Many new authors ask me a good question. “I don’t have a book to promote. How do I build a social media platform?”
At this point, you’re becoming a friend to your potential readers. I like to use the example of my mother-in-law. Years ago, she adored watching Regis and Kathie Lee on television. To her, they were like friends. Of course, they weren’t, really. But to her and many others, they felt like friends.
This is what you’re doing with your social media presence as you write your book. You are making friends who will feel as though they know you. Hence, they will be excited about you and will be interested in buying your book when it’s released.
Following are my thoughts on the big platforms. Once you’re on the platforms, you can just keep using them once you’re a published author. Except for the occasional, “Wow, I’m so thrilled my book is finally out!” the way you actually use the platforms probably won’t change much from when you were seeking publication.
I think it’s okay to have both a personal and author page on Facebook. Even if you are not officially an author, you are still an aspiring author, and here is where you can talk about your project. As for your personal page, Facebook has controls so you can set the level of information you share with different Facebook friends. You don’t have to share everything with everyone you are Facebook friends with. But as a precaution, I recommend not sharing anything anywhere on the Internet you wouldn’t want everyone to see.
Twitter is a wonderful way to share information. I enjoy sharing articles I’ve read about all sorts of topics. This is one way I show my followers different interests I have, such as theology, minimalism, and health. I read many of the articles and insights my followers share as well. Because it’s easy to reach thousands of people on Twitter, this is a fabulous medium for authors.
Many people enjoy using LinkedIn and it’s an easy way to make a lot of connections quickly.
This is another way to reach people and you can categorize them according to various circles. I don’t find this medium to be as active as others I’m on, though others may have a different experience.
Pinterest is a great place to share costumes from the era where your book is set, recipes, hobbies, and other warm and fuzzy visuals. Instagram has also become increasingly popular as a visual medium for authors to share with friends and fans.
Don’t stress if this sounds like too much. It’s not. Experiment and choose which mediums you enjoy and emphasize those. I recommend spending about a half hour a day on social media for business. Yes, it’s business, but also remember to have fun!
What social medium platforms did I miss?
What is your favorite form of social media?
What platform do you think is the hottest right now?