Social Media Tips and Tricks for Authors

Social media, to put it mildly, can be tricky. It is a strange pseudo-world of social interaction with complete strangers, but it can be pivotal to helping build your author brand. Social media has exploded in popularity in recent years, offering more and more platforms from which authors can choose.

The big players in social media right now are Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook. Using these sites, you can allow potential fans to learn more about you. No matter what platform you decide to use, the rules are similar.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

Remember, social media is not only about your book, it’s about building your author brand and allowing your fans to get to know you.

Yes, people may be interested in your book but they will also be interested in you—the author. People inherently want to connect with other people, and you need to connect with your fans. Post and write about your likes and interests.  If they can be tied into the book, that’s a bonus! Don’t ever use social media to pressure people into buying your book. Instead, try to find current events and other interesting articles that relate to your book—this is the best way to get a plug for your book out there without coming off like a used-car salesman.

It takes time to grow your social media following—it will not happen overnight.

When starting your new social media profile you won’t have any fans or followers … but that’s OK! Just be honest and let people know this is your first attempt at social media by posting something “new” in your profile. Keep working on your profile. By putting in the time, you will see the return on your investment.

Find topics and discussions to post that will set you apart from everyone else.

Always look at personal and industry blogs pertaining to your book topic. Then, take what other people are saying and put your own spin on it. By posting something different, people will notice and want to follow what you have to say. No one wants to read the same thing over and over again. For example, if your book is about politics, be on the look out for different political news and try to “break” political news on your social media. Make people want to follow you by having your posts be factual and valuable.

There is a balance between posting too much and posting too little—find it.

Too many posts on your sites can be overwhelming and turn people away. If you are constantly posting, you can be seen as annoying and not informative. If you are not posting enough, people will forget about you. Also, keep in mind that social media sites are just like big search engines. Use key interest phrases and keywords related to your book so people searching for what you write about can find you.

by Brittney Karpovich, Smith Publicity Marketing/Social Media Strategist