All writers know by now that simply writing a story and hoping for the best doesn’t work anymore. A writer has to make sure whether their work is getting the right audience or not. And believe me, that can be a daunting task! Thankfully, by the power of technology vested in us, a writer can make full use of social media to further their creative endeavors.
How, you ask? Well, social media platforms are not only for influencers and celebrities! As a writer, there are many – I can’t really emphasize many enough here – ways you can utilize social media to your benefit. That ranges from promoting your work and connecting with fellow writers to growing your audience and boosting sales.
Though there are many social media platforms, a writer should only get the best of the best. Some of these are also the ones you must use daily (whip out that daily usage report, will you?). Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter. Other – unexpected – platforms are Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.
Popular Social Media Platforms for Writers
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, preferred by many to further their brands or services. In fact, you will find many small businesses, artists, and celebrities making the best use of Instagram tools to make themselves appealing. As a writer, even you can take full advantage of the app. But wait, first turn that account from private to business so you can track your growth efficiently!
Budding writers and established authors are seen posting their works in captions with a related picture. For example, if your piece is about the sky, you can post it with beautiful photos of the sky. Another technique writers use is designing pictures with their pieces written on them. These pictures then go directly on the feed, available to read in the post. Yet another way is showing a snippet of your work in captions. And then link the readers to your blog for the entire piece. Truly, the sky is the limit when publishing your writings on Instagram!
Writers, readers, and booklovers came up with the hashtag #Bookstagram (Book + Instagram) on Instagram – an umbrella term for book-related content. If you search this hashtag on the app, you’ll be surprised to see the plethora of book photos, discussions, and suggestions on your phone screen. But this hashtag is not limited to just book-lovers; authors could use this hashtag to promote themselves too!
Bookstagram gives you a platform to interact with your potential readers. If you take time to connect with your followers, you’ll definitely be seen as an approachable, cool writer. If your book is still a work-in-progress, then promote your book reviews and blogs. Make sure to connect with your followers, accept all kinds of feedback, and you’re good to go!
Tips to remember:
- Interact with your followers frequently –I can’t stress enough how much it benefits from interacting with your followers on Instagram. One of the best is the Stories feature, which has several tools to make your followers talk to you. You can also host giveaways, reply to DMs, and create Reels and IGTVs. Build your presence, and you’ll see how much loyalty your followers will show you!
- Make use of hashtags as much as possible – Hashtags are way too crucial for engagement on Instagram, as they ensure that your post goes to the right audience. And by that, I mean only use relevant tags; don’t go putting dog-related tags in a book or writing
- Organize your content on your account –Instagram provides many features for organizing your content. Story highlights categorize your stories, guides segregate your posts, and archive irrelevant content. It will make your account easier to navigate. What do you think people will prefer? A cluttered Instagram account or a clean, aesthetic one? I think you got your answer.
Accounts to take Inspiration from – Rupi Kaur, R.M. Drake, and Jon Krakauer.
Twitter somewhat makes sense for writers to get on board with because it primarily focuses on the text. And yet, I haven’t seen many writers utilizing this platform to the extremes. So, if you want to promote your work, please open your Twitter account now!
Most of the focus on Twitter is hashtags. In fact, those are more important on this platform than on Instagram. You can always make your own hashtag or participate in ongoing trends. Just post your content, add relevant tags, and let it free on the vast Twitter community. Fellow followers and global users will find your work with the help of those tags.
A great way to post your content is to upload snippets of your piece as a Twitter thread. Add the links at the thread’s end so people can read the entire work. This way, you not only increase the reader’s interest but also make them visit your website/blog!
Interact with your Twitter followers as much as possible. For example, celebrities add an #Ask(YourName) tag to their tweets and then reply to the questions asked. Maybe you could practice being a celebrity from early on! Another way of doing that is making yourself more relevant on Twitter, which is a big deal. So, try speaking out your personal opinions on pop culture, news, politics, and whatever you deem fit.
Tips to remember:
- Focus on the personal – Many (non-writers) use Twitter as a personal diary. Then why not you, a writer? Treat your account as a professional space and a place where you can communicate vulnerable thoughts to your followers. Your followers will know how polished yet genuine you are, and you’ll have a dedicated fanbase.
- Maybe post your writing for free? – Hear me out before you swear at me! After dwelling on Twitter for months, I discovered that many writers like to post their stories for people (few tweets on set days) to read and interact with. This would work like the episodic format– but digital. And you know what? You can earn by adding links to yourPatreon or Ko-Fi at the end of each update!
- Use Twitter Spaces – Don’t underestimate Twitter; it sure has ways to make you talk. Its latest feature, Twitter Spaces, lets you have an audio conversation on Twitter. This way, you can talk about your content and let the listeners feel how passionate you are about your work!
Accounts to take inspiration from – Jodi Picoult, Talia Hibbert, and Gary Shteyngart.
Facebook (FB) is one of the oldest social media platforms –apparently still the most relevant for writers and authors. There are many ways to promote your work on FB – by making an Author page, a personal account, or a writers’ group. Most authors this social media to make an Author page for themselves and use the unique tools that come with it.
While making a personal account will also work, the tools of the FB Page are unparalleled. In fact, many writers also use their Facebook page as their website, especially if they don’t have a blog. You can post videos, images, and written pieces, conduct polls, go live and make an unmoving, essentials-only sidebar. There are no ‘friend requests’ here; instead, you get followers who can like, comment and share.
Though an Author’s page can receive messages, Facebook groups offer better communication. You can make a group to facilitate community spirit with your followers. But that means you’ll have to look into whatever is posted – which might be a bit taxing. In the end, it all depends on you!
Tips to Remember:
- Post longer content – Unlike Twitter, you don’t have to limit your words here. To be honest, reading one-liners on Facebook actually seems a little… unusual to me! Uploading precise, readable, yet long (300-350 words) posts will work well for your reach. Let these posts breathe by talking about your life or hobbies – anything you want.
- Create videos – Facebook’s video tab is a great space to explore (and connect with people). If you like making videos of you reciting your poem, for instance, then don’t hide them in your gallery. Post them on Facebook! A piece of advice: Vertical videos bring more engagement than horizontal ones.
- Join Readers/Writers Groups – Joining book-related or authors-only groups will work wonders for your engagement. Not only can you promote your work but also connect with like-minded people. But make sure to not spam the groups about you; interact with others equally, if not more. Once you do this, you’ll have your own virtual support system!
Accounts to take inspiration from – Paulo Coelho, Jodi Picoult, and Neil Gaiman.
Other Social Media platforms writers can hop on
Pinterest: Pinterest is not just for aesthetic arts and crafts, you know? This one allows users to post content without the pressure of interaction. Here, you make pins (i.e., a post) and let the app do its magic. The more – and relevant – pins you post, the better. You can also add external links to your pins. Convert your account to a business one (it’s free), make boards of your pins, and check your inbox regularly! This is truly a haven for highly introverted writers!
YouTube: YouTube isn’t quite ideal for writers – but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it. Reciting poems or your stories, making writing day vlogs, and book reviews are some of the ways to post content on YouTube. To appeal to your readers’ side, you can start your own ‘BookTuber’ (Same as Bookstagram, by the way).
TikTok: TikTok is the same as YouTube, but you’ll definitely like this better than the latter. These short-form videos are a huge plus because you don’t have the pressure to post something long and serious here. Make any and all kinds of short videos – your thoughts, writings, recitations, even grammar lessons; it will surely make an impression on whoever it’ll come across!
You might often think you should make your presence known on every platform. But, believe me, that’ll be ineffective. Instead, focus your energy on the social media platform of your choice and divide the rest of your attention to the remaining spaces. This way, not only do you get a dedicated audience but also an overall online presence.
To decide your ideal platform, though, understand the nuances of every space first; see what you’re comfortable in. For instance, some people will love Instagram, while the rest might find Facebook easy to use. It all really boils down to your preferences.
Once you’ve decided, it is time to take the (virtual) literary world by storm!