that we no longer need to purchase PhotoShop to resize or crop our photos? A great tool for this, aside from PicMonkey, is Social Image Resizer Tool. This is a free tool from the people at Internet Marketing Ninjas. This tool resizes your images to meet the specifications of different social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and others.
- Check out the post to learn about other great tools out there.
- His first point, which I love, is don’t buy Twitter followers. There are plenty of companies out there that will promise to find you tens of thousands Twitter followers quickly. But who are these people? What do the really care about? And what connection do they have to your book? I’m amazed by the number of clients who ask me to purchase Facebook fans and Twitter followers for them. I always say no. You want to organically grow a following who will be interested in your book, look forward to your blog posts, and who will retweet you to expand your influence and recognition. You won’t get any of this by buying your followers and fans. As Adam says, “Focus on growing a targeted and engaged following of people that want to hear what you have to say.”
If you don’t have a Twitter account or if you’re still new to Twitter, Adam will walk you through those steps in this same post.
Now for his tips on how to grow your following fast.
- Add a Twitter follow button on your blog. Check Adam’s blog for the html code.
- Add a Twitter share button to your blog posts.
- If you use Yoast WordPress SEO: Social, setup your Twitter cards so your blog image will load when your readers tweet your blog posts.
- Add a link to your Twitter profile in in your author description.
- Embed tweets in your blog posts.
- Consider joining Triberr, where you can join Tribes of authors like yourself and help each other share content.
- Never send a direct message.
- Engage with your followers.
- Ask for a retweet once in a while.
- Vary your content. For example, people love images.
- Don’t forget to use hashtags.
- Join an occasional Twitter chat. TweetReports.com lists them on their Twitter chat schedule.
- Make sure you schedule your tweets to publish when your readers are online.
Next, let’s talk about how to be more productive, which is the topic in the post 65 Accomplished Writers & Marketers Reveal Their Secrets to Productivity by focusalot.
The people at focusalot took time to ask 65 writers and marketers for their best tips on productivity. Here are a few highlights:
- Write in the mornings and before 1 pm.
- Meditate before you write.
- Set a deadline for yourself.
- Keep to a set schedule.
There are plenty of other tips in this post so be sure to check it out.
Finally, I wrote a post on my four favorite timesaving curation tools titled 4 Time-Saving Content Curation Tools for Writers.
People always we ask me, “What is curation?” Think of museums and how they curate artwork for their exhibits.
On social media, we need to curate content. Curation is the process of finding content and images that are worthy to retweet, repost, and repin on your social media networks, such as Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Facebook.
An inexpensive way to curate content is to simply create Twitter lists. I have several. For example, I have a writing & publishing list, social media marketing experts list, a list of Twitter experts, and a list of users who tweet great quotes. These are my go-to sources for information.
When you discover people on Twitter who consistently tweet great content, you’ll want to add those uses to your designated lists. That way you won’t have to comb through your news feed; you can simply navigate to your lists and scan the tweets of the experts you can rely on and trust.
If you like to use LinkedIn, Pulse is another tool that will notify you of great content being discussed among your connections. Or you could sign up for Newsle, which is similar to Pulse.
Be sure to check the post for where I provide more detailed information.
If you’d like to learn even more about how to become more efficient at handling your social media marketing so that you’ll have more time to write, check out my book: Avoid Social Media Time Suck. The eBook is just $2.99 on Amazon. Learn more about it here.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. You can receive a free copy of her book Twitter Just for Writers by signing up for her newsletter. Connect with Frances on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.