Updated: Aug 1
Posting consistently on social media is one of the most effective strategies to get your book and its message out in front of your followers and other readers in your target audience. But for most authors I work with, writing books isn’t their full-time job. If you have a 9-to-5 job, a social life, a family life, and hobbies, how are you supposed to maintain a consistent social media presence as an author? In this post, I explain how to create content for social media and provide you with strategies for maintaining consistency on social media during a book launch.
How to create content for social media
To learn how to create content for social media, follow these six steps:
1. Outline content ideas
Begin by outlining ideas for content that you think will motivate social media users to learn more about your book. During this process, I recommend creating an outline using a whiteboard, notebook, document, or even your notes application on your phone. While outlining ideas, consider your target reader and their needs.
Next, create several content buckets, which are general topics you can make content about. Some examples include leadership, networking, management, and parenthood. After creating your buckets, brainstorm specific post ideas for each one. The more specific you are during this step, the clearer your direction will be for the remaining steps. Here’s an example of what your outline/content buckets might look like:
The best leadership advice I received
What I wish I knew about leadership on the first day of my career
What my first boss taught me about poor leadership
3 ways to prepare for your next networking event
How to stay connected after meeting at a networking event
5 conversation topics for any networking event
5 tips for maintaining healthy manager-team member relationships
Best way to earn respect as a manager
Setting expectations with your team
What I want my kids to learn from my leadership style
A day in the life of a single working parent
Tips for balancing a busy work schedule and raising a family
2. Consider how you want to communicate your ideas
Next, consider which social media platforms and media format you want to use for your ideas. Some social media platforms you can use include Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube. Here are some effective options:
Videos: You can share videos of you speaking about your topic of interest, a curated video that highlights your expertise, or even a personal video that allows users to get to know you better.
Photos: Sharing photos from your personal life, such as photos of your family or hobbies, can make you appear more relatable to users. Using our example content buckets from earlier, you might also share professional photos, like pictures from early in your career, or pictures with your mentor/mentee.
Graphics: You can create your own graphics that highlight your expertise on your topic or share more about your book. For example, you can create a graphic containing a notable quote or a list of tips.
3. Create content
Now it’s time to record videos, curate images, and create graphics based on your content outline. Here’s some advice for each media format:
Recording videos: If you’ve decided to record videos, you can do so within a social media application (like Instagram or TikTok). Alternatively, you may use the camera application on your phone. You can record selfie-style, or you may order a cheap tripod for your phone from Amazon so you can be hands-free during your video.
Curating images: You can gather personal photos that you plan to use in a designated folder on your phone or computer.
Creating graphics: I recommend using Canva to create graphics. There’s a free plan you can use, plus the platform is user-friendly, even if you’ve never created graphics before.
4. Edit videos
If you’re creating videos, you may find you need to do some minor edits. You can perform most edits or additions (like adding captions) within apps like Instagram Reels and TikTok. You can also use an app like Captions to add easy-to-follow captions to your videos.
Don’t let other videos you see on social media intimidate you. While it’s natural to want to compare your videos to another user, instead, remain focused on sharing videos consistently. It’s likely the other videos you view are from full-time content creators who have excess time or they’re paying a professional to handle their editing. While their videos might appear better, know that it’s the quality of the content that matters most and that is what you have control over providing.
5. Write captions for the content
Next, you can write captions for each of your posts. The length of your caption will depend on the type of content you’re sharing and what you’re ultimately trying to communicate. For example, if you’re sharing a video, you might find that your caption can be short and sweet, because you’re likely saying what you need to say in the video itself. The same applies to graphics that include a lot of information. You might include a lengthier caption to expand on the video/image you use—especially if you’re sharing only a photograph, as that likely requires more context.
6. Save all created content to a drafts folder or document on your device
Some social media applications, such as Instagram and TikTok, allow you to save posts to draft folders so you can share them at a later time. You can even include your captions, so all you have to do is enter the drafts folder and share the post when you’re ready. You may also consider using a social media scheduling tool to write and schedule posts. Some common scheduling tools are Buffer, Planoly, Loomly, and Hootsuite. Another option is to use a document or notes application in your phone to save captions for the day you need them.
Strategies for maintaining consistency on social media during a book launch
Now that you know how to create content for social media, consider what strategy you can implement to ensure you maintain consistency in creating and sharing content. One strategy is batch creating content, which involves blocking a few hours once a week to create a week or two weeks’ worth of content. With this strategy, you’ll have a large bank of posts that you can share quickly each day, and it only costs you one block of time every couple of weeks.
If you don’t have large blocks of time to batch create, you might set aside 30 minutes each morning to create content for that day only. With this strategy, it’s helpful to spend a bit more time at the beginning creating content buckets and subsequent ideas. This way, each day you can peruse your list of content ideas, choose one, create it, and post it. With practice and focus, you can aim to complete this task in less than 30 minutes each day.
Whether you’re in the midst of the writing process or have already finished your book, now is the perfect time to consider a marketing strategy. To help you get started, I’m offering a FREE download of my guide, 10 Things You Need For A Successful Book Launch. This valuable resource is packed with expert tips and strategies to empower you to craft an effective book launch and connect with a larger audience of eager readers.