Hey there, word nerds! Thanks for joining me for today’s episode of DIY MFA Radio. Today we’re going to talk about a super important topic for any author: Social Media. Social media can be tricky for writers because there’s so much to wrap your head around. Don’t worry. I’ll share some nuts and bolts, basic information that you can put into practice right away.
Social media, for better or worse, is here to stay. It’s fully integrated into our lives and has changed the way we communicate radically. As writers, our best approach is to embrace the opportunities that social media affords us, rather than fight against it. In this episode, I’ll give you 7 steps to help you get a handle on social media.
Most importantly, if you’re just learning these platforms, be gentle with yourself. Social media is constantly changing. You don’t have to do all of it, or get everything perfect right away. You just need to understand enough so that you can stay afloat and so that you can use social media to bolster your writing career.
7 Steps to Get a Handle on Social Media
- Claim your name (and do it EVERYWHERE).
Get onto every social media platform that you can find, and claim either your pen name, your author name, your business name, whatever it is that you use.
- Once you’ve claimed it you don’t have to use it.
When you’re ready for it, you’ll have the user name or handle you want, but until you’re ready for it, just let it stay dormant.
- Attack one platform at a time.
Don’t try to BE everywhere on social media. You want to get good on one platform instead of being mediocre on several. Pick one that works for you, focus on it, and get really good at it.
- Be present.
You can automate some things, but you always want to be able to respond personally and in a timely manner to your followers, fans, etc. Also, by being present you can quickly address any blow-ups that may occur.
- Listen and learn first.
All social media platforms have different customs, kind of like countries. Learn and understand the ways of each social media platform before you engage so that you minimize the chances of putting your foot in your mouth.
- Some scheduling is OK, but DON’T go on autopilot.
A lot of social media experts talk about tactics where you set something up once on your social media and then let it run on autopilot. While this may be tempting, it’s also incredibly dangerous. There are ways to pre-schedule your social media, but be very cautious with tools that offer “set it and forget it” solutions where you just check out and let your social media run on autopilot.
- Build a home base.
Social media is where you meet people and engage with your target audience. But you should always direct every interaction from social media back to your home base. Ideally, this will be a website that you have built and own the platform for (i.e. not on Blogger). Social media rules change and the platforms can disappear over time. Funnel your followers to your website where you set the rules of engagement and cultivate the relationship from there.
Remember, when it comes to social media…
you just have to be somewhere.”
Guidelines to avoid blow-ups
- Do not post anything controversial just before you check out or go off the grid for more than a few hours.
- Don’t forget to check in periodically, even when you’re on vacation.
- Never ever EVER post when you are tired, drunk, or angry. Always be alert and aware before you post.
- If you do mess up, put out fires gracefully and quickly.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. If you’re interested in connecting with me on one of the social media platforms I’m using, I’d love to follow you back! Just go to whichever platform you like and send me an @reply (or whatever that platform’s equivalent is) and let me know you listened to Episode 40, and I’ll follow you back.
This platform allows you to view a Twitter hash tag in a chat room format. It’s perfect for participating in Twitter chats.
This is the platform I use most often to schedule DIY MFA’s curated posts. It allows more than one user to contribute to the buffer (or “post holding pen”) and then trickles out your posts at pre-determined times.
I use Hootsuite to follow what’s going on in Twitter. It allows me to view search terms, lists of people I follow, and hash tags in separate columns.
Click to Tweet
This is the app we use at DIY MFA to create those nifty “tweet this” links.
This service helps you run giveaways and integrate them with different social media platforms. It also makes sure you have the proper terms and disclaimers on your giveaway so you don’t run into legal entanglements.
When it comes to understanding Facebook marketing and Ads, Amy Porterfield is THE person to follow. Listen in to her podcast or follow her blog for lots of great tips about Facebook, as well as other social media and marketing tips.
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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.