7 Tips for Using Social Media During Election Seasons

7 Tips for Using Social Media During an Election Season by Frances CaballoIt’s election season here in the United States. Even though we’re past the buzz of Super Tuesday, I haven’t yet forgotten the pulse in the air as voters and broadcast journalists used the radio, the Internet, and probably the TV networks with the latest tidbits of voter updates, sound bites, and reports of insults lobbed against by candidates against their current foes.

Compare our marathon of an election season with Britain’s. In the U.K., the campaign season lasts one month and “virtually nothing,” according to the Chicago Tribune, is spent on either campaign. Here, it seems to last forever and cost, according to The Hill, $5 billion.

The election cycle begins with leaks that someone will run, formal announcements, debates, and the primaries. Then we have the two conventions, announcements of nominees, more debates, and finally an election. Whew!

How do you handle all this brouhaha when you turn to your social media? Well, let’s talk about that.

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7 Reasons Why Authors Need to Use Social Media

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So you wrote a book and you’ve sold it to every friend, colleague and family member alive.

Now what?

You didn’t spend countless hours writing and revising your book and pay for editing and graphics just so you could sell a few books.

For Indie authors, writing and publishing books is as much a business endeavor as it is an artistic experience.

Think about the money we spend on writer’s conferences and workshops in our efforts to improve our craft. Consider the number of books we purchase on dialogue, plot and poetry.

And think about your goals. You want your book to fly off the bookshelves, right? You at least want to recoup your expenses. To reach your goals, you will need to become active on social media so that you can reach a body of readers who live well beyond your zip code range.

Not convinced? Here are seven reasons why having an active social media presence is essential for today’s self-published authors.

7 Reasons Why You Should Use Social Media to Market Your Books

  1. Social media networks inform the world about your website and blog. Every author needs a website and a blog; that’s a given. But how will anyone know you have a website if you don’t use social media? And what about your blog? If you are updating it weekly, which you need to do, who will know you went to the trouble to write a new post if you don’t syndicate it to your social media networks?
  2. Social media can attract a wider audience to your readings. It’s great that you invite friends, colleagues and book club members to your readings. I’m sure there are other people in your community who might like to attend as well. Facebook is especially good at spreading the word because your friends can share your posts with their friends and soon you’ll have plenty of people to fill the seats.
  3. Social media platforms strengthen the bond between your readers and you. Romance writer Sharon Hamilton has experienced tremendous success with her Facebook page. Through social media, she’s developed a street team of supporters who share her posts. In return, they receive freebies, or swag. Social media gives your readers an opportunity to communicate directly with you. They don’t have to go through a publicist; they can send you a tweet or a private message via Facebook and LinkedIn. Or they can ask a question in a comment on Facebook or even add their posts to your Timeline. The same is true for other social media networks. By enabling your readers to contact you directly, you can nurture your relationship with them.
  4. Social media offers opportunities for you to promote your books. There is a caveat with this suggestion. You can use social media to promote your books, blog posts, readings, websites, sales, etc., but you don’t want to overdo it. The general rule is that you can promote your news in 20% of your posts; in 80% of your posts you will tweet and inform your following of blog posts that other experts in your niche have written.
  5. Social media enables you to build your brand. You are your brand. What you blog about, write about, and post about defines who you are to your readers. For example, my books are about how writers can use social media. I tweet about social media, I teach social media, and the majority of my Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook page posts are about social media. Because my audience is authors, some of my social media posts are about writing. For example, my Pinterest account has numerous boards on social media infographics but I also have pinboards with quotes from famous writers, pictures of interesting libraries and bookstores, images of bookshelves and quotes about the love of reading. I also have writing-related pinboards. Everything I post or pin on social media reflects my brand.
  6. Social media will increase your inbound traffic. You want traffic to your blog and website, right? Traffic to your website and blog will increase when you inform the world about them via your social media channels. You can track the number of visits by signing up for Google Analytics (it’s free) and watching trends in your inbound traffic.
  7. Social media will decrease your marketing costs. You could hire a publicist, but publicists can sometimes be expensive. With social media, you reduce your costs and take full control of your social web presence.

Also see:

Four Ways Authors Can Rock on Twitter

Ultimate How-To Guide on LinkedIn for Writers

 

Social Media Time Suck Final 200About the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of  Avoid Social Media Time Suck: A Blueprint for Writers to Create Online Buzz for Their Books and Still Have Time to Write, Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter and the San Francisco Writers Conference. You can find her on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Google+.

Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web

 

Photo credit: Tiffany Loyd via Pixabay.com

Author Branding and Social Media for Writers

The photo for this week’s post represents branding. That may seem strange since three of the posts in today’s Roundup are about social media for writers. The reason I chose this image is to emphasize that we leave footprints of our brand everywhere we travel online.

So what is branding for an author? Brand can be defined as someone’s lasting impression of you. For example, how do you feel when you see a can of Campbell’s soup? If your mother included this brand of soup in your diet as a child, then you may have warm feelings about it. How do you feel when you see a book by Hemingway? You might have a lasting impression of his tight dialogue. How do you feel when you see a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez? You know that you’ll be suspending logic as you enter his world of magical realism as you lose yourself in a small town in Colombia.

What feeling do you want your readers to have about your books? What can they always expect? The answers to those questions determine your brand and what you post on social media will determine your brand.

Top 3 Marketing Mistakes in Social Media Right Now from Business 2 Community: Ever since social media took off, businesses have jumped on the bandwagon to tap the online market. Social media marketing is now a fixture in any online marketing strategy. Originally, it was all about SEO, now it’s about content. Many businesses have learned the value of social media, but not all of them are using it the right way

Breaking the conventional rules are the only way to succeed at social media from Curation Galore: Use social media the way it was originally intended - not as a broadcast platform - but as a way to personally connect with people in an unprecedented way, says Sarah Mason in her honest and thought-provoking article. Social media users are not just numbers on a list.

7 Useful WordPress Twitter Plugins from Search Engine Journal by Nikhil Jain: Love it or hate it, the microblogging service that started back in 2006 has made an undeniable impact not only in the world of social networking, but on the world in general. Who can forget the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, where the site gave hundreds of Egyptians a platform to share the truth of what was going on when nearly all other options had been restricted? Never before had a social media service been used in such a paramount way and it was a huge wake up call about how powerful the site could be: if you want to get a message out quickly and to as many people as possible, Twitter is the way to do it.

What is branding? from Creative Ramblings by Cendrine Marrouat: Branding is what helps you make people aware of your existence, as well as the existence of your products and/or services. And yet, many entrepreneurs, especially independent artists, still do not understand the concept.

5 Hot Tips to Boost Your Social Media Presence from Red Website Design Blog: Making your social channel a lively and vibrant community, isn’t such an easy task. It’s great you read best practices from other brands, but just copying these is not enough to stand out from your competition. Doing good on social media won’t be enough to grow your audience and level of engagement. Let me put it his way: if you play by the rules, ROI won’t be the logical next step.

 

socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media manager for writers and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+

 

 

Blogging and Social Media Tips for Writers

This week’s posts all center around how authors can use social media to further their brand (that’s you!) and reach readers worldwide. A word of caution, however, is needed. Social media, as I’ve mentioned before, isn’t broadcast media. We can’t simply use Twitter, Facebook and other online forums to publish self-promoting messages (“Buy my book!” “Download a #FREE eBook today on #Amazon!”). Think about it, you can’t build a community if you only talk about yourself. People will find that boring. The beauty of social media is that it gives us an opportunity to build a community. Used correctly, you will sell more books not because of your efforts to promote yourself but due to your efforts to promote other authors and have conversations with your fans, friends, followers, readers and connections. So go out there and be social.

10 Ways To Find Inspiration To Develop Content For Your Blog by Jeff Bullas: It is something all bloggers battle with..coming up with topics, ideas and content for your next post. I am certainly not immune from this constant challenge of finding inspiration and it continues to be a never ending battle every day. I recently was directly tweeted by Aaron Lee a cyberspace buddy whose opinion I value. He made a very kind compliment about my blog content after I had thanked him for retweeting my latest post and he then proceeded to make the suggestion ‘”How Do You Focus On Creating Blog Content?” So what do I do to clamber over the writers block so I can have a quiver full of tools to help me write the daily post.

Tip Tips on Writing for Social Media from How to be a Copywriter: Writing for social media is one of the most important things you can do to take advantage of the new media revolution. This is also important if you are just blogging for fun or intend to monetize your blog in the future. This article focuses on tips which will ensure your social media posts are relevant and other people find them useful enough to share, because this is what social media is all about.

You’re Wasting Time With Social Media. Here Are 16 Ways to Stop. from Social Caffeine: Is there anyone with a Facebook account who hasn’t, at some point, logged on for five minutes, only to look at the clock 2 hours later and wonder where all that time disappeared to? Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest are all black holes when it comes to productivity and time management. Even worse is if you’re spending hours a day on social media and not seeing any tangible results for your brand. You can get a grip and put yourself on the right track. Here are our 16 top tips to get you started.

5 Ways to Ditch the Press Release and Actually Reach Your Audience from Social Media Today: While press releases can be effective, they are not the only tool available to marketers in an age of social PR. Organizations need to look for other ways to share their their information and realize that poorly executed releases really do more harm than good.

The Difference between Planned and Reactive Social Media – Guest Post from Stellar Media Marketing: Planned social media simply means all your social media activities are properly planned around certain initiatives and marketing campaigns. Always remember that a good plan is the first step towards success in any endeavor. A good plan also ensures that your content helps you build a reputation and establish a position as an industry leader.

 

socialmediaforwritersAbout the Author: Frances Caballo is a social media strategist, trainer, and author of Social Media Just for Writers: The Best Online Marketing Tips for Selling Your Books and Blogging Just for Writers. Presently, she is the Social Media Manager for the Women’s National Book Association-SF Chapter, the San Francisco Writers Conference, and the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.