What’s Ahead in Social Media?

I’ve been watching the latest changes to our beloved social media apps and wondering, what will our future hold?

I thought I knew, but I was wrong. So, so wrong. Changes came more quickly than I’d expected, spurred partly by a need for accountability. Accountability is a good thing. The safety of our children is another good thing. But, will the pendulum swing too far?

Throughout the month of June, we’ve covered some of the basics of social media as it pertains to the writer. I was pleasantly surprised by a unified theme in many of the articles. What was it?

  • Less selling. More social interaction.
  • Build and keep friendships.
  • Be a blessing, not an irritant.
  • Serve others.

Hmm…

So, I asked my fellow Inspired Prompt contributors, what lies ahead for social media?

I have mixed feelings about social media and its future. From what I’ve heard from publishers and agents, there is not always a direct correlation between social media platforms and book sales. I still think word of mouth sells more books. That is better accomplished through meeting people face-to-face, which can happen through speaking engagements and, of course, writing a quality book.” —Harriet Michael

I enjoy social media, and see its value in promoting books and making connections with readers. On the other hand, there are unrealistic expectations for authors to have thousands and thousands of followers. I feel that quality writing is important, and social media can help in the promotion of quality work. I think social media will remain a part of everyone’s lives, but it will continue to evolve.” —Carlton Hughes

“I actually enjoy social media. I like meeting people and chatting. I believe if you view it as a place to build positive relationships instead of a venue to sell your wares, there will always be some type of social media that’s a positive for authors. I also believe you should follow the Golden Rule and promote others as yourself.” —Jennifer Hallmark

“I also like the idea of promoting each other through social media. That way, I can introduce my friends/followers to new authors and other authors can introduce me to their friends/followers. I think social media is here to stay, and can certainly add to interest in our books!” —Shirley Crowder

I enjoy social media. It helps me stay connected with people from all over the world that I’ve met throughout my life. It gives me snapshots of what’s going on in their lives. I think social media is here to stay and can be equated to conversations at the water cooler or across the backyard fence with a neighbor.” —Bonita McCoy

So, what’s your take? Do you have an opinion? Please share in the comments section. And be sure to join us in July for a brand new topic: Summer Fun! 🙂

Click to Tweet: What’s ahead in social media? I thought I knew, but I was so, so wrong! Our contributors weigh in on the subject via @InspiredPrompt #socialmedia #marketing

Social Media as a Tool, not a Takeover

by Kristen Hogrefe

Although social media sometimes gets a bad rap for being a “black hole” that consumes our time, it can be a helpful tool for us writers. It allows us to engage with readers and reach people we won’t have the opportunity to meet in a given day or even a lifetime.

I’m no guru but a social media troubleshooter. Today, I’d like to share some basics I’ve learned along my journey in the hope they will help you in yours.

Create a strong website.

Whether you write about Bible prophecy or inspirational romance, you need an online destination for readers to find you. Your website should be your central hub where people can learn what you’re all about.

Make sure you’re doing these important things:

  • Connect all your other social media sites to your website.
  • Have a clear “about” page or bio, and include a recent headshot. People want to see you!
  • Check that all your links work and are relevant. If you’ve had your website for a while, go back and search for broken links.
  • Post consistently on your blog. Recently, I attended a writer’s conference where an agent told her class, “I don’t care if you post once a week or every other week, but I’m looking to see that you post consistently.”
  • Include a way for readers to subscribe to a newsletter using a subscriber pop-up.

Grow your readership with a newsletter.

Wait, you need a newsletter? Yes, you probably do. Editors and agents are less interested in vaguely defined “followers” and more interested with tangible email lists.

But don’t just have a newsletter to have one. It needs to offer readers value.

  • Offer a freebie or download when readers first sign up.
  • Include extra information people can’t just find on your weekly blog.
  • Advertise giveaways and book promotions or upcoming appearances.
  • Make it personal! Let readers get to know you.

Use attractive, consistent visuals.

We might have the greatest content in the world, but without graphics and images, no one may notice. Not only do attractive visuals present a professional impression, but they also “speak” louder than our words in many cases.

  • Learn how to create memes and other graphics using an online service like Canva or PicMonkey.
  • Choose clean and easy-to-read fonts.
  • Use consistent fonts and colors to help create brand recognition.
  • Always proofread!

Share and connect on your favorite platforms.

If you’re new to social media, you don’t have to tackle all the platforms at once. Pick one or two that interest you, and grow from there. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Facebook: You can use your personal account to double as your author account or set up a separate author page. With a separate author page, you can advertise and boost posts to have a greater reach.
  • Twitter: Follow hashtags like #amreading #amwriting, #1linewed, #Fridayreads and more. Engage with and meet other writers, readers, and influencers.
  • Amazon: If you’ve published a book, set up an account on Author Central. It allows you to track book sales and customize your Amazon author page.
  • Goodreads: If you’re not on Goodreads, I encourage you set up an account and get started. After all, this is one platform designed just for book lovers! You can follow other authors, leave reviews, and engage with an incredible community of readers.

Social media doesn’t have to take over your life. Let it be a tool that helps you do more with the words God’s given you to share.

[Click to Tweet] When you use social media as a tool, it doesn’t have to take over your life. Guest post by Kristen Hogrefe, author and teacher.


Kristen Hogrefe

Kristen Hogrefe is a Florida girl who says yes to most adventures involving sunshine and prefers to start her day with Jesus and coffee. She is a multi-published novelist of young adult fiction, including The Rogues trilogy (Write Integrity Press) and Wings of the Dawn trilogy. A life-long learner, she also has a heart for teaching and speaking in academic settings, professional conferences, and at Serious Writer Academy, a program designed to help writers develop their craft and platforms. You can find her blogging at KristenHogrefe.com where she challenges young adults and the young at heart to think truthfully and live daringly.


Freedom costs more than Portia wants to pay, but revolutions run on sacrifice … and blood.

THE REVOLUTIONARY

Three months a satellite prisoner, Portia wonders if the Brotherhood has left her to die—until she plunges into the domain of a smuggler contacted by her brother. But her rescue comes with a price tag, and now, she must forfeit her identity to act as a spy. She learns that her enemies want the Dome to approve mass satellite executions, though no one knows why. Worse, they’re using her friend Luther, now a Court Citizen intern, to sign the short-term orders. She wants to confide in Luther, but can she still trust him with the company he keeps?

Plagued by shadows and guilt for leaving her protector Gath behind on the satellite, Portia must find a way, not only to rescue him and the other prisoners, but also to destroy the slave camps once and for all.