Mastering Social Media: Have Fun!

While I don’t claim to be a social media expert or “guru,” I’ve been around the social media scene for a few years (since the days of MySpace, actually.) I work for a social media company, and I coach writers about how to manage their social media and build a brand for themselves online. I keep on top of the social media industry, and I’m constantly reading blogs and articles by people far more expert than me.

But there’s one thing I’ve noticed that man of the real social media experts and gurus neglect in their blogs, articles, and branding courses: social media should be fun.

You can have all the best branding techniques in the world, all the most streamlined scheduling tools, all the sharpest graphics – and all of those are great. But for the novice first getting their feet wet with trying to grow a following on Twitter or Facebook, this can be overwhelming.

If you’re just getting started with social media – or even if you’ve mastered the basics and you’re trying to grow to the next level – then my advice is first and foremost to have funContinue reading

3 Twitter Tips for Authors

Twitter is a great platform for writers. I’ve been on Twitter for almost five years now, and I love using it for sharing, conversing, and learning. In case you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a social media lover in general – and I work in social media as part of my day job. Social media may be still a relatively new industry, but it’s a powerful one; and it’s not going anywhere. Twitter is one of the powerhouse players in this realm of social media. 

At the end of this month, I’m going to be teaching a seminar on how writers can use Twitter. If you’re near the central Virginia area the last weekend in January, you should totally check out the Agile Writer Conference. There will be plenty to learn besides just social media – everything from drafting characters to self-publishing on Amazon and even tips for NaNoWriMo.

Anyway, I’m going to share with you a little taste of what I’ll be talking about at my seminar. Even if you can’t make it to the Agile Writers Conference, I hope these tips can help you to feel more confident on Twitter. So let’s dive in:

Use a Picture of You as your Avatar

If you’re running a company or a business, it makes sense to use the logo as the avatar (also known as profile picture). But if you’re a writer trying to build your brand and reach new readers, then it’s best to use a picture of yourself. Please don’t use the cover of your book as your avatar. People want to connect with people, not objects. People want to follow you as a writer, not just your latest book. Continue reading

Christmas Gift Ideas

I wrote a post last year about gift ideas for the writer in your life (or for yourself, if you’re a writer). To add to that list of pens, books, and writing apps, I’m promoting two other writerly gift ideas.

Agile Writer Conference

Agile Writers is a Richmond, VA-area writers group of which I’m a member. The group runs numerous courses, like a comprehensive program for writing a full first-draft novel in six months, to specialty classes covering different aspects of writing, editing, and publishing. Next month, Agile Writers is putting on their first ever writers conference. I am of course attending, and I’m also speaking – I’ll be teaching a class about how to use Twitter to build your author platform and connect with your readers.

A conference ticket makes a great gift – for your writer loved one, or for yourself! And because I’m a speaker at this conference, if you register using the code GRACE17, you get a $10 discount. Cool, huh? Conferences are a great place to not only learn about every stage of writing and book production, but to network with other writers and people in the publishing world. So click on over to the Agile Writers site and get your ticket with the discount code of GRACE17 before Christmas! Continue reading

How to Be Effective on Social Media: The Holiday Edition

For those of you who don’t know, for my day job I work in social media, both for a company, and independently as a social media coach for writers. So for this week’s post, I’d like to offer a few free tips on how you can use social media effectively to reach readers, gain followers, and boost your writerly brand.

First, a few quick do’s:

DO:

  • Share and promote your books, especially if you’re having a sale during the holidays. Books – both digital and print – make great gifts, so let people know what you have.
  • Keep tweeting, sharing on Facebook, writing blogs, etc. Whatever sort of social media strategy you’ve been working during the past few months, keep it up. I know the holidays can make your schedule crazy, but don’t disappear off social media for the month of December. If you’re at all serious about building and maintaining a brand, consistency is vital.
  • Share about what’s going in your life. Got invited to a swank Christmas party? Cat knocked over the tree? Just took the kids to see Santa? People want to know the real you behind your books! Be personable!

Continue reading

The Artist and the Professional – Yes, You can Be Both

For this week’s post, I’m sending you over to Helps2Media. For those who don’t know, Helps2 is a digital marketing and social media company, and it’s where I work for my day job. Last week I penned the blog post – it’s about how artists/writers/creatives of all types can be artistic yet still be professional online and (thus increase their reach and sell their stuff.) Check it out!

The Best Social Media Sites for Writers

“Writers need to be on social media!” everyone says. I agree. You don’t have to be a social media expert, or spend 24/7 connected to your Facebook and Twitter apps, but you should have an online presence. A website is a good start, but if you want to develop a fan base, the best way to do that is to be accessible. And social media provides the perfect venue for you to connect directly with your fans.

Here are some of my favorite social media sites that I believe are the best-suited to authors:

Facebook – Yep, Facebook is the big dog of social media. And despite its constantly-changing algorithms, and young millennials flocking away from it because their parents just signed up, Continue reading