Are you getting bored with social media or stuck in a social rut? Don't worry, it happens to us all so I put together a list of 26 Social Media prompts to inspire you to connect with your readers via your favourite social network.
Social Media is an invaluable tool for authors, but sometimes you just need a little bit of inspiration or change in approach, to reinvigorate your engagement.
Here's my A-Z of effective Social Media Prompts for Authors that features: 26 pieces of targeted advice + 26 social media prompts for authors in the form of a question + some “did you know?” which all adds up to plenty of opportunities to reinvigorate your social presence.
(NB: I usually write articles for this author advice centre in my role as Social Media Manager of ALLi, but today I'm writing as an author who uses social media to build my brand and raise awareness of my self-published books.)
A is for Audience
- Know who they are and what they want. You may want to sell books, but it's not about you, it's about the value you're delivery to your audience. Have you read “Writing for an Audience” by Samantha Warren?
B is for Branding
- Authors need to create a consistent brand presence across websites and social media. Establish your brand and then periodically review your social network profiles to keep them current. Is your brand instantly recognisable and consistent?
C is for Content
- Yes it's a cliché but Content is STILL king (and queen). Is your content insightful, entertaining, informative or inspirational?
D is for Direct
- The information super highway is bumper to bumper with content, so if you want your audience to interact with your content in a specific way you have to be direct and tell them. How clear is your Call to Action?
E is for Ethical
- Being an Ethical Author is about putting your reader first. Are you an ethical author?
Did you know ALLi published an Ethical Author Code to support their Ethical Author campaign? Here's the Guiding principle:
When I market my books, I put my readers first. This means that I don’t engage in any practices that have the effect of misleading the readers/buyers of my books. I behave professionally online and offline when it comes to the following practices in my writing life. Find out more about ALLi's Ethical Author Campaign
- Love it or hate it, Facebook is still the #1 Social Media Network. Have you set up an Author Page to keep your professional and personal life separate?
G is for Goals
- Time is precious. A vast majority of authors have to manage their own social media, so the key to being incredibly effective is to establish your goals. How do you know what content to post if you don't know what you're trying to achieve?
- All hashtags are not created equal. What works on Twitter, may be ineffective on Pinterest and annoy on Facebook. Which hashtag gets the most engagement from your followers?
I is for Images
- Images, videos and infographics attract attention on social media. Don't just rely on your cover art, experiment with other types of images to engage your audience. How pinnable is your website?
J is Jack it In
- Just because you set up a social media profile on a specific network, doesn't mean you have to keep giving it CPR to keep it alive. If you're not having fun and it's not working for you, “jack it in”. Do you know when to quit?
K is for KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
- Some networks call them insights and others call them analytics – but these key performance indicators are essential for measuring your success. Based on the effort you're giving your social media networks, is the return on the investment worthwhile?
L is for Listening
- You won't know what your audience is interested in if you don't listen to them. When you know what engages them you'll know how to attract their attention. Are you just broadcasting on social media, or are you listening?
M is for Multi-tasking
- At the same time you create a new article for your blog or website, craft 5-10 different social media posts to promote it. Multi-tasking on the social content when the topic is fresh in your mind will speed up the process. Are you exposing your web content to your social network?
N is for Network
- Social media is an excellent networking tool, but remember you don't have to be active everywhere. Pick and choose where you'll be the happiest and most productive. Are you spreading yourself too thinly across too many networks and mastering none?
O is for Overwhelmed
- Trying to do everything and be everywhere on social media can become overwhelming. If social media gives you that sinking feeling, Stop! then plan and measure. Have you read G is for Goals and K is for KPIs already?
P is for Pinterest
- Authors, don't be afraid of Pinterest because it uses pictures instead of words. Embrace the diversity. You may be able to paint a picture with words, but some of your readers need some visual stimulation to get their imagination fired up. It's another way of reaching readers and Pinterest content has a long-tail. How are you using Pinterest to reach your readers?
Did you know my article for IndieReCon 2015 featured advice about how authors can use Pinterest to build their brand with Boards and Pins?
- Quizzes are an excellent way to engage your social network. Make them easy, short and fun to participate in. Have you read “How to use a Quiz to promote a book” by Stephen Oram yet?
R is for Relationships
- Social media is a two-way street and not a soapbox. Don't just broadcast or sell to your audience, get them involved. How are you engaging your audience to build relationships?
S is for Social (not Sales)
- Even thought authors leverage social media to improve their book sales and build their brand, it's a networking tool not a sales platform. Are you being social or just selling?
- On Twitter you have to get to the point. You only have 140 characters to use, but using less will encourage retweets. Are your broadcasting or engaging your Twitter followers?
Did you know ALLi host a monthly Twitter Chat using #AuthorALLiChat? We add our monthly ALLi events to our event calendar in the side panel, and publish an Event Announcement blog post on the first Tuesday of every month.
U is for Unplug
- It's easy to get sucked into the need for seeing up-to-the-minute social media updates. When it stops being fun and starts to feel like an obsession – unplug and walk away. When was the last time you powered-down your cell phone to disconnect from the social stream – even for an hour?
V is for Value
- Establish and leverage your value proposition. Offer something truly desirable on your social media networks. Offer a promotion, giveaway or free chapter download to your fans. Are you focused on giving or getting?
Did you know ALLi host monthly live Google Hangouts to offer a constant stream of free indie author and self-publishing advice. It's published after the event via video and podcasts, and promoted across ALLi social networks?
We add our monthly ALLi events to our event calendar in the side panel, and publish an Event Announcement blog post on the first Tuesday of every month.
W is for Website
- Make it easy for your fans and followers to find your website by including your url or link on each of your social networks. Have you checked which social network sends the most traffic to your author website? (see K is for KPIs)
X is for X-Factor
- Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Scroll through the updates of socially successful authors and see what content they're posting. You many not know what is giving them that special X-factor that attracts followers, but you will pick up some ideas and inspiration. Are you following the Authors with that X-Factor in your niche?
Y is for You
- No matter what content ideas you get inspired to use (see X is for X-Factor), you still need to be authentic to your brand's voice. If your content is inspired by others, are you still being you?
- Post a good mix of social media content. Short vs. Long. Images vs. Text. Serious vs. Lighthearted. Are you putting your followers to sleep by being too predictable?
Next time you're stuck in a social rut and don't know how to spend your social media hours, review this list for inspiration.
Over to you
Let me know how you get yourself out of your social rut.
What social media tips and advice have you discovered that works for you?
26 #SocialMedia Prompts for #Authors. It's your A-Z by @JayArtale. Click To Tweet