Skip to main content
Menu
«Resources

Social Media For Writers

Written by Lara Williams

Social media can offer many opportunities for writers. It can be a means of getting your work out there, and it can help you build up and demonstrate an audience. It can also offer you the chance to connect with literary agents, publishers or book festivals. But perhaps most importantly of all, it can connect you with other writers, and enable you to feel a part of the wider writing community. But no matter why or how you want to use social media, it is worth being mindful of what you want to get out of it, so you can use your time spent on social media meaningfully.

Getting Strategic

Social media can end up eating into a lot of your time, and so, think about why you are using social media – so you can make the most of the time you spend with it. That is not to say you need just one aim, as you might have a few – but do be clear in setting out what your aims are, as that will make them more manageable. For example, “to grow a network” is a tricky aim to fulfill – it’s too abstract – however, “building up a relationship with literary festival organisers” is actionable and achievable. Once you have aims, you can think about the behaviours and habits that might support these.

Making Connections

If you’re looking to make connections or build relationships on social media, think about the people you want to connect with. This might include literary agents, journals, publishers, bloggers, influencers, literary organisations, book festivals, other writers or readers.

Boost Your Profile

You might be looking to use social media in order to get your work out there. In order to do this, you will still want to make connections with people of influence, alongside seeking out people who might like your work. And if you’re going to be sharing a lot of your work, remember, social media is a conversation. So do talk about other things too, share content that is not just about your work, and share the work of others. Creating and demonstrating an audience will help sell your work, and the fastest way to do this is to show interest in others.

Be Part Of The Writing Community

Feeling a part of the wider writing community will offer you support, motivation, and expose you to different writing opportunities you may not have come across, otherwise. Making connections with other writers will help you feel a part of this community, so feel free to respond to other writer’s content, to share and compliment their work, and to answer any questions they might have. Stay informed and involved in the writing world.

Be Conversational

Most social media experts, when asked how to behave on social media, will tell you the trick is to just act like a human being! Don’t be daunted by social media, it is first and foremost of conversation. Share your thoughts on new books, reply to content you are interested in, ask questions you don’t know the answer to. Social media is a two-way street, so be conversational, and don’t just broadcast your work.

Your Social Brand

While branding might seem a little corporate, it simply means being conscious of how you present yourself, and how you want to be seen. So when deciding on your personal brand, think about what might fit your life and personality, and how you can share content that is interesting, relevant and that is something you are comfortable saying. Think about what your interests, thoughts and opinions are, and how you can share them. Write content that reflects the sort of writing you do. Present the best version of yourself.

Creating Content

When sharing content, think about your aims. Are you looking to make connections? Are you looking to share your work? Think about who you are sharing content for, and whether they will be interested. Think about the sort of thing that might get you engagement, that might be a conversation starter. Think about how you would like to present yourself.

And if you’re struggling to come up with ideas for content, look at your diary and see what is happening. Are you attending any literary events? Will you be reading your work? These are all things you could be talking about. Plus, you can use social media to highlight key moments in your writing life: competition wins, shortlistings, announcements, book cover reveal, foreign rights deals and reviews.

Platforms

The three main platforms are Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Twitter is the best platform for writers, and so if you have limited time to spend on social media, opt to dedicate this time to using Twitter.

Remember that using social media takes time, and so, only use platforms you think you might get something out of. Don’t, for example, set up a Facebook page just because you think you should.

Here is how to use these platforms…

Twitter

First things first, make sure your profile looks good. Make your avatar a photograph of your face. Make sure you have a clear and representative bio.

Begin by following some useful accounts, using the search function to find people who might be relevant to you. If you’re concerned about following too many people, you can also create “Lists” – which will allow you to keep tabs on the content people are sharing, without actually following them.

When you begin tweeting, start out gently. Look at the sort of content other users share, and think about what interests or engages you. Remember that Twitter is a very conversational medium, and for every tweet you send, try to reply to at least two from other people.

And do be careful in how you word tweets, as you don’t want your content to be misconstrued. If you have a publisher, ask them for support in using Twitter. Finally, don’t forget to use good Twitter etiquette!

Find out more about using Twitter as a writer.

Facebook

Facebook is not really the ideal medium for writers. However, if you think using Facebook might be beneficial for you, the best way to do this would be by using Pages.

You shouldn’t be sharing content on Facebook with the same frequency as you might on Twitter or Instagram, and so save Facebook for your most important updates, as opposed to sharing your thoughts or opinions.

Find out more about using Facebook as an writer here.

Instagram

There are many ways you might want to use Instagram as an author: you can take screengrabs or your writing, you can take photographs of your writing space (hashtagging with #whereIwrite), and use images of your day-to-day life.

Spent some time using a considered caption, and hashtag each post, using up to twelve separate hashtags.

And, remember to make a distinction between your grid and Instagram stories: the grid is for images you want to share permanently, while stories are for more off-the-cuff and transient content.

Find out more about using Instagram as a writer here.

Back to top