Social Media for Editors


Christi McGuire was one of the special speakers at The Christian PEN convention in April. She presented the topic of social media. Although an entire week-long conference could be spent on this subject, Christi chipped a small piece of the large iceberg to provide an introduction to social media for the editors who attended “PENCON.”

Here are some of the highlights of her presentation.

Most of us have engaged in social media in one way or another. Some jumped in with both feet, and others dragged their feet, hoping this trend would pass. But let’s face it—social media is here to stay. So how do we as writers and editors deal with this enormous issue?

Approaches to social media are different for writers than for editors. In fact, each individual will approach social media in his or her own unique way. Much information is available about social media for writers. Writers are selling a product—their books. Editors, on the other hand, are selling a service. A writer’s audience, fans, and followers on social media networks are completely different from an editor’s.

For editors, I believe quality is better than quantity in regard to the number of followers and fans. Ten followers who engage with you every week on Facebook is more beneficial to your overall platform than one hundred followers who never engage with you.

Social media is about:

  • Being present
  • Developing relationships
  • Making connections
  • Engaging with people
  • Creating community
  • Maintaining authenticity
  • Providing value

If you are a freelance editor, you are a businessperson. Your social media platform needs to support your purpose, goals, and business plans. Those plans should be comprehensive. Don’t use just one network; use multiple networks together.

Determining your audience is the biggest asset to your social media plans. This helps you figure out how best to drive traffic to you. People have to be able to find you online and find value in creating a relationship with you.

Ironically, it’s not so much about who is following you so much as who is following the people who follow you. There are three degrees to your audience:

  • Friends (first degree)
  • Friends of your friends (second degree)
  • Friends of the friends of your friends (third degree)

Having a website with a blog is an absolute must, whether you are a writer or an editor. Nowadays, a site can be personally designed fairly inexpensively.

Make sure your website/blog:

  • is clean, uncluttered, easy to read, attractive, and easy to navigate.
  • doesn’t have busy backgrounds or frames, too-bright or too-dark colors, or hard-to-read text.
  • has text in a readable font.
  • has social media buttons (share buttons, like buttons, and buttons for your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and other profiles).

When you write blog posts:

  • use short paragraphs
  • don’t indent paragraphs—skip a line between paragraphs
  • use headings, lists, and bullets
  • write tight—no fluff
  • keep length to around 500 words
  • realize that content is king
  • use a “pinnable” graphic

Become knowledgeable about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keywords.

  • Understand how SEO algorithms work.
  • Know that original content is one of the highest criteria in SEO ranking.
  • Choose keywords purposefully. (Keywords are the words that appear on the website that describe the page.)
  • Use the keyword in the title. Always!
  • Repeat the keyword at least once in the first 50 words.
  • Use the keyword throughout the rest of the article.

Stay tuned for next week’s post: Intro to Social Media.


Christi McGuire headshotChristi McGuire has been in the Christian publishing industry for 15 years and has published hundreds of parenting articles and dozens of curriculum units. She also enjoys assisting aspiring writers through the writing, editing, and publishing process, from the beginnings of a manuscript to marketing their books via social media.