I found this panel particularly useful, since myself and many writers often worry about our online ‘presence’ and how to improve it. Authors on this panel included a couple marketing professionals as well as established authors. I decided to share this panel’s notes because the advice I gathered applies to promoting just about anything via social media.

Social Media is defined as a Platform for user-generated content (Whatever you put out there is PERMANENTLY out there, so keep it professional).

As a general rule, if you learn something – share it. If what you’re writing is useful, people will share it and follow you.

Do what you love. If you hate twitter, don’t use it. It’s better to stick to your strengths, something your readers will sense through your posts. If you insist on doing stuff you don’t enjoy, for the sake of maintaining a platform, your readers will noticed the lack of genuine enthusiasm and loose interest.

Share what excites you.

Don’t use Social Media for pure advertising. Focus on providing stuff people can emotionally engage with. A couple authors on the panel gave examples of their pets or hobbies like cooking.

Share your loves and enthusiasms.

There are A LOT of authors on social media, but posting your unique loves, you set yourself apart from them all. You then will attract like-minded people by posting to their interests.

Engagement is defined as when you get a response (like/comment) from a reader. Build engagement by asking questions about a specific picture or subject. It triggers a data-log when someone replies.

Facebook is for an ‘older’ market. Twitter is for the teen/college crowd and Tumbler is all the rage with the YA kids these days. Select your topics shared, accordingly.

If you use Facebook ads, you can target the fans of similar authors to yourself. (Facebook sometimes offers 50$ in free advertising to get you started). Can upgrade tracking abilities with more advanced Facebook analytics.

Twitter: Tweet in the moment only (one my way to ___ panel at OryCon) etc. You can also gets a lot of activity on Facebook and Google plus with posts like: ‘I wrote ____ pages today, here’s a spoiler/pic.’

Keep in mind that responding to your fans’ comments/opinions will drive readers to you because your caring about them and their likes/interests.

When you’re stuck with writer’s block, you can throw out a question to your readers like, ‘How would you escape an attack drone?’ and enjoys the reader’s input as they bounce ideas off the wall.

BUFFER AP: auto shares your data on a set schedule (so you can market in advance and post on a schedule). Can catch twitter feeds during their ‘busy’ hours.

You can also link readers to what you’re listening to, and talk about what it inspires in a given scene. You can also tie current events into your writing.

Be relaxed/casual, not desperate.

A writer’s Facebook profile should never end with the word ‘author,’ it screams ‘noob.’

Engagement: Don’t spam questions with every post. Pick and choose how you involve your readers. Think of it like you’re at a dinner party making new friends. You wouldn’t walk up and throw constant questions at them or drown them with writing updates.

When selling anything: Focus on providing the right content to maintain the reader’s attention, then make the ‘sale pitch.’

Take the time to learn social norms.

William Hertling mentioned a great book ‘Indie and small press book marketing.’ Other writers at the panel said it was well worth the investment.

Make sure your blog/website has its OWN domain name. This is your professional hub, don’t waste it on a ‘free’ domain address that screams ‘cheap.’

Choose what elements of your life are public and which are private. All the public stuff is fair game to share and emotionally connect you with readers.

Tumbler focuses on readers ages 13 – 21 (Young Adult).

Review books in your genre, but only post the positive ones (karma will find you).

Online: Always be pleasant and punctual. After all, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Google Alerts will ping you when something happens on ur page/target topic.

Only have time for one marketing avenue? Stick to your blog, where your content sticks around. The other social media sites are like throwing sticks in a river, there and gone.

Monitor Comments: Sometimes you have to mind your readers and keep things ‘civil.’

Linked in is becoming more social now.