One of the leading digital marketers Martin Jones is no slouch when it comes to social media strategy. Whether a blogger or writer, you need to build a platform and community hearing about your writings, finding your writings, admiring and discussing them, as well as bringing you conversions and income.
Isn’t social media the best tool to use for that?
Whether you like it or not, social networking is a required part of marketing for your writing business. Bloggers and writers “sell” content, so they need to focus on right social media strategy and tools to ensure they do their best to engage the audience.
Numbers have it:
- Social media drives 71% more sales to a website.
- Over 30% of all referral traffic comes from social media, and the number is growing.
- Social media is among top 3 content marketing tactics for 64% of marketers.
Not bad, huh?
In reality, there’s so much more to it than that.
Social media is great to build connections, but it would hardly bring you a large revenue all by itself. When a writer, you probably know the ugly truth of life: far from all social followers will buy your books or share your content; more than that, only 3-10% of your followers will see your social media posts. To represent your work to the world and build an active community online, you should know how to create a social media strategy, considering all essential elements.
So, here we go:
HOW can bloggers develop social media strategies for their writing projects to succeed?
1) Identify Your Goals
First of all, you should understand and clarify what you are going to accomplish by developing a social media strategy for your writing projects. When you become more interactive on social media, it will take time and funds to succeed and get results.
With no goals specified, your social media presence will be nothing but a waste of time and money.
So, you are a writer. Why do you need social media?
- Do you want to build your author profile?
- Do you want to increase your online visibility?
- Is your goal to network with other writers and bloggers?
- Do you want to find readers and clients?
- Do you plan to launch new projects (blogs, books, landing pages, articles, etc.)?
- Do you want to get feedback from readers?
- Do you need a platform to connect with your existing readers or clients?
Whatever your goal is, identify and specify it. It’s the first and most essential part of coming up with actionable and efficient content media strategy.
2) Identify Your Target Audience
Who is your reader? Why do they use social media? What do they want to find there? Make sure you understand who your target audience is, as it’s the foundation of every efficient social media strategy.
To identify your target audience, consider their demographics and psychographics. The best tactics to do that is creating buyer personas.
In her interview for Self Startr, Henneke Duistermaat from Enchanting Marketing underlines the significance of creating buyer personas for developing your social media strategy:
Identify your ideal reader’s age, gender, location, education level, income, and marital status. Do your best to dive into their minds and get the idea of content they want to see and read on social media.
Here is a sample you can use for creating your buyer persona:
3) Choose Right Social Channels
Increasing visibility through online channels allows bloggers and writers to meet readers, cultivate a wider audience, and increase discoverability. But it’s not so easy to figure out the ideal social media channel for that.
If you want to do it well, don’t consider all social networks for developing your strategy. First of all, you don’t need it: your target audience will hardly use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, LinkedIn, or Pinterest (you name it!) at the same time. Secondly, it’s close to impossible to manage all social networks like a boss: there are just 24 hours in a day, after all.
Depending on your target audience, pick one or two social channels and concentrate on them. Ana Hoffman from Traffic Generation Cafe recommends starting with one platform and moving on to the next one only after you’ve figured out how to put most of it:
How to choose the right social channel for promoting your writing projects?
- First of all, analyze statistics to figure out where your target audience meets.
- Then, go to your Google Analytics dashboard to figure out the platform driving the most traffic.
- Analyze your competitors to figure out where they get their traffic.
With a social channel in your pocket, its high time to develop a content strategy.
4) Create Content Strategy
Being a blogger or writer, you understand the role content plays in social media. They complement each other: social networks are pointless without content, but no one will know about your content without social networks.
So, use them together to reach an audience and convert your prospects by developing a smart content strategy for your writing project.
Three components to consider:
- type of content;
- time of posting;
- frequency of posting.
With your target audience in mind, create content that would catch their attention, answer their questions, solve their problems, and entertain them.
Type of content
To succeed, you should consider the language of the chosen social channel and provide the content speaking the same language with its audience.
With your target audience preferring Facebook or Twitter, speak the language of texts with them; the language of images works for Instagram, Tumblr, and Pinterest users; and the video language is a choice of Vimeo and YouTube.
Don’t forget about writing tricks to hook your readers and make them believe your content is what they need exactly!
- If you write social posts for Facebook, make it up to 40 words, add an image of 400 to 500 pixels wide, a link, and relevant hashtags for readers to find it.
- If you write for Instagram, choose a relevant image of high quality, add a short description, and don’t forget about 3-4 hashtags. Don’t overplay! Dozens of hashtags frustrate readers.
- If you write for Twitter, use CTA and verbs of action, mention influencers to embrace a wider audience, and add a bright image. Hashtags play their role here, too.
— Cent Muruganandam (@centmuru) May 13, 2016
NB! Social media is for sharing, not selling. Users don’t follow you for the purpose of buying, so don’t sound like an ad and don’t push your followers to action. Your content is about building trust. Build relations and your customers will find you.
1. Write as if you write for one person.
2. Teach your readers, solve a problem, entertain.
3. Hook your readers.
4. Help them see you are a real person: tell your story, listen and respond, be yourself, and be grateful.
5. Encourage them to learn more details.
6. Make them believe your writings are what they need.
Time and frequency of posting
Nathan Ellering from CoSchedule reveals the results of 16 studies for you to know when to post content and get more traffic, engagement, and followers.
To make a long story short:
- Facebook – Thursdays-Sundays, 9am, 1-3pm.
- Twitter – Wednesdays, 12pm, 3pm, 5-6pm.
- Pinterest – Saturdays-Sundays, 2pm, 9pm, and 2am.
- LinkedIn – Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7-8am, 12pm, 5-6pm.
- Google+ – Wednesdays, 9am, 11am-2pm.
- Instagram – Mondays and Thursdays, 2am, 8-9am, 5pm
As for the frequency of posting your content to social media, Buffer’s content crafter Kevan Lee shares the infographic with the most popular research and tips on the topic.
5) Use Tools
Lisa D. Jenkins from Social Media Examiner asked nine experts to recommend social media tools to help us save time and improve marketing efforts. Among them are:
- Rival IQ to track your competitors,
- Contextly to increase your posts’ visibility, and
- Zopim to chat with your visitors.
Speaking about less specific tools fitting all bloggers, you are welcome to try:
- Feedly to find awesome content to share and get ideas for your future writings. Alternatives: Buzzsumo and Scoop.it.
- Canva and Pablo to create awesome images for your social media posts. All people are visual learners, so don’t hesitate to add photos or animations to catch their eye and make them stop by your post. Alternatives: Pixabay and Befunky.
- Buffer to schedule social media posting and save time. Alternatives: Hootsuite and SocialOomph.
To sum up
It doesn’t seem impossible for writers and bloggers to develop a social media strategy that works. All they need is:
1. A goal.
2. A target audience and understanding of their needs.
3. A right social channel and relevant writing tactics to reach TA (Target Audience).
4. Implementing their writing skills to speak the same language with TA and “hook” them.
5. Tools to create, schedule, manage, and analyze their social media content.
Are you a blogger or writer? Do you use social media for your projects promotion? How do you develop a winning strategy to get results?