Gaining momentum on social media sites might be tough for new authors without a large following, but it is also a vital part of today’s digital marketing. Authors need to connect with readers to get their books found in the deluge of thousands of new titles published each day. On the other hand, managing a social media presence can take up a lot of time that could be spent writing or engaging in other forms of marketing. But once authors do gain traction, they can enjoy viral marketing and almost automatic branding of their author name and any new published books.
Getting Started with Social Media as a New Author
If you don’t know where to start with social media, you might remember these tips:
- Focus: You don’t need to establish a social media presence everywhere, but you should try to target sites where you are likely to connect with your readers.
- It’s not all about you: Make sure you remember your readers when you post content to social networking sites.
- Keep it up: Post consistently without overwhelming or annoying your readers.
- Use what you have: Begin with your existing social networks.
Where should you start setting up social media accounts and pages?
There might be a different answer for almost everybody, but most new authors consider Facebook fan pages, Twitter accounts, and Goodreads. I would not suggest starting with more than three, and you may only select one if that’s all you can handle well. As time passes, your social media presence can grow organically as you gather more fans and more comfort with the new medium.
What social media content engages readers?
Make most of your content about your readers and not about you. If you want readers to care about you, you need to demonstrate that you care about them as more than people with credit cards who might order your new releases. That means you have to take the time to understand your readers and test different types of posts to see what connects with your fans.
You might look at the examples of some queens and kings of Facebook like Ann Rice and George Takei for inspiration. Also, consider connecting with other popular personalities and authors. For example, Ann Rice has been known to give a nod to indies and new authors, and she is always full of inspiration.
How often should you post to social networks?
I think it is important to maintain a consistent presence on any social media sites you really want to conquer. With that said, hourly posts will surely get annoying on sites like Facebook where many readers have busy news feeds. It would be better to show up once a day or a few times a week with powerful content.
That means it might take longer to really test your content, but establishing a brand online may take some time. On the other hand, if you don’t post often enough, you risk getting forgotten. Remember that social media users have a lot of demands on their attention.
Start with What You’ve Got
Finally, leverage the resources that you already have in order to grow your presence naturally. If you set up a new Facebook fan page, don’t be afraid to invite your personal connections to like your page. You’ve got to start somewhere. Also consider connecting with other new authors, editors, and graphic artists to make your social marketing a collaborative effort instead of always making it a competitive one.
Most of your personal connections should be very supportive and even excited about your venture into book writing and publishing. A few might act cool or even jealous, but if you aren’t ready to face that, you will have a tough time when you hear from critics who don’t even know you.