I’ve been using Snapchat almost since it came out. The app lets you take selfies or pictures of the world around you and send them to another user for a predetermined period of time, say seven seconds, after which the photos will disappear. Of course, you can screenshot the photo if you want to save it—just know that the other user gets a notification when you do that! So if you screenshot too many photos, you may come across as a bit of a creep. Also, instead of sending your photo to just a few people, you can post it to “My Story,” which is basically a news feed with visual status updates.
The cool thing about My Story is that anyone who’s following you can see it, even if you don’t add them back. So if you want fans, readers, and followers to gain some insight into your life without having them send you pictures of their own, the My Story feature is a great way to do that.
Now, people can respond to your story with chat messages, but that’s it, as far as I know. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong!
Anyway, I started trying to incorporate more of my writing life in my snaps when I started writing and editing full-time. It was important to me that everyone see what I was doing, encourage me, and hold me accountable. Since then, my use of Snapchat has definitely evolved, but I still love using it.
Snapchat is another excellent way for writers to enhance their author platform and build connections with fans. It gives them a peek into your life and makes you feel, in a sense, more “real.” I love using Snapchat, and if you haven’t tried it, I recommend downloading the app and giving it a shot. Who knows? You might even fall in love with it.
If you want to add me on Snapchat, here’s my user ID and all that below. Also, if you use Snapchat, leave a comment with your username!
How do you feel about Snapchat? What writers do you follow there?
Are you using Snapchat as part of your author platform? @brianawrites thinks you should try it! (Click to tweet)
I love social media. I had a gig as a digital marketing analyst for a year, but even before that, I was head-over-heels for websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. But each of those platforms has fallen somewhat out of favor, replaced by what was once a social media underdog. It’s a little app you might have heard of, and it’s my current obsession—Instagram.
Founded by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in 2010, the mobile-only app boasts an impressive 300+ million users as of December 2014. It’s one of the most successful social media sites to date, and for very good reason. Instagram is more easily accessible than a lot of other sites. It allows anyone to post their photos and share what inspires them. Above all, it makes social interaction as easy as double-tapping a photo to let the poster know you “like” it. What’s not to love?
I’ve been on Instagram for several years now, but I only recently began using it as part of my author platform. After taking Helene’s Instagram for Success course, I wanted to get serious about enhancing my Instagram profile. I honed in on my niche, focused on making my images as high-quality as possible, and worked to develop a rapport with my followers.
To give you an idea of how you can use Instagram as part of your author platform, I’m going to show you some of my most-liked pictures.
It’s #nanowrimo day 6! How’s that word count looking? I’m at 10K and trying to get to 14K before the day is out! #nanowrimo2015 A photo posted by Briana Mae Morgan (@brianammorgan) on
IT’S REAL. I feel so proud and lovestruck and legitimate and UGH. YES! #BloodAndWater #indiebooksbeseen #selfie A photo posted by Briana Mae Morgan (@brianammorgan) on
All of these pictures have something in common: they say something about my personal brand. As a writer, it doesn’t surprise me that my most popular pictures are related to books, writing, and publication. That’s not to say my miscellaneous and personal posts don’t do well, but the posts related to the writing industry are definitely more successful in terms of engagement and conversion.
Instagram, like every other social media network, can be a huge asset to your writing career. Post regularly, engage with followers, and leave comments on other people’s pictures. Whatever you do, be wary of becoming addicted—social media time suck is very, very real. You don’t want to lose any precious writing or editing time!
How do you feel about Instagram? Who are some authors worth following there?
I never used to pay much attention to Pinterest. Sure, I pinned a few things here and there—recipes, hairstyles, and such—but that was about it. I gave little thought to the network when drafting blog posts and creating images to go along with them.
Then, I learned a few things about Pinterest that changed my perspective on it:
- It boasts an impressive 70 million users at publish date
- In the U.S., 30% of all social media users utilize Pinterest
- Total users in the United States is expected to reach 47.1 million in 2015
- 85% of its users are female, with a rapidly growing male population
- The number of people who see your pins is greater than your number of followers
- It is the top network referral source for most bloggers, ranking higher than Facebook and Twitter combined
With these stats in mind, I decided to learn how to promote my blog using Pinterest. Now, it’s become my top source for traffic—yes, it surpasses even Twitter! If you want to replicate my social success, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
- You need to create pinnable image. You should have at least one image per blog post, created with Pinterest optimization in mind. Choose high-quality photos and text (pins with text get more engagement than those without), and make sure your image is at least 400 pixels wide. Also, remember that vertical images perform better on Pinterest. If you want free tools to help you create images, I recommend Canva (what I use), iPiccy, and Picmonkey.
- Be active on Pinterest. If you want to get traffic from Pinterest, you need to participate. Make several different boards, including one for your blog or niche. Follow people and spend a set amount of time each week repinning other people’s stuff, as well as your own. You won’t get much out of the network if you don’t engage.
- Make it easy for people to pin your content. In addition to ensuring each post has a pinnable image, you should include social media links and/or a Pin It button. That way, people can add your stuff to Pinterest without hassle, even if they don’t have the Pinterest bookmarklet.
Like any other social media network, Pinterest takes some time to get used to. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all this information, focus on spending a few minutes each day learning the network. Once you start using it to promote your blog posts, you won’t believe what a difference it makes. Whatever you do, try not to get addicted!
Are you on Pinterest? Follow me and I would love to follow back! We can even repin each other’s blog posts. 🙂
What do you think of Pinterest? How do you promote your blog posts?
How do you feel about @Pinterest? @brianawrites explains how you can use it to drive traffic to your blog. (Click to tweet)