First there was the Twitter and Facebook frenzy. Then LinkedIn, Pinterest, and now Google+. I realize that that Google+ has been around since 2011, but in honesty.. How many Social Media accounts does one Author need?
Perhaps you should ask – “How much exposure does an author need?” As much “targeted exposure” as they can get.
A point most authors miss is that their “writing” is a business. Most forgo any social media marketing feeling it is a “waste of time” or “I don’t make any sales.”
But the point of the social medias isn’t to make sales (though it is nice when you do.) The point is to connect, brand your name and get involved with your community.
Social Media 101: Introduce Yourself
Your “real-life” community is usually a neighborhood or even apartment building. Easy to become acquainted and personally involved with people in your own neck of the woods. In your own environment you are comfortable.
Your Internet community, however, is larger – a lot larger. And it seems overwhelming to have 100 friends let alone thousands. With that many it simply isn’t possible to create a personal relationship with each and every connection.
Think of Social Media as your first community gathering. You are new to the area. You walk into the room and notice small clusters of people engaged in “small talk.” As you wander over to the first group you may find you don’t personally connect with any of the participants. Sure, they are interested in what you have to say, but chemically, there isn’t a spark to want to know more.
In the second group you find a connection – someone who’s thoughts and personality click with your own. It may be their humor, or genre of writing. No matter the reason, you have a close connection that you can build upon.
Post to the World, connect with individuals
One of the hardest aspects of social media is the interaction. If you tried to respond or connect with everyone, you’d find yourself spending all your time communicating on the Internet and not doing what you need to be doing – writing.
So you stand on our small soap box of ideas and post to the masses. You comment on ideas, or pose questions. The key is to interact, and start a dialogue. If you have a specific question, consider posing it directly through the offered message centers to those you have a personal connection with.
You want to remain in the “public” eye.
Out of Sight…
We all have lives outside of the Internet – jobs, family, writing. After some time, you will find your energy level decreasing when it comes to Social Media (or it may consume all your time.)
You don’t want to spend all that time building relationships just to let them fall away. So be sure to connect at least 2x month.
Detox and set Time Limits
If you find you “love” social media and it is consuming all your time, then you need to break the habit – now!
When I was first on Twitter, it was intoxicating and fun. I was so engaged I spent hours chatting with people I didn’t even “know.” (Granted I did meet some really great friends that way.) But it consumed me – and became like my morning coffee habit. I broke it off very quickly and prioritized myself and my business.
Don’t let your marketing platforms become a time-suck. Set a time limit – let’s say 30 minutes. (If you find that time is not enough and you get the shakes, then push it to an hour.)
Set a timer if you need to. And when it goes off, so do you.
Social Media is great for
- introducing yourself
- engaging with people
- branding your name
- selling your product
Don’t let these free marketing opportunities scare you away or become a drain on your life and time. Use them as a way to launch your business, and stay connected with like-minded authors.