Social Media For Writers: A Guide To Building A Readership
Author marketing gurus all stress the importance of staying connected with audiences. The market for all types of writers is becoming increasingly competitive and stable jobs are becoming increasingly rare. To be successful in this market, writers need to implement a social media strategy that will help them stand out.
In between writing and publishing your work, you can easily feel like you have two full-time jobs. Wouldn’t it be nice to be one of those writers whose work is self-supporting?
Enter social media. Did you know 72% of American adults are on at least one social media platform? Up to three quarters of online users visit social platforms every day. Whoever your audience is, that’s where you can find them.
In this article you will learn:
- Why is social media important for writers?
- Which platforms should I post on?
- From Facebook
- Using Visual Content on Instagram
- Reach young audiences on Snapchat
- Networking on LinkedIn
- What’s next?
Why is social media important for writers?
Writing is about getting in touch with people. Whether you’re a copywriter doing email commercials or a self published writer with a new detective novel, your goal is always to find people who want to read or share your work.
How do you find potential readers and followers on the Internet?
To find these people, you need to know their name and work there. Seasoned writers will tell you that a portfolio website is the best place to start. With a portfolio, you can share examples of your work and entice potential readers or clients to get in touch with you.
Your website is your home base on the internet, and social media is how you attract people to that home base.
Which platforms should I post on?
The thought of sticking to a multi-platform strategy can put many word smiths off, especially if they’re new to social media for writers.
For now, choose a platform and build a presence. Reserve your name on some of the others so it will be available when needed, but focus on your primary channel. Which one you use depends on your readership or customer base.
Facebook is a great option if you are new to social media writing. It’s the world’s most popular social media platform and has a significant user base in all age groups, including more than 75% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 50.
Multiple social functions
In addition to its wide reach, the most useful aspect of Facebook for most writers is its versatility. You can post photos, videos, text announcements, and more on Facebook. You can:
- Post links to articles you’ve published
- Share videos of interviews
- Upload cover pictures
- Join groups where people discuss topics you write about
If you want to use Facebook to get your name started and work in front of a new audience, ads are the way to go.
Facebook ads allow you to choose your target audiences. For example, if you’re a freelance content writer with a financial niche, you might want to show your ad to people who are interested in finance. You can even target specific job titles like content manager or editor so that your ads get through to people who might be hiring you.
Write Poems? You can choose “Poetry” as the interest. Publish a science fiction epic? You can target this niche as well. Don’t worry if you’ve never created Facebook Ads before – Constant Contact makes it easy for you with easy-to-use Facebook advertising tools.
This is what it looks like when you create a Facebook ad on Constant Contact. Easy and uncomplicated.
You may find that running Facebook lead ads is the best way to encourage a reader to get in touch with you. Use a Facebook lead ad to get people to join your mailing list or redeem an offer. It’s great for books giveaways or event invitations.
Using Visual Content on Instagram
For book authors, Instagram is becoming one of the hottest places. You can thank the hashtag #bookstagram, which connects readers who talk about books and celebrate their love for literary things.
The captivating power of a hashtag
Posts usually contain staged photos of books, but the buzz these posts generate is real and can be powerful for writers. According to bookstagrammer Hailey Dezort, “You might think of reviews in the New York Times Book Review or New Yorker, but the people I really trust are on bookstagram.”
You too can create and share beautiful bookstagram posts. All you need is an engaging question and photos for readers to identify with.
How to use #bookstagram as an author
No need to film and post videos to be on Instagram. A Bookstagram account can be a great way to promote yourself, whether you’re trying to get a novel or your latest essay published on Medium.
Start by building a fan base with authentic, engaging posts. You could:
- Post photos of your last reading and ask people what they read
- Share pictures from your favorite bookstore and ask which indie stores your readers love
- Run an Instagram Photo Challenge and ask people to share their “shelves” – photos from their bookshelves at home
Once you have a following, introduce your work as a writer. Ask people to follow you on Patreon, share your latest article or blog post, and so on. Let your group do the work of spreading the word.
Reach young audiences on Snapchat
If you are writing for young adults or a middle class audience, Snapchat is a platform to consider. It’s the favorite of 44% of American teenagers, making it the most popular platform in this age group – although Instagram ranks second.
One of Snapchat’s best uses for literature was Harper Collins’ film adaptation of the YA series The Dead Girls Detective Agency for Snapchat. The episodes are only five minutes long and can also be watched on YouTube.
You don’t have to create a polished professional production like this. Try a photo of your writing area or a video testimonial from a young reader.
Networking on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a useful platform for business writers and freelancers. The users are usually more educated and have higher incomes. The people on LinkedIn include 49% of those with an income of $ 75,000 or more and 51% of those with a college degree.
For freelancers, LinkedIn is a great way to connect with potential gigs. Start by completing your profile with what you write and what your niche topics are. Contact people you’ve written for before and ask for testimonials.
There are also countless job advertisements on LinkedIn. These ads are great resources even if you’re not looking for a full-time job. Companies that need full-time writers usually need someone to fill in the blanks.
Authors of all kinds can benefit from membership in LinkedIn groups. Some, like Writers & Authors, are more in favor of craft development and criticism. Others, like The Freelance Writers’ Connection, can help you network. There are hundreds of groups for writers of all levels and types.
What happens after working on social media for writers?
By now you’ve looked at how you can use Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn to connect with the audience.
For more inspiration and ideas on how to combine it with other elements of your online marketing, see the Constant Contact download. It’s a comprehensive guide to digital marketing for independent writers and writers – and includes social media, as well as strategies for websites, blogs, and Amazon.
Remember, success on social media is about knowing your audience, and as a writer, you already understand that.