This is the third blog in the series: Social Media for Writers. Click here for links to the other blogs, or continue reading to find out my tips and advice for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
I’m fairly new to using Facebook as an author, and I’ve found the great thing about Facebook is the groups. I’m part of the So You Want To Be A Writer Podcast Community and have discovered other great blogs and writers through it. In terms of what I post to Facebook, I use the sharing functions in Instagram and WordPress to automatically post my feeds. I then pin my weekly blog post to the top of the page so new likers can always find my latest blog.
I’m a bit more free with the other content I post. I add memes/humorous images, connect with other writers, find out about writing competitions, and share links to other great blogs and writers that I come across. I don’t boost my posts, which Facebook likes to remind me of with regular (i.e annoying) notifications every time I log in.
I started my Facebook author page mainly so that other writers, bloggers or readers who are on Facebook can find me and vice versa, and so I can follow writers I like who have Facebook but no other social media. Hopefully one day soon I’ll be posting about signing a book contract or announcing a self-publishing release date on my Facebook—like it seems every second person in my news feed is doing—but until then, I’ll keep using Facebook to stay up-to-date with the people that do, and try not to let writer envy get the better of me.
Sharing Is Caring
Facebook is a great way to share your work and the work of other writers, as most blogs/articles have a share to Facebook feature.
Don’t forget to make your posts public. That way everyone can see them. You can also make it easier for people to find you using hashtags, although they aren’t as relevant/essential as using them on Instagram.
The cover picture can be used for an image or a video, so if you have a book trailer (yes they are a thing), you can promote it right at the top of your page.
As for your profile picture, I use the same photo on Facebook, Instagram, and my blog. That consistency allows for people looking for me to know they’ve found the right person. When your surname is common but the spelling is not (it’s A-l-l-A-n not A-l-l-E-n), then someone looking for my Facebook who is coming from my Instagram or blog and may have spelled my name wrong, can easily match the picture and find me. You don’t have to use a picture of yourself (I didn’t for a really long time), just keep whatever image you do use consistent across your platforms.
Slow and Steady
In my experience, Facebook has been the hardest social media platform to gain likes or followers on. In fact, a lot of my early followers and likers were only friends and family. After adding a Facebook link to the end of my blog posts and a widget on my blog, it has steadily, but very slowly, climbed.
Consistency Is Key
Be consistent with posts. I try to post at least once a day. My Instagram adds automatically, but I also try to share a link to an interesting blog post or article that I’ve read or to add a humorous writing-related image/meme. I’m also as active in my Facebook writing groups as I can be—but as with all maintenance of my social media—I don’t allow it to get in the way of actually writing (most of the time).
I haven’t written more detailed posts about the following social media platforms because I don’t utilize them a lot/at all. Here is what I do know…
I don’t have twitter. I know it’s where a lot of agents and publishers hang out, and a lot of pitch competitions (thanks to John R. Berkowitz for the calendar of events) happen on Twitter (which is where writers can pitch their book with the right hashtag, and if an agent or publisher “favors” it, they want you to send them more details). At this point, Twitter for me is just another thing that requires time to gather what to post, and as someone who is trying to write and get published, I just don’t have that time. If you like it and use it, please feel free to let others know some tips in the comments.
I have a Pinterest account, which I use to pin images from my blog posts and Instagram. I’ve found other writers through Pinterest (such as K.M. Weiland) so I understand the appeal of having a presence there. Other writers that I know of use Pinterest to create character/location/mood boards to help with their writing process and plotting, which sounds like fun if that’s your thing. Again, only take on such a platform if it’s something you’ll maintain because having a platform that you won’t use just for the sake of having said platform is a waste of time for you and any potential readers/followers.
And that concludes my advice on social media. I hope it has given you some useful tips, and/or inspired you to get started if you haven’t already. And if you’re wondering why you should bother with social media if you don’t yet have a book to sell or promote, just know that social media puts you in the world of writing. It inspires you, it holds you accountable, it teaches you, and it connects you with authors and books that you might not have otherwise come across. That is invaluable to helping you grow as a writer, regardless of whether you’re a novice or a bestseller.
If you’ve read all four blog posts, thank you very much! And if you have your own tips, stories or insights, please feel free to leave them in the comments.
— K.M. Allan
If you want to follow me on Facebook, you can by clicking here, and then you won’t have to worry about spelling my surname correctly 😉