Category Archives: Social Networking For Writers

Writers: How To Come Back From A Social Media Dry Spell | Web Design Relief

Life gets busy! And when you’re pressed for time, it’s natural to let some things go—like working on your next writing project, hitting the gym, getting Fido groomed, or posting regularly on social media. At Web Design Relief, our experts know that actively maintaining your social media platforms is vital to your success as a writer. If your dedicated followers don’t hear from you on a regular basis, you can easily be forgotten—and replaced.

Effects Of A Social Media Dry Spell On Your Accounts

There’s no avoiding it: Taking an extended break from social networking will have some deleterious effects for an author.

  • On Twitter, you may lose some followers as tweeters vet their lists to eliminate inactive accounts.
  • On Facebook, and to a lesser extent, Instagram, the algorithms for newsfeeds favor those whom you interact with regularly. So your ability to rise in your followers’ newsfeeds will be weakened.
  • In all cases, it’ll take some time to build up the impact of marketing and promotion efforts to where they were before you took a break.

Though your reach may have withered, here’s the good news: Many of your followers may not yet have noticed your absence. Social media is like a huge cocktail party where everyone is coming and going. Caught up in the onslaught of constant tweets, posts, and pins, even active followers may miss the fact that your author posts have dribbled to none.

So many of your followers are still right there, waiting for you!

Strategies For Reenergizing Your Social Media Output

Do Some Recon. If you had an active presence on several social media channels, it can be intimidating to return after a long break. There’s no shame in scooting from one old haunt to another to catch up on what’s been happening, and to check out other authors’ profile pages to see what they’re doing for promotion and marketing. Soon you’ll be liking, following, commenting, and writing engaging posts of your own.

Pick Up Right Where You Left Off. Some authors prefer to gloss over the fact that they’ve been away for a while, especially if the dry spell was due to personal issues. Jumping right in with your usual monthly promotion or giveaway, even though you haven’t had one in months, will get your followers engaged again.

Dive In Boldly. Your fans want to connect with you on a personal level. If you’re comfortable sharing (while avoiding TMI) the reason why you’ve been lax in posting or tweeting, you may discover a huge leap in engagement due to your honesty. Beyond kick-starting your return, judiciously sharing your personal triumphs and sorrows will show you how many caring online friends you really have.

Get Back To Basics. After weeks (or months) of not posting or tweeting, you may be a little rusty when you restart your social media activity. Ensure that your posts are effective and engaging by keeping in mind the basics:

  • Post content that is appealing and relevant.
  • Offer value to those who connect with you for insider information, giveaways, contests, sneak peeks, and recommendations.
  • Ask questions, solicit advice, run polls, and find other creative ways to encourage engagement.
  • Use hashtags and visuals to boost post performance.
  • Post regularly according to the platform.
  • Respond to all comments, preferably in a way that will start a conversation.
  • Make sure to limit direct marketing and promotion to only one out of every ten posts.

Setting a calendar and scheduling posts in advance through Hootsuite or another social media management platform can help keep you on track.

When it comes to social networking, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But remember that social media isn’t just a powerful way to boost sales, strengthen your brand, and meet fellow book lovers: It’s also a wonderful way to gather a tribe of supportive online friends!

 

Question: If you’ve ever taken a break from social media and come back, how did you get back to regularly posting?

40 Easy-Peasy Facebook Post Ideas For When Your Well Runs Dry | Web Design Relief

As an author, you know how important it is to constantly connect with your fans and followers. The social media experts here at Web Design Relief know that making strong connections is the best way to grow your author platform. With all the rapid changes happening with social media, you might think that Facebook has become old news. The fact is that over a billion people use Facebook daily! So it makes sense to maintain an active presence on this social media platform.

But sooner or later, you’ll probably find yourself too busy multitasking or hitting a big wall of writer’s block—and you won’t have any ideas for your next Facebook post. You need inspiration—fast.

Check out these 40 Facebook post ideas to get your creativity flowing again:

  1. Ask for book recommendations.
  2. Post a photo of an early page of your manuscript-in-progress (no spoilers!) as a teaser.
  3. Post a photo of your to-be-read pile and ask others to post theirs.
  4. Post photos of your oddest research books (on poisons, medieval privies, Roman road-building, etc.).
  5. Keep track of your writing progress and post word or page counts every morning or evening.
  6. Share a positive review about your work.
  7. Share a positive review about the work of a colleague.
  8. Recommend a colleague’s book in a short Facebook video.
  9. Post a photo of your favorite reading nook.
  10. Share visual details about one of your books. These could include details of setting, character, costume, or props, either through a Pinterest page or individual photos.
  11. Check out this National Day calendar and comment on the day’s options.
  12. Post your favorite inspirational or literary quote.
  13. Ask: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
  14. Ask: What’s your favorite book of all time?
  15. Ask: What’s your favorite television series of all time?
  16. Ask people to post images of their favorite rock band, country singer, or opera diva.
  17. Post a baby picture of yourself and ask others to share theirs.
  18. Post a picture of your writing space with commentary, such as “This is where I get my best ideas.”
  19. Post a photo of your pet, or someone else’s pet, or a pet you’d like to have.
  20. Post a photo of an odd-looking cloud, a new blooming flower, sun coming through tall trees, or a duck on a pond.
  21. Play with GIFs: Ask your followers to describe their day in a GIF.
  22. Ask your followers to post what they’re doing in a GIF.
  23. Ask your followers to type their name in the GIF bar and post the first GIF that comes up.
  24. Ask your followers to show their spirit animal in a GIF.
  25. Take a poll to tease your fans into engagement: Paper or plastic? Seat up or down? Coffee or tea? Beer or bourbon? Cake or pie? Beards or clean-shaven? Hemingway or Fitzgerald? Austen or Brontës?
  26. Confess your teenage movie-star crush and ask your followers to confess theirs.
  27. Ask your followers to describe their life/day/job/family in one, two, or three words.
  28. Post something from your bucket list and encourage fans to respond with something from theirs.
  29. Ask philosophical questions: “If you could be any age, what age would that be?” “If you could go back to school, what subject would you study?” “If you won the lottery, what would you do with the money?” “If you could live anywhere, where would you go?”
  30. Ask your followers what their book clubs are reading.
  31. Ask variations of the question “What is your favorite…” Options may include: favorite rainy day activity, meal, color, time of day, etc.
  32. Post an odd or hilarious photo and ask folks to caption it.
  33. Post photos of the most amazing bookstores and libraries from around the world.
  34. Post photos of places you’d love to visit.
  35. Thank your fans and followers and tell them how you appreciate all the reviews they’ve written for your books (a subtle reminder to post more!).
  36. Ask your followers what other genres they read besides yours.
  37. Ask your followers to share their favorite children’s book.
  38. Ask your followers which book format they enjoy most: hardcover, paperback, audiobooks, and/or e-books?
  39. Ask your followers if they prefer to read e-books on their phone, a tablet, a dedicated e-reader, or on their desktop or laptop computer.
  40. Share with your followers some ideas you have for future books.

Facebook is all about building connections by sharing and caring, so make sure to like and respond to all comments to keep the conversation going. It’s likely that all that engagement will fire you up and spark new ideas for Facebook posts that’ll inspire your followers and attract more fans.

 

Question: What kind of Facebook posts have inspired the most engagement on your page?

5 Ways To Digitize Your Writing Conference Experience | Web Design Relief

There was a time when workshops and seminars for writers were limited to what was discussed and reviewed in hotel conference rooms or classrooms. So if you weren’t an attendee, you’d have to wait weeks or even months to pick up the few crumbs of information available when summaries of the conferences finally showed up in newsletters. In these digital days, however, writing conferences are increasingly connected, both to the attendees and to writers in the outside world. At Web Design Relief, we know that information now flies faster than a caffeine-charged PowerPoint presentation!

Here Are 5 Ways You Can Digitize—And Maximize—Your Writing Conference Experience

Check Your Writing Conference Connection

Retrieving relevant information quickly is vital to getting the most out of a writing workshop. Whether you prefer a tablet, laptop, or a phone with Internet capabilities, always have some way to connect with the hotel Wi-Fi so you can get the information you need, when you need it. If you haven’t heard of the author the speaker is referencing, in addition to jotting down the name, do a quick Internet search!

Write Well But Download Better

Some writers prefer taking notes by hand, which is known to improve memory retention. But unless you’ve studied shorthand (does anyone use shorthand anymore?), you’ll never accurately record all the details about the presenter’s latest graph or catch those statistics on the fly.

Before the workshop, ask about digital downloads of slides or whether attendees will have access to an audio or video recording of the workshop after the fact. Knowing that you can easily retrieve any details you might miss will allow you to rest your cramped hand or, alternatively, to pay more attention during the seminar.

Pack Your E-reader

After three or more days at a writing conference, your mind is going to be on overload. You’ll likely forget to purchase at least one book by that author whose name you can’t remember now.

But if you have your e-reader with you at the conference, you can download that writer’s book instantly and start reading it on the plane ride home.

Network On The Spot

If you’re working the conference right, you’ll be meeting a lot of new writers and exchanging author business cards. Use your tablet, phone, or laptop to connect with them on social media before you lose their names amid the confusion of new acquaintances. You’ll increase your network, and they’ll be reminded to follow you back.

You may even want to bring bookmarks or postcards with QR codes featuring your writing, book blurbs, or great reviews that you can share with conference attendees or place on the S.W.A.G. tables.

Use The Conference Hashtag

Are there two simultaneous workshops you want to go to, but you left your Hogwarts Time-Turner at home? Consider following the sessions you’ll have to miss via the hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You’ll get quick updates on concurrent workshops (or those you just can’t make). If you can’t attend the conference at all, following the hashtag will keep you somewhat informed of events in real time.

All this digital connecting can help authors get the most out of their conference experience, but the real work starts when you get home. Be sure to go through all your notes, follow up on action items, and start connecting with your new writer friends. Sleep will just have to wait!

 

Question: What was the best writing tip, marketing advice, or networking connection that you got out of your most recent writing conference?

5 Things Writers Don’t Know About Instagram—But Should | Web Design Relief

 Since its launch in 2010, Instagram’s popularity has been growing by leaps and bounds. Today, Instagram is one of the most commonly used social media platforms in the world, with a reported 500 million daily active users! And while other social media platforms have peaked and are trying to reinvent themselves, the social media experts… Continue Reading

The 6 Personality Types Of Your Followers (And How To Engage Them) | Web Design Relief

The better an author knows his or her own social media followers, the easier it will be to connect with them on a deeper level. However, no matter how organically you’ve grown your social media following, your audience will be made up of many different personality types. At Web Design Relief, we know that effectively… Continue Reading

Quote Me On That: The 6 Qualities Of Super-Shareable Quotes For Social Media | Web Design Relief

Scroll through the newsfeed on any social media platform and it won’t be long before you spot some inspirational, famous, and/or hilarious quotes. Quotable sayings and their associated hashtags tend to get a lot of attention in terms of likes, retweets, engagement, and shares. One example: On Instagram, #quotes has over 55 million posts! So… Continue Reading


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