One thing that all of us know is that we love having followers. Whether it is having more friends on Facebook, more followers on Twitter, more connections on LinkedIn or people following our boards on Pinterest, we all want others to follow us.
One of the most clicked-on hoaxes on Facebook, is the one that tells you if you click this link, it will show you who is following you. I don’t think there are many people online who haven’t fallen prey to that one at some point. We all want to know that others are aware of our existence, that somebody out there will know about us.
As a writer, a following is our life’s blood. If a writer has not built a good following, your book is as good as dead in the water. You need people to know that you have written this masterpiece and unless you are willing to spend thousands on marketing, spreading the word through your following on social media is the way to go.
Unfortunately, this is where so many of us go down the wrong road. We ‘friend’ fellow authors (which in itself is not a bad thing) but they are not the people we are going to sell our books to! It is good to have contact with fellow authors through social media and other platforms. After all, being an author can be a very lonely and isolated life. Social media is our version of water cooler talk. But if you want to use social media to promote your writing, you need to look wider than fellow authors. You need to build your following a lot wider than that. But how should you go about this?
- Optimize your presence as an author on social media. You need to have an author page on Amazon (if you sell there), give information about yourself as an author on your Facebook page or make sure your bio on Twitter has been optimized. In short, make sure that you complete your profile on all your social media sites so that your readers can get to know you.
- Promote your social media sites on your website, blogs or anywhere else you can. It is important that people know about your blog from your Facebook page or Twitter profile but it is also important that they can find your website from your social media pages.
- Add social sharing buttons to all your blog posts, articles, etc. This will help your followers to share the word about you and your writing with their own friends and followers.
- Have a Facebook like box or Twitter follow button on your website and blog.
- Interact, interact, interact. People love reaching out to others but nobody likes being ignored. If you are not going to reply to comments or posts from your followers, you may as well save yourself the trouble of starting social media pages to begin with.
- Offer incentives for new likes or shares. Let people share your page and have a competition where you give away a free, autographed book or a free download to the person who shared your page on the most social media pages or the most times.
Good luck with building your following. Make sure to follow me on social media and share your own tips for growing a social media following below.