Please welcome DiAnn Mills to Writer Unboxed today!
DiAnn’s titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Firewall, the first book in her Houston: FBI series, was listed by Library Journal as one of the best Christian Fiction books of 2014.
She is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is co-director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference and The Mountainside Marketing Conference with social media specialist Edie Melson.
DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. She loves to connect with readers on Facebook, Twitter, or any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.
Today’s writer is busier than ever, and social media can be demanding. Writers have established goals, developed a brand, and know their readers. The best way to stay on top of our career is to incorporate organizational skills into social media.
I continue to explore methods to use social media effectively and efficiently. I believe social media can be handled in thirty minutes, leaving us free to do what we do best for the rest of the day—write.
Here are 7 ways I’ve learned to categorize social media into a manageable—and enjoyable—process.
Use a social media calendar.
When are guest blogs and posts due? Plan ahead for holidays and vacations—any time you will be away from your desk. A calendar allows the writer to send reminder notifications to herself to prepare projects in advance of the due date.
Enlist a social media scheduler such as Hootsuite or Buffer.
These tools aid the writer by allowing the user to manage multiple platforms and schedule content at specific times.
Know where to look for content.
Subscribe to blogs and follow others who are valuable to your writing career. The writer’s go-to sites for education, entertainment, and personal fulfillment often reflect readers’ preferences.
What are your readers’ concerns? Not every post should be about writing or publishing. Dig deep and occasionally step out from behind your desk to address other topics. The reader is a whole person, not just a reader or writer.
Establish a social media file.
I find new social media content ideas wherever I go. By filling a social media file with topics, photos, and snippets of information, a writer never runs out of ideas. This can be your first stop when looking for new and original ideas to build an online library.
Many of us use social media marketing tools to reach others with powerful messages. A professional writer constantly evaluates what she’s using to ensure they enhance her career.
We have four things to consider before investing time and money into a marketing and promotion tool:
- Have our tools grown our followers and readers?
- Have our tools helped us to reach our goals?
- Have our tools allowed us to maintain an established budget?
- Have we chosen a method to schedule our social media efforts?
Listed below in alphabetical order are my favorite social media aids. These just might help you reach your goals.
- Adobe Spark
- Buffer or Hootsuite
- HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator
- Mail Chimp
- Manage Flitter
- Online Calendar
- Review Grabber
- Survey Monkey
- Text to Voice software
- Word Counter
- Word Swag
Create a spreadsheet that fits your needs and method of working.
Spreadsheets keep social media in order and arranged according to your specific needs.
Various platforms indicate how posts are measuring up with a variety of analytics. Study the stats and make adjustments.
Social media is a proven vehicle for writers to connect with readers. We value how it increases our readership, but we are first writers. Organization guards our time and keeps us focused on our fiction and nonfiction projects.
Do you have tips to help writers achieve social media success in 30 minutes a day?