Today, I’ve got a guest post on being smart with your social media:

 

As any writer who has been writing for a while knows, writing a book takes countless hours of hard work. And the hard work doesn’t end there: promoting your book will take a lot of effort. Yet all your promotional efforts will be worth it if it grows your reader base and helps you sell more books in the long run.

One of the ways many writers promote their work is by using social media. Most people use at least one form of social media, be it Facebook, Twitter or even blogs. This makes it an excellent tool to help you reach as many people as possible. There is one caveat though: you will only harm your reputation and book sales if you begin to annoy people on social media. Plastering messages about buying your book everywhere is likely to irritate users. It might even drive potential readers away. Social media can be a powerful tool, so use it wisely.

Create Your Author Platform

One of the cornerstones of a successful social media promotion campaign is an outstanding author platform. The term “author platform” is a little tricky to define because different people have different views about it. In terms of social media, the most relevant definition is that your author platform allows you to open a channel of communication between yourself and your readers. Creating your author platform on social media is an effective way to do this.

The easiest way to build your platform is to start a blog. While there has been some debate about whether or not blogs are social media, they certainly seem to fit the definition. At its most basic level, social media consists of applications and websites that allow users to take part in social networking and to share content. Blogs are a form of communication and many people will leave comments in response. Is that not a form of social media?

Once you’ve started your blog, you need to use it in an effective manner. Remember that your readers want to learn more about you and your work. So don’t limit your posts to information about your work, make sure to write posts that help your readers get to know you as a person. You will also want to avoid posting the same information continuously. People love novelty, so keep adding new details in your posts. This will keep your readers excited.

As we mentioned before, an author platform creates a channel of communication between you and your readers. This means that you need to play an active role in your blog’s comment section. Respond to comments and get to know your readers a little better. This will show them that you’re interested in them, which help will keep them interested in you and your work.

Expand Your Social Network

Once you’ve created your author platform in the form of a blog, you should start joining other social media websites. There are so many, but you should try to join as many as possible. Try Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Goodreads and as many others as you can find. Create pages or groups for yourself on each platform and link them back to your blog. Remember to put the details of your work and a link to your blog in each of your social media account profiles.

Again, don’t use the same information repeatedly. Add new information about yourself and your work to your pages and groups regularly. Remember to get involved with your followers and readers by replying to their comments. If you have any trolls, simply ignore them or delete them.

Expand Your Footprint.

After expanding your social network by joining social media websites and creating pages and profiles for yourself, you need to expand your social media footprint. You can do this by finding and joining other social media users, pages and groups that are related to the topic or genre of your work.

Once you’ve done this, you need to get involved with the users of those pages and groups. Join in conversations in the comments sections or start your own relevant conversations. As previously mentioned, don’t just talk about your book 100 percent of the time. Make meaningful comments and if other users find become curious about you, they can follow the link to your blog in your profile.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that social media is an exceptionally useful tool for promoting your work, provided you use it correctly. Have you got any other good ideas about how to use social media to promote your work? Any thoughts about those mentioned above? Please tell us all about them in the comments section below.

 

About the author: Caroline is an entertainment and technology blogger with a special interest in books and publishing. You can see more of her work at Culture Coverage and Secure Thoughts.