Love it or hate it, social media promotion is essential for authors.
A friend and I were commiserating that social media is so challenging. It’s easy to spend half an hour on Facebook without achieving anything.
Neither of us could work out whether social media was worth it.
Social media: is it worth it?
We decided to ask every writer we knew that question for a week. Responses ranged from straight yes or no answers to longer comments, which were all excellent.
One writer made this point: you can’t treat creating social media content like advertising. It’s not the same. Moreover, she said, the best results come from consistent activity on your chosen social media networks over time.
Several writers recommended using a content calendar, either a paper planner, or an app like Trello. The benefit of a content calendar is that it prevents brain freeze. On days when you’re completely uninspired, you’ve got posts already planned, so you don’t panic.
First: what’s a content calendar?
What’s a “content calendar”?
Basically it’s a calendar you use to brainstorm, plan, organize and schedule content. CoSchedule offers an excellent article on content calendars, with some visual examples.
Your own calendar can be as detailed or as minimal as you please. One friend keeps her content calendar on sticky notes posted on a cork board. Another friend uses a Happy Planner paper planner.
I use my bullet journal and I’ll keep using it, but on the recommendation of several people I’m creating a Trello board as a content calendar too.
Here are some ideas for your 2020 content calendar.
1. Plot your upcoming releases on your calendar first
When you know the dates you’ll be publishing books in 2020, add those dates. Then you can organize content around beta releases and pre-orders.
Ask your writer pals for their release dates too, so you can create some social media for their releases. (They may do the same for you, so that’s a win-win.)
2. Advertising? Plan for advertising around major holidays in 2020
I’ve never managed this, but I’ll do better next year. I meant to release a novel in time for last Valentine’s Day, and didn’t. It’s not to late to release a novella in February 2020 however if I start writing now.
Here’s a list of paid and free book promotion websites if you’re advertising your books in 2020. The best sites are booked up months ahead. So, decide when you’ll advertise, and make your bookings early.
Then you can create content around your advertising pushes in 2020.
3. Brainstorm content once a month: schedule brainstorming sessions with a friend
A friend from our writers’ group and I have decided that we’ll get together once a month to brainstorm content. Brainstorming’s always easier when you do it with someone else.
Then we can add the content directly into our content calendar.
Are you creating a social media content calendar in 2020?
Please share your ideas — they’re appreciated.
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