Don't Make This HUGE Mistake On Social Media

Does your computer screen make you brave? Kind of an odd question, yes. But think about it - does your persona or approach to people change once you sit behind your computer keyboard? Are you someone who says things like, "buy my book!" on Twitter but you won't even mention that you have a book available when you meet someone in person? 

It's something that everyone deals with - authors, musicians, or the store down the street - we tend to disconnect the reality that there are real people on the other side of that Facebook post or Tweet. While our social media outlets are a fantastic way to dramatically increase our reach online, the way that we interact and approach people shouldn't be any different online than in person. 

Let's put some perspective on this: picture yourself walking into a room full of people you don't know. Someone walks up to you and reaches out to shake your hand. What is the first thing you say to them? How do you continue the conversation? We've all been in situations like this and know how conversations go when meeting new people - it's a give and take in conversation, asking questions, responding to those questions, listening to what the other person has to say, and so forth. 

Now let's put this same scenario online - you're on Twitter or Facebook and you have a new connection. What is the first thing you say to them? Just yesterday I made a new connection with an author and the very first thing they said to me (in an automated direct message on Twitter no less) was not  "Nice to meet you!" or anything like that. It was "My book is for sale on Amazon! Click here to buy your copy now!" 

Instant delete and unfollow right there. 

The danger with social media is that we have taken the human engagement out of the equation. Just because there is a computer screen between the two of us doesn't nullify the importance of true interaction - to create trust, a connection, and a desire to know more about what you have to say (and vice versa). 

So, as an author, how do you make the most of your connections with people online? Here are five points to remember: 
 

Treat online connections like in-person Interactions

Take a minute to go to your social media outlets and take a look at your posts from the past week. Did you ask questions? Did you read the responses? Did you respond to other posts or tweets? Did you give a shout out to a new book/author/friend? OR did you only push your book? Did you only share your ideas and thoughts? Always think about what you would say and do in a room full of people. That's how you should communicate online as well.
 

Let Your Bio Do The Selling

Do you want to let others know you have a book for sale? Let your bio do the talking! Make sure you have your "about" fields filled out with your information, what books you have available, and where they can purchase it. When you have meaningful conversations online, post great information, and engage with others, they will naturally want to know more about you and go to your bio.
 

Attraction Not Promotion

Of course you can include posts about a new book you have coming out or share what you have for sale. But always keep in mind the 90/10 rule - engage/interact 90% of the time and only promote/talk about your book 10% of the time. 
 

Use Lists/Circles 

One of the great advantages that both Twitter and Google+ have is the ability to create a group of people that you want to interact most with. For example, I have lists on Twitter and circles on Google+ that contain groups of people that I want to stay in touch with. It allows us easily communicate with the people that are truly engaged. 
 

Understand that It Will Take Time

Just like connections that you make in person, it takes time to establish trust and a rapport with others. We can't assume that when we make a connection on social media it will automatically result in an immediate sale. That's why it's important to start solidifying your online presence as soon as possible - use the time to build up your connections along with establishing trust - so when your book comes out, your connections will be ready. 
 

If we all simply adjust our mindset and approach to our relationships online, we will see a world of difference in the connections we make! 

TAKE ACTION NOW: In the comments below, share with us what changes you have made in your online marketing to make stronger connections and establish trust with your audience. We'd love to hear! 

 

Photo by Angela Accarrino