Social Media Images Help Find Readers

Social media, for most authors, is the primary means of advertising, marketing, and connecting with readers. A majority of authors start wit the basic needs–a banner image on Facebook and/or a website and use of their book covers.

But there are so many more options for what you can do with images in social media. For example, do you create custom, related images for your blog posts or most important social media posts? All current research shows that posts on social media which include graphics get a higher engagement than those which don’t.

Here are just a few ideas of different images you might want to try using on social media:

Banners
Banners are the long/skinny images that go across the top of your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, website, or other platforms. Sometimes a website has multiple banners, one across the top and one or more on the home page or at the top of each main page. Typically, you want these images to include your logo and/or website. They can also be used to announce/advertise the most important upcoming dates for you as an author (usually new releases).

Advertisements
These image can include more detailed graphics for paid online or print magazine ads. They can also be ads on other websites or in newsletters. This means they come in a wide range of sizes and needs.

Announcements
Use images–usually on Facebook or Twitter–to announce anything from new releases to sales to book signings and so forth. Images will always engage more than just text for these announcements.

Memes
Memes are usually just for fun–funny comments on being an author, what you feel like without coffee in the morning, etc. They can also help catch the attention of new readers for your books. Make a meme which has an image of your heroine and a quote from the book, or the cover with the tagline.

Blog Posts
Always try to have an image that helps grab attention when you post on your blog. Usually, an image which includes the catchy title of the blog post is a great place to started. Other images which illustrate whatever the topic is are also good.

There are a ton of other ways to use imagery when posting on social media. Hopefully these gave you a few new things to think about.

By the way, there is a fantastic page at Make a Website Hub which shows the recommended image dimensions (as of 2016) for various social media needs.

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.

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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!

DOs & DON’Ts for a Street Team

DOs&DON'TsA street team is a group of fans who come together to support a you as an author or in support of a specific book or series of books you’ve written. They’re all about creating buzz for your books and sharing that passion for your stories with you.

When establishing an official street team–however that looks for you–it is always a good idea to establish a basic set of DOs and DON’Ts for the team members. Below we’ve collected a general set for you to consider and to help get you started.

 

DOs

Do…feel free to post on the street team board any time. Please keep posts clean and PG.

Do…stay active and engaged. I love interacting with my Street Team!

Do…help me promote in any way you feel comfortable with (creating your own posts, sharing my posts, leaving reviews, telling your friends, tweeting to the world, etc.).

Do…share your thoughts on my books with the team and me. We all have this in common, and so we can enjoy discussing together.

Do…invite your friends to events like Facebook parties.

Do…know how much I appreciate you! I put my heart and soul into my books, and anyone who loves them and is happy to join me in that passion is a friend indeed!

Do…have fun!

 

DON’Ts

Don’t…use this forum to sell or promote yourself, other authors, or other items.

Don’t…join only for the freebies. Part of the fun of this group is a shared passion!

Don’t…bash other authors or leave dishonest reviews about their work in an attempt to pump up my brand. We love other authors!

Don’t…share anything I’ve specified as either exclusive content OR as a sneak peek or preview. I’ll let you know when things are ready to go live to the public!

Don’t…share anything that might hurt my brand. Think about how people might react to a given post and make sure it’s appropriate.

Don’t…do anything that makes you uncomfortable. The point of a street team is a shared passion and getting the word out, but not when you don’t have fun!

Memes as Marketing Tools

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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. . .

Service Spotlight: Banners & Memes

facebook-crimsondahlia-fwSocial media banners (the image across the top of your Facebook, Google, Twitter pages, or banners at the top of webpages on your site), and memes (smaller graphics used on posts) are a fantastic way to advertise your latest projects, releases, or events.

You will be provided a form to fill out providing information on your banner/meme needs. Based on your answers, we will suggest which package below is best suited to your needs.

CrimsonDahlia-NewRelease.fw.pngOnce a package is agreed upon, your artist will provide 2 different banner options to select from. They will then do 3 versions of the option you selected based on feedback you provide.

Once you have selected your final banner or meme, you will be provided several graphics as a JPGs to use on all social media (one for each type of social media you use – up to 4 types of social media).

PRICING

  • Basic Banner/Meme – text-only, basic font, graphic of your book cover or author logo ($5/banner or meme)
  • Pro Banner/Meme – basic graphics using your book cover, premium font ($10/banner or meme)
  • Premium Banner/Meme – custom graphics and premium font ($15/banner or meme)

TRY OUT THE SERVICE: You may “try out” this service by having us do a Basic Banner for FREE.  (Free 1 time only.)

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*To request other services, in addition to graphics services, click the “Request Services” link in the menu.

Your final design is considered copyrighted. You may not reuse the images or elements for other purposes. Other than proprietary images, such as covers or logos, we may use images or elements from your design on other designs at Authors On a Dime.

Any designs/images NOT selected from the initial designs provided are subject to being sold/used for other projects.

What You Can Try for FREE with AOAD

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At Authors On A Dime (AOAD), we understand how hard it can be to spend $ without knowing for sure the quality of what you would get in return. Authors struggle constantly with where to invest. Let us help you out with a list of services you can sample for free.

Come on over and try out any of the following:

EDITING SERVICES

editing-graphic.fwBeta Reading – Send us the 1st chapter or first 20 pages (whichever is shorter) for a FREE sample of the comments you’d get back with a beta read from AOAD. (Free 1 time only.) More info…

Proofreading – Provide the first 3 pages, for a FREE one-time sample proofread of your material. (Free 1 time only.) More info…

PUBLISHING SERVICES

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eBook Formatting – Try out this service by having us format 1 chapter for FREE. This sample formatting is at the Basic Package level which includes chapter breaks, headers, spacing and indentation, and font.  (Free 1 time only.) More info…

Print-on-Demand Formatting – Try out this service by having us format 1 chapter for FREE. This sample formatting is at the Basic Package level which includes mirrored margins, page titles, page numbers, chapter breaks, headers, spacing and indentation, and font.  (Free 1 time only.) More info…

Blurb Creation – Try out this service by doing a FREE brainstorming session with us. 30-min Skype or up to 5 email exchanges on ideas, wording, flow, etc. (Free 1 time only.) More info…

Synopsis Writing – You have written your synopsis but would like a second set of eyes to give you feedback on anything from how it flows, to whether you cover the important bits, to editing advice. You can try out this service for FREE the first time. (Free 1 time only.) More info…

GRAPHICS SERVICES

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Book Cover Design – For your first book cover, we will do a 30-minute brainstorming session with you–looking at your book, ideas, and searching for images that might work–for FREE. No obligation to hire us for the book cover. (Free 1 time only.) More info…

Banner Design – Need a banner for Facebook, your website, twitter, or other social media? We will let you try out this service by providing a free Basic-level banner on your first visit. Basic = text-only, basic font, graphic of your book cover or author logo. (Free 1 time only.) More info…

SOCIAL MEDIA SERVICES

Social media concept

Social Media Calendar – 1st month FREE. We can work with you on what you want/need scheduled and when. We will then create the social media calendar for 1-month at a time. In addition, we can keep track of your calendar for you, emailing you weekly reminders of upcoming events and post needs. (Free 1 time only.) More info…

Blog Topic Suggestions – We have a generic list already started for you in this blog post. Want more tailored suggestions? We’ll provide 3-5 post topic suggestions to help you get rolling. Any help needed after the initial list of suggestions will move you into Brainstorming for a fee. More info…

Newsletter Article Suggestions – Want to write your own articles but don’t know where to get started? We’ll provide 3-5 post topic suggestions to help you get rolling.  Any help needed after the initial list of suggestions will move you into Brainstorming for a fee. More info…

Facebook Post Suggestions – Want to write your own posts but don’t know where to get started? We’ll provide 5-10 post topic suggestions to help you get rolling.  This service is FREE! (Free 1 time only.) More info…

Twitter Post Suggestions – Want to write your own posts but don’t know where to get started? We’ll provide 5-10 post topic suggestions to help you get rolling.  This service is FREE! (Free 1 time only.) More info…

Discuss Street Team Options FREE 1/2 hour discussion or 5 email exchanges to point you to examples of types of street teams out there and figure out what would work best for you and your readers. (Free 1 time only.) More info…

Blog Topics Ideas List

great idea concept

Most marketing gurus will tell you as an author you need a blog. However, the prospect of keeping up with a blog can be intimidating, time-consuming, or looked upon as an unwanted chore.

We are not marketing gurus, but as authors, we can tell you that there are many benefits to keeping a blog. Blogs help you connect with readers and other authors. Blogs can help you document your progress and experiences. Blogs can be a way to solidify your thoughts. And blogs can help you announce important moments in your author life, like releases!

For those who still aren’t sure, a great way to make blogging easier on yourself is to cultivate a Blog Ideas List.

This is a list of various topics and ideas that you can review any time you have to write a blog post. Pay attention to other bloggers. When posts capture your attention, write that down as a topic idea. Just make sure to keep your list somewhere handy (a note taking software like OneNote or Evernote is fantastic).

To get you started here are some blog post ideas:

  • Your experiences as an author
    • Editing
    • Querying
    • Writing etc. (grammar, classes, new methods)
    • Marketing
    • Trying something new
    • Frustrations
  • Updates on your progress
    • Keep lists on research and interesting stuff while writing a new book to post when release comes around
    • Writing and editing progress on books
    • Release date announcements
    • Cover reveals
  • Your books
    • Inspiration
    • Character interviews
    • Character discover
    • How you came up with a character or plot idea
    • Book excerpts
    • Book trailer releases
    • Cover reveals
    • Release announcements
    • What are previously published characters up to now?
  • Author Spotlights
    • Hosting other authors
    • Sharing a new author you’ve discovered and like
  • Fun stuff for readers
    • Bigger Giveaway Announcements/Details
    • Contests
    • Votes
  • Other
    • Top “#” Lists (hottest characters, super powers, best murder weapons, etc.)
    • Other areas of your life (vacations, sports, diets, etc.)
    • Unique topics you consider yourself an expert on
    • Genre commentary or comparisons
    • Exploring things like tropes, archetypes, etc.

SocialMedia-Tips.fwWhat other topics can you think of or do you enjoy reading? Keep the list going and add your ideas in the comments!