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social media – how to get started

One question I get asked a lot is, “What can I do to say I am ‘on’ social media?”

Well, you pretty much just have to use it! But I understand, sometimes the whole world of social can seem daunting. So here are the things you can do in one week, one month and six months, especially useful if you have a meeting or pitching event coming up!

What you can do in one week (the meeting is in the diary but they can’t Google you)

  • Set up an About Me page linking to an example of your work. (Check out my friend Jay Millington’s for inspiration, it is pretty fantastic.)
  • Set up Twitter – make sure you have a profile picture and a handle that is your name, not the name of your book. To learn how to set up Twitter, click here.
  • Follow your friends and favourite authors. Some of them may follow you back!
  • Tweet five times a day using Buffer. (You could tweet about useful writing blog posts, your author page, some useful thing you read on something relevant to your book. For example, I tweet a lot about social media and the lovely city of Bath.) This will mean that in one week you will have tweeted 35 times, a perfectly acceptable amount.
  • Retweet and comment on some other people’s tweets.

 

  • What you can do in a month (in time to capture autumnal colours and autumn literature festivals)
  • Set up an Instagram account and start taking pictures. To learn the Instagram basics, click here.
  • Write a social media strategy. Include how many times you will post and what your author brand is. 
  • Set up a medium account. This is like having a blog without having to go through the hassle of designing a website.
  • Follow your favourite authors on Twitter and see if you can use some of the techniques they use. For example, could you write a short story in a series of tweets like Joanne Harris? (If you do this, try to put a unique spin on it, don’t completely rip off someone else’s idea!)
  • Check out Twitter Analytics to see how your tweets are performing and what you should tweet more of.

 

What you can do in six months (to keep you occupied on those dark winter nights)

  • Set up a free WordPress blog with a page to feature your bio, synopsis and some writing. Create a blogging schedule. (Once a week is plenty and much more achievable than every day. Try to release them on the same day using the schedule function in WordPress)
  • Set up Google Analytics so you can see how much traffic is visiting your website.
  • Explore another social media platform such as Pinterest, YouTube or LinkedIn.

If you follow all of these steps, you are sure to be winning on social in time for your book launch!