Hi Helene! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business, Hashtagitude.
Hi, I am Helene Kwong and I'm the CEO and Founder of Hashtagitude. I grew up fascinated with the internet and social communities, and am an early adopter of the major social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+. I have fast thumbs and can out-tweet many other professionals in the industry. I love helping businesses grow their social media presence with my unique and effective strategies.
How important is social media for promotion for writers?
VERY important: if you are not out there promoting your writing, then how will others find you? The same can be said about most small businesses, but I think writers are especially guilty of not putting out enough promotion for their work. Understandably, as a writer myself (I write novels, too!), it is hard to juggle both working on writing and also promoting my writing.
What are some ways that writers can use social media for promotion without sounding salesy or unauthentic?
Participate in Twitter chats about writing or centered around your personal interests, such as crafts. There are SO MANY Twitter chats to choose from out there! Another social media tactic to begin with would be to curate and share content to your social media channels related to your writing subject matter and also around your general interests. You want to show your personality to your audience but also keep with the general subject matter of your upcoming books/screenplays/etc. to get people interested in what you're writing about. Also be yourself: share your day-to-day thoughts, what you did today, etc.
In terms of promoting your next book, you can share small snippets of your book to give people a preview (and to not sound too salesy... even though you are promoting your book!). Host a special Twitter chat around the subject matter of your book and get your audience to ask you questions about the book, your writing life, etc.
All in all, do what feels the most authentic and true to your personal brand!
How often should writers be sharing their work through social media?
A couple times a week, just to remind your audience about your work without overwhelming them with too much writer talk. Of course, if you are working in a promotional period for your book, you can increase the social media exposure to once a day (on Twitter) and every other day on other networks.
If you could to tell writers to start doing ONE THING through social media, what would it be?
Interact with other writers, potential fans... everyone except spammers. I find a lot of people hop onto social media and expect for people to come TO them without any interactions. Social media is all about the conversation, especially on Twitter. If you're not going to tweet at others conversationally, then why bother? It's not about the sales and broadcasting.
In your opinion, what makes social media so overwhelming for people?
Social media is overwhelming for people because of the speed of information coming at you through all the different timelines and trying to figure out what to post to your social feeds on a day to day basis. You want to stay active on social media, but it's quite hard to do when you're also running a business/working on your next great book.
How do you help people with their social media so that it's no longer overwhelming for them?
I act as my clients' social media voice by filling their social media feeds with content and engaging with their audience. I also offer strategy and training sessions to help my clients work on running their own social media more efficiently.
Helene answers THREE more questions that will only be shared with the VIP newsletter list! So jump on the list to catch some exclusive content happening on Friday:
Do you follow any writers/bloggers on Twitter? If so, what are some strategies you've seen them use that are successful?
Is there anything you've noticed them doing that might hurt their promotion instead of help it?
If you could recommend any one platform for writers to capitalize on, what would it be and why?