Social Media Guidelines

Author Guide to Social Media


As an author, you are the best advocate for your work. Social media offers you a powerful tool to promote your book to your network of friends, family, colleagues, and peers. Whatever your social media skill or comfort level, you can positively contribute to the attention that your book receives by sharing news about it on social media.


Here are a few tips to help you out.


Pick your network(s)

  • It is not necessary for you to be active on all social networks. See the Author Profile Pages section below for profiles to establish regardless of other social activity.
  • Pick the networks that best reflect your personality, your style, and your personal preferences.
  • Just one active network is fine, but make it count.

Establish your brand

  • Include recent photos and book covers across all your profiles. UTP can provide graphics using your book cover if necessary.
  • Your purpose for each network can be different, but they should have a consistent voice/perspective and reinforce who you are as an author.
  • Post not just your own content, but also about relevant news items, books, articles, etc. in your core subject area(s).
  • If you have a website, add it to your social media profiles.

Be authentic

  • Be yourself – a real person, with thoughts and opinions.
  • It’s OK to post personal things (pictures of your cat, your dinner, your garden, etc.) but keep that balanced with substantive posts around your core discipline(s).


  • Follow influential people in your field.
  • Post content regularly – your own and content by others.
  • Share articles, links, and pictures.
  • Take part in conversations – respond and react.
  • Retweet, like, favourite, and share posts from others.

Use hashtags

  • Hashtags (e.g. #academia, #phdchat, #politics) allow you to take part in larger conversations and connect with people who are not currently following you.
  • Use hashtags that your followers and the people you follow use.
  • Follow relevant hashtags on Instagram to see what is trending. Twitter and Facebook trending topics will tell you which hashtags people are using most on these platforms at any given time.
  • A tool like Best Hashtag can suggest relevant hashtags to consider.
  • On Facebook and LinkedIn, seven hashtags should be your maximum.
  • On Instagram, you can use anywhere from 10 to 30 hashtags.
  • On Twitter, you can integrate hashtags into your main text. e.g. This book is about #diversity across Canadian #university campuses.

Post images

  • Images increase views, likes, shares, and commenting across networks.
  • Share photos, images, and infographics to improve engagement (e.g. share a photo of you unboxing your book when it first arrives in the mail – these photos are enormously popular).
  • Include images with links when possible.




Great for staying up-to-the-minute in your field.

  • Real-time conversations around hot-button topics and trends.
  • Share timely news items and links.
  • Hashtags (#) are critical.
  • Ideally, tweet 3-5 times per day.
  • Use pictures and videos to attract more attention.
  • Learn more: Getting Started with Twitter.


Great for branding and authority reinforcement, and especially for reaching general interest audiences.

  • Deeper conversations and commenting.
  • Either open up your personal profile to followers (this allows people to see just your public posts) or create a separate author page (managed separately from your personal account).
  • Post to Facebook 5-10 times per week.
  • Learn more: Getting Started on Facebook.


Reach a younger demographic with highly visual content.

  • Share pictures, book covers, quote images, archival images, research documents, and notes.
  • Post Stories, IGTVs, Reels, and Guides.
  • Hashtags (#) are important.
  • Post at least 3-5 times a week. Be consistent with your schedule.
  • Learn more: Getting Started on Instagram.


Reach professional and academic audiences with meaningful, substantive content.

  • Share extracts, blog posts, articles, and links to your content, as well as content by others.
  • Build your professional network by connecting with your colleagues and peers (particularly others in your field).
  • Keep profile up-to-date with publications and speaking engagements.
  • Post to LinkedIn about once per weekday.
  • Learn more: LinkedIn 101.



Whether or not you personally use social media or plan to use it, you should establish these key author profile pages on Amazon and Goodreads. They are critical in building your online presence as an author and to help establish – both for search engines and for readers – who you are and what you write about.



Connects authors to all of their titles within the Amazon universe, and also provides readers with the opportunity to “follow” authors. Help readers discover your work by adding your books to your Amazon Author Central page.

  • Join Author Central.
  • Include a rich, personal bio and an up-to-date author photo.
  • Mention book title(s), especially most recent book, in bio.
  • Connect to blog and/or social media, if applicable, to keep content fresh, and include videos and events as appropriate.


The Goodreads Author Program allows published authors to claim their profile page to promote their book and engage with readers. Amazon owns Goodreads, and takes signals from it. Google crawls Goodreads as an authoritative site on authors and books.

  • Join the Goodreads Author Program.
  • Include a rich, personal bio and an up-to-date author photo.
  • Mention book title(s), especially most recent book, in bio.
  • Connect to blog and/or social media, if applicable, to keep content fresh.