Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

Day 3 – Hashtags #10DaySMChallenge

Social Media Challenge

Welcome to Day 3 of our 10-Day Social Media Challenge!

Please use #10DaySMChallenge when sharing on social media.

Here is an overview of what we will be doing during this challenge:

Day 1 – Get Ready!

Day 2 – Automate & Systematize

Day 3 – Hashtags Matter

Day 4 – Events & Promotions

Day 5 – Content Themes

Day 6 – Inform your followers (Let your followers know what’s happening right now)

Day 7 – Evergreen posts (Tell new fans about your best stuff from the past)

Day 8 – It’s not all about you

Day 9 – Images, quotes, and inspiration

Day 10 – Wrapping it all up

Hashtags

One way that content is organized on social media is with hashtags (a pound sign # followed by one or more words).

You can think of them as the index of social media.

Including hashtags in your posts is easy. Simply find the hashtags you want to use, and add them at the end of each post with the hashtag symbol, like this: #business #socialmedia #virtualassistant.

Keep in mind that on most platforms, it’s a good idea to include no more than two or three hashtags. On Twitter especially, hashtags can quickly eat up your allotted 140 characters.

Aside from the most common hashtags, you might also consider creating your own unique hashtag. Business coach Carrie Wilkerson uses this technique to help brand herself with the hashtag #carrieon.

NOTE: If you want more detailed information about hashtags on Twitter, purchase Ruth’s e-book – Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps.

Other Helpful Information

Day 3 Assignment


Try out my 10-Day Social Media Challenge to build networks and increase engagement.

Day 1 – Get Ready #10DaySMChallenge

Social Media Challenge

Welcome to Day 1 of our 10-Day Social Media Challenge!

Please use #10DaySMChallenge when sharing on social media.

Here is an overview of what we will be doing during this challenge:

Day 1 – Get Ready!

Day 2 – Automate & Systematize

Day 3 – Hashtags Matter

Day 4 – Events & Promotions

Day 5 – Content Themes

Day 6 – Inform your followers (Let your followers know what’s happening right now)

Day 7 – Evergreen posts (Tell new fans about your best stuff from the past)

Day 8 – It’s not all about you

Day 9 – Images, quotes, and inspiration

Day 10 – Wrapping it all up

Today I want you to take some time to think about what you want to accomplish on Social Media:

  • What are your goals? (Audience building? Networking? Sharing information? Making sales?)
  • Why are you spending the time you do on Social Media? (Do you get lost chasing rabbit trails? Do you need to set a timer?)
  • How much time do you want to spend on Social Media? (You should be able to do what you need to do in 30 minutes or LESS per day. This will leave you time to write or do other important things that need to be done.)
  • Which sites work best for the audience you want to reach?

Which Social Media Networks Are Best? (From The Best Social Media Networks for Authors by Shari Stauch)

Your other social media networks of choice (in addition to the aforementioned Facebook and Goodreads, which are mandatory!) will depend somewhat on your readership:

  • Twitter trends towards a younger crowd, though more and more folks are exposed to Twitter streams every day through mainstream media.
  • LinkedIn may seem to towards the more serious social media user (think non-fiction and business books) though we’re finding that LinkedIn’s groups are connecting our authors with both new individual readers and the opportunities to put their books in front of larger groups, i.e. associations and clubs.
  • Google+ is an overall great site, though still confusing to new users. The “power” of the site of course is that what you post there, because, well, it’s Google, is also indexed by Google, which makes what you post (i.e. the link to your latest blog) that much easier to discover.

Some additional resources:

Day 1 Assignment:

  1. Write out your social media goals (Share them in our Facebook Group!)
  2. Let me know what you want to accomplish through this challenge. Do you have questions you want answered? What do you struggle with the most? Let me know in the comments below.

For more specific help with Twitter, purchase my e-book, Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps.

Twitter Intermediate1


30 Day Vlogging Challenge

Vlogging Challenge

I am entering a 30 day challenge that is really going to stretch me!

Here are the challenge instructions:

Welcome! Ready, Set, Vlog!!

We have a challenging 30 days ahead… But together we can succeed!

Start filming April 1st!

Rules:
1. You must film every day. DUH!

2. Create a separate video for each day.

3. Number your videos. Put your number at the very end of your video title. – advice from YouTube.com. This is for accountability!

4. Try to post within a day… don’t get backed up! The most important thing is that you film every day. Try to get your editing done before you start filming your next vlog! If your editing gets pushed back too many days, you may get too far behind to recover.

Upload to YouTube and/or Facebook

5. Promote the challenge: ‪#‎30dvc‬

To be successful, you must be held accountable. You don’t have to do this alone! As a community, we will encourage each other along!!

To have your YouTube feed posted along with the other 30 Day Vloggers, email me:
profane.me@gmail.com
-once submitted, your feed will automatically update at http://30dayvloggingchallenge.blogspot.com

Once you have your first episode: post it to the group!

Here’s my video from today, which I created on iMovie.


What I Learned at Write Canada 2015 Part 3 – Marketing Tips from Mark Leslie Lefebvre

I decided to take advantage of two last-minute additions to the workshops offered at Write Canada. Mark Leslie Lefebvre describes himself as a Writer, Bookseller, Book Nerd, POD & eBook Keener. He is the Director of Kobo Writing Life & Author Relations. Here are some of the tips he shared:

  • Author involvement in marketing is required no matter which way you get your work published
  • The goal of traditionally published authors is to earn an advance whereas the goal of self-published authors is to cover their costs

Tip #1 – Know Your audience

  • What are your readers like?
  • What problem will your book solve for your readers?
  • Where are your readers hanging out?

Your goal should be to connect with your audience; to engage, not broadcast. Your focus should be on giving, providing value, sharing things that entertain, inform, and inspire.

Tip #2 – Think Long-term: Practice, Patience, Persistence

Rankings go up and down

  • Comparison-itis gets in the way; Follow your own path
  • “Define yourself as the big fish in a small pool.” (Quote from Robert J. Sawyer)
  • In the self-publishing “Gold Rush” most people don’t make #1, but many make a moderate living
  • Don’t forget you’re always “on stage”
  • Focus on the next title

Tip #3 – Build a Basic Website

  • Get your own URL
  • Have a professional photo
  • Share your bio
  • Add links to your books and booksellers
  • Blog on a regular basis
  • Encourage people to sign up for your newsletter

Make it easy for people to follow and connect with you

Tip #4 – Blog to Connect with your audience

  • Have fresh content available
  • Provide value
  • Embed your URL
  • Auto-feed your blog into Facebook and Twitter
  • Add a Twitter feed to your website
  • Share what interests and intrigues you
  • Use free tools like Youtube, Google, and podcasting

Check out the Kobo Writing Life Blog

Tip #5 – Send out an Author Newsletter

-Embed a signup form into your website

-Include your newsletter form link into the e-mail signature

-Share links to blog posts, podcasts, Youtube videos (any content you’ve created)

-Promise you’ll never spam anyone

-Be consistent (at least monthly)

Tip #6 – Social Media (e.g. Twitter)

-Make sure you have a current, professional headshot

-Check your bio and make sure it is interesting, informative, and up-to-date

-Less than 20% of your posts should be about your book

For more information:

Self Published Covers

Maximizing Your Sales at Kobo (Written by Mark)

Ebook Publishing on Kobo (Written by Joanna Penn)

WattPad is a great place to cultivate a team – it’s like Facebook for readers and writers.

Pricing Tips: Optimize your pricing for each country. (Round it up or down to the nearest dollar ninety-nine.) In the UK round the price down. In Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, round the price up.


Launch Day for Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps

It’s launch day! My second book on how to use Twitter is now available. Today and tomorrow I’m offering a special introductory price. Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps is now only $0.99 and Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps is available for $1.99 for these two days. (NOTE: The $1.99 price is NOT available in Canada. BUT, if you purchase the book and send me your invoice, I’ll send you an Amazon credit for $2.00.)

Use Twitter to easily and effectively reach your readers!

Twitter Hashtags

Successful writers take responsibility for marketing their own work. Social media, including Twitter, can be amazing tools. But how do you get started and use Twitter productively without wasting valuable writing time?

In Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps, Ruth L. Snyder explains how to go beyond the basics and use Twitter effectively. Using this manual, you’ll learn how to write great tweets, use hashtags, link shorteners, and Twitter tools, schedule your tweets, use tweet templates, and continue building relationships with your worldwide audience. You’ll also discover many tips and tricks to engage your audience and build a solid marketing platform in minutes a day.

This is the second book in the Authors’ Social Media Mastery Series on Twitter. The first book, Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps, helps you master the essentials. This book builds on the basics and helps you learn to make the best use of your Twitter account.

Become more proficient at using Twitter today!

Bonus Content: Video – 10 Steps to Creating Beautiful Graphics with PicMonkey and E-book – Quotes to Use on Twitter (Inspiring Quotes in 140 characters or less)

Purchase your Twitter books:

Book 1 – Canada – http://amzn.to/1O6S2w4

Book 1 – U.S.A. – http://amzn.to/1do3UxF

Book 2 – Canada – http://amzn.to/1CwfD9a

Book 2 – U.S.A. – http://amzn.to/1FkYd9w


Lessons in Trust and Technology

Lessons in trust and technology

 

Sometimes I just have to laugh. (I’d rather laugh than cry, wouldn’t you?!) After I posted last time, I ran into major technology issues. It all started quite innocently, with the addition of a new e-mail address. After the creation of the e-mail address, I wanted to add it to my e-mail program so that I don’t have to check e-mail on the web. Although I thought I had the address configured properly into my Apple Mail program, I soon discovered I made some errors, which not only resulted in me not being able to access my new e-mail address, but also resulted in me not being able to access my website, or the website of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, or the admin panel for either of these websites. Why? Because my IP address was singled out as the source of a possible virus . . .  and blocked. This happened on May 21st and today is the first day I’ve had access to all my services again!

At first I felt stressed, frantic. I’m in the middle of taking an excellent course from Shelley Hitz, called Author Audience Academy. I started the section of the course on building an e-mail list, only to find myself locked out of my website. I couldn’t change anything, I couldn’t apply what I was learning, I couldn’t even look at my website.

Instead of focusing on what I couldn’t do, I decided to focus on what I could do. I’m also in the middle of writing my second how-to book for Twitter (Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps). My original goal was to have the rough draft finished at the end of last week. That didn’t happen. I still have three chapters to write and edit. I’ve already told people I’m going to publish it the end of June and next week I’m going to Write Canada, which means no time for writing. More cause for panic . . .  Or not. As I thought about it, I remembered that I could upload a draft copy and put the book up for pre-sale. As long as that happens in June, people will be happy because they know the book is on its way. That gives me some breathing space and allows me to finish the book well. It also gives me time to get the book to beta readers for feedback. (If you’d like to be one of my beta readers, e-mail me!)

Although I wasn’t able to post on my own blog, I was still able to write two posts which were shared on other blogs:

 


Shadow (German Shepherd/Collie/Mongrel) joined our family when our oldest daughter was eighteen months old. He died peacefully in his sleep when she was fifteen, under the trampoline where he spent many hours “supervising” as our children played and jumped above him. He lived a full, long life, but it was hard to say “Goodbye” or think of replacing him. Nine months ago a beautiful white bundle of energy (Husky/Malamut) joined our family. Our children named him Olaf, after the snowman from the movie, Frozen. Olaf has reminded me of several important truths regarding parenting (Click here to read the rest of this post on A Beautiful Life.)

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” -William Wordsworth

It started at the breakfast table. After we read about what qualities God looks for in a person and how we should look beyond people’s actions and appearances.

“You’re dumb. I don’t like you.”

“I don’t like you either.”

“Mom, Levi’s bugging me.”

I sighed. My husband was already at work. “Are you guys being kind to one another?”

They gave me crooked grins and shook their heads. It was quiet for a few milliseconds before they were at each other,  again.

(Click here to read the rest of this post on InScribe Writers Online)

I believe God’s timing is perfect. I know that He is trustworthy. But sometimes in the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to lose sight of HIM.

What have you been learning about technology and/or trust lately?


Social Media Blog Hop Week 3: Scheduling Posts

Social Media 300x300

The two ways I schedule posts to social media are with a WordPress plugin called Social Time Master (to share blog posts) and with Hootsuite (to share basically everything except personal blog posts). You’ll want to check out Hootsuite’s resource area to learn how to use it most effectively.

Scheduling posts is something I resisted for a long time. I don’t like to see my Facebook or Twitter feed full of repetitive messages and neither does anyone else. However, life is busy and scheduling posts does save time. So how do we take advantage of the time saving tools, but also keep our posts interesting and helpful?

Hootsuite Scheduling
Scheduling posts on Hootsuite

Here are some ideas I keep in mind when scheduling posts:

  1. The 80/20 Rule – We all know what it’s like to be around people who always talk about themselves … boring at best, annoying at worst. I use eighty percent of my posts to share helpful links (from others), quotes, retweet, and comment on other people’s posts. The other twenty percent of posts I use to share my own links, advertise my products, and share my work.
  2. Social Media is about building relationships, not making sales –  Social media should be about building relationships, about the other people we interact with, not about ourselves. When we build relationships, sales will follow because people will trust us.
  3. Repeating the same message over and over chases people away – How many of us enjoy being around a whiny child? Repeating the same message over and over is just as annoying – a great way to lose followers. It’s okay to share the same link repetitively, but the angle and information shared in the post should vary.
  4. Post when your audience is most likely to see the message – When we pay attention to our audience, we don’t waste time doing things that are ineffective. For general guidelines, check out the information shared by Social Media Today. One or two posts during high traffic times may be more effective than ten posts when our audience is offline or preoccupied. Sometimes it takes trial and error to figure out when our personal audience is listening, but it will save time and effort in the long run.

I’m still working on my scheduling strategy. In my ideal world I would schedule posts once a week. In my real world my schedule is not predictable and I end up scheduling when I have something important to share.

Do you use an app or software to schedule posts? Share your strategy and tips with us!

Want to learn more about Twitter? My new book, Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps is available for pre-order on Amazon. (April 27th – Read a Story Day – is my official launch date.)

Beginnging Steps 1


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Social Media Blog Hop Week 2: Favourite Graphic Program/App

Social Media Blog Hop

No matter which social media platform you use, you need great graphics. Images draw more attention to your content and improve your chances of being seen and heard. Make sure when you use pictures, that you use royalty free images and are NOT infringing on copyright. There are sites which offer free graphics, but I prefer to either use my own pictures or pay a small fee to use pictures taken by others.

I recommend the following sources for graphics:

  • Dollarphotoclub.com (High resolution royalty free images AND vectors are available for $1.00 each and may be used for commercial purposes.)
  • Clickartonline.com (Clipart, photos, photo objects, fonts, sounds, web graphics, and animations are all available to use. The yearly fee is $39.99 for unlimited downloads and you are able to select the size of the image you want to download.)
  • Take your own pictures using your phone, iPad, or camera. (Take the time to edit your images and present the best visual appeal you can. You may want to use an online editor like PicMonkey)

Once you have a graphic to work with, you can add text and personality to them by using design apps or software.

Created on Canva
Created on Canva
Created on Canva with a picture I took on my iPad
Created on Canva with a picture I took on my iPad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recommend:

Canva

(This program is available online at www.canva.com or as an app from iTunes. You can either sign up for a free account or sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account.)

Canva has predesigned “canvas” sizes for: Food & Drink Menu, Social Media, Presentation, Poster, Facebook Cover, Facebook Post, Instagram, Blog Graphic, A4 Document, Card, Email Header, Twitter Post, Invitation, Business Card, Album/Podcast Cover, Twitter Header, Pinterest, Real Estate Flyer, Google+ Cover, Kindle Cover, Photo Collage, Facebook Ad, and Facebook App. You are also able to select “Use custom dimensions” in the top right hand corner and create a canvas using either pixels or inches.

Canva provides many options for design with text in various fonts, background colours, layout options, and uploading your own pictures. Canva also provides access to 1,000,000 images, some of which are free, and others available for $1.00. Basically, if you can dream it, you can design it on Canva.

I like the many options Canva provides, but making an image can be time intensive. I’ve also noticed that sometimes the downloads (either png or pdf) are not as clear as I would like them to be. But for a free program, it’s a great tool.

Rectangular image created on WordSwag with an image from Pixabay
Rectangular image created on WordSwag with an image from Pixabay

WordSwag

Created on WordSwag with a free image that comes with the app
Created on WordSwag with a free image that comes with the app

As far as I know, WordSwag is only available as an app. (I use it on my iPad.) WordSwag is intuitive, easy to use and great when you want a quick blog graphic or want to share a quote on social media. It has several options available, including access to images on Pixabay (over 330,000 free photos, illustrations, and vector graphics in the public domain).

The graphics created on Wordswag are either rectangular or square. Wordswag is not very flexible, but still provides great graphics in very little time. (All of my graphics for this year’s blog hops were created on WordSwag.)

Created on WordSwag with an image from Pixabay
Created on WordSwag with an image from Pixabay

 

 

What is your favourite source for graphics to use on your social media sites? Enter a comment or link in to our blog hop below.

 

 

 

 

 


Feel free to share the blog hop button on your site. Here’s the code:

<a href=”http://ruthlsnyder.com/2015-social-media-blog-hop-week-1-favourite-social-media-site/#.VPcPGHZks1Y” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://ruthlsnyder.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Social-Media-300×300-150×150.png” width=”300″ height=”300″ /></a>

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