For many authors, building a personal platform is a hot topic -- and social media is at the forefront of that discussion. Twitter and Facebook may not be for everyone, but those who find success through such platforms can multiply their dedicated fan-base exponentially – if they're done well. So what’s the secret to building a convincing and successful social media presence?
First, it’s best to look at social media not as a marketing tool, but rather a way to connect with your potential audience. Social media can be a harsh and unforgiving landscape, but if you promote authenticity and genuinely wish to connect with the kinds of people who might love your books, your social media presence will grow organically.
Once you’ve established your online space --
be it through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram -- it’s time to find your
audience. It’s important to decide who you want your online audience to be and
what you can provide for them; if you’re a middle-grade author, it may not be
the most effective use of your online presence to discuss the intricacies of
every swear word you know. With social media, you are your brand, and
everything you put online needs to reflect the image you want to promote.
A great way to launch your online presence is to establish yourself as an authority on your subject. An author who posts broadly on social media about the weather is likely to receive a lackluster following, but an author who consistently discusses and disseminates material surrounding their area of interest will attract a like-minded fan-base. Using hashtags, sharing articles, replying to other authors, and just generally getting involved with the conversation will strengthen your online presence and bond you to your audience in a direct way.