As of June 2018, I have been book blogging for one full year. It has proven to be a great way to 1) keep in the habit of writing regularly, 2) keep an account of the books I’ve read & reviewed, 3) connect with others who love reading and discussing the books they read.
I haven’t learned everything there is to know about the process but as I reflect on my year, there are some things that I’ve picked up along the way that I thought I would share through a series of posts about book blogging. I hope you’ll find these tips helpful. Feel free to tell me what you’ve been learning too in the comments.
Today’s post will cover Tip #2 Get Social. Sharing blog posts on Twitter and making good use of #hashtags. I will cover getting social by following other bloggers in another post.
Reflecting on My Journey | How well did I use Social Media this year?
In the past 12 months, I’ve gone from having very little to do with Social Media to using it nearly every day as an opportunity to interact with my growing PLN (professional learning network) and of course to talk about all things books! I’ll stick with the same Q&A format that I used to help me reflect on my journey in the 1st blog in this series that covered Blogging Regularly.
Q: What were my initial experiences with Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram like?
A: One of the classes I took in grad school (2012) required us to set up a Twitter account and we were encouraged to use it beyond the classroom but I couldn’t really see the point at the time. I felt like it was this massive beast of nonsensical posts about things that I couldn’t care less about. Last year is when I finally caught on to why Twitter is so awesome but more on that later. I was most familiar with Facebook and favored it over Twitter because I thought it was more personal. As it relates to Instagram, I initially only set up an account so that I could secure my @cecelibrarian handle, knowing that I would want to explore using it more in the future.
Q: Which platform did I find myself using the most? Why?
A: Twitter quickly became my favorite platform to use to engage with other educators and bloggers, avid readers, and authors. I have connected with some truly amazing and talented people who have rocked with me as my Twitter Peeps all year. I still used Facebook to share my blogs with family but I mostly kept my use of Facebook at the personal level and I posted very little as ‘public’ posts. Where Facebook was my space for family and friends, Twitter became my platform of choice for professional growth and development-leading to many whom I now count as friends.
Q: Which platform do I wish I knew more about?
A: I definitely want to learn how to use my Instagram account better and not just for #bookstagram but just in general. I still am in a place where I feel like a beginner. I am at the very least glad that I was able to make sure I got my @cecelibrarian handle. These next 12 months, I will work on getting better at using Instagram.
GOALS | For the next 12 months, I want to 1) Get better at using Instagram, including Instagram Stories and 2) Figure out how to use Twitter to gain more readers.
Twitter became my platform of choice for professional growth and development, leading to many whom I now count as friends.
Get Social & Share your love of reading by using Twitter & #Hashtags
JOIN TWITTER | If you’ve been hesitant to join Twitter, just go for it! Once you start following your favorite authors, teachers, bloggers, book champions, you will find that your feed will be rich with valuable, engaging content. Here is a dozen of some of the many users I follow that make my bookish experience amazing:
- Black Children’s Books & Authors | https://twitter.com/BCBooksAuthors
- Books Between Podcast | https://twitter.com/Books_Between
- Colby Sharp | https://twitter.com/colbysharp
- Jarred Amato | https://twitter.com/jarredamato
- Jarrett Lerner | https://twitter.com/Jarrett_Lerner
- John Schu | https://twitter.com/colbysharp
- Julia E. Torres | https://twitter.com/juliaerin80
- Kate Messner | https://twitter.com/KateMessner
- MG @ Heart | https://twitter.com/MGatheart
- MG Book Bot | https://twitter.com/MG_BookBot
- Project Lit Community | https://twitter.com/ProjectLITComm
- Well-Read Black Girl | https://twitter.com/wellreadblkgirl
SHARE YOUR BLOG | Guess what? Your voice is important too so go ahead and share your blog posts there. WordPress is awesome because you can connect your Twitter account so that your blog will automatically post to Twitter when it’s published! Here’s a video to show you how. You would take the same steps to connect to your other chosen social media platforms. I have personally connected both my Twitter and Facebook accounts for automatic sharing. If I am posting something that I don’t want to share on one of those platforms, it is easy to turn sharing off.
Instructional Video from WordPress: How to Connect Your Blog to Twitter
HASHTAGS & TWITTER | Sometimes I don’t use the sharing feature on WordPress so I can better customize my Tweeted blog post to include users that I want to tag and related hashtags. This is a step that will help you better target your audience. Below, you will see a Tweet that I scheduled using TweetDeck. I used 2 hashtags to reach others who are reading Middle Grade books: #MGBookMonday & #MGBookVillage. If you search those two hashtags on Twitter, you will see any posts that were shared by users who used those same hashtags. The MG Book Village is pretty awesome. You should check out their blog too: https://mgbookvillage.org/.
This #MGBookMonday I am thinking back to my read of Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. I love to start my school year with 5th grade studying her work. Wishtree was one of our most popular checkouts this past school year. #MGBookVillagehttps://t.co/saFTjNY1aH via @wordpressdotcom
— Christina Carter (@CeCeLibrarian) July 9, 2018
HASHTAGS EXPLAINED (but not by me)| Now if you’re a newbie on Twitter, you might be reading this like, What??!!! If that’s you, there are aspects of this next video that might prove helpful. It was published by UCI Media. There were other videos that had more views but they were longer. This one is under five minutes and might answer some of the questions you have about using hashtags. (Note: Hashtags are not exclusive to Twitter, they are used widely on other platforms too.)
If you are not new to using hashtags, please take a look at the end of this post for a list of hashtags that I use or follow regularly in my bookish life on Twitter.
Hashtags that I use & Follow Regularly
(A Short List)
There are so many more, just wait and see what you’ll discover!
If you’re already on Twitter, who are some of your favorite users and hashtags to follow? Tell me in the comments.