The next step in our series in building flawless author foundations begins with social media.
Most people have a love/hate relationship with social media. I know I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love to watch videos of babies and dogs. Anything that makes me laugh. I also find it to be a great source of knowledge and encouragement. I watch YouTube videos daily to learn something new. But the flip side of social media can be a dark place. It’s time consuming, negative, and divisive. So why use social media? Because the good really does outweigh the bad.
It’s not personal anymore
When you have a business, as you do now that you’re an Author, you move from personal social media activities to professional social media management. You’re forced to deal with the business of algorithms, strategies, and numbers. And unless you’re already famous or maintain a mailing list of tens of thousands, social media has now become a necessary tool to help you guild and grow your author marketing platform.
Why does social media work?
For many reasons. But here are just a few:
- People are nosey. People love to watch people. Even virtually. Especially virtually. That’s why social media works – nosey neighbors. We all go to the Internet when we want to learn more about someone. Social media provides a place to learn more about your and your work through your social media accounts and social media posts.
- Everyone’s doing it. Probably not everyone, but most people in the English speaking world where we live and where you market your work, are very likely on social media. Your audience or the people buying books for your audience (which makes them your audience), are on social media. You don’t have to be on every platform, but you should meet them where they are – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.
- It contributes to and improves your SEO. Every social media platform is connected to Google. The Google algorithm is trained to look for results related to social media channels. Some are weightier than others in the search rankings, but they’re all there. When you Google your name, you’ll notice your website, Amazon author profile, GoodReads profile, and social media pages are all at the top of the search results. Your active social media platform feeds the algorithm, ensuring your presence at the top of a search for you or your work. Inactivity will result in a drop in your ranking.
- It provides social proof that you’re the real deal. When you want to learn about a celebrity, book or an author, you Google a name or title. You look for the results across social media. Somehow the mere presence on social media legitimizes their existence. It’s the same for your fans. Your active social media presence is proof. Hopefully, that proof leads results in curiosity about your work and a sale.
And now you’re famous, sort of
There is an interesting side-effect associated with being the face of a brand (you) on social media. An engaged and active social media platform can create something called parasocial interaction (PSI) among followers. It’s the idea that your social media followers believe that you as an influencer (yes, even with just one thousand combined followers, you are considered a micro influencer) are someone they know. You’re famous. This fondness occurs as a result of you appearing in front of followers on social media sharing your life personally and professionally. Keep in mind, the world is a fickle place. You will rise and fall in the eyes of followers on a daily basis. Sometimes they’ll decide they simply don’t like you. Sometimes they’ll lose interest or just grow out of their need for you. These are the days you’ll lose followers or email subscribers. Do not despair. That’s a good thing and it’s not personal… even though it might feel like it to them, thanks to PSI.
It’s here to stay
Regardless of how you feel about social media, it has become a necessary tool of modern author marketing. Your author page on Facebook is today what would have been a yellow pages listing for your business in your local phone book many years ago. Because Facebook owns Instagram and your connections, messages, and advertising can be connected, you may as well set that up too. Oh and of course, if you already have a professional LinkedIn account, it’s time to add “Author” to your current job and tell friends, family, colleagues, and connections all about it because, you never know. Get ready for your parasocial interactions.
As always, if you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below. If you’re feeling stuck and need a little help, schedule a time to get “unstuck” in a free, 30-minute consultation with me. I’ll do my best to help you get unstuck