Thank you to Jenny Hansen and to Writers in the Storm for strategies you can use to promote your work.
In last month’s post, I shared social media strategies that support your brand and let you have a life. I don’t know about you, but I like having social media be something I fit into MY life, rather than the other way around. The big question everyone wants to know is: “How do I get my post to go viral?”
First, we need to understand what kinds of posts get shared extensively and why.
There are many many schools of thought on what gets others to share your content, but I decided to go with science because we want results that can be duplicated. Scientific American published a fascinating article that concluded the following:
“..content that elicits an emotional reaction tends to be more widely shared. In addition, stories stimulating positive emotions are more widely shared than those eliciting negative feelings, and content that produces greater emotional arousal (making your heart race) is more likely to go viral. This means that content that makes readers or viewers feel a positive emotion like awe or wonder is more likely to take off online than content that makes people feel sad or angry, though causing some emotion is far better than inspiring none at all.”
For max impact, I’d recommend focusing on the following types of content:
1. Lots of photos and branded graphics.
Whether it’s photo platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, or more chat-based media like Twitter and Facebook, photos are more likely to grab attention and get shared. In fact, Facebook algorithms always show a photo before a link. That means, even if you’re going to include a link, be sure to put your photo in first. Better yet, add the link in the comments so the Facebook status update is all about your gorgeous photo.
This can be achieved by a Facebook Live, a quick Snapchat video, or just some vid you shoot on your phone. The key word here is short. NO more than five minutes. Preferably, no more than three minutes. Get in, say what you want to say, and get out.
Don’t be afraid to edit your video! You don’t have to learn a program like Camtasia to do this. YouTube has tons of editing tools that are free with your YouTube account. Plus, it’s owned by Google, which means your videos here will show up higher in the search rankings. Score!
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Unless you’ve been living in a remote cave (or buried under a giant pile of writing research), you know hashtags serve a very valuable purpose on social media. Those clickable words or strings of words can help you follow ongoing conversations, sort posts according to interests, and expand the reach of your musings beyond your own friends and followers. Furthermore, tweets with hashtags get retweeted 55% more than tweets without them.
Boost your social media efforts and effectiveness by following — and using — this list of hashtags for writers:
Enjoy The Writer’s Journey
These “share the journey” hashtags bring the active writing community together by sharing the day-to-day trials and tribulations of the writing life.
Write The Words
Every writer needs a creative boost now and then. Follow these hashtag prompts to nudge yourself and others into getting the words onto the page.
#1K1H (1,000 words in one hour)
#NaNoWriMo (for the November marathon)
Pose A Question To A Pro
Need guidance from a professional? Pose a question or peruse the hashtag to pick up tips and tricks from the experts.
Gather Your Genre Group
No list of hashtags for writers is complete without a list of genre-related hashtags. Following these keywords can keep you up to date about what’s going on in the industry as well as connect you to fellow lovers of your genre.
#MGLit (middle grade literature)
Trying to get published can be bewildering. Follow one or more of these hashtags so you’ll be in the know.
Seek A Slot
#MSWL is short for “Manuscript Wish List.” Editors and agents post the kinds of manuscripts they would most like to see cross their desks right now. For authors on the hunt for a new agent or a new house, #MSWL gives you a chance to strike while the iron is hot.
Augment Your Audience
Grow your tribe by sharing your writing with readers using the following hashtags:
Move The Merchandise
Hashtags are fabulous for book marketing, especially if you have a launch or a free or discounted book.
Harnessing Hashtags — The Right Way
Since hashtags are essentially keywords that help folks find what they’re looking for, it’s important to use them correctly. Here are a few guidelines:
Use hashtags specific to your message
Try to take advantage of the important keywords in your post’s text
Or, add hashtags at the end of the post
Don’t use too many hashtags, except on Instagram, where it doesn’t seem to matter
Once you get the hang of including hashtags in your social media posts, you’ll find that it’s an effortless way to expand your reach. Keep in mind: With the exception of Instagram, you should keep the number of your hashtags down to one or two. A Tweet or Facebook post riddled with hashtags, or followed by a river of them, looks a lot like spam.