Category Archives: Tumblr Tips

How Social Media Has Evolved—And Why It Matters To Writers

social-media

Unless you’ve been living in a rural cabin, pounding away on a manual typewriter, you know that technology and social media have been rapidly evolving over the past five years.  Facebook alone has changed dozens of times since it graduated from Harvard and launched itself into the greater public in 2006. In fact, all the major social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram, and more—have regularly reinvented themselves.

Since social media is an essential part of any savvy writer’s author platform, it’s important to stay ahead of trends. If you’re still trying to “poke” friends on Facebook, or you don’t know what that weird ghost icon is all about, you might have a harder time keeping your audience engaged. But don’t worry! You can quickly get up to speed on the latest social media developments:

Social Media Trends That Writers Need To Know

There is a growing emphasis on imagery over text.

Even though it might rub writers the wrong way, when it comes to social media, that old adage is true: A picture IS worth a thousand words. With the advent of Snapchat (hello, ghost icon!) and Vine—and with other more established platforms like Tumblr and YouTube still steadily growing in popularity—images have become an important part of your status update.

The evidence is right there in your Facebook feed: Notice how many more images you see versus posts with only text.  A written post of “I just got engaged!” doesn’t have the same impact as a photo of your hand wearing a flashy new piece of jewelry. In the same way, a post featuring your book cover art will grab the attention of more of your followers than a simple sentence stating: “My book was just published.” And Tweets that feature images get 313% more engagement!

K.I.S.S.: Keep It Short and Simple.

The shorter your content, the more engagement your post will receive. A study by NPR found that the sweet spot is forty characters or less! News articles have now been replaced by the “listicle.” Snapchat is just a photo and a line of text, while Vine presents only a six-second video.

And of course, don’t forget the ever-present meme. Let’s face facts: A well-written long post about a political figure will get less interaction on social media than a meme that features a short sentence on a cropped photo of the person in mid-sneeze. The lesson for writers? Keep your posts short and simple. A brief, bulleted list of your upcoming events with a photo from your latest book signing will resonate better with your readers than paragraphs of detailed information.

Change is inevitable.

The never-ending evolution of social media may make your head spin—and wouldn’t you rather be writing than posting, tweeting, or pinning? But guess what: All of these up-to-the-minute changes offer innovative, exciting ways to interact with your existing fans and reach potential new readers. (Find out which social media platform is right for you.)

Before social media, the only way you would have any contact with your audience was through snail mail or when you met them in person at a book signing. Now, you can instantly get the word out when your latest piece is published, and even provide a handy link to the online journal. You can share information and get immediate reactions and feedback from your followers. Instead of spending money on expensive advertising, you can generate buzz for your latest writing project across multiple social media platforms without spending a penny.

Social media makes it easier than ever to take the pulse of your readers, get them interested in your work, and keep them coming back for more. And sure—you can post the occasional photo of a cat in a pizza box or celebrate National Coffee Day with a picture of your latest overpriced cappuccino (placed strategically next to your book or the journal featuring your writing, of course!).

If the idea of maintaining your social media seems like a lot of work, check out our Virtual Assistant packages. We’ll do all the posting so you can spend your time writing!

Question: How has social media changed the way you communicate with your readers?

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Essential Vacation Safety Tips For Your Social Media (And More!)

Vacation Safety Tips For Your Social Media Platforms copy3

You’re so excited about your upcoming vacation that you can hardly contain yourself! Finally, you’ll be the writer posting photos of umbrella drinks and tweeting about glorious sunsets, or blogging on your website about amazing Mayan ruins. Authors are always in search of new content for marketing and promotion: What better way to captivate your audience than to share on social media about the on-the-spot research you’re doing for your next project while enjoying your dream vacation?

Unfortunately, social media like Facebook and Twitter is used by 4 out of 5 burglars as the new-millennium way to find an easy target. So when you post vacation photos, you’re announcing to everyone—thieves included—that your home is unoccupied.

Before you go on holiday, check out these anti-burglary tips. And be sure to back up your manuscripts on the Cloud or on a thumb drive that you can stash in a safe place. This way, if the worst happens and thieves break into your home and steal your computer—at least they won’t abscond with all of your carefully edited writing and new drafts.

Social Media Vacation Safety For Authors

Writers who post daily on social media and upload blogs to author websites have to balance vacation safety against marketing and promotion needs. In your efforts to walk that tightrope, consider these tips.

Avoid Announcing In Advance. It may be tempting to gush about your plans the moment you purchase the plane ticket to Europe, but that allows more time for thieves to catch wind of your plans and cook up plans of their own.

If You Must Talk About Your Travels, Wait Until The Last Minute And Limit The Listeners. Take advantage of G+ “Collections” or Facebook’s List feature. By separating your friends into custom lists or collections like “colleagues,” “book fans,” “college friends,” “family,” etc., you can choose to share certain posts to a smaller circle.

Practice Patience. Rather than instantly sharing selfies, hold your trigger finger. Once you’re home, you’ll have time to curate your photos, craft clever posts and tweets, and then schedule their release for maximum engagement using Twitter, Facebook, Hootsuite, and other social media management tools. The same goes for blog articles to be posted on your website.

Schedule Posts For Release While You’re Away. If you’re a frequent poster on social media, a sudden extended radio-silence may alert a savvy thief that you’re off slurping rum runners. Use your Facebook Page’s scheduling feature or a general social media management tool to schedule your typical daily posts while you’re gone.

Temporarily Enable Timeline Review. If you’re going away with friends who tag you in every photo, those images will show up on your page and alert thieves that you’re having a grand time in the Caymans. To avoid this, enable Facebook Timeline Review while you’re away.

The Bottom Line: Just Be Smart, Not Scared

Not so long ago, thieves trolled coffee shops and supermarkets, listening for local folks chatting about upcoming vacation plans. Or they drove through neighborhoods, scanning for piled-up newspaper deliveries or overflowing mailboxes that would signal an unattended home. Now they just tune into social media, where writers make a point of broadcasting information to the public. Fortunately, by paying attention to basics and using a few best practices, you can boast about your vacation, boost your engagement stats, and still protect yourself, your home, and your valuables.

Question:  Do you use a social media management tool like TweetDeck, Facebook Page scheduling, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, or any other tool—and which do you like best?

 

Web Design Relief’s Links Roundup, February 2016

WDR Links February copy

Welcome to February’s Links Roundup! This month, we’ve compiled a list of links you’re sure to love: bolster your social media content; add new gear to your blogging tool kit; and find a book marketing plan that works for you. Whether you create your own author website or we create one for you, we want to give you the best possible tools to build an effective online author platform and get your writing out there for the world to read.

7 Tips For Writing Triumphant Social Media Posts via Writers Write– Generate content that will intrigue readers and make your posts more shareable with these seven tips from blogger Julie Petersen.

5 Top Internet Marketing Strategies for Authors via e-Books India– Larisa Elena Muntean has some advice about how to ensure the success of your self-published book while keeping your reputation as an author intact.

11+ Awesome Free Tools To Grow Your Blog 3x Faster via Blogging Wizard– In this extensive list of blog-aiding analytic tools, Adam Connell shows you how to improve your blog’s impact. From a headline rating system to a platform that allows you to network with other bloggers in your niche, you’re sure to find something you can use to boost your blog’s impact.

What Are the Ingredients of a Successful Marketing Plan? via Digital Book World– Sabrina Ricci offers a list of six must-have “ingredients” to create a strategic, in-depth marketing plan for your book.

8 Eye-Catching Author Websites | Web Design Relief

At Web Design Relief, we can’t resist admiring well-made author websites, no matter who created them. After many years of helping writers build their author platforms and decades of being plugged into the publishing industry through Writer’s Relief, we’ve certainly seen more than our fair share of author websites—the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty. And nothing knocks our… Continue Reading

Social Media Superstars: How Successful Authors Are Building Their Followings On The Web

In today’s competitive publishing environment, having a presence online is not optional—it’s vital. And we’ve brought you some of the best insider info about building your online author platform—from creating a solid, functional author website to engaging potential readers on social media. But to a writer with very little marketing experience or social media savvy,… Continue Reading

It’s Never Too Late: Social Media Tips For The 55+ Crowd

The number of people riding the technological tide of social media is growing every day. Remember when push-button phones, electric typewriters, even floppy disks were the next big thing? Nowadays cell phones have practically replaced landlines, and more and more people communicate by posting, tweeting, pinning, and texting. While tech-savvy youngsters undeniably play a big… Continue Reading

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