Take the Leap Into Social Media
While you may be aware of the recent onslaught of social media sites (such as Facebook and Twitter), you might not realize how beneficial these online communication and networking tools can be when promoting your books and your brand as an author.
The best part about social media? It’s free! These tools are fantastic free resources that enable you to connect with your readers and fans and spread the word about your writing. You can also connect with fellow authors and share about your books and your writing life. Most big house publishers expect their authors to have active social media accounts to interact with fans and readers. Millions of people are using social media networking sites every day — and you should be one of them.
In the coming months we will delve deeper into what these social media tools are and how you can best use them to your advantage. But first, let’s take a quick look at the most popular social media resources at your disposal.
- Facebook — With more than 800 million active users, Facebook is the world’s leading social network. It enables you to publicly interact not only with Aunt Martha and your long-lost kindergarten bff, but also with your fans on a more personal level.
- LinkedIn — This is the leading social networking directory for professionals and companies. While your fans might not be found here, your colleagues will. Consider creating an online account to share your résumé, writing history, upcoming books, and more about you. More than 120 million people connect regularly on this site to find job opportunities and network with others.
- Twitter — This microblogging service allows users to send posts (known as tweets, which are limited to 140 characters) to fellow users. This networking site is a great tool for sharing information and staying up-to-date on the latest in publishing and writing. It’s an ideal place to connect quickly with readers and fellow authors alike. The site is growing rapidly, and will likely have 250 million active users by the end of the year.
- YouTube — This well-known video-sharing network hosts billions of videos and is a great place for you to share your book trailers and other related videos with your readers.
Feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. While we’ve only skimmed the surface of social media, it’s important to remember that these sites are designed to make people feel like they are part of a community — and your fans will want to engage with you and learn about your upcoming books. While social media does take time, it really is an investment in your brand as an author and in your writing.
You can write as many books as you want to, but if you don’t promote them no one will read them. Social media enables you to do the self-promotion on your own without relying on an expensive company (with many more clients than yourself) to do it for you. In this sense, you control your own promotions and get to interact with your readers as yourself. And, really, what could be better than that?
Check back at Take the Leap in the coming months to learn more about the four social networks we’ve highlighted today, and we’ll also share about Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other social media opportunities.
Are you on social media? Share your experiences with us in the comments below. We’d love to hear about it!