Friday, January 8, 2016

Social Media for Authors: Part 2

If you missed the convention - or even if you didn't! - here are some of the highlights of the Social Media Panel.

Facebook Tips:
·      156.6 million users; peak ages 23-50 (growing senior sector); most are college educated; more women than men
·       Best times to post: Thursday/Friday 1-4 pm - worst times: 8pm to 8am
·      Helpful Website:

  • Desktop ads have 8.1 times higher click-through rate than normal web ads; mobile ads have 9.1 times higher
  • Make a Fan Page, not a personal one!! Also fan pages for each book and/or favorite characters
  • Most studies show people using Facebook typically dislike too-frequent updates and are afraid of being directly marketed to. BUT: People on Facebook do enjoy being given special access or insight they might not get anywhere else
·      Give your followers lots of free information. Entertain them with links to blog posts that amuse, inspire and inform. 
·      Focus each post on a single subject and include a question, link, or call to action to boost engagement. 
·      Share quotations that are relevant to your brand. 
  • Share cartoons and pictures that relate to your work. Ask users for feedback
  • List events like book signings or speaking engagements
  • Use Fanpage Karma to find optimal posting time tailored to your audience

Instagram Tips:
·      60.3 million users; peak ages <17-29; mostly urban users with some college; more women than men
·      Best times to post: Monday 2-3pm, 9pm to 8am - worst times: none
·      Helpful Website:

  • Send your book with traveling friends and have them post photos
  • Follow bloggers who review books and fellow authors
  • Snap photos of what you're reading
  • Snap photos of what you're writing
  • According to Socialbakers, “the top brands on Instagram have a post engagement rate 47% higher than on Twitter.”

Twitter Tips:
·      Best times to post: Wed & weekend 1-3pm - worst times: 8pm to 9am
·      Helpful Website:

·      Type into the search function words with hash tags #amreading or #GoodReads
·      Follow other authors and organizations
  • See who other Tweeps are following or who is following them
  • Show some personality
·      Followers want content that is credible, intelligent, and valuable.
·      Don't use up your entire 140 characters - leave room for re-tweeters
·      #ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) on recycled posts
·      More than 70% of re-tweeted content is about news, and more than 50% of re-tweeted content is either instructional or entertainment-related.
  • Using the words “Please Re-Tweet” will generate 4 times more re-tweets.
  • You're more likely to get re-tweets on the weekend
  • Use no more than two hash tags (#) to avoid clutter.
  • 5/5/5 Rule - 5 minutes responding, 5 minutes searching, 5 minutes tweeting
  • Pay with a Tweet - readers can download a freebie if they tweet about it. Costs minimal amount per tweet.
  • Schedule tweets at different times for followers in different time zones
  • Use Followerwonk to find optimal posting time tailored to your audience
  • Create a tweet that promotes one of your books, preferably with an image attached and then pin the tweet to the top of your feed. Doing this will help other authors find your book tweet to promote. Also, when people check out your profile, the first thing they see will be your book tweet, which again will help build awareness

Goodreads Tips:
·      48.2 million users; peak ages 18-44; most are college educated; more women than men
·      Helpful Website:

  • Connect your social media
  • Add your book trailers in the video section
  • Add your books to Listopia
  • Upload Google, Twitter and Facebook followers as friends
  • According to Goodreads, the average giveaway attracts 825 entries, and over 40,000 people enter Goodreads giveaways daily.
  • Roughly 60% of giveaway winners review the book they win.
  • Participate in a group once a week
  • Rate and review a book once a week

Pinterest Tips:
·      44.5 million users; peak ages18-64; most are college educated; more women than men
·      Best times to post: Saturday 2-4pm, 8pm - 11pm - worst times: 5-7 pm
·      Helpful Website:

  • Add the "pin it" button to your browser
  • Make an "If you like ___ you'll like my book" board (covers of similar titles)
  • Make "People and Places" board for people who look like your characters and places your characters would have visited or lived in
  • Make a board for cover art and behind the scenes images
  • Make Lives of Your Characters boards - what they'd wear, eat, visit, etc.
  • Make a quotes board: reading, writing, books, authors, whatever you like
  • Make a visual writing prompt board with provocative photos
  • Pin images and add quotes from your books
  • Make a Best bookstores or libraries board
  • Data shows that since 2011, “the number of Pinterest users going from the platform to a website has multiplied seven times, far outstripping Twitter and others.”

Google+ Tips:
·      37.5 million users; peak ages 25-40; college educated; nearly 70% male
·      Best times to post: Mon-Fri 9-11am - worst times: 6pm-8am
·      Helpful Website:

  • Male-dominated media
  • Set up a business page instead of a personal one
  • Always add the image of your book cover first, and once it shows up, add text and link to Amazon, B&N etc. If you start with the link, only the ugly generic icon from Amazon appears, not showing your cover at all.
  • Link to your blog posts
  • Write resource-type articles
  • Have different circles for your readers and for other writers
  • Use Hangouts to conduct video chats with up to 10 of your readers
  • Use Google Adwords to find keywords to enhance engagement
  • Use Timing+ to find the optimal posting time tailored to your audience

And if you're video-savvy: You-Tube:
  • the second largest search engine next to Google!
  • post behind-the-scenes, personal interviews, how-to, tips and insights
  • iPhone makes a perfectly good video
  • Videos should be 3-5 minutes long with music and images when possible
  • Use relevant, upbeat titles with brief descriptions and 10-20 tags for each video


  1. JES--thanks for such a comprehensive article. Lot of good stuff to pick and choose from. Appreciate the effort.

    1. You're welcome Tom - thanks for all the help at the convention too!

  2. Wow, JES. Your blog is bursting with great tips, stats and links! I needed some jump-start ideas for 2016 so I'll be printing this and pinning it to the wall. Thanks for your efforts, both at the convention and in assembling all this useful info.

  3. Gee whiz! Thanks for all the tips!

  4. Thanks. It is much appreciated. Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

  5. Fab info - but I'm limiting my social media time and writing more. Keep a balance, I'll add that tip.