My new dawn saw me packing up my laptop and catching the train to London to attend a one day Social Media Course for Writers organised by the lovely Anita Chapman from www.neetsmarketing.com
Even before the day of the course she was gracious enough to answer my questions regarding facebook and to send me a link to www.canva.com so I could design pictures with captions (see opposite). However I still managed to tweet my picture without the caption, but I'm learning and thanks to Anita I'm getting better.
After introductions, welcome beverages and melt-in-mouth pastries, we began with twitter and tweetdeck. The latter organises your twitter feed into different columns, i.e. if you are a Poldark fan you could set up a column for #Poldark. This would feed all the tweets with that hashtag to that column so you don't have to do a specific search, after all us writers are busy people and we need our distractions in plain sight.
You can also set up your Twitter Lists as a column and have the twitter accounts who tweet about history in one column, and those about writing in another.
Tweetdeck also allows you to schedule tweets to be sent when you are not online, so as to reach your overseas followers or at intervals throughout the day.
Next we looked at facebook and the different privacy and notification settings and how they work. How to create Facebook paid ads which can incorporate a 'Buy Now Button', useful for after publication.
We broke for lunch to a great choice of cooked food and salad. Plus cakes, lots of cakes.
Our afternoon started with blogging. How to add a Twitter Button or better yet a Twitter Feed and Facebook widget.
Next was best practice for inviting Guests to post:- Give clear instructions on type of post, date, when to send by, what to include - profile, photo, bio, book cover blurb, where to buy and social media links. Give them a structure to follow so it is easier to transfer to your blog without needing extensive editing. Promote the post.
Finally we discussed author brand. For me, Regency, Romance, History, England,Writing. And how important it is to keep to the themes of your brand. So your visitors know what to expect from you and your posts.
But the most important thing we learned is to take lots of photos. I only took one but it's of cakes, lots of cakes. (See above - I had the cream slice.)
So is a Social Media Course worth doing? Simple answer, yes. I learned things I didn't even know I needed to learn. I have a better focus on what to post, gained the skills to organise my different social media platforms and I got to meet lots of other lovely writers.
Oh and did I mention the cakes?