Social Media 101: Social Media for Indie Authors
As an author, you may have been told at one point or another about how important Social Media is for your brand. Is your brand really that important? What does Social Media actually do for you? Is managing Social Media worth all the effort you need to put into it? These may be some of the questions you ask yourself when mulling over Social Media as a platform. There really isn’t a clear cut answer for those questions, but Social Media definitely has many benefits you need to consider before writing it off as a waste of time.
One of the biggest challenges for a writer is probably writing the book, but unfortunately, the challenge does not stop there. Some authors have a very bad misconception that after writing the book, it will sell automatically as long as the content is good. Yes. A good book is the backbone of your brand, but we can also argue that Social Media is the vocal chords. Social Media is one of the most inexpensive ways to market yourself because the leading Social Media brands like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ are all free.
Social Media sometimes has a bad reputation of being a platform that consistently changes due to people’s shifting interests. In the past, Social Media sites like Myspace, Zyga, Freindster, and Geo-cities have come and gone at an alarming rate. The interesting thing about Social Media today is that certain Social Media brands are currently cemented in today’s society. There are many benefits for authors when it comes to Social Media, and some of these benefits are as follows:
Conduit for Different Channels
One of the best things about Social Media is how it connects you to different people that you may not normally come across. Due to the nature of Social Media, it allows you to get exposure to different people through your own connections. Let us paint a picture for you. Imagine you’re on Facebook and you share something about writing a novel, and around six people share your post. If each person that shared your post roughly has 600 friends, your post potentially reaches 3,600 people, not including your own connections. This type of exposure is very hard to come by normally, and building a following of 3,600+ people as a new author is a daunting task. Once you use Social Media, it opens up roads that may have been blocked due to your lack of exposure.
Social Media gives you the opportunity to interact with your audience closely. Sometimes it is hard to get a clear understanding of what your audience thinks about your work or what they may want from you in the future. Through the use of Social Media you are able to converse with your readers to see their like and dislikes so that you can improve on your shortcomings and leverage your strengths.
Something else you can do with this one-on-one interaction is to keep them informed about your progress. Are you writing a book? Are you giving books away for review? Are you doing a book signing? These are all things that you can let your audience know to further your connection with them. Typically Social Media is not used to sell, but people that you interact with on Social Media are more loyal to your brand. Social Media is not a guarantee of sales, but it does help you get a more loyal fan base that can help you further down the line.
Due to the increased reach you get by utilizing Social Media platforms, you are given more opportunities to convert other people. Conversion is the process in which you convince people to like your company. As an author, the conversion process may be different. Conversion for you may be more along the lines of getting a person interested in your work. Due to the increased exposure, the Conversion process has a higher likelihood of occurring. The more people that are interested in your work, the better the chances of getting another fan. More fans equal more referrals, and statistically, referrals lead to better book sales.
Some Helpful Tips for Different Platforms
Facebook Posts with images and videos resonate better with all audiences.
The more people share your posts, the more people see it.
Actively engage with your audience by getting them involved with your posts.
For example: “It’s sometimes really hard to stay motivated when writing your book. What do you do to stay motivated to keep doing the things you love?”
When posting on Twitter remember the 150 character limit. It’s an art form. Posting an interesting article may not work because of how long the HTML is. Try using BITLY to shorten URL
Twitter is based on a retweet and favorite culture. When you retweet other peoples content, they are more likely to do the same for you.
Use Hash tags. They’re really important. Hash tags may not be as important as they used to back in the day, but it’s a good way to specifically cater your tweets to a particular audience, since Hash tags have their own thread. #Listen
Add “On Hover Pin” on your images. Pinterest has detailed directions on how you can do so. On Hover Pins drive referrals on this platform.
Follow other Authors. It’s good to see what your peers are doing, and it gives you an opportunity to expand your network.
Inspire your audience. People like inspiring things on Pinterest. Quotes, stories, images, you name it. Just works on that platform.
The # 1 Rule. Make good content. The better the content, the more interested people will be.
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Another good Social Media Platform people really don’t talk about is Goodreads. It’s specifically catered to Authors and avid readers. I know. It’s perfect. You should be on there. Look at our past blog to learn more about it.