Add Social Media to the Writers Toolbox
Social media is a great, and inexpensive, avenue to pursue in today’s world of marketing. If you’re a writer, it should be one of the sharpest tools in your toolbox (next to your story board, thesaurus, and giant mug of caffeine).
Overcoming Awkward Self-Promotion
While many writers are introverts, building an online presence and marketing campaign provides a less invasive path to promotion. The key is to develop relationships with your followers and friends, and not use social media as a way to aggressively hawk your book or product. It can feel daunting, starting out in the realm of all things viral. So we’re breaking it down into a few easy exercises to help get you started.
4 Keys to Social Media Success
- Put yourself out there. You have to exist in the realm of social media to get socially savvy. So if you have yet to do so, create your Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts. They’re free and each offer simple instructions on how to get started. If you get stuck, you can search Google for tutorials. You Tube is full of great (and short) tutorials on how to create each of these accounts. Once you’re there, be consistent about posting new material so you’re fans know to check back regularly.
- Notify your friends that you have set up your accounts. Don’t be shy! Connect online with those you’re already connected to offline, and invite them to like or follow you. Most social networks make this process painless by integrating with Gmail, iContact, or Yahoo contacts and .csv uploads.
- On Twitter, follow 10-20 new readers each week. Use hashtags to find them, searching #amreading or #books or other bookish tags to target your audience. Find someone you admire and scroll through their followers, you might find there are like-minded people in their feeds.
- Engage in conversation. It’s not called Lurker Media for a reason (no matter how tempting Facebook staking is), social media is all about being social. Ask questions of your followers and people you follow. Invest in conversation and what they’re doing. Retweet and share posts or tweets that you think are informative, interesting, or just plain awesome. Reply to questions from your followers, be yourself, and DO share good reviews of your book, and reminders that you’ve written a book (with a link to it), as well as what your book is about. DON’T just plug your book with a link three to four times a day.
A supportive community is what social media is really all about. Yes, trolls and lurkers exist, but that’s life – they exist out of the viral world too. Focus on the people who have something to offer – whether it’s kindness, humor, great stories, or networking – and be the kind of person who can offer something back. You’ll be surprised how quickly your audience (and connections) can grow.