So let's start with my favorite: Facebook. I have met some truly amazing authors on there and feel like I get the most feedback from my posts. The release parties I had on there were also (once I got the hang of it!) a great first experience into promoting my book. Fellow authors share, comment and post for you and you can return the favor. The groups are also very helpful, so join as many as you need to! Facebook also allows you have to an author page to promote yourself and novels, as well as a Street Team. I'm extremely new to the Street Team life, but it works like this: you invite fans to join the private group and they get first look at teasers, release dates, cover reveals and ARCS (advanced reading copies). In return they pimp for you, posting on their pages when your book is about to be released, release party info and links to purchasing your book.
Facebook Author Page: www.facebook.com/AuthorCorinneScott
Facebook Street Team: www.facebook.com/groups/ScottsSpot
Next is Twitter. I've found that Twitter is amazing for posting quotes from your book, teasers, cover reveals and links to your website and/or blog. I haven't connected with others as much as I'd like to on Twitter because it's an instantaneous post that's gone two seconds later when the other thousands of people you're following start posting. There's less people on Facebook so your post isn't lost in translation like it can be on Twitter. Plus on FB they notice when you're friends with someone and keep those posts at the top when you log in. Not always the case with Twitter.
Instagram is a secret favorite of mine, but not because I get an enormous amount out of it, but because it's all photograph-based, which I love. I love seeing other authors' covers and hearing about the success they've had a book release party or author event. Seeing their photos inspires me to do more, post more. I like making teasers with quotes from my upcoming books. You need to make sure you are using photos you've bought off a website like www.istockphoto.com or www.canstockphoto.com. You buy the photo then use Instagram to put your quote on it. The photo is yours to use forever. There are also free image sites out there. If you can find what you need, go for it! I also use Canva to make Facebook banners and teasers. These are great for making announcements like a book release party or cover photo reveal party. Canva is very easy to use and they have images for free and ones you can purchase.
Pinterest: In my personal life, Pinterest is a HUGE addiction. However, in my author life, it's something I have to remind myself to do. I don't have a lot of Pinterest followers and what I've been pinning before my new series began was mostly author quotes, new book releases from fellow authors...and that's about it. Now that I have my Irish contemporary romance series coming out I can start pinning things that relate to what I'm writing about. Lover's Oak was a stand alone book so I did pin some Southern quotes and items to help with my release party, but I feel like Pinterest should be a reflection of your likes and interests for others to follow. I'm working on building my Pinterest up to be a true representation of my author-self.
Now onto Goodreads. I started using Goodreads at the same time as I got my contract with my agency and decided to use a pseudonym. That made it easy to truly build my Goodreads from the ground up. I have all the books I've read in the past, books I want to read and books I'm currently reading. Now Goodreads has a pretty good idea of what I like to read and gives me recommendations. In this regard my author self and my real self are exactly the same. Goodreads gives me a chance to write reviews for fellow authors and reach out to them. I can favorite authors I love. I can join groups that review and critique other authors, have reading challenges and discuss books they love. Goodreads also allows me to invite my friends to release parties, send them messages about upcoming events and I can have my Street Team suggest my novel for others to read. When I rate a book, I have one rule: nothing below 3 stars. I just find that it's disrespectful to other authors to give a 2 or 1 star rating. If I felt that that's what it was, I won't rate or review that book. It's a rule that several of my author friends have and I will always follow it.
Ah, YouTube. It's a site I use constantly for my real world job and it's one I adore. However, I haven't started using it for my author life just yet. I plan on creating a book trailer for my new O'Briens family series. I will use iMovie to create the trailer and then upload it to my YouTube channel. However, since I have virtually no followers I'll end up sharing it on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. So really it's just a stop over website and most people will end up seeing it on other social media platforms. So I'm not sure how helpful it will be yet. Stay tuned...
Google+: In my real life I'm a Facebook girl. Have been since 2005. I understand the need for Google to want to find a social media equivalent to FB, but I haven't been that impressed with Google+ yet. Maybe I'm not using it the correct way, but most people need to have a GMail account to be a Google+ member and I haven't found that to be the case among my author friends. They all have various email accounts not associated with Google. Perhaps in another year or two it will blow up. Until then, here's my info if you want to be in my small circle of friends.
Amazon, the almighty. So Amazon technically isn't a social media website. However, if you have a book in preorder or available, you need to have an Amazon author page. People can favorite you and find out when your next book comes out. It's also a great way to see what else they have written and more info about them. Once you have an account you can log into Author Central and see how your sales are going. Most people will purchase your book in ebook format rather than paperback/hardback, but you can see both sales.
Whatever way you choose to promote yourself, make sure you are respectful and appreciative to those who respond or promote for you. No one will champion harder for you than you. If you want to friend me on any of the sites above, I will respond in kind. Happy Social Mediaing!