While some have truly embraced social media, many authors view it as a necessary evil. I know this because many tell me about their feelings and experiences with various platforms. They know they need to do it in order to reach new readers and sell books, but there is either a whole lot of resistance, or they simply do not enjoy the process.
Let’s see if we can’t help change that. It’s important to keep in mind that social media is a conversation, not a one-way street where you do all the talking. As an author, your job is to be interesting and engaging enough that people want to follow you and listen to what you have to say. You can think of social media as dating, and all the wonderful and awful things that implies. Below are some suggestions that might make the transition from avoiding to embracing a little easier.
Here are some tips for authors to use social media
1. Be interesting
This should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Your social media posts should be interesting enough that people are intrigued and want to read more of what you have to say. This means posting about more than just your book. Talk about things that are happening in the world that relate to your book, or share something personal that will give your followers a glimpse into your life. Just make sure whatever you post is appropriate for the platform you’re using and is also appropriate for your brand.
2. Engage with other users
If someone takes the time to comment on one of your posts, take the time to respond back! If you’re too busy to respond to every single comment, that’s understandable, but try to at least respond back to the ones that offer good comments or ask questions. It’s also very easy to “like” or use one of the other emojis so that each person feels like you noticed them. Ignoring your followers will only make them lose interest in what you have to say, or worse, lose them all together.
3. Use hashtags
Hashtags are a great way of getting more eyes on your posts. Do some research on which hashtags are popular in your genre or target audience, and use them accordingly. Just don’t go overboard – using too many hashtags can make you look desperate for attention, unless we’re talking about Instagram. In that case, the more hashtags you use, the better. “#amwriting #amreading #leadership #indieauthor #bookpublicity #bookmarketing #MediaDarling #ClientLove
4. Take advantage of live video
More and more platforms are incorporating live video features, and as an author, you should take advantage of this! Live video is a great way of connecting with your followers in real-time and gives them a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into writing a book, or your work and expertise in general.
5. Schedule your posts
This is especially important if you’re an author with a busy schedule. There are plenty of scheduling tools out there (such as Hootsuite) that will allow you to pre-write and schedule your posts ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about it day-to-day. However, don’t go too far out into the future. If some major world event takes place, you don’t want to look like you’re completely oblivious to what is happening.
By following these tips, you can build a strong social media presence that will not only engage potential readers and help sell books, but will also capture YOUR interest as well. For you to let go of resistance and actually enjoy engaging on social media, find a way to make it fun.
To your success!
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