Welcome to Part 4 of Social Media for Writers. In this post, I provide 40 ideas for writers to post on social media.
For your reference, here are the other parts in this series:
- Part 1: Why Writers Should be on Social Media Networks
- Part 2: The Best Social Media Networks for Writers
- Part 3: What Writers Should Do on Social Media
- Part 4: 40 Ideas for Writers to Post on Social Media
When it comes to ideas of what to post on social media, there are so many possibilities for writers. In deciding what you will post, try to:
- Keep on topic: ensure that the majority of your posts are relevant for the audience you are trying to build. Focus on providing useful information and entertaining content that’s somehow related to the subject matter of your book.
- Remember it is a conversation: social media is not all about shouting out your message. It’s about engaging, asking questions and joining the conversation.
- Remember the 80/20 rule for social media: make sure that at least 80% of your posts are informational and a maximum of 20% are promotional. Some experts even advise no more than 10% of your posts should be promotional. If the majority of your posts are interesting, helpful or entertaining, then your followers won’t mind the odd promotional message in-between.
- Include hashtags so that people can discover your tweets when they search on topics they are interested.
- Think long term: as I pointed out in the reasons why writers should be active on social media, this is part of your long-term plan to build your audience. It is not about posting a message to buy your book in the hope of receiving instant book sales.
40 Ideas for Writers to Post on Social Media
- Breaking news (e.g. major writing prize awarded, news from a writer’s festival, death of a favorite author).
- Links to good blog posts you have enjoyed or learned from (at Facebook and Google Plus take the time to add a brief explanation of why you liked it).
- Post about a book you are reading.
- Answer a reader’s question.
- Ask for book recommendations.
- Recommend another author.
- Links to the blog posts on your author blog.
- Quotations about writing.
- Invite people to sign up for your newsletter.
- Invite readers to follow you at Goodreads.
Post About Your Own Books:
- Post about what you’re currently working on
- Post about a character’s motivations, goals, and other traits
- Post excerpts from book testimonials and reviews
- Post local news or something interesting about your book’s setting or location
- Post a quote or excerpt from your book
- Announce Your Book Launch (while you shouldn’t tweet or post “Buy my Book” all of the time it is ok to have the occasional tweet, especially at times like your book launch)
- Post your book trailer video
- Inform readers when one of your books is free or at a promotional price (see previous comment and keep these posts to a small percentage of your overall posts)
Ask Your Readers Questions Like These:
- Who is your favorite villain of all time?
- How should the book (your’s or another) have ended?
- What would you like to see in my next book?
- What would you like to read on my blog?
- Who’d like to help me name my next hero (or villain)?
- Who can suggest the best plot twist?
Posts for Freelance Writers & Professional Writing Consultants
The following ideas for posts for freelance writers have a dual purpose. In addition to the direct purpose of the post they are also a subtle way to remind people that you are a professional freelance writer, and this might result in some gigs.
- Post to your latest published article.
- Post your need for sources. “Looking for a company that [situation] to interview for an upcoming article”.
- Ask people what are their biggest issues, questions, loves, hates with a particular product or service. This may form the basis of an article, and you’ll already have an engaged audience on the topic.
For social networks that allow posts containing photos and videos:
- Post your book covers.
- When designing your next book cover, post several possible covers and ask readers which one they prefer.
- Post a video of you answering a reader’s question.
- Post a video of you being interviewed.
- Post photos from your book’s setting or location.
- Post images with motivational quotations.
- Post images with quotations about writing.
- Post photos of your own, or other author’s, book events (launches, signings).
- Ask readers to post a photo of themselves with your book, or in a shot that reflects a theme from your book. Offer a prize for the best photo.
- Ask readers to post a photo of themselves dressed up as one of the main characters in your book. Offer a prize for the best photo.
Plus You Should Engage By Doing These:
- Like and +1 good posts by others.
- Re-broadcast good posts by others.
- Thank people for their comments.
- Thank people for resharing your posts.
- On Twitter, consider sending a welcome tweet to your new followers (more practical when you are in the early stages, not so practical when you have hundreds of new followers every day).
There are even more ideas for you if you download a free copy of my book “Social Media for Writers” today. You’ll get 59 ideas for writers to post on social media, PLUS a list of 33 quotations on writing and the writing life. The quotes are all under 140 characters so they’re a tweetable length. Get your copy here.