Thursday, May 23, 2024

Social Media Tips that Stand the Test of Time

 Last week, I talked about having a marketing plan and setting goals. This week, I thought I’d talk about social media, since that’s obviously closely linked. I do a talk at writers’ conferences on the subject, and the room is always filled with creatives who are almost afraid of social media. And that can’t be the point.

            The best way to look at social media platforms is this: they are a tool to help you reach individual readers. That’s it. You’re talking to one reader at a time.

You don’t have to dance on Tiktok if that’s not your thing.


1.     Set Social Media Goals

A good place to start is to make a list of social media platforms and see what they do. Facebook is for friends and fans, X (formerly Twitter) is for quick bites of information, Instagram for photos and short videos, Tiktok for spontaneous videos. Think about what you’re comfortable sharing. Readers, librarians and teachers love a behind-the-scenes look at your workspace, your inspiration, and your process.

            If you’re new to social media, set smaller goals until you feel more comfortable. If short form sharing doesn’t speak to you, consider starting a newsletter. Much like this blog, it allows you to write longer pieces and reach readers directly in their email inbox.

            The key is to build a habit and share regularly. That way, your readers and fans know when they can expect to hear from you. Start with weekly goals and a checklist, so you can walk away (and get back to writing!) when you’re done.

This is my virtual author visit setup (complete with ravens)

2.     Create a Social Media Calendar

Using your big-picture goals, set a social media calendar. What are you going to share, and when will you share it? Each platform has a best time to share as well (you can Google this) so plan around that. You can even use a social media scheduling tool.

A word of caution: all these platforms only work if you engage with fans. Comment on and share other people’s posts—it’s called social media for a reason: you must be social.


3.     Focus on Individual Connections & Do Nice Things for Others

If it feels like you’re screaming into a void, you’re probably not approaching social media right. Even if only one person comments or shares your post, that’s okay: you still made a connection. People who have massive followings and engagement tend to be bigger name authors and illustrators, so don’t compare yourself to those people. It takes years to develop this kind of following. It’s better to look at growing your number of followers as a long term goal but not as something you can control.

If you’re unsure of what to do, do something nice for someone else. Post a review, share a new release (called a bookbirthday), and celebrate good news a friend has. It’ll earn you some goodwill points and with some luck, they’ll share your good news when it’s your turn.


Extra tip: try out two platforms if possible. The consensus used to be that you should pick your favorite platform and focus there, but with the recent uncertainty in platforms (Twitter’s demise and transformation into X, Tiktok on the brink of being banned, etc.), don’t put all your social media eggs in one basket. Try to be active on at least two platforms.

You can Google examples of social media calendars, though I urge you to find your own process. Everyone shares in their own way. That’s what makes social media interesting.

How about you? How do you manage your social media?

About Fleur:

Fleur Bradley has loved mysteries ever since she first picked up an Agatha Christie book at the age of eleven. She’s the author of middle-grade mysteries Daybreak on Raven Island and Midnight at the Barclay Hotel (Viking/PRH), the Double Vision trilogy (HarperCollins), as well as numerous short stories, one of which was recently chosen for the annual Best Mystery Stories of the Year anthology. Fleur’s work has been nominated for the Agatha and Anthony Award and has won the Colorado Book Award, among others.

A reluctant reader herself, Fleur is also a literacy advocate and speaks at events on how to reach reluctant readers. Originally from the Netherlands, she now lives in a small cottage in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies.

You can find Fleur online at

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