Authors want readers. Readers want to connect authors. FB, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, and other social media platforms can help.

Trouble is using social media can also take time away from writing.

But it doesn’t have to be. By spending a little time on social media consistently, we can make those important connections.

Try these tips to help.

Allocate your time:

  • Spend fifteen minutes twice a day posting and responding to posts to put your name or book on reader’s mind.
  • Focus on the primary social media platform where you find your readers.
  • Use a scheduling program like Hootsuite when you can’t physically be on line.

CAVEAT here: Scheduling can sometimes backfire. In our crazy world today, a post, tweet, or blog might appear inappropriate on a scheduled day if something like Las Vegas or a weather event happens. Be sure to monitor what you schedule.

Be ready – collect ideas for posts/blogs:

  • Keep a running list of quotes that inspire you.
  • Bookmark and save funny videos to share later.
  • Make a list of open-ended questions you can ask.

Connect with these posting ideas:

  • Ask open ended questions
  • Request suggestions on something like what to fix for dinner, fashion, or hairstyle
  • Invite opinions on a movie you’ve seen or book you’ve read
  • Share things in posts that give readers a picture of who you are

        -a hobby or passion you have

         -pet pictures or anecdotes

         -favorite recipes

         -a link to an Amazon review you’ve written for another author

         -what you’re reading or what’s on your TBR pile

         -participate in day-of-week-hashtags like TBT (Throwback Thursday)

         -seasonal pictures or pictures of places you’ve traveled

         -vacation photos when you return   Another CAVEAT here: I’d never invite burglars by announcing departure dates

It is important to share, but it’s equally important to avoid some topics such as

         Negative or derogatory posts. It’s always better to be nice and positive

Political rants (unless you are a political writer or part of an activist group building a following)

Religious attacks

Eeyore-type poor-pitiful-me comments

I’ve only skimmed the tip of the iceberg on using social media. There are a gazillion other ideas. I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.