If you’re a writer or illustrator, you have probably heard that you need to use social media to promote yourself and your books. But if you’re anything like me, you are balancing your creative work with promotion, with raising a family, with reading, with day jobs and author talks and maybe some exercise or some housework or… My point is, you may well feel that social media is just one thing too many. And it can, if you let it, sap a lot of your time. There is no limit to how much time you could spend on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram (have I missed some? I’m sure I have!)
But we’re living in a digital world, and the fact is, the things you do on social media can and will attract readers and purchasers, as well as getting your name known for potential speaking gigs.
The good news is, that once you have set up accounts on your chosen social media platforms, there are lots of things you can do in a minute or less that keep your feed ticking over.
- Take a photo. Your desk, your bookshelf, a cloud or a bird you saw on your morning walk, your cat, your dog, your book cover, you. Add a sentence or two and you have a perfect post for twitter, Instagram or facebook.
- Share a link. Anything you find interesting online, someone else will find interesting too. Again, add a line or two explaining what the link is for, and pop it on twitter or facebook. If you struggle to find interesting stuff, set up a Google alert, or check out Feedly.
- Share someone else’s content. Retweet a clever tweet, share a facebook post, repin a pin. Again, adding a sentence or two of your own shows why it’s significant to you.
- Interact by liking or commenting on someone else’s status. Start a conversation on twitter, facebook or Instagram.
- Join in a challenge or meme. There are lots of such challenges on both Twitter and Fecbook that challenge you to post something every day for a set period (such as the #postitnotepoetry challenge on Twitter in February). Joining up gives you one topic to post about every day for that time. Some ask for a photo each day, others a poem or piece of writing.
You’ll notice that most of these are not about directly promoting yourself. Rather, you are building relationships, with the two fold benefit that when you do promote it becomes more meaningful and effective, and at the same time you are having fun and making new friends. Perhaps that’s the topic for another blog post.
A minute is not a lot of time, and these five things can each be done in less than a minute. Social media doesn’t have to be an all-day every day proposition. In less than the time it’s taken you to read this post, you can tick promotion off your to-do list each day.