Organizing Social Media Ideas

AuthorToolKit-SocialMediaLists.pngTechnology has made the world of the author into something very different from what it once was. Not only do we have the ability to self-publish and reach a mass audiences through ebooks, but marketing methods have also changed with the advent of social media. And they continue to change and evolve at a rapid pace with new tools and services available practically daily.

We highly recommend starting to keep lists of social media ideas, tools, services, and articles.

The level at which you track your social media ideas is entirely personal preference. Whether you use social media a little, or a lot, OneNote can help you get organized and stay on top of what can easily become overwhelming.Getting organized for your social media has several benefits, including:

 

  • making social media less overwhelming
  • ensuring consistent use of your social media outlets
  • ensuing varied types of posts and higher level of interest from followers
  • spreading social media out evenly each month
  • pre-planning for important events (releases, cover reveals, etc.
  • tracking ideas for later use

Use of OneNote to help me organize my social media is very basic (and therefore easy to use and easy to keep up with). This is as easy as keeping a bulleted list.

Pay attention to what you see other authors do (or anyone using social media for marketing), or articles you come across, workshops you take, etc. and add to your list anything you personally liked or found effective or interesting.

For social media tracking, take the following steps:

  1. Create a Notebook titled “Social Media”
  2. Create a tab in that Notebook titled “Ideas”
  3. Add pages titled “XXX Ideas List” for each form of social media
    • Facebook Ideas List
    • Blog Ideas List
    • Twitter Ideas List
    • Website Ideas List
    • Instagram Ideas List
    • Etc.
  4. On each page create a bulleted list.
  5. Start entering ideas (pull from articles about great ways to use those tools and ideas you pick up from other authors and industry folks)
  6. Click anywhere on the page
  7. Click the “bulleted list” icon in the top
  8. Start typing
  9. Hit the enter key to add another bullet for another idea
  10. Hit enter twice to stop the list

Don’t forget to copy and paste links to any great website examples or blog posts you find on that topic.

SM-IdeaListEx

Here’s an example of a Blog Topic Idea Lists!

In your Social Media Notebook in OneNote you can also schedule social media posts/ideas a month at a time and keep To Do lists for specific activities (like price drops or book releases). But we’ll have to get to those another time!

Memes as Marketing Tools

self-publishing

Memes are a fun way to engage with readers and/or other writers on a casual level while still effectively branding yourself.

What is a Meme?

First, the newest definition is that a meme is a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

The majority of modern memes are captioned photos that are intended to be funny, often as a way to publicly ridicule human behavior or commonly shared life situations. Other memes can be videos and verbal expressions. Some memes have heavier and more serious content.

 

Why Are Memes Effective?

Have you enjoyed a quote that spoke to you? Laughed at a picture with a funny caption? Felt your heart warm at a sweet image that reminded you of something fond in your own life? Then a meme has been effective for you.

Memes are effective because they are:

  1. Easy to Create – Usually a single image with a quick quote.
  2. Easy to Consume – Again, single image with a quick quote.
  3. Sharable – Most memes are shared via social media, which makes them easy to  like, share, repost, retweet, etc.
  4. Familiar/Relatable – Typically memes are images, quotes, or situations that are familiar to most people.
  5. Funny – Most memes lean toward humor, though they can also be heartwarming or serious.
  6. Attention Getting – Because of the above reasons, memes easily grab the attention of your followers.
  7. Branding – Memes for marketing purposes can help you brand yourself.

 

Using Memes as Marketing Tools

Memes as a tool of marketing can either be very specific and similar (look at big brands like Geico or Progressive), or they can be general but still point to a theme (like being an author). When you use social media as your main means of marketing, then memes become an excellent tool to connect with people. Each time you post a meme, then, ask yourself the following questions

Why Are You Posting a Meme?

Are you short of other things to post that day? Memes are great fillers. Or are you using a meme to help you make a point or an announcement? Why you’re posting will affect the type of meme you’ll use.

Who is Your Target Audience?

Are you aiming at readers? Other writers? Readers of a certain age? Readers of a certain genre?  Your audience will affect the type of meme you use.

What are Your Goals for the Meme?

Is your goal to sell something? To connect with readers? To share your personal life? Your goal for a given meme will affect the type of meme you use.

How Can You Make It About You/Your Books?

This is all about marketing in the end, which means the mean should point back to you somehow. As authors, there are many ways to do this. General memes about your writing life. Memes specific to your genre. Memes specific to your books. Memes about you as a person. Making the memes about you will affect the type of meme you use.

 

Popular Ideas

Just for fun, think through different ideas that are currently popular in the meme world. Take some time to search for memes. Make note of the ones you connect with or enjoy. A few examples include:

  • Animals saying human things.
  • Babies saying or doing adult things.
  • Sayings from popular television shows or movies.
  • Popular images of characters from television shows or movies.
  • Popular or classic quotes.
  • Puns or joke punch lines.
  • That moment when. . .

9 Tools for Creating Social Media Images

Wooden toolbox on the tableEvery marketing professional out there will tell you that when it comes to marketing, people are drawn to images. This is true on TV, on billboards, in magazines, and…on social media. Authors, this means you need to get comfortable creating images to use in your social media on a regular basis. Here are 9 tools to help you do that!

Get Images

Part of the trouble with social media images is having to pay for the rights and do the appropriate attribution. Check out these sites for beautiful, free images.

Pexels 

Free stock images for both personal and commercial use without attribution.

https://www.pexels.com

Unsplash

Free stock images for both personal and commercial use without attribution.

https://unsplash.com/

 

Manipulate Images

If you’re not a Photoshop expert and don’t want to pay the $ for the tools, try these easy-to-use tools to help you put together your social media images.

Canva

You can use the free features or pay for custom image usage. Either way, this is an easy to use tool which produces graphics the right size and type for any social media platform.

https://www.canva.com/

Pic Monkey

For a small monthly fee, you have access to a very easy to use tool which allows you to take your pictures to the next level.

https://www.picmonkey.com

 

 

 

Professional Images

If you’re already a whiz with Photoshop or some other graphics tool, here are some tools to step up your game.

Dafont

Download ton of fantastic fonts. Even try out your words in the font first. Just remember to look for licensing rules for each individual font.

http://www.dafont.com/

Adobe Color CC

A free color picker which helps you find the right combination of colors.

https://color.adobe.com/

2017 Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet

Recommended sizes for any and all social media options. Each works best with different sized images.

https://makeawebsitehub.com/social-media-image-sizes-cheat-sheet/

 

Other

If you want to try making other types of more complicated visuals for your social media, try these:

Pictochart

To create infographics, either from scratch or with their templates

https://piktochart.com/

Recite

Create images for quotes by typing in your quote, picking the layout, and that’s it.

http://www.recitethis.com/

 

 

Authors: How to Create a Media Kit

authortoolbox-mediakitMedia kits. Authors, you need one for each book you release, and sometimes for a full series when you’ve released all the books in that series. Many authors have no idea what these are or how to use them. The good news is media kits are very easy to put together, and they can save you a lot of time when it comes to marketing your books.

What is a media kit?

A media kit is a basic document containing information about your latest book being released.

Why do I need a media kit?

Media kits are primarily used as a package of information for reviewers, bloggers, journalists, and other marketing folks to help them write about and market your book.

For indie authors, media kits are particularly helpful when setting up blog tours and requesting reviews. You will be asked for the same information over and over again. The media kit provides that information, saving you time and energy rather than reinventing the wheel every time.

How do I make a media kit?

  1. Open a Word document and save it as TitleOfBook_MediaKit.docx
  2. At the top of the document, type in the
    • Title of the Book
    • Subtitle (if any)
    • Series Name & # (if any)
    • by Your Pen Name
  3. Provide the following book information:
    • Book Blurb
    • Book Cover (insert the image)
    • Buy Links (to anywhere the book is sold)
    • Tagline (a one line phrase which captures your book)
  4. Provide the technical info about the book, including:
    • Publisher:
      Author:
      Cover Artist:
      Page Count:
      Word Count:
      ISBN (Digital):
      ISBN (Print):
      Release Date:
  5. Include a “praise” section which are positive reviews (with quotes) either about the book or about the series. Make sure to give credit to the reviewer or review website and link to the actual review.
  6. Include an “Additional Media” section with links to:
    • Book Page on your website
    • Book or Series Pinterest Board
    • Book Trailer on YouTube
    • Any other fun related links (did you make a quiz? did you do an FAQ about the series? did you do any character interviews?)
  7. Include 3 different excerpts in the following lengths:
    • Under 200 words
    • 500-600 words
    • 700-1000 words
  8. Wrap it up with information about the author including
    • Author Bio
    • Social Media Links
    • Author Picture (insert the image)
  9. Edit for typos and format to make it look professional, but simple.
  10. Save the document as a PDF
  11. When sending, attach the book cover and author picture images separately, so they have a hi-res version and not just what’s embedded in your media kit.

 

To help get you started, we’ve included a FREE MEDIA KIT TEMPLATE as a Word document to this. It is very basic. Feel free to add your own formatting and flare as desired. Best of luck getting the word out about your latest release!!!