1. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    HELP - What to post on social media?!

    Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Tenderiser, Mar 21, 2016.

    I created an author website, an author page on Facebook, and a Twitter account.

    I've been tweeting for a couple of weeks and I have 158 followers, so that's going okay. But I was at a bit of a loss what to put on Facebook and the website until I had published books to talk about, so I've left them alone. I was planning to build them up when my book was available.

    Well, my agent assigned me a PR person and she enthusiastically advertised my Facebook and website far and wide. A day later I have 54 likes on a completely blank Facebook page - I mean COMPLETELY blank - and people from all over the world have been visiting my website, which currently consists of a bio, contact links, and a couple of short stories (in totally different genres to my novels).

    HELP - what the hell can I blog about on my website? Should I just copy my Tweets to my Facebook (minus the hashtags because I hate people who use hashtags on Facebook)?

    I don't follow any blogs by unpublished authors (why would you?!) so I don't have a clue what kind of thing people post.
     
  2. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There are actually more posts on my Facebook by my followers than by me. /fail
     
  3. hilal
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    hilal Active Member

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    what's your twitter id ?
     
  4. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I tried a book review. I discovered I suck at book reviews when I have to be positive.

    Next I'm trying cats. Everyone on the internet loves cats. Right?
     
  6. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    As someone who fucking hates social media and is dreading ever "being forced" to use it, you may as well just post about whatever. Make tweets about some kind of current event, make token tweets about stupid shit (just look up news like what movie is coming out or something and tweet about that). It's fucking dumb, but filler is better than nothing, I'd suppose. This is just my general rule of thumb, that a website/webpage/webwhatever at least looks better when there's something on it, because then you know the person who owns it actually keeps up with it and that legitimate project-related updates will probably be coming.

    I would wager that a lot of your random new followers are probably bots or some kind of sock puppet accounts, but I dunno how that goes on Twitter, so maybe they're all real.
     
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  7. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Why would you quit after one book review? Learn from the experience and move forward.

    You don't even have to do a 'review'. You can write about what you're reading now and what you like about it, why you want to read further.

    YOu can talk about your TBR stack. You can talk about something that you saw, say, while on vacation, or at the grocery store, that you set to memory as something that might be interesting for a future story, or a current work in progress. You can interview already published authors, or artists, or editors, or reviewers for your blog. You can link to articles or information you stumbled across and found interesting. Once, for example, I came across a video clip with a video camera placed on the back of a hawk in flight. It was pretty neat. I remarked how that might be similar to a character in my fantasy novel who was a wyvern scout (rode upon the backs of a wyvern mount).

    Because, in truth, you'll have possibly one book published and it may be months or more before another reaches print...and you can't talk about the current book all the time.

    Those are my thoughts. Good luck as you move forward.

    Terry
     
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  8. Boger
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    Boger Contributing Member

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    I posted chapters of a WIP and short stories... Now at least I know what to do to generate traffic, just enough to find those few people who would enjoy reading my posts, besides bots that generate views from Chinese search engine bots that spam complete gibberish in the comments.

    I saw that popular blogs were about reviews of things people like/dislike and 'seem' to become an authority on those subject matters, or just things that flow from the mind freely about anything, opinionated or not. What they like.

    Can be anything, my advise would be consistency for the sake of grooming an audience and try new things to expand the audience. You have the traffic and you won't loose them unless you're inactive.
     
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  9. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I like playing with social media but I've always had a goal before, like promoting a charity. In this case, I have nothing to sell and I just can't see why anybody would follow an unpublished author and care what she has to say about books she's read or what her cats are doing. Likewise, writing advice - why not read one of the 10,000,000 more established blogs? Or the ones by published authors?

    I don't have a goal so it's hard to have a focus. And Twitter isn't the problem, it's Facebook and especially my blog!

    I didn't want to do book reviews, but I tried it because someone suggested it. I'd push through and try to get better at them if I could see the point, but I don't know why anyone would care what books I like? Especially when it's wise to only posts about books I like, and not criticise other authors.

    Someone else suggested interviews but I'm not sure why those busy people would want to be interviewed for a website with no followers and hardly any page views.

    It's not that I want to talk about my book all the time once it's published. It's just that until it's published, I can't fathom who's interested in my blog or why, so I don't know what to talk about to keep them interested.

    I don't mean to nay-say all your suggestions, I'm just really struggling here to see the point of what I'm doing. It all seems like a lot of effort for, realistically, no pay off.

    I'll try and post a few times a week about whatever comes to mind, I guess.

    Sheesh. This authoring thing is difficult.
     
  10. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Argh I'm sorry, I'm being really "NO" because this is all making me really uncomfortable. I like to plan and have things ready, and I suddenly had this rush of people on Facebook and now I'm thinking shit, I need to feed them something.

    And my website, I didn't think anyone would see it until I'd had it checked over by a few people who know what they're doing. Now people are looking at it in its only-just-created state.

    Blurgh.
     
  11. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    I've never had to 'tread water' like this before (and like I said I dread the day that I may have to because it's fucking bullshit and this whole stupid BLURRR USE SOSAL MEDIA!! craze is fucking awful), but I'm the creator of an insanely vulgar webcomic with a moderate fan following (that is currently on hiatus while I find a new webhost for the site) so I've kind of dealt with websites before, if not on anything like an author level.

    All I could really suggest is, when it comes to the website, post updates when updates come. Your site looks fine, but if you ask me I don't think hardly anyone gives much of a fuck about author websites and shit, man. They're not expecting a webcomic to update daily or visit it to post in its forum, they go there for some general information if they ever even bother at all (and I'd wager 99% of people who read books never look up an author unless they want to see more information about other books they've written), so I wouldn't feel so stressed about having to post a bunch of stuff for people to see.

    Same with Facebook, really. I'd either just treat Facebook as a second Twitter (because that's exactly what those two garbage sites are, anyways, the same fucking thing) and just tread water and post retarded shit, or treat it more like the website and only post when there's an update.

    I remember when I was too young to realize how good it was, you had a fucking webpage and a yahoo e-mail. We didn't need Facebook and four sites that provide the same fucking feature as Facebook save for being more barebones, and we didn't need all of them. I mean an author website is good enough, WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU NEED FACEBOOK AND TWITTER FOR WHEN ALL YOU DO IS REPOST THE SAME SHIT YOU ALREADY PUT ON YOUR SITE.

    In short: Social Media is shit and I hate it, good luck.
     
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  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Who IS following you?

    I can't imagine why they're following an unpublished author, either... I mean, I "know" you and I might follow you, but a total stranger? WTF?

    Maybe you can look at their pages and figure out what they're interested in and see if there's any overlap with what you're interested in? I mean... yikes. I don't know. That's weird.
     
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  13. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think that's the only way to go for Facebook and Twitter. :D

    I don't know! I can't see their info on Facebook because they're just following my page, not my "friends". I don't know if they're other wannabe authors or whether they're romance fans or... what. This is why I'm struggling so much. If I knew everyone who came to my site had read my book, I would know what kind of thing they want to read about from me. But at this stage, who knows?
     
  14. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    Because

    1.) Sometimes random people will just follow pages, it's just what they do.

    2.) Other times they're just weird spam bots that are subbing to your page/site/whatever so that when you post updates they can automatically start spamming you if they think your page will get hits for what they're spamming for.

    3.) Lastly, sometimes people just stumble across you, like whatever they see and follow you. You guys are talking about 'unpublished authors' as if they're literally nonexistent or something. People might like your musings, they might like some of the things you blog or reblog or retweet or whatever.

    The thing that sucks so much about just treading water is that when you don't have a dedicated fanbase and you're just starting out, you literally have to draw attention to yourself by being as generic and white washed as possible. You can't risk trying to build a following by posting overly opinionated things that others might find offensive or offputting in someway, so you just kind of sit there like an idiot posting dumb shit and giving canned reactions to it like "lol smh emoji", not offending anyone but somehow still trying to be noticeable. It fucking blows.

    If I get to the point where I "need" an author website and facebook and stuff, I'll keep it minimalist.

    Edit: Oh right, as a real suggestion for your website, I'd just keep posting reviews/make a progress journal. I know that in the video game industry, the blogs/sites/etc that post lots of "Here's my journey and how I did it" get a lot more attention than the ones that don't, I'd have to imagine it's much the same for websites, too.
     
  15. PBNJDraftNumbA
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    Think of the senses. Add content appealing to as many of those senses. I do not know your content matter, but if you did something around Dictionary.___'s "word of the day," geared to multiple styles of learning, then that will increase interest.

    Example: Today's is "Smithereens."
    To appeal to the sense of humor, write satire on the stated subject.

    To appeal to the sense of excitement: Share a random fact about "smithereens." (It can even be, "In 1954, Smithereens was 48th most common girl's name." I don't care. :p )

    To appeal to the sense of connectivity, add a multiple-choice question (1 question per Monday. Call it Multi-Monday for memory's sake. Then do a Friday-Feedbacks, where you share answers, comments, or questions from fans of your page/works.)

    Since a picture is worth a bunch, add a picture to discuss, keeping with the word of the day theme. Do NOT flood, but post one or two pictures a week. Call it: "Do you see it?"
    (Show picture called "Bombs bursting as time stands"= This picture relates to the word of the day= Today's "Do you see it?" )

    Of course there are many other ways you can appeal to different ways of learning, experiencing whatever it is you want to share with your following.

    Appeal to their sense of importance by liking them back! This will assure more people check back, even if later down the road.

    That is all. Oh, these are ideas only.
    I do not claim to know what works.
    Hope you figure it out. ~#A
     
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  16. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    I dunno.
    I'm stressed about this myself for the future but I think I have an idea.
    I occasionally read author's blogs and stuff.
    And literally, most of them, are about their gardens or something they saw outside.
    It's not particularly deep, or even interesting, but it's easy to read and kinda makes them human.

    Brent Weeks mainly blogs about fanart >.>
    And his tweets are silly. He is literary tweeting about video games.

    Honestly, just pretend you have something to say about your day even if you'd never in a million years even tell it your spouse cause it's so blah.

    Maybe, just be a person?
    Most people want to connect or have some inside view of another's life so you don't have to be deep or provocative or just endlessly shill your wares. Announce when there's announcement, rage when the mailman is late, and talk about your virtual crops in Stardew Valley.
     
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  17. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks all :)

    My post about why cats are arseholes was a lot more popular than my book review. I think I've figured out my audience.
     
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  18. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. That was what I was going to suggest as well. You have access to THEIR Facebook pages to some extent, so check them out.
     
  19. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I can only see very basic info - their avatar, profile pic and occasionally their hometown and that kind of thing. I can't see their interests or their posts :(
     
  20. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    You know they're interested in whatever your agent said about you, though. How have they been getting people to your FB page? A link on the publisher's website, something in a magazine? That should tell you something.

    I don't follow people because they're published or unpublished. I follow people because they're interesting, or funny. When I find your site, I don't honestly give much of a fuck about your book, I read your posts because they entertain me. And then when one of your posts is 'hey I've got a new book out go buy my shit' I'm more interested in it, because I like the way you write.

    I mean, post updates and whatever as well. Just be interesting and funny while you do it.

    And that would mean...

    I would go for the exact opposite of this. Generic and white-washed is dull. You don't want 10,000 people who couldn't pick you out of a line up, you want 500 people who think you're awesome.

    And to do it... well, just be you. Don't try and be anyone else, because you probably suck at it, but you're better at being you than anyone else. The internet's a big place - there'll be a lot of people out there who will love the stuff you put out because they just happen to like that kind of thing, whether you're posting about your cat, your book or the top ten reasons you'd like to see George Osborne eaten alive by ants.

    I mean, some people wouldn't post about George Osborne being eaten alive by ants because it's controversial. About half the country would hate it. The other half would love it, and I'd rather have that than everyone thinking 'meh'. That feels far more like something that gets people coming back.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
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  21. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Am now fantasising about George Osborne being eaten alive by ants. I would read Nige's blog.
     
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  22. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    See? THE SYSTEM WORKS.
     
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  23. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am doing exactly the same thing, Tenderizer, and I will share my link with you when I go public later this week

    Page 1 is just a picture of me and my editor/wife noting we have been married 40 years and live in La Plata.
    Page 2 is my biography and same picture of me and Karen, and an explanation of why someone with an MS in Aero Engineering and 50 years in Navy communications command and control would even read history, much less write historical fiction. Also includes some magazine articles and technical presentations I made.
    Page 3 Is the Eagle and Dragon synopsis, and a crappy cover I did in Powerpoint for a real artist to make pretty... but it is actually not bad. This is a blog page with comments suppressed so I can have like and share buttons on it, but the public trolls can't post anything!
    Page 4 are my other WIPs, and one completed short story, also done as individual blog posts with like and share buttons.
    Page 5 are my comments on what historical fiction, and I identified 3 different kinds: historical figures as MCs (Colleen McCollough, 1st Man in Rome): historical settings with fictional MCs playing out in historical setting (Lindsey Davis, Marcus Didius Falco, and of course E&D), and alternative history what ifs (Harry Turtledove, where the South won the Civil War)
    Page 6 are reviews from my beta readers... I have about five very enthusiastic ones so far.
    Page 7 is a Contact Me page, not sure how to set this up yet. I can go to my personal e-mail or set up a separate account, not sure yet. In the future, I would like to add to that page a way for people to get on a list to purchase the book when published.

    So feel free to follow this lineup, and send me link to your Facebook when you have it other than blank, I want to see how/why to do that! It seems that a potential publisher would get a feel for what people think about the book by checking the site, and what my credentials are... that is the basic message
     
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  24. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds like you've put a lot of work into it, @Lew!
     
  25. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    About a week! I find webology non-intuitive compared to Word or Powerpoint!
     

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