The past two days we've been talking about how to interest people in your book, as well as identifying your 'target' audience so you can receive less rejection. Today, as the finale of this miniseries, we're going to look at how you can use social media to best interest people in your writing, as well as which social media outlets to use.
You might think the key to being successful on social media is posting a lot so people can see what you're working on. But although it is important to be consistent on social media so you don't lose the attention of your followers, there's a more important piece to this puzzle. And to explain what it is, I'm going to tell you about my own experience.
I set up author profiles on pretty much every social media outlet when I decided to be a writer. I figured well, it's not going to hurt if no one ever does anything on it, right? Also, it would give me a good way to gauge which outlet would be the best.
Facebook was my main social site personally, so I was pretty active on there with my author persona as well. The thing with Facebook is, they're always changing things, and it annoys me. Now you have to pay to 'promote' your posts so people can see them, and otherwise, not a lot of people see them, it seems. However, since I have a lot of friends and such, I use Facebook mainly to update and interest people I already know in my writing. So it still has its uses.
I've also got a persona on Google+, but that's basically just Google's Facebook, and not much better, in my opinion. I'm no fond of the 'circles' thing, and again, it seems I never see what the people I follow actually post, just what they 'like' or comment on. Because Blogger is also a Google thing, though, my blog posts get a link immediately posted to G+, and sometimes people see it, so that's an okay outlet too.
Twitter...hmm. Again, I get very little activity on that, and it seems like people (at least everyone I follow) update it like every 20 seconds, which is too much, in my opinion. The 180 character limit is a difficult challenge for an overeager writer, too. Give me a big ol box for a blog post any day over that. ;)
And then there's Instagram. Hashtags, filters, and pictures confined to a small square box. And uploading any pictures is really a pain because you either have to use something to resize it or just cut off most of the picture. Maybe I'm just lazy, but I'd rather spend my time writing than fiddling with that stuff. I do still post a picture every week or so, and I have a small following, so it's again an okay outlet.
But by far, the social media site that seems to have taken the world by storm is the one that's done the best for me. Yep, I'm talking about Pinterest. It's crazy how much I got told I should get a Pinterest until I finally did! But, I'm very glad I did. :)
I'm not sure what it is...maybe it's the easygoing and very laidback format of how it all works, but I have an ever growing pool of followers on there and have gotten many people interested and reading my book because of Pinterest. :)
And you want to know the most surprising thing about that? That's not because I post a lot about my book. That's all I did at first, and I got virtually no activity on any of my stuff, other than an occasional follow-back from someone I followed.
But sort of in the same way we talked about starting a friendship with someone before trying to sell them your book, my success on Pinterest has come from interacting with people on there. As I said, I am a huge geek, especially when it comes to Doctor Who and other sci-fi shows, so it was really easy for me to get pulled away from my decision to keep my boards purely book related to having many, many pins on all my favorite things.
The thing with social media is, though, just following someone can often get you a follow back and start up an online friendship. But I've still found that liking and especially commenting on others' pins makes them want to go take a look at your stuff as well, and if your book board is at the top of your pinboard, well, it definitely catches their eye. :)
And I'm kind of surprised myself by just how many people have asked about or bought and read my book because we made a connection on Pinterest. And I have a lot of wonderful friends on there now who follow my book writing and support me in it.
So, the moral of the story, and the important thing to take away from this whole miniseries is this: Interact with your readers, no matter what way you have contact with them! They're spending time and money to support you in your writing; let them know how much you appreciate that. It really, really pays off, and it's wonderful to get to truly know the people who are reading your book too. :)
In other news, today begins NaNoWriMo! And I'm finally doing it this year. :) I'll still try to keep up with all the blog posts though, so don't worry. ;)