Basic social media tips for authors
Updated: Feb 19
As a writer it's generally a good idea to have some form of social media presence. Being on social media can help you raise awareness of your book / brand / content - and it's completely free!
So here are 5 basic social media tips for authors that will help you build your social media presence and sell your books.
1. Follow authors who are doing it well!
One of the best pieces of advice I can give in terms of social media is to follow other people who are doing it well, understand what they’re doing and how they’re getting engagement, and learn from it.
2. Don’t spam your audience : the 80/20 rule.
You’ve written a book. You’re proud of it. You should be. But constantly posting blatant adverts on your social media channels is just going to cause people to unfollow you.
The general rule on social media is that 80% of your content should be providing some kind of value to your audience, and 20% should be self-promotion. So interact with others, share other people's posts, have conversations with people, share content that will be of interest to your audience.
Be an authentic person that people want to support, rather than a spam creating robot!
3. Include your links!
If you’re posting about your book / content – you need to make it as easy as possible for people to find it. If a stranger sees your post, thinks your book / content seems cool, but the link isn’t in your post, or even in your bio, realistically they’re not going to actively search for it.
So, include links in your posts if you can. Make sure your links are in your bio. Make use of pinned tweets. If you’re on Instagram where you can’t add links to post, let people know in the post description that the link is in your bio.
Got multiple links? Use LinkT.ree – which hosts a page for you with all your important links on.
Make your links shorter and prettier (and get analytics on them) by using bit.ly.
Make it as easy as possible for your audience to find your book / content.
4. identify yourself!
If someone visits your social media profile, you want them to be able to quickly see who you are and what you have to sell.
Use Canva to create a Twitter Header/ Facebook Page Cover that promotes your latest book / project / relates to your author brand. Make sure your bio states clearly who you are. Be consistent across social media channels with your profile picture. And if possible, try to be consistent with your username across platforms.
5. Don’t overdo hashtags!
Hashtags can enhance your discoverability, but people don’t like reading loads of hashtags. It comes across spammy / self-promoting and posts that are really heavy on hashtags aren’t easy to read and engage with.
Learn what the acceptable etiquette is for hashtagging on the social media channels you’re using. On Instagram, for example, some people add their hashtags in a comment– which still makes it discoverable but doesn’t show in the actual post description - or put their hashtags right at the end of the post so it doesn't look spammy.
Do you have any social media tips for authors? Let me know in the comments!
LAUREN PALPHREYMAN is a writer based in London. She is best known for her supernatural teen romance series, Cupid's Match, which has accumulated over 50 million hits online and was published by Wattpad Books / Penguin Random House, October 2019. Find her on Instagram @LaurenPalphreyman and on Twitter @LEPalphreyman.
Get hold of her debut, Cupid's Match, here!