The secret to creating your weekly social media posts in one hour
What is the most common complaint of busy people today? Can you guess? It’s TIME (and the lack thereof!) So, as a busy author (and certainly for those who already need to find time to write alongside their day jobs) time is of the essence when it comes to marketing yourself and said books.
So, what’s the secret that successful authors know and implement into their daily marketing strategies? Come closer; i’ll tell you… it’s OR-GA-NI-SA-TI-ON. Forewarned is forearmed as they say and creating engaging content for your readers is no exception. As writers, you can no doubt spot a bad piece of writing a mile off and as avid readers, your audience can too! So, stop for a moment, slow down, and spend a little time today, putting a weekly social media schedule in place to create great content using less than one hour of your precious time!
Social media is a key component to your book marketing but it needn’t take over your life or become a strain. I’d like to share with you an easy five-step process,that you can implement today, that will allow you to schedule your social media posts ahead of time leaving you more time to dedicate to the thing you love most; writing!
Step one: Create a theme
Nothing is more effective than consistency when it comes to saving time! Consistency will also make your writing stand out of the crowded marketplace. One way to incorporate consistency into your book marketing is to come up with a simple weekly theme of what to share with your audience.
Our personal theme includes blog posts, marketing tips and author quotes. Each week we promote a NEW blog post, we recycle and older blog post, we share a motivational author quote and we give two marketing tips. This process eradicates the ‘oh my gosh it’s Monday and I have no idea what i’m going to post‘ feeling. We’ve all been there and it makes marketing a much bigger task than it needs to be.
End your week with a theme for the following one so that you have no nasty surprises on Monday morning. You may wish to jot it down in your journal, set-up a data-collecting spreadsheet or make a note of it on your favourite file sharing app such as Evernote.
Step two: Create or collect your content
If you have a blog; great! If not, seriously consider starting one. Dedicate a little time each week writing NEW content to keep your website current and more discoverable by search engines such as Google.
Hubspot ran studies that showed that businesses who run blogs have 55% more website visitors than those that don’t. Website visitors are important because they increase overall engagement and sales.
In addition to writing NEW posts, don’t forget to circulate OLDER posts too. With social media algorithms, our content is no longer posted in chronological order, meaning that chances are, only a small percentage of your audience ever saw your blog posts in the first place. Also, our audiences are forever changing and growing and so posts you wrote last year or even last month may not have been seen by your newer audience and even if they have, we all like to go over old information just in case it didn’t sink in at the time.
Keep older content fresh by checking and updating links within that post and changing the blog image, title and SEO keywords to suit your updated message. For example, a post called “How I find my summer reads” with SEO keywords such as #summerreads and #summerreading could be updated to: “5 Sizzlin’ Summer Reads for 2019” with SEO keywords such as #2019summerreads and #2019readinglist. now you have a whole new blog post for minimum time and effort.
When planning your weekly content, you now know that you need to write one NEW blog post and pick out one or two older posts that you haven’t shared in recent weeks. Now that seems less scary doesn’t it?
Pull out quotes and key information from your blog posts to share as tips on your social media posts.
Why not share relevant book news or news that relates to your book’s themes and therefore your book’s audience?
Next up, do you want to share an inspirational quote or perhaps a quote from your own writing? Note some of these down for referral at a later date. I keep these stored on my iPhone notes with a link to their source and then I delete them once i’ve used them in my marketing strategy.
Step three: Collate your images
I like to search for all my blog and social media images in one go. This allows me to imagine how my social media pages will look and it makes it easier to stick to a coloured theme for image-rich platforms such as Instagram.
I like to use several apps and sites to create our images such as Photoshop and Snapseed but my favourite by far is Over (you can read more about this in our blog post ‘How to create Instagram Stories Highlight’s Covers’.) Over lets you easily create cover images, pretty quotes, blog images and much more. Also, with one click you can change a square Instagram image into a Pinterest image giving you more bang for your buck. There is a FREE option available so you can try before you buy as well as a FREE 14 day trial. I highly recommend the monthly subscription if you are looking to create an impact on all of your platforms as well as saving you precious time. It is money well spent.
Step four: Caption away
It is said, that in today’s busy world, we have just 7 seconds in which to captivate our audience before they decide to carry on reading or move on to something else (picture the ‘scroll’ method where someone mindlessly scrolls through their mobile news feed until something interests them).
So, if this is true, we need to make our first sentence relevant, interesting and informative to make readers stop in their tracks. Once you have come up with a catchy caption it is a question of how long should your post be? This vary depending on your individual audience. I would try writing catchy captions and a few longer ones and see which posts your audience engage with the most. After your experiment (try it for one month for example) you will have a clearer idea of what your audience likes from you!
When sharing posts on Instagram or Twitter, be sure to include hashtags to increase chances of your content being discovered. The key to successful hashtag usage is to:
Rotate the hashtags you use (Instagram doesn’t like you to use the same ones day in and day out)
Use a mix of popular hashtags (think >100,000 uses) and new or more concentrated hashtags (think <1,000 uses) to reach different audiences. We keep a list of hashtags in different categories (books, authors, marketing etc) and in order of numbers of usage (<1k, <10k, <100k). this makes it easy to rotate the hashtags and ensure we use a mixture of popular and more niche hashtags.
You can also use our monthly content calendar to see what popular holidays are coming up and use relevant hashtags to fit in with your content or book themes. You can sign-up to our newsletter here.
Step five: Schedule, schedule, schedule
Do you ever wake up and realise with dread that you spent hours writing a great blog post for #paperbackbookday only too have forgotten to post the blog on your social media pages? Or perhaps you forgot the anniversary of your book having been published? By not scheduling in the content that we work so hard to create, we are in turn creating more work for ourselves as well as losing out on key opportunities to connect with our community.
Don’t let disorganisation ruin your social media marketing strategy. Here at Freshly Press, we use an app called Later to schedule all of our social media posts including Instagram, Instagram Stories, Facebook and Pinterest. We’d be lost without it! Not only can we see ahead of time what our feeds will look like, but we can edit and reorganize posts, upload our media images into our library for future use, keep an eye on the competition, review our analytics to see who our audience is and what they like to see from us. It is a one-app-does-it-all kind of program.
Now you’re ready to tackle the week head-on! As you go through this step-by-step process you will be able to work much quicker, and create the content that you KNOW your audience likes to see from you, erasing all that self-doubt and procrastination out of the process.
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Happy marketing xo