Post Inspo: 10 Simple Social Media Ideas

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Writers may be passionate about writing, but a fair number also abhor social media. Instead of feeling inspired by the wealth of information available via a quick scroll on their mobile device, many feel overwhelmed, disheartened, and/or perplexed by how to harness these platforms to promote professional endeavors. As a result, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to crafting a social media strategy can be knowing what to post. 

The truth is creating digital content doesn’t have to be complicated. “Quick and easy” can get the job done well, especially if a post schedule is consistent, plus well managed in terms of responding to follower comments, shares, and likes. 

A pragmatic exercise to start involves brainstorming ideas that reflect real time creativity. In other words, what would a behind the scenes view of what, where, or with who you write entail? Each of the social media suggestions below build off that concept and are simple to execute when pressed for time—or feeling like your online vibe could use a refresh. 

  1. Things You Overheard: Excerpts of conversations your ears picked up standing in a queue, during a shared ride, or at a café can easily be repurposed into post captions and word graphics. Here’s one stellar example, in addition to an important pro tip: Keep all quotes anonymous!
  2. What You Ate: Even if culinary writing isn’t in your wheelhouse, food is one of very few topics that has the capacity to engage the masses. Snapping a quick pic of foam art in your latte, meal prep for the week, or a Sunday brunch spread makes for interesting images that can often be captured without much forethought.
  3. OOTD (Outfit of the Day): Taking a selfie in a T-shirt with a funny saying, dressed up for #FormalFriday, or in game day apparel are a few ways to put your wardrobe to good use on social media. Bonus points for coming up with outfits that resemble popular book characters’ signature styles. 
  4. Flashbacks: It’s not uncommon to have photos on your phone’s camera roll that no one has ever seen. Scroll back to find one that relates to a scene in your manuscript or describes your writing mood at the present moment. Pics like this can also make effective teasers for upcoming travel or soon-to-be published articles.
  5. Friendships: Birthdays, anniversaries, grand openings—if there’s a friend with a celebratory occasion or a milestone looming, pick a fab photo to share on Twitter or on your story (on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn). Also don’t forget to repost to your feed(s) any shoutouts you receive on your special day.
  6. Old Pics, New Captions: Add a filter to the original (or change it from full color to black and white), then repost with a new caption that explains what you recall about that particular hike, meal, or event. Also, occasionally check out your archive on Instagram and Facebook. Both platforms frequently suggest older images to share again on story feeds.
  7. Play Space: For writers who are also visual artists, photograph your sketchbook, animation board, practice drawings, or graphic designs. Showing how creations come to life may also be a multiple-step process—meaning it can be divided up into several images or video clips to post as a series.
  8. A Day in the Life: Planning your kid’s birthday party, cleaning out the garden, and reconfiguring your office space are examples of daily activities that are easily relatable. Phrase the captions for these pics in such a way that requests advice from your followers or details about how they recently handled similar tasks. 
  9. Current Reads: Hidden Bookstagram or BookTok skills probably lie within all of us—or at least that's what these popular literary hubs within the digital realm would have us believe. Voracious readers and a variety of avid genre fans have entire blogs, plus Instagram and TikTok accounts, devoted entirely to making book recommendations. 
  10. Collaborations: Is there a local baker, florist, or crafter you could do a giveaway with? Author book bundles make excellent gifts too. Which is yet another way it can pay off to be connected online with other writers or poets in your region. If three or more are willing to regularly cross-promote each other’s work, it can help steadily grow your mutual audiences over time.

Of course, there’s a plethora of other easy suggestions that take less than 10 minutes to execute, such as book cover sneak peeks, fave phrases or verses from a current WIP or newest publication, acknowledging official and unofficial holidays, and much more. But beware of chasing trends. If a new dance move or photo challenge really interests you, then get your shutterbug on. Just make sure any intentional marketing tactics employed accurately represent you and your work because authenticity—and a bit of vulnerability—are necessary to build an audience. Beware of becoming too focused on increasing your number of followers, landing an agent, or selling out an author event. People want to know WHY you write what you write. Think less about selling and more about inviting others along on your creative journey.

*Want more social media content ideas? Check out these expert tips:

5 Easy Ways to Repurpose Content

Why Book Bloggers Should be on Pinterest

How Successful Authors Use Social Media: 24 Content Ideas