How To Use the 4 Biggest Social Platforms to Market Your Writing
The simple ways using social media can double your readers
Once you have produced a brilliant article, the hard work starts. Now you need to advertise the post so that readers find it. Unless you are curated on Medium or write for one of the Medium publications, your work will only be shown to your followers. This is the identical problem as what you’ll have on your own website. For this reason, you have to attract readers to your work.
If your SEO is good, readers will find your posts through search engines. However, you can’t rely on this. This is where social media plays a massive role.
Social media is both a curse and a blessing. To market your work, you have to have many followers. To increase your reader count, you need to reach more people. By increasing your social media following, you increase your audience.
I am going to show you how to market your posts on the four main platforms:
Build an interactive profile that tells followers who you are. Ensure you include a link to your website in your profile. Using a consistent name and profile picture helps people find you across platforms. Use a picture of yourself to gain more followers, not a logo or GIFs. Ensure that you show your followers something personal about you.
Make sure that you post regularly. Comment, interact, and follow people. You need to interact, to build a following. Comment with thoughtful posts that show you’ve read the original content. Share the work of others and they will share your work.
Remember your social media presence is also advertising your writing. Maintain a professional persona at all times. Many experts say resist discussions on football, religion, and politics.
“Activate your fans, don’t just collect them like baseball cards.” — Jay Baer
Twitter has a real writer and blogger network. The people I have interacted with have always been supportive and friendly. However, it’s so vast that it is important to know how to stand out. The average tweet has the life expectancy of an hour. You need to post regularly to be noticed, as well as using the tips below.
Use images with all your posts. Posts that include an image, even if it’s a GIF, get 34% more engagement.
If you wish to establish yourself on Twitter, you need to use popular hashtags for your area of expertise. The three I have found the most successful are #writerslife, #writerscommunity, and #amwriting.
Ensure that you interact with people using these hashtags. Search for them and write comments to other writers. A proportion of them will follow you back. This is essential in order to have genuine followers. Not the follow-for-a-follow type.
I link all my articles to Twitter. If you use WordPress, this is easy to set up, even for scheduled posts. I also post every four to six hours, always using hashtags.
With Medium articles, I like to highlight a quote that sums my article up and then share this with my followers.
Search for popular celebrations and then write a post on them. At the time of writing this, it’s World Refugee Day. This hashtag is trending very high, so I wrote a couple of posts on the subject. It could be World Pie Day — the result is the same. Make the posts witty, with a different twist, and see your followers soar.
Comment on famous people’s posts
Comment on famous people’s posts, and make your replies witty and entertaining. People who follow them will see your reply and a small percentage will follow you. The famous person might follow you back and retweet your posts to millions of followers.
I am lucky enough to have Barack Obama following me on Twitter. To date he hasn’t retweeted a post, but could you imagine the exposure this would get me?
“A creative ideal plus a fresh network is the best way to go from zero to millions.” — @peretti
This has been a big surprise for me recently. I confined LinkedIn to scheduled, automated posts only. Then I started spending time there, and I’m hooked.
If you work hard and develop genuine relationships, you will reap the rewards. It’s an easy platform to gain followers on.
Being on a platform at the right time is half the battle. Getting involved in LinkedIn now is a must. It’s the fastest growing platform for writers and freelancers. On average, writers are getting five times the views.
Start by connecting with as many people as you can. You will see your followers reach four figures quickly. Aim to post content to LinkedIn once or twice a day to keep those followers engaged.
There are four types of posts within LinkedIn and all have their use.
Direct links are when you copy and paste the link to a post straight into an update. These can also be carried out through scheduling apps and WordPress directly.
More effective than posting links on LinkedIn are status updates. On LinkedIn, you have 1,300 characters to use on a status. I would suggest you write a synopsis or witty introduction to your post, something that gets the reader interested in the subject. Press Publish, then post a link to the full post in the comments. This is important. LinkedIn’s algorithm favours posts without links. The link in the comment gets around this problem.
After three weeks, recycle your blog posts as articles on LinkedIn. If you use the desktop version, you will see the link for articles under Status. Copy and paste a blog post into it. Play around with the formatting and press Publish. It takes ten minutes at most. These articles are permanent examples of your work. Companies and freelance opportunities will find you through them.
As a proud bookworm, I have some strange routines. For example, when I read a hardcover I have to place the dust jacket…
Without a doubt, if you want to step into vlogging, then LinkedIn is the platform. Aim for a one- to two-minute video filmed on your phone, and hit Publish. Video is the most-viewed medium on LinkedIn and gets you great exposure. You can also turn your PowerPoint presentations into video and post them.
Many of the big writers who started their careers on Medium are now transferring to LinkedIn. Once you’ve built a following and a quantity of quality work, opportunities will find you.
“Instagram is a personal subscription. It’s like your own personal magazine. It’s like doing a photo shoot for no money, which is cool.” — Goapele
Instagram is another platform that has a real writer community. It’s also important to use hashtags there. Many of the same Twitter hashtags work, although I would also use #writersofinstagram. Aim to post three to ten posts a day.
Many writers state that using the Story feature results in more followers. As you can now use text in these, it’s a great way to advertise yourself and your books. There is also a workaround to add links to story posts.
As Instagram only lets you have one link in your profile, use a website called Linktree. Linktree lets you have several links on one URL.
Follow loops are very popular on Instagram. These are loops for like-minded people. For example, a writers loop will allow all writers to add their name below the post. Everyone then follows everyone on that list. You can build a real community this way and not fill your timeline with irrelevant posts. I was part of one of these loops during New Year. My followers doubled in two days.
How To Embed Links on Instagram And Encourage Reads
The hack Instagram doesn’t tell you about.
Posting to Instagram
1. Take a picture/ screenshot when you complete a post on Medium or your website. I simply take a screenshot of the title, subtitle, and picture. Then use this as the picture for Instagram.
2. Write a brief introduction to the post and state that the link to the full post will be in your profile. Put this information at the start of the introduction, then it will appear under the photo without scrolling.
3. Add relevant hashtags and publish.
4. Share the post you’ve created to your Story, again informing people about the link in the bio.
Although Instagram will not have a huge effect on your reads instantly, it will gradually. It’s also an excellent resource for obtaining freelance work as well.
“It’s not just about consuming content, but sharing it, passing it on, and adding to it.” — @ariannahuff
Through my group and page, I have many positive interactions with people. Facebook provides me with the best pick-up rate for posts. Aim to publish once or twice a day.
Although this sounds perfect, it’s Facebook’s practices that let it down. Daily they contact you and ask you to place a paid advert if you have an author page. They never let up. If it’s not messages and notifications, it’s posts asking you on your timeline. These are so frequent they become spam.
To research how effective these were, I paid for one advert for £8. I got 123 views and 23 likes, not exactly the high statistics they advertise.
Here’s my biggest tip: Don’t pay for Facebook ads. They aren’t worth it, and you get little or no return from them.
A Facebook page allows you to set up a following and communicate with your followers. Several features allow you to sell your books and add people to your email list.
Again, you can use both a scheduling app and WordPress to automate the sharing of links.
Depending on what template you decide on when you set up your page, you may see a Notes function. The Notes feature on your page allows you to share blog posts in their entirety. I share a random selection.
On Facebook, hashtags are not essential and can be frowned upon by some. Sharing quality work seems to be the best way to increase followers.
I have a mixed opinion on the groups on Facebook. Some have been supportive and I could not function without them. Others I have been abused on. The tip is to join a few and see where you fit.
I have my own Facebook group which is a lovely community of writers. I have daily status feeds where you can share a second post.
If you are interested in joining, search for Bloggers & Medium Support.
Whichever platform you decide on, social media is essential for all writers. I mention using scheduling apps to post as this reduces the time you spend on social media. I use Hootsuite, but there are several others you can use. It can be a time drain if you’re not careful, and you need to put methods in place to stop this addiction. It’s easy to disappear down a hole and find yourself two hours later still on there. This is time you could have spent writing.
Social media should be considered as a resource for marketing and gaining ideas. It should be treated as part of your editorial plan. If you follow the tips and tricks above, you will use it effectively, without it taking up too much time. Concentrate on setting up a presence on one and mastering all it has to offer, and then move on to the next. Once you have mastered these four, you can further increase your reach through other platforms such as Pinterest and Quora.