Updated: Jun 4, 2020
It's important for a writer to have a platform. How else are people going to find out about your new releases? In this post I'll give some tips about how to set up your social media. I'll give some tips for other things that are important or useful too.
Twitter and Instagram
How to set up Twitter and Instagram? After signing up and filling in your e-mail and password you have to choose a username. Make sure your username is clear and try to avoid numbers. If your author name is John Smith, choose @johnsmith as your username. If that's already taken, you can choose for some variant like @john_smith. Fill in your name as just your name (for me that'd be Elena Van Peborgh). Choose a nice picture of yourself as profile picture. It doesn't need to be a super professional photo, but don't pick a photo of you in swimming wear at the beach. Also choose a banner picture for Twitter, either use a logo or make a banner with your social media links or choose a picture with your latest book(s). The standard blue banner is ugly and boring. Then you fill in your bio. You only have a limited amount of characters, so write a bit about yourself: where you live (for me that's Belgium), what genre you write (fantasy for me, some fun fact about you (for me I included I'm an ailurophile because I love cats a lot) and include your last published work and/or WIP. Use hashtags (#) if possiblie if you have enough characters, that makes it easier for people to find you. Here's my account on Twitter as example (I used my logo as profile picture for a while because I didn't have a recent decent picture of myself. A logo is fine as temporary picture):
You can also include a link, either link to any of your other social media website or your own website. On Twitter you can fill in your birthday. On that day balloons will pop up on your profile and people will probably massively wish you a happy birthday. You can choose to hide your birth year if you don't want people to know your real age. What's important when using these platform is the use of hashtags, that's how people can find you. On Twitter you also participate in follow sprees and comment on Tweets to gain followers or get people to notice you.
The same rules that applied to Twitter and Instagram about profile and banner picture apply for Facebook too. Though here you might need a more professional picture because you're probably going to use your page strictly for business while you can post some more personal stuff on Twitter and Instagram. As business choose 'writer'/'author' as what you do (well this is if you're actually a writer). You can write a bit more in your bio here, so you can also include some of your hobbies or if you do another job too. You can choose a button to display on your page, which will appear in big next to your name. You can choose to set the like button for this but the like option will already be displayed well on your page next to your menu with a thumb, so I recommend to choose the message button so people can message you. I set it up that way that I get a notification on my website too when people message me on FB Messenger, I linked my Wix website to it. But you also get a notification on your personal FB profile. You can set up a link for your FB page, the same as usernames work for Twitter and Instagram, go to 'settings', 'page info' and fill in your username under 'general'. You can see how you do it here (here you also see how to choose a category for your business):
If you go to 'templates and tabs' under the settings you can choose which menu items appear on your page and in which order. And lastly, fill in your website and a e-mail for your info. Here's my full FB profile as example (I cut off a part of the banner in my screenshot so I could show the e-mail too. I also used a logo for a while as my profile picture, that is still fine as temporary profile picture):
Other things that are important
One of the most important things is having your own website. You can easily make one with Wordpress or Wix. It doesn't matter you have .wix.com or .wordpress.com or anything like that behind your domain, but having your own domain like me just seems more professional. Another thing that's definitely important is having an Amazon Author Central page for your books and reviews when you post your books there. These are interesting to look at: BookBub for reviews and recommendations, Goodsreads for reviews and StoryOrigin to build up your newsletter audience. Having a newsletter is definitely important too so you can let your subscribers know what you're working on and when a new release is coming. I have most of these, I just need to set up Goodsreads and StoryOrigin still.
Do you follow my tips? Do you use any of these platforms? Do you use any others? If I have forgotten any you find important, please let me know.
Until next post!