Many of us spend too much time on social media, often utilizing it as a distraction from the tasks we need to accomplish. Social media can definitely get a bad reputation. As an author, have you considered how social media can enhance your profile and brand?
Twitter can build community with other writers. This is especially useful given the solo aspect of writing. It is a wonderful platform for book marketing, if we take the time to genuinely connect with others, thus drawing readers in rather than tuning them out.
Five smart ways to enhance your social platform:
Research hashtags that connect you with other writers in your preferred genre. For example, if you write fiction, #amwritingfiction will help you find writers and posts related to fiction. To connect with writers more broadly you may simply use #amwriting. This is also a great way to find people to follow. They may end up following you too once they see some of your wonderful posts! The more people you follow, the greater your chance of gaining new followers. While this is a sound strategy for increasing followers, unfollowing someone once they start following you is considered poor etiquette. Of course, if someone is offensive then feel free to let them go.
Post content about your life, not just promotional tweets. This tip is especially important if your audience contains relatives and friends. Your audience may not all be writers, but other people who will support you by purchasing and reading your book. People want to know you as a person and don't always want to be sold to. One of the quickest ways to lose your audience is through constant spamming. Try to work some quirky, funny or personal posts into your timeline, such as a funny joke or a photo of a hike you took on Saturday. Take time to write encouraging comments on other people’s posts too. By blending personal posts with some occasional advertising, people will feel like you are a human and not a marketing machine.
Retweet and quote people with relevant knowledge and experience. This could be another writer, publisher, famous person, or anyone else you hold in high regard. Associating with their articles and brands reflects well on your own personal brand. It gives readers a greater understanding of your viewpoint and personality, too. This can impact the decision of whether they want to see more, versus “unfollow”. To personalize a retweet, quote, or article post a comment with it. Aside from tailoring it to your brand, it will make it more interesting and shows you put thought into what you posted.
Know your audience. Who is your audience? Young parents? Fitness fanatics? Murder mystery book lovers? Conduct a search through Twitter using any words that represent the genre you are interested in. For example, if you want to connect with other murder mystery writers, the obvious search would be #murdermystery or #murdermysterywriters. However, if you scroll through those pages you will find additional hashtags regularly used that may connect you with even more relevant groups. In this example, I found other hashtags such as: #crimefiction, #suspense, #writers among others. Look at the time stamps of when posts are conducted, or when people respond to posts, to ascertain when people are usually online. Alternatively, you can experiment with posting at different times of the day and see if you get more responses at a particular time. As you get to know your audience, you will understand better what it is they want to read about, too. This will then guide what you post (or don’t post). You may also find further connections through looking up a popular author in your genre. Chances are they will have followers or be following people who could become your newest Twitter connections too.
Post often but don’t overdo it. Posting often reminds people you are current and also enhances your online social presence. People are more likely to remember someone who is posting regularly, rather than someone who barely ever posts or comments on anything. Make sure you utilize hashtags and post regularly throughout the week (remembering variety is key, not just promotional posts). This could be even a few times a day. One of the benefits of hashtags is that even if you post at a less popular time, some viewers look up specific hashtags to see what they missed out on while they were away. If you can’t access your computer when you need to post, use a program to set your tweets in advance. This can be set to post throughout the day or even later in the week. The program I like to use is Buffer. It posts to Twitter at the times I choose and means I don’t have to be at my computer all the time.
Have fun with these tips and feel free to share your own with us too!