Monday, August 25, 2014

Marketing for Writers: 3 Tricks for Facebook, Twitter, MeetUp

Not getting much from your social media efforts? Here are some quick and easy tips for Twitter and Facebook, plus tricks for promoting your readings and events with

Brown-Nosing with Twitter

Gathering thousands of followers on Twitter can take a lot of time. Or you can save time and buy followers. Will this drive traffic to your Web site or sell books? Doubtful. 

There's an option that is cheaper and more efficient: Connect, flatter, and brown-nose people who already have a large number of followers.

Here's How:
- Identify influential writers, journalists, and experts in your industry. For non-fiction writers, this is straightforward -- search Google and Twitter for your topic and see who appears at the top of the list of search results. For fiction, you have to consider themes of your work. I'm writing a novel about a chronically-single guy who takes a trip around the world looking for the woman of his dreams. So, my book covers two topics: life as a single person (dating, loneliness, sex, relationships) and world travel.
- Follow these influential people on Twitter and sign up for their blogs. On Twitter, follow who they follow and who follows them. Make note of hashtags they use in their posts.
- Tweet and retweet their posts. Post images of their books or links to their Web sites. Go to their lectures or readings, take a photo, and post it to Twitter.
- Be sure to include their Twitter handles and favorite hashtags in your posts. By including their Twitter handles, you're telling them that you like their work and are happy to help them get the word out. People may retweet your tweet, which means all their followers will see your name. They influential people and their followers may follow you.

Example involving a play and performer popular with single people:
After attending an event by writer/performer Elaine Liner, I took a photo of her promotional flyer and posted it to Twitter. I included her handle @thesweatercurse and #edfringe, a hashtag she used to promote the event. That hashtag is also followed by the local press and other influential people.

Brown-Nosing on Facebook

On Facebook, you can make posts to groups you follow and mention important people. Most of the same rules for Twitter apply on Facebook:
- Post photos and links.
- Thanks people for help, praise their accomplishments, be a nice person.
- To tag, or include people's names in your posts, start typing their name and it should appear in a pick list. Type capital letters for first letter of their name. You can include their page by typing the @ sign and their page name. More on tagging with Facebook.

An example from a Facebook Group I belong to frequented by writers and performers interested in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. (I just went and performed excerpts from my novel in progress.)

In the post to a Facebook group, I thanked important people who helped me produce and perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Tips for Promoting Yourself with MeetUp Groups

I've discussed using MeetUp groups for promotion before. Recently, I tweaked my strategy.

For MeetUp, you want to promote an event geared toward individual groups. Better still, offer them something special for attending: a discount, drinks with the author (you), or something else. Here's what I did for my recent events in Edinburgh, Scotland

1) Searched for groups by location and topic:

Here I'm searching for single's groups within 10 miles of Edinburgh.

2) Completed a profile and joined the group. I was honest and said I'm a writer who will be in town performing my work at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

3) Contacted the organizer and asked if it was OK to post an event. This is good etiquette. You could just post your event, but you might piss off the group organizer. Either way, be prepared for responses ranging from: "Sure!" to "Only if you pay me" to "Drop dead."

4) At this event in Edinburgh, I offered a discount on tickets and the opportunity to meet with me after the event.

5) Other things to consider:
- Lead time: Do this several weeks to a month before your event.
- Links with more information: Include a link to your Web page or another page describing your event and location.

After striking out with single's groups and groups interested in travel -- two themes of my book -- I contacted a local writers group. First I filled out a profile and then emailed the organizer to ask if I could pitch an event.

Art Attribution:
By Comstratega (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


More Marketing for Writers Articles


-  How I transformed scenes from a novel in progress into a one-man show called, "The Chronic Single's Handbook."

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