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Confused about author social media, author marketing, and author branding?
Here are some of my most popular tips!

1) Q: How do I keep up with the insane amount of tweets?
A: Don’t. It’s impossible. Instead, create LISTS (think filters), whereby you add people as you follow them to a list. This creates an automatic filter, if you will, and allows you to focus only on those people you want to pay attention to. Twitter allows up to 1,000 lists, which is wow, a lot. I suggest keeping it to no more than 20 lists (preferably public). What’s great is you don’t have to follow all those people.
2) Q: How do I sell my book on Twitter?
A: Again, don’t. Twitter is a wonderful marketing opportunity, in which you connect with people directly, provide info/resources on topics you’re interested in or write about, and yes, some promotion. Focus more on building relationships as opposed to the hard sell.
3) Q: What are memes? And how do you say the word?
A: Memes, in its basic form, means theme (and to answer the second question, rhymes with theme, also). Familiar with the Ryan Gosling ‘Hey girl!’ pictures? Or the Extraordinary Good-Looking Man? How about Grumpy Cat? Things like that. Memes are an easy way for people to share and build upon a word or phrase, a picture, really any media that can be shared. Memes are typically shared on Twitter using the # sign (called a hashtag). By adding the # sign, you create a hyperlink, so anyone who is looking for a particular word or phrase (i.e., #authors, #amwriting, #amreading), will make your tweet more visible in Search. You can also participate in memes like #MondayBlogs (share your blog on Mondays, RT others), #WW (Writer Wednesday) or #FF (FollowFriday). All are pertinent to both authors and bloggers.

4) One final tip: You’re not stuck at following 2,000 people. Use to unfollow eggs, nonfollowbacks, and inactives. Twitter imposes a rate-limit once you hit 2,000 where you cannot follow 10% more than follows you, but you can easily manage this by using something like ManageFlitter. Click here  to sign up.

4) Q: Do I need both a personal account and a page, and what’s the difference? I’m so busy!
A: I know, it’s a bummer but YES, if you’re selling anything (book, service, charitable donations, etc), you must have a page according to Facebook guidelines. The difference is that your personal account requires you accept ‘friend requests,’ whereas your page requires people ‘like’ you. Very different.
5) Q: How do I make the time to post to both Twitter and Facebook? I’m too busy writing!
A: I recommend a desktop manager called Hootsuite. There are several out there (TweetDeck, Buffer) but I prefer Hootsuite because I like the ease of use, the set up, and that it will schedule tweets and shares on multiple networks.
6) Q: Do I need to blog? I’m so busy with my writing.
A: Absolutely! This goes to your relationship-building, branding, and providing info/resources. Think about the Rule of Three: spend one-third of your time writing, one-third marketing (online, social media, blogging, etc), and the other third promoting and interacting with others. Blogging allows you to do all three. It’s truly an indispensable tool for any author.
7) Q: What’s website optimization and do I need to worry about it?
A: No, you don’t need to worry about it but yes, it’s an essential part of your platform. Optimization means using the best keywords that relate to your branding, and making sure you use things like tags, categories, social media buttons, color story, and even headlines that pertain to your keywords. At the most basic level, think of optimization as making you as visible as possible!
8) Q: Branding confuses me. What’s it about and do I need to do it?
A: Yes. It’s critical. But it’s not painful or scary. The good news is you’re probably already doing it without realizing it. What are you passionate about? Write about that!
Branding, at its most basic definition, is conveying the theme of your book. Let’s say you’re writing a book about ice cream. So, anything you do having to do with ice cream creates a theme: your website/blog look (aka theme), color story, graphics, cover art, favicon (the little thingy on the tab of your URL), your book title, what you blog about, discuss on social media…on and on. You want to become the person known as The Ice Cream Girl (or Guy). There should be no question what your vision is. *That’s not to say you can’t discuss other things. Be authentic.
Also, and very important, brand the author not the book. Hopefully you’ll write more than one book, yes? So, use your own name wherever possible (ie, Twitter, Facebook, domain for your website/blog).
9) Q: What do I say I do? Author? Blogger?
A: Nope. Sounds crazy, but don’t tell us who you are, tell us what you do. Verb it up! ie, my profile on Twitter could say ‘Author. Blogger. Author consultant.’ But it doesn’t. Not only is that a snore, it’s not very helpful or specific. Instead, I say this:
Rachel Thompson
BROKEN PIECES inspires ‪#sexabuse survivors. Founder ‪@BadRedheadMedia ‪#MondayBlogs ‪@ASMBootCamp Rep'd ‪@Booktrope ‪@HuffingtonPost writer ‪ 
‪#SexAbuseChat every Tues 6pm |
Rachel Thompson
17+ yrs marketing, help ‪#authors w sales. ‪#Social trainer ‪@HuffingtonPost writer ‪#MondayBlogs founder. ‪@RachelintheOC rep'd ‪@Booktrope ‪ 
10) Q: What’s the one secret to having a bestselling book?
A: There’s no one thing that you can do, or for that matter, avoid (with the exception of spamming. Please, make it stop). There are MANY things that you can do or avoid. I provide you with what has worked (quite well) for me. Much of it is common sense. Some of it isn’t. You have to try different things and see what works best for you.
Got more questions? I love to help people! Check out my services here

Rachel Thompson is the author of newly released Broken Places and the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented byBooktrope. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. For affordable group sessions check out Author Social Media Boot Camp, monthly sessions to help all authors! Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington PostThe San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…),,,, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon#MondayBlogs and the live Twitter chat, #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

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