If there’s one part of the body that gets some majorly bad press in God’s Word…it’s the tongue. And for good reason. My mouth has gotten me into more trouble than I care to admit.
“The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” – James 3:6
With the dawning of social media, the tongue has found expression in a whole new realm—thousands of folks get to “hear” what one person has to say on several different platforms all around the globe—with a single click. Crazy, isn’t it?
Granted, social media can be a nag-fest, spread negativity, and become a soap-box, but God’s Word warns against that.
“Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies.” – Psalm 34:12-13
Social media can also be used to spread the Good News in artistic, quick, and effective ways. All the more reason for God’s people to become fluent in the language of today’s communication!
September is my BFF (Biblical Fiction Fan) Team recruitment month! This special group of people works closely with me year round to promote, educate, and inspire others to read my books and other great biblical fiction. Today, in our second BFF guest post, we’ll take a look at some great ways to become a positive word in the social media world.
Meet Amanda Geaney!
Hello! My name is Amanda Geaney and I have been one of Mesu’s BFF’s since the inception of the team. This week Mesu has asked me to share a few ways in which those chosen for her BFF team can systematically use social media to promote both her books and other biblical fiction novels. I tried to have fun with this post and to smoosh everything into an easy to follow 10-step program. If I’ve miss anything, feel free to add your ideas/insights in the comment section.
As soon as Mesu reveals the cover art for Miriam on her blog it’s ready for public consumption. Sharing her blog post on your social media pages is an easy way to build anticipation for the book’s release. For The Pharaoh’s Daughter this was also about the time that you could add the book to your Goodreads “to-read” shelf as well as wishlist it on Amazon. At this time you can also pin the book cover from Mesu’s website or a book retailer’s site along with your thoughts about the book onto Pinterest.
THE BIG DAY
The moment your copy of Miriam arrives in the mail…Open the package, Squeal while jumping up and down and hugging the book (feel free to include your postal carrier in this celebration), and then get out your phone – it’s picture time. Yes….you want the whole world to know that YOU had a good mail day! This photo can be a selfie of you with the book or (for the camera shy amongst us) a cleverly staged photo of the book. Immediately post said photo to twitter, Facebook, instagram, and Pinterest. Be sure to include the book title, author, and the release date. To win brownie points with Mesu, include a mention of where your followers can pre-buy the book.
Send the kids to grandma’s (Grandparents send the grandkids home), grab your favorite beverage and a few snacks, and settle into a comfy chair to enjoy another amazing biblical fiction title. Whether you are a speed reader or a person who likes to savor books, you will want to keep a pack of post-it flags around. Why? When you come across something important in the book, like a good quote, you will be able to mark it quickly move on. *More on this later.
EMBRACE YOUR INNER WORDSMITH
Write and post a review for your personal blog. I have my own blog set up so that when I click publish, it simultaneously posts to twitter and google+.
Mesu and/or her publisher may want you to delay posting your reviews until the book release date draws closer. (And Amazon won’t allow you to post a review until the date of release.) So here are a few ways to win at the waiting game: refer back to your post-it flags to create graphics of your favorite quotes (I’m lousy at photoshop elements, but I happen to be a whiz at making images with picmonkey for this purpose), begin a social media countdown to the release day, delve into Mesu’s blog for articles you can share, read or re-read one of Mesu’s books that you have missed and write a review for it, explore other biblical fiction authors and give them some love.
Post your honest review of Miriam on the following sites: (You can copy and paste) Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, and Christianbook.com. I will include an expanded list of websites at the bottom of this post.
ROCK THE VOTE
Vote/add Miriam onto a Listopia list on Goodreads or talk about it in a Goodreads group you have been active in. Additionally, you can boast on twitter that Miriam has made your #Bestof2016 list.
LIBRARIANS ARE OUR FRIENDS
Make a request for your public library, church library, and/or local book store to carry the book.
Everyone on the NEW BFF Team will be a member of our BFF Facebook page, this will provide us the perfect opportunity to link-up and share each other’s reviews, interviews, and graphics.
When all of the book launch fanfare has died down, BFF’s are encouraged to maintain a social media presence. This was something I had to be intentional about, so in January I created the hashtag #biblicalfictionfriday. Now I have an excuse to tweet about my favorite genre on a weekly basis. You are welcome to join the fun! If you need help finding biblical fiction authors on twitter you can CLICK HERE to find the #biblicalfictionfriday list I’ve created. Creating additional content can be as easy as thinking of people who may benefit from reading Mesu’s books. Then, with those people/groups in mind tailor your posts in a way that will entice them to read. For example, I learned of a Bible study group at my church who was studying the book of Job, so I recommended Love Amid the Ashes. This idea would easily translate to social media. On a few occasions I’ve included one of Mesu’s books in a holiday gift idea graphic [insert graphic] and I’ve also relayed to others how Mesu’s stories have challenged me to go deeper in my own study of the bible (like when I completed the study she wrote to accompany In the Shadow of Jezebel).
When I began to put my ideas together for this post, I decided to google a few facts about social media usage and the numbers may surprise you. Can you believe there are nearly 2.1 billion people with social media accounts? The top 5 most popular sites are Facebook, twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Google+. One website touted that 71% of American adults use Facebook (that’s 58% of the entire adult population), while 23% of online adults are engaging on twitter. Now that we know where to find our audience, let’s talk timing. Did you know that both the time of day and the day of the week you choose to interact with your followers is important? QuickSprout.com has a wonderful infographic to convey this point [insert infographic from http://www.quicksprout.com/2015/01/02/what-are-the-best-times-to-post-on-social-media/]. Furthermore, I’d like to mention (for those of you who are unaware) there are a few social media outlets which cater specifically to book lovers such as Goodreads.com, Shelfari.com, and LibraryThing.com to name a few. Engaging in group discussions through these platforms targets our primary audience – people who buy and read books.
Additional websites to post reviews:
booksamillion.com, FamilyChristian.com, Walmart.com, DeeperShopping.com, LibraryThing.com, Shelfari.com, Kobo.com, and ibooks.
A Note From Your BFF Coordinators
Hi! Bethel Burton here, co-coordinator of Mesu’s BFF team! Part of what I get to do as co-coordinator is to help with the social media aspect of being a BFF. I love how social media has allowed us to connect to each other when we probably would have never met in person. I am learning so much about each of our members and look forward to meeting our new members! I have some ideas in the works for our new team of BFFs through the private FB group. Stay tuned for next week’s post to learn what those ideas are. I’ll give you a hint, they involve encouraging and helping each other be better BFFs!