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How Authors Can Use These Popular Social Media Platforms

Do you have a social media platform, but no interaction with your followers? Do you wait hours for your tweet to get some likes or replies? Does your Instagram post get lost among thousands of others? Does it feel like the algorithm of every single platform is designed to be against you and your content?

The secret to finding readers lies in creating a cool author presence online. You need to actively produce content that appeals to your audience — but, even more important, is producing content that knows how to reach your audience! Learning to use these platforms, therefore, is an important aspect of being an author.

Here are a few tips for how authors can utilize popular social media platforms for book marketing and growing an enthusiastic audience!

1. Twitter

Twitter, with its 240-character tweets, has created a generation of people intent on consuming short-form media. If your tweets are catchy and to the point, they will easily spread to the third circle, beyond your own following. According to statistics, tweets with images and stunning infographics work best on Twitter, with 18% more click-throughs, 89% more likes, and 150% more retweets. 


Top Hashtags and How to Use Them

Hashtags help you get found — but you need to use them sparingly and wisely. According to Sendible, engagement drops by 17% when there are 3 or more hashtags in a single tweet. Hence, a maximum of three hashtags (but an optimum of just two!) will do the trick.

Note: Make sure you don’t take sensitive issues to your advantage.

Author Joanna Penn’s @thecreativepenn, @thewritelife, and our own Twitter account, @GutsyCreatives, are some great Twitter accounts to follow, with advice on self-publishing and marketing, also providing online courses and free resources to improve the craft!

Top hashtags for writers right now are: #writingcommunity #writerslife #writerslift #selfpublishing #indieauthors

2. Instagram

With over 1.16 billion active monthly users, Instagram has been one of the fastest growing apps in recent years. It has become a haven for authors and readers who love taking pictures of books! It also acts as a great marketing tool, with its hashtags, feed and Stories advertisements, a breakdown of demographics of followers, and specific insights on the impressions of your individual posts and Stories.

Authors are almost always a part of the huge subcommunity of writers and readers on Instagram called Bookstagram (we have a whole blog post on how to use Bookstagram for book marketing here!). It reduces the stress of marketing, and helps you talk about what you love the most — books!


Top Hashtags and How to Use Them

Unlike on Twitter, Instagram posts do better the more hashtags you use — but remember to keep every single one of them relevant to your post! The best way to integrate them into your posts is by adding the hashtags in the form of a comment instead of cluttering up your caption.

Top hashtags for writers on Instagram are: #bookstagram #writingcommunity

3. TikTok

TikTok is a video-centric social media platform popular among young adults. 

Everybody — every single bookworm — is talking about BookTok right now, a subcommunity of readers on TikTok, either to rage at the awful book recommendations or to gush excitedly about discovering an amazing new author because of it (there is no in-between!). This platform is perfect for YA authors, regardless of genre.


Top Hashtags and How to Use Them

The BookTok hashtag alone has over 12 billion views, from videos on recommendations to reviews of new releases to fan theories of old books to literally everything. 

Are you wondering how on earth you can make videos about books? It’s hard enough writing, isn’t it? But authors, regardless of being traditionally or independently published, well-known or upcoming — like Sabaa Tahir, author of the Ember Quartet, and Elise Kova, author of Air Awakens — have mastered TikTok to reach an audience they wouldn’t find elsewhere!

4. Facebook

The sheer amount of business pages and daily traffic on Facebook poses a challenge for self-published authors planning to market their own books. While hashtags and keywords are vital elements in any marketing campaign, they’re not as effective on Facebook, because users rarely search for specific hashtags. Therefore it’s important to focus your efforts into engagement with the community.


Top Hashtags and How to Use Them

Join in the ongoing conversations by including branded and trending hashtags that are relevant to you. “I recommend industry specific hashtags and creating your own if they will be relevant to your audience,” says Peg Fitzpatrik, co-author of The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users.

Using brand-specific hashtags—which you create yourself—will also help people identify you across many social media platforms. Use a maximum of 2-3 hashtags for each post, preferably at the end of the post instead of replacing many words within the post’s caption.


5. Pinterest

With its plethora of aesthetic pictures and posts, Pinterest is where you go when you need inspiration. It doesn’t really rely on likes and comments like other social media platforms, with less arguments and user interaction.

And yet, according to the Pew Research Center, 42% of all online women and 15% of all online men use Pinterest — making it a leading platform to market your YA fiction! It’s also a great place to link to your book-related merchandise. All you have to do is take captivating pictures (even of your book) and link them to your website so people can purchase them.


Top Hashtags and How to Use Them

Hashtags on Pinterest are more like keywords, and still help you get discovered by your target audience. Instead of showing the most popular hashtags first, Pinterest is more focused on showing the most recent ones — helping new content to thrive!

Even famous authors like Rick Riordan (author of the Percy Jackson series) and Leigh Bardugo (author of the Grishaverse books) use Pinterest boards creatively to market their books.

Some top Pinterest hashtags for authors are: #bookaholic #bookaesthetic #bookquotes #authoraesthetic

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Sharika Hafeez

Sharika Hafeez is a nerd, and she’s proud of it. Growing up, she fell in love with books and writing, and is currently following her undergraduate degree (for some mysterious reasons) in Physics. She likes procrastinating by watching the stars with a steaming cup of tea, composing poetry in her head.

August 21, 2022

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