Building your Social Empire
Building a social network, as an author can be daunting and frustrating. There are so many social options and frankly so little time. As authors we tend to think once we are done creating a masterpiece of literature that our job is done, but truth be told, in todays every changing world of social media we have to step outside our comfort zone and join the masses where they are.
Six steps to building a social empire.
- Choose your social presence. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…Oh My. Not to mention vine videos, blogs, G+, etc. There are so many social options out there it is important to select the ones that fit your lifestyle, message and your readers. You can’t choose all social media channels or you will be sparse on all of them, and your audience won’t be able to connect with you, and you’ll frankly make yourself nuts. So start with one and make it awesome and as you really get off the ground with it, then add another. If one really doesn’t work for you, don’t feel bad leaving it behind. I find that even though I’m a writer, that Instagram is much easier for me to keep updated on a daily basis than writing a blog. I then post a lot, but not all of the Instagram content onto my author FaceBook page as well as populating it with separate content so the viewers that follow me in multiple places don’t get bored of the same content.
- Dedicate yourself to how frequently you can realistically populate content. And be consistent. If you can only do once a week, than stick to once a week and don’t miss a week. If you can do three times a day then Twitter might be the right channel for you. A social site like Twitter people have so many entities that they are following, they may miss your post, so posting multiple times a day is good verses posting multiple times a day on Facebook statistically can get you unfriended. So know your audience, know yourself and be consistent.
- Brand your empire. As an author you need a brand. This may sound weird, you may be thinking, I’m not Nike or Apple, why do I need a brand. Well it all comes back to that pesky word again, consistency. Who you are, what you say, and how your social presence feels to your readers has to be consistent. The look, the voice, everything. You can use sites like canva.com (and no they aren’t paying me) to make promotional materials for yourself that keep your look consistent. Your readers like you and your books for a reason, use that as your strength. There is a very whimsical feeling to everything I do. There is very little seriousness in my life, and especially not in my social presence. If one day I started suddenly posting about political views, or even suddenly all recipes, my readers would be confused, or uninterested in the new content. So stay consistent with what they want and who you are.
- Remember your personal privacy. There is a difference between public content and private content. This line in the sand is drawn by you and only you can truly decide where the line is. Your readers are interested in your life, but be careful. Don’t post a photo of you doing a book event at your child’s school and list it as “Amazing event at my daughter’s school today!” something like that gives too much information to the public. You can post that you did an event at the school, but don’t give away safety and security for yourself and your family. Be aware who is in your photos, how you tag and label your photos and what is in the background of your photos. No one wants a devoted reader to show up at your next PTA meeting.
- Hashtags are your friends. The use of a hashtag can help you find new readers, as well as linking all your images together with your readers’ images of your book. So simply assigning a hashtag for your novel or series and consistently (there’s that word again) using it will help link all your social efforts together. Take photos of your book with similar genre books and hashtag them with that title as well. Then consider adding other hashtags to get your book in front of more readers, for example if you have a photo of your book that you took in a specific place add that tag. If you have a photo of your book with a plant that is in the book, hashtag that plant. All these subtle ways help your book reach your audience. And remember social media should be used with kindness. Promote your fellow author, local restaurant, whomever you choose along with your books. Kindness goes a long way.
- Make friends. Your readers, your fans, and other authors are all out there waiting for you to connect them. Be that social hub. Remember most other authors are not competition they are fellow warriors running along side you trying to fill the world with the written word. It is a beautiful thing. So network and remember to have fun.
Aurora Whittet started out as a wild red-haired child in Minnesota dreaming up stories for her friends to read. Today, she has completed the third novel in the Bloodmark Saga and is embarking on writing and illustrating her first children’s book. She is a national award-winning graphic designer in her day job, an oil painter, obsessive reader and a barefoot dancer. Aurora lives with her family in Minnesota.