Be honest: What’s the first thing you do immediately after waking up? Is it brushing your teeth? Stretching? I’m betting it’s checking your Facebook news feed, browsing Instagram stories or going through the latest tweets.
There’s no denying the power of social media. Every industry, every professional and every teenager is capitalizing on the digital boom for myriad reasons. Writers too need to embrace the power of social media and become savvy marketers of their work.
Simply blogging is a thing of the past. Now you need to promote your blog posts, get your work out there so that readers actually read it and let editors know you’re available for hire. But lots of scribes don’t use social media to their advantage. Most used it inadequately or incorrectly.
Fret not, we’ve compiled a list of useful social media tips for writers that haven’t quite realized the power of social media. Here are some words of wisdom:
Fill Your Social Media Bios
This is the most essential and basic thing to do. Having a well-written bio not only tells your followers who you are but shows your followers that you’re serious about being on social media. A good bio includes your full name, a keyword (like freelance writer or journalist), a link to your website and some quirky facts about yourself. Bonus points if you can use emojis in your bio.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em: Hashtags are here to stay. Unfortunately, most writers don’t use them well. Hashtags not only increase visibility of your content on social media, but encourage conversations with potential followers.
Search for the most popular hashtags and use them in your posts.
Use a Social Media Platform You Like
Okay, let’s be real for one second: Most people have one or two social media platforms they love to use. You might be someone who enjoys taking and posting pictures with interesting quotes. Then use Instagram. Or you might like to pen your thoughts succinctly in 140 characters or less. Then use Instagram. Maybe you like creating videos. Then use YouTube.
If you stick to a platform you like, you’ll more likely post on it frequently. This is one of the most useful social media tips on this list.
Interact with Your Followers
Social media consists of the word social. You can’t just keep posting links to your blog or stuff you’ve written. You need to interact with your followers, engage in meaningful conversations and thank people for retweeting your content.
Promote Yourself Minimally
Yes, your primary goal for using social media is to promote yourself but no one wants to follow someone who constantly advertises about their work. Many social media tips for writers suggest conversing with followers, being yourself and building connections. People want to know who you really are not only what you do.
Write Hacked advises aspiring authors to only post about their work 20% of the time. The rest of the time – which is 80% – should be utilized in interactions and developing connections.
Connect with Writers and Join Writing Groups or Chats
Speaking of making connections, Carol Tice of Make a Living Writing recommends following influential people in your niche. Do you like a website? Follow the site’s editor. Did you like an article a seasoned writer wrote? Tell them you liked it on social media. The networking possibilities on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are endless.
Post Frequently in Your Own Voice
Consistency is important in blogging and it’s also important in social media. In an age of manufactured positivity, it’s easy to post positive and inspiring messages. While it’s good to be optimistic, even the most idealistic person feels sad, anxious or stressed sometimes.
Show your followers who you are and what kind of person you are through your posts. Use your own unique voice and not a generic one. Let your personality shine. After all, most editors are always looking to hire writers with a unique voice.
Don’t be Preoccupied with Your Number of Followers
Here’s one of the most valuable social media tips for writers: Don’t obsess about the amount of followers you have. We all launch our social media accounts with zero followers and gradually build a loyal audience. Be patient. Your followers will grow with time.
Finally, be your quirky, bubbly or witty self. People can easily distinguish between writers who are themselves and those that are merely mimicking other people.
Remember that social media should be an extension of yourself and your work. When used wisely, it can help you connect with editors and businesses seeking freelance journalists or budding novelists. Who knows maybe your next big gig will come from a company that found your take on an issue very interesting.
Build your freelance writing career while marketing yourself on social media by joining Iris Content’s team of social media savvy writers and editors.