On Saturday, I attended the Lancaster Christian Writer’s Conference, where I got to reconnect with some great fellow writers and learn some truly interesting market insights that are well worth sharing.
While there were a lot of interesting seminars to attend, the ones that stood out most to me were Social Media Bootcamp 101 and Social Media Bootcamp 102. The guy who ran them, Don Catlett, owns Clearly See Media, a web design and marketing company that does very well for itself with Fortune 500 clients and the like.
Catlett clearly knew his stuff, and he had no trouble making his message author-specific. So since most of you guys didn’t attend, here’s what I learned about the various social media platforms:
Facebook might seem as if it’s old and out of touch compared to Twitter and Snapchat and the like, but it’s still king of the hill – by a lot. Just about everyone is on Facebook. So if you want to connect with the biggest audience possible, you need to be on it too.
Facebook traffic is at its highest between 1 and 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Therefore, if you have a really important message, those are the times you want to post it.
Because so many young people prefer Twitter, which confuses or doesn’t interest the older generations (me included), it’s a great platform for young adult fiction writers to work with.
Google+, meanwhile, is a worthwhile option to employ regardless of your chosen genre. Why? Because Google is still the No. 1 search engine, and of course it’s going to promote itself well.
Instagram has author-specific sections to utilize.
Oh yeah, and something else I learned during Catlett’s presentations? I’m apparently old.
He listed off about a dozen different social media platforms, including Quora, Foursquare and Stumbleupon – three sites I’ve never heard of. Yet according to a college student I spoke with afterwards, these sites are all common knowledge.
Oh well. Moving on, apparently with my cane or walker…
Here’s what you want to know about making videos to promote either yourself, your work in progress or your published books:
People love videos. If they’re going to interact with your posts, it’s probably going to be through a video.
Make your video short and sweet. They should be:
Two minutes or less
Fun and upbeat if at all possible
Timely, addressing something that’s immediately current; if it’s so much as five-minutes overdue, your audience potential starts to drop
Informative, presenting some new information, angle or insight
Inspiring, prompting people to take action, hopefully to your website.
Give people a reason to comment on your posts regardless of the social media setting. And when you do get a comment, whether negative or positive, make sure to reply appropriately. You’ll make a stronger impression when you interact with the “little people” like that.
And finally, here’s some miscellaneous social media information to keep in mind:
If you tweet, two hashtags per post is the sweet spot to aim for. Anything more or less than that, and your traffic is going to dip, if not drop significantly.
Share other people’s posts. It’s a great way to keep your page current and relevant without having to do any actual work.
If you want some great, free social media and marketing resources, check out Catlett’s business site, clearlysee.com. Up on the horizontal toolbar, there’s a “Tools” menu that I personally have every intention of exploring sometime soon.
Oh, and speaking of great resources, this next one isn’t free, but it is significantly cheaper than a lot of what you’re going to find elsewhere.
If you want a professional cover for your book at an amateur’s price, check out Roseanna White Designs at www.RoseannaWhiteDesigns.com.
Roseanna White is an adorable, talented and honest businesswoman who has an eye for detail and a heart for her fellow writers. So she’s definitely worth checking out!