Putting the social back in ‘social media’

“There’s a big difference between your number of followers and your number of engaged followers.”

–Jennifer Wills (@WillsWork4Books) at a presentation about social media at Hudson Library (@HudsonLibr)

The other day I attended another free writers’ workshop at the Hudson Library in Hudson, OH. I’m going to get to the meat of it in a minute here (though you can probably guess where I’m going based on the quote above), but I want to first take a minute to plug the Hudson Library. The amount of free resources they provide to the local writing community is crazy amazing. Thank you, Hudson Library!

And now, back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

The workshop, presented by Jennifer Wills (whom you’ll remember from a couple of my SCBWI conference posts), was about improving your social media platform. With advice from “Google yourself and do damage control,” to “yes, you really ought to have an author website,” her talk ran the gamut of social media topics. She is an engaging and fun speaker, and I learned plenty, even about pieces of advice I’d heard before.

One of my favorite points, quoted above, was that, no matter what platform(s) you choose to spend your time on, the amount you spend engaging with other people is way more important than the amount you spend promoting your own work. That is to say, if you are constantly tweeting “buy my book” without engaging the community, it’s going to fall on deaf ears. On the flip side, if you engage and build a following, it won’t take too many “buy my book” tweets to get people moving.

A few handy social media tips to build a stronger audience:

  1. Do something (pick a social media, any social media; and yes, in this day of authors needing to also market themselves, you have to do something on social media)
  2. Do it consistently (both in terms of following your brand and in terms of posting regularly)
  3. Engage! (don’t just push your own content, but talk about other things you’re interested in, converse with followers, like and share other people’s stuff, etc)

If you build an engaged audience, then no matter how you publish you’ll be more likely to sell books.

Happy “socializing”!

Photo of hands and tablet by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

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