5 Steps To Unlimited Growth and Reach On Social Media for Authors
Are you flat out frustrated with social media? Are you not seeing results, activity, or conversations that you want and need to see growth and improved book sales?
I hear you and feel your pain. It’s frustrating when you put all that time, effort, and sometimes money into social media and see nothing happen. You understand the value and know that social media is an important and vital part of your overall online presence. But when you don’t see results from your efforts, you feel like simply giving up.
To help those of you who are facing this situation, I wanted to share some valuable information that you can apply today to see some significant changes in your social media.
I’m a full-fledged believer that social media is the best and easiest way for authors to connect directly with readers and grow an audience.
Here’s the thing: many times we focus on the details or technicalities of social media. We tend to overthink it. We think we might be missing some magical formula that will make everything work. Or that maybe there’s an app or tool that everyone else is using.
I’m here to tell you that it's much more basic than that. What you have to do is take a few steps back. Many times when we get into social media, we skip over some crucial and vitally important steps that we need to have in place so we can actually see the growth that we are looking for.
If you aren’t seeing results on social media, if you’re stuck and can’t get past a certain threshold, or can't seem to actively grow your audience, the information I’m going to share is really going to help you.
Here are five ways that you can radically change the course of your social media growth.
Approach social media like an online cocktail party.
If you’ve ever been to a cocktail party, you know that it’s all about meeting new people and "networking." They are casual and conversation driven. You don’t go to a cocktail party to sell something - you go there to meet and get to know people. When you make this simple mindset adjustment, you can go into your social media outlets knowing what to expect and how to communicate with people. Social media isn’t a great place to sell - that’s not what it was created to do. It was made to connect people.
You would have a completely different mindset if you were going into a meeting to pitch your book to a publisher since that situation is not even close to being anything like a cocktail party. Instead of going into social media in selling mode, go in "connecting" mode.
Focus on your ideal reader.
If you’ve been with us for any amount of time, you know that we always come back to the ideal reader. Because everything IS about your ideal reader. If you could create the perfect person to buy and read your book, that’s who your ideal reader is. When you know who this person is, it clears everything up. It helps you know exactly who to focus on communicating with, it shows you where you need to be online, and gives you so much clarity in how to effectively communicate and connect with them.
To give you some context, let’s say someone came up to you and asked you to speak at an event - and that’s all the information they gave you. You’d want to know who is going to be there, why are they going to this event, what the topic is, and so on. You would need that vital information and context in order to effectively communicate and connect with those that are attending.
The same goes for social media. Your ideal reader provides that information and context that you need for effective talking points, so you know what to post and what social media outlets you should be on. Everything is centered around your ideal reader.
If you have no idea where to even begin with identifying your ideal reader or if you aren’t sure who yours is, we’ve got you covered. This summer we will be releasing our free video training series on how to not only get you started on identifying your ideal reader but how to apply it to your social media. Sign up to be notified when that will be available - you don’t want to miss it!
Connect with your readers on a variety of topics.
One of the biggest hangups that authors face is that they think they should only talk about their book and writing on social media. And there’s nothing wrong with talking about these topics. But if that’s the only thing you’re sharing, it really limits you and becomes very difficult to continually come up with fresh content. And it can also get pretty boring for your readers.
The key is to add multiple layers to the content that you share. You are so much more than just your book! You have different hobbies, interests, circumstances, and so on. And when you have your ideal reader in mind, you’ll know of additional topics that you can discuss that they will be interested in as well.
I want to challenge you to write down 3-5 topics that you can discuss or talk about on social media in addition to your books and writing.
For example, something that I’m interested in is gardening (even though I’m awful at it - but I want to get better!). I might post a picture of my flower bed and ask for suggesting of what I should plant first. Or maybe share a picture of the plants that I bought and ask what others are planting. It gets the conversation going and I can get to know my audience and connect with them in a genuine, personable way.
If you have kids, there are lots of good ways to connect with other writers who are parents. I’m a working mom and it’s about to be summer break so my son will be home during the day. Something I could ask is how other working parents keep their kids entertained and busy during the summer months while they work. Maybe I could share some of my ideas and have others share theirs as well.
Pets, productivity, organization, cooking, collectibles, pop culture, art, music, technology... how do you spend your time when you're not writing?
There are so many things that you can use to connect with your readers on a personal level besides your book. Connecting with them on a human level is so important - it not only gives them a genuine connection with you but it also helps deepen the engagement that you need on social media. It’s not about trying to sell a book - it’s about connecting with other human beings who happen to be interested in the same things as you are!
And it gives you so much more to talk about.
Pick two social media outlets to focus on.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. You don’t have to be on every single social media outlet out there, because your ideal reader isn’t going to be on them all. Again, it all goes back to your ideal reader - when you know who you want to connect with, you’ll know where you need to be online.
For example, if you’re a young adult author that’s focusing a lot of time on Facebook I would encourage you to go to Instagram instead. Younger audiences tend to be on Instagram rather than Facebook. Even if you’re more comfortable on Facebook, I would strongly encourage you to educate yourself on how to best use Instagram because you will see more powerful results being where your ideal reader is already hanging out.
It’s not about where you want to be on social media. It’s about being where your ideal reader is already hanging out online.
Invest your time wisely and effectively. If you aren’t sure which social media outlets you should be on, I have a very helpful blog post that can point you in the right direction.
LEARN FROM OTHERS
Social media is always going to be changing, as are the devices we use to access them. But here’s the thing: if you educate yourself in how to effectively communicate and connect with your ideal reader, it won’t matter what changes Facebook or any social media outlets make. You will already know the most important factor in connecting with your readers online: how to effectively communicate with them. And that applies no matter what outlet you are on!
When changes come, you will only need to make small technical adjustments (like where to post, adding video to your posts, etc.), but the content that you share is what’s going to clench your readers. These changes will be no skin off your back because you will already know EXACTLY what you need to say and how to best say it to connect with your readers.
The technical aspects of social media are always going to be changing. But how you connect with and communicate with your readers is going to stay consistent. So focusing on finding out how to effectively do that is the lifeblood of your success.
Finding people and organizations that you trust and can learn from are essential. For example, I would love to have you join our private Facebook Group - that’s a great place to start. You can be a part of a community where your fellow authors are and where you can ask questions. And I can give you that personal guidance, answer your questions, and provide the direction you need.
You don’t need to go anywhere and everywhere for information - that can be overwhelming and confusing. Finding a few key places that you know and trust eliminates a lot of noise so you can make more effective decisions by put into practice what others have already done that works.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a published or self-published author, learning from others is the best way that you can stop wasting time, money, and energy so you can actually see results faster.
Sometimes the biggest improvements are made by simple adjustments. Put these five topics into practice and you will see a difference!