By Guest Blogger Lori Randall Stradtman, Social Media Design
1. Social Media guarantees you a huge audience. – There are no guarantees, but great content and strategy go a long way! Begin by reaching out to your target audiences and having open discussions with them about your subject matter. For example, if you’re writing a romance novel involving werewolves, find or start communities that are interested in werewolves. Cultivate relationships with the most influential and interesting people there as you engage. Not only will it contribute to your research, but it will make them sure to want to buy your book when it’s ready because they’ve indirectly contributed to your content. They will feel like they’re a part of your book and will want to spread the word for you like wildfire.
2. YouTube is only for celebrities, conspiracy theorists, and 12 year olds – It’s true, these folks do congregate around YouTube, but only because it gives them a powerful voice in their communities. You have a community on YouTube that would love to see you and hear more about what you’re writing. They want to know why you’ve chosen your subject matter and how you do it. Tag your videos with keywords, such as “werewolves” to let them know you’re there.
3. Twitter is too crowded for newcomers to get noticed. – You may have created a fresh Twitter account, full of hope and enthusiasm, only to discover that only 3 bots and your Mother-in-law found you there. She wants her good china back. The trick is to discover or to create a Twitter chat of your own. Some great ones are #blogchat and #writers. Search for something really specific with Twilert. You can set a keyword like “werewolves” and it sends you a daily email list of tweets containing that term. Follow up. You can also go to twittgroups and discover or create a Twitter group that appeals to your audience. Searching for correct Twitter phraseology? Try the Twittonary.
4. Blogs don’t get attention anymore. – A well designed blog that truly represents your brand is a powerful way to create a virtual “rabbit hole” (a la Alice in Wonderland) for you and your audience to explore. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, your target audience wants to know more about your subject and would love to find a rich resource full of links and ideas. Give them a place to talk about what they love: your subject. Listen and engage with them. When your book comes out they will be your best sales people as they tell all their friends online.
5. Publishers don’t look at Facebook involvement. – Aaron Patterson, Publisher at Stone House Ink and Stone Gate Ink shared last week in his Your Book Is Your Hook radio interview that they’ve “turned down really amazing books because the author was not on Facebook, had no desire to blog… no Social Media reach.” He went on to say that “it takes about a year for somebody to build a platform that can support a book and that without it you’re kinda dead in the water.” I agree.