April 2, 2017 by Rachel Rueben
Lately it is becoming more and more common place for agents and publishers to assess an author’s platform. That means they are looking for authors who can reach the readers they are targeting. In fact at the Digital Book World Conference & Expo in 2017, representatives from Hachette and Perseus admitted they are checking out author platforms and social media engagement then reporting those findings at their acquisitions meetings. This shouldn’t be a surprise, literary agents have admitted to doing this for years. Like it or not, publishers are using social media as a measuring stick so wouldn’t be nice if we could impress or at least pass the inspection?
While doing research for my upcoming book Social Media Hacks for Authors, I came across several resources that can help authors who struggle with social media. Many of these resources are available for free directly from the social media sites themselves. I understand that many authors can’t afford the more expensive social media courses so I went on a mission to find the help we all need for free or at the very least, real cheap.
Below I list several resources and no, I’m not affiliated with any of the services or products mentioned.
Direct From The Horse’s Mouth
Did you know that Facebook has its own set of video tutorials that cover everything from advertising to analytics? Twitter also has a Skillshare video featuring their marketing manager Sandra Vega and it’s all 100% free. Below are listed the top 7 social media sites in the English speaking world.
- Facebook Blueprint video tutorials
- Instagram video tutorials
- Twitter Getting Started With Twitter For Business.
- Pinterest Must have access to Dropbox for their video tutorials
- SnapChat advertising case studies beginners tutorial on Hootsuite.
- Youtube case studies and video tutorials
- LinkedIn video tutorials
General Social Media Courses
If you want to go further in your education there are several websites that will help you with your social media marketing. The course topics range anywhere from content creation to targeted marketing. Some of these are free while others have both free and paid options.
- Hootsuite Social Media Fundamentals
- Quick Sprout University Online Marketing
- Buffer Blog the Social Media Marketing section
- Alison Social Media Techniques
- SkillShare Social Media Markerting (the free section)
- Udemy Social Media Marketing courses (they also have paid ones ranging from $90-$200 but I only linked to the free ones)
- Coursera Free for 7 days then $49 per month after.
Tip: Take advantage of the free material and later, if you feel like taking a more targeted course like Mark Dawson’s Advertising for Authors then go for it.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not an overnight sensation because building a following takes time nonetheless, you do have to start. Gone are the days where social media was optional, today’s authors are expected to have an online presence no matter if they choose to go the traditional route or not. Yes, this is more work but it is also a good thing because whether we choose to go traditional or not, our audience will follow us, not our publisher. It’s this connection to your audience that is the key to a long-term career and isn’t that what we all want?
Bio: Rachel Rueben is author of YA, supernatural as well as romance books. Her work can be found her on the Cereal Authors blog as well as Wattpad. She is also a blogger at Writing By The Seat Of My Pants where she discusses self-publishing and rarely refers to herself in the third person. 😉