Promoting Writing With Social Media
Let’s say you’re an amateur writer. You know you need to be promoting your writing with social media. But how do you get started?
Not to worry; I’ve got you covered, whether you’re looking to sell your work or just get your unsellable fanfiction noticed.
I have been in the social media space for years, long before the term was even so much as coined. I go back to Usenet.
It may be tempting to just plunge right in and start hyping your work on Facebook or Twitter or the like. After all, everyone else is doing it, right? It seems so easy. It doesn’t hurt that it’s free. But I want you to take a step backward because we are going to do some basic strategizing. It’s called the POST Strategy.
P is for Personas
A persona, or a buyer persona, is the person who would typically buy your work. This is demographics, generally including gender, age range, and race. It can include highest educational level attained. It can also include marital status or sexual identity, time zone, and sometimes household income.
I know you don’t have the bucks to hire a team to build a demographic profile. That’s okay. You’re more or less covered online, if you don’t mind some vagueness.
Once you’ve got your general demographics together, write a short thumbnail sketch of a biography of them. E. g.
Steve loves science fiction as he enjoys the escapism elements. He’s in his thirties and lives in a small town where he has a technical job. Unmarried, Steve wants to escape into the strange worlds that are a staple of science fiction. Because Steve is bi, and he’s in a small town where that might seem strange to his neighbors, he is semi-closeted. He wants to read about people like him or more or less like him. He enjoys action and adventure but doesn’t mind some romance in the storyline so long as it’s not dominant.
This is a description of your ideal reader. That person might be a lot like you. They might turn out not to be. Plus you might find more than one persona. That’s okay, too.
O is for Objectives
We’ve all got pie in the sky notions, where we want to be recognized for our art, published, get an agent, make a mint, and hobnob with the best writers we can think of. Or maybe that’s just me. But you’ve got to be realistic here.
What’s realistic? Breaking even, on a first novel, is probably not realistic. But selling at least one copy to someone you do not personally know? That’s a good, attainable goal. It may not sound like a lot, but this is where you start.
To know your objectives have been met, do some measuring. Amazon shows sales data, and many places show read counts even if you aren’t publishing for $$ at this time. I personally use spreadsheets but I’ve got a data analysis background so this appeals to me. You don’t need to go nuts! You can get by with just vague ideas, such as to see that sales have gone up, or you haven’t broken 1,000 reads, that sort of thing.
S is for Strategy
What’s your plan? Allow me to suggest one thing right off the top – get HootSuite or Tweetdeck or Buffer or some combination and learn how to use their scheduling features. Don’t be tweeting in the middle of the night. Schedule stuff. Trust me; scheduling will save your offline life.
T is for Technology
Now let’s start thinking about platforms. Do some more research (Pew is awesome!). Where is your buyer persona going online?
Our mythological buyer persona, Steve, is fairly young and male. I bet he likes Tumblr and Twitter. Plus he’s on Facebook because many people are. While he might be on Pinterest (it’s not 100% female), the likelihood is greater that he’s elsewhere.
What’s your mission? To post your promotional links where Steve is. Or Betty. Or Lakeisha. Or Hong. Or José. Or whoever your buyer persona is.
Want to know more about POST Strategy? Go to the source!
This barely scratches the surface. There’s a ton more to know! Where can you get started? I just so happen to have a book for that. It also just so happens to be free. Ask me anything, here or on Wattpad in the comments for that book. Am I missing something? Does anything need to be updated or clarified? I gladly take requests to update the Social Media Guide.
Now go out there and knock ’em dead!