There are plenty of reasons to consider making an account on a new social media platform. Maybe you’re not a social media user and would like to start, or you are at the beginning of your journey as an author and making your first audience-facing account. Maybe another platform you frequent has undergone some rapid changes and you would like to show up for your audience elsewhere. Perhaps you took our Playbook Quiz and would like to take a crack at a platform it recommended. Whether you’re trying a newer social media site or a more established one, starting out somewhere new to you can be quite the task. Here are a few tips to help you find your bearings.
Setting Up Your Profile
On any social media platform, your goal is to give potential audience members a succinct portrayal of who you are and what you do. Your profile is a perfect place to start, since it’s usually the first thing you are prompted to set up when you join a new platform. Choose a nice photo of yourself for your profile. If you have a presence on other social media, consider using the same profile picture so that your audience can easily recognize you. Your bio should be short and sweet. Make sure to include only details relevant to what you will be posting. For example, if your platform is for sharing career development tips, list your credentials so viewers know that you are the real deal! Of course, don’t forget to mention that you are an author. If your book has yet to release, include the release date and, if the site allows, a link to your author website or a place to preorder copies.
Your First Post(s)
Once your profile is set up, the next step is to post content, often some sort of introduction post. If you left things out of your bio, your first post can be a great place to flesh out those details. You still want to be succinct here; most platforms (with the exception of LinkedIn and newsletters) are most receptive to shorter content. Try keeping this intro post to a paragraph at most.
Here are some prompts to consider answering with your first post:
- Who are you and what kind of books do you write?
- What drove you to start writing?
- Why did you make an account on this platform?
- What kind of content can your followers expect from you on this account?
- How does the content here differ from what you post elsewhere?
Post by @dianaurbanView on Threads
Some platforms, like TikTok, encourage users to post very frequently to feed their algorithm and gain more viewership. If the platform you’re trying works this way, consider focusing first on the quantity of content, rather than an introduction. You want to quickly get three to five videos on your account so that if someone comes across a post, they can view more. Once you start to gain followers, you can circle back to introduce yourself to an audience who will already be eager to know more about you.
Seek out Best Practices
The best way to find success on a new platform is to stay informed about how it works. Many social media platforms have their own blogs with tips and product updates. TikTok has a Trend Discovery Tool to help users stay up to date on what’s going viral. We also recommend checking out our full Author Playbook, which features best practices on eight popular platforms for authors.
Be aware that newer apps, like Threads, are still finding their audience so advice may be limited. However, a new platform can be a great opportunity for a low-stakes experiment. Here are two ideas to get you started:
- Talk about relevant upcoming events that can be connected back to the kind of content you post (think: awards shows, Mercury retrograde, a new season of a trendy television show).
- Prompt your audience to answer a fun question in your comment section, or engage with someone else’s prompt.
Post by @penguinrandomhouseView on Threads
Finally, be a fly on the wall. Follow content creators, scroll through your feed, and make a note of the content that most interests you. If you find that others respond to that content as well, think about how you can do something similar with your own spin on it. Creating content that you feel passionate about is the priority. If you find that a platform and its demands are not working for you, it’s okay to invest your time elsewhere.