Wednesday, August 12, 2015

5 Crucial Steps for an Online Marketing Plan: Branding and Branching Out (Part 5)

Sorry Everyone! This was supposed to go up on Friday, but I didn't get it written in time and didn't have time to actually write it on Friday. So this is going to be a run down of the networks that I'm on and how I handle them as an author, in case anyone wants to branch out.

Most newbie authors (or anyone starting out online) are just on one network. And usually it's a common one like Facebook or Instagram, but as you get a handle on those networks, I would strongly recommend branching out. While there will always be some crossover with the audience, I find that the percentage is very small. So with every new social network you master, you'll get a new audience, new potential customers, and new potential friends. 

Facebook - I won't go over how to use Facebook, as most people these days are familiar. As an author, I post pics about reading and writing, fun pictures that have to do with either popular stories, or specifically with mine, my events, progress on my books, or information about my stories, characters, settings, etc. Really the sky's the limit, and as long as your audience hears from you regularly, it's a win-win.

For examples, check out my author page here:

Twitter - This is usually the second most used network for authors, so I'll just give some general advice. Twitter is very much a broadcasting system, but don't use it just to shout "Buy my book!" all day. It should be interactive. Use it to spread great information, fun pictures, and network with people who have similar interests as you. Feel free to broad cast events and important things. (I do put out tweets when my books are on sale, etc.). Just don't do ONLY that or you'll lose followers quickly.

For examples, check out my feed here:

Pinterest - This was the third network I discovered and got REALLY addicted to. It's very visual, but a lot of pinterest is how-to posts as well. You can figure out how to do ANYTHING on Pinterest. I keep recipes and DIY boards, fan boards for books, films, TV shows and more. The thing is, most pins are linked to their source, so it's really easy to pin a picture from, say, your blog, and it will be linked to your blog. So when people click on the image, it will redirect them to your blog, author page, or other web site. So by simply sharing on Pinterest, you can reach a whole new audience. And anyone who clicks on your pin is someone you know is already interested in your subject matter.

For examples, check out my boards here:

Instagram - I've talked a lot about Instagram this past week with my TWD fan account, and now I'm trying to build up my author account. Keep in mind that Instagram, like Pinterest, is very visual. The best things to put on there are pictures. Now, I'm a bit of a hypocrite saying that because I do theories on my TWD account which are all words. But I do try to keep relatively few words in each slide and also add pictures, and that works well. I will also say that my real pictures and memes (either funny or tragic pictures or clever jokes in picture format) generally get more likes and interactions than my theory slides do. So the visual rule still applies on this platform.

Tumblr - I did an entire post about Tumblr a few weeks ago. Check it out here: [4 Reasons Every Writer Should Be On Tumblr.] The gist is that Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform, so it's very easy to take your blog or even posts from other platforms and simply convert them over and post them here to. It opens you up to a new audience, which is always a plus. I will say that the pictures I mentioned above that do better on Instagram do worse on Tumblr. So you can see that Tumblr is focused on blogging, which is words. So pictures don't do quite as well. I do still post lots of pics here, though.

For examples, check out my boards here: and here:

Google Plus - The thing I love most about Google Plus are their circles. You can categorize people by specific likes, dislikes, and functions that suit you. So I have different circles for bloggers that are willing to review different genres. So I have an entire circle set up for bloggers who review crime fiction, another for historical fiction, another for fantasy. Then I've got one for other authors, for editors, and then circles that are just people who like me, like TWD stuff, The Wheel of Time, or other subjects I enjoy seeing in my feed. By the same token, you can join communities built around specific subjects and share your posts to those specific communities. This is such an ingenious system because you are automatically sharing your information with people you know will be interested in it, rather than with the general public and just hoping a few people click on your link. 

So, for example, when I share TWD stuff on G+, and I just share with the general public, I only get a handful of +1s. If I share it to TWD Circle community (which is 100,000 strong, btw) I get tons of +1s, reshares, and comments. See the advantages here?

For more, check out my feed here:

Goodreads/Amazon - Okay, being an author, I should probably touch on Goodreads and Amazon. I don't want to go into much detail because I want to talk about these networks as a way to do more general marketing, so it doesn't JUST apply to authors. So for these two platforms, that are almost exclusively for book sales, the best way to handle your page is to keep it up to date and interact with others who are also on the platform. I honestly don't post much directly to either of these networks. My goodreads profile is linked to a lot of my other networks, so my most recent blog posts and facebook links show up there. But other than that and keeping my profile up to date, I don't do much with them.

I hope this helps those looking to branch out. Let me know if you have specific questions. I'd be happy to do more in-depth posts on how to start, build, and grow any one network, and also what to post, if there's a need. 

Come back tomorrow for some general tips on how to grow your audience on any social network. :D

What's your favorite social network?


  1. I see I need to be using Google+ better.
    Considering either Tumblr or Pinterest. Maybe. Not sure which one at this point.

  2. You're right Liesel. Huckstering always drives followers away but fun interesting content will make them stay.