Social media gives writers the opportunity to connect with more readers, agents, and editors than ever before. If you’re new to social networking or want to know how to make the best use of your author platform, here are a few guidelines to help you effectively utilize your online presence:
Engage, Entice, and Be Enthusiastic
Engage in the dialogue. Whether you’re new to marketing your author brand or a seasoned, published veteran, you should establish a professional presence online. If you prefer discussion and commentary, a Facebook Fan Page or a Twitter account is right up your alley. For more image-driven networks, consider up-and-comers Tumblr and Pinterest. And don’t be shy—contribute something. Just be sure that what you post brings something of value to the conversation. You don’t want to appear to be blowing smoke for the sake of attention, or you’ll risk getting a reputation for self-centered promotion.
Entice followers or fans back to your own profile. Once you’ve contributed responses on public forums, try posing some questions of your own. People who find your thoughts interesting may seek out your page or website to learn more about you and your writing. On Facebook, whenever you leave a comment or Like a post, that activity is broadcast to your fans. The same is true for Twitter, where your tweets and retweets are sent to all of your followers’ news feeds. The more fans or followers interact with you, the more opportunities your messages will have to reach more potential readers. Just as a fire slowly grows and spreads, your name as an author and news about your writing projects will start heating up the social networks.
Enthusiasm is contagious. Nobody likes negativity in life or online, so be sure to stay upbeat. Your name as an author will create the brand for your book. While the latest sharp-tongued curmudgeon may grab a moment in the spotlight, you don’t want that sort of reputation for your writing career. Agents and publishers will pass on someone who has a reputation for being difficult. Being positive and enthusiastic, as well as putting in the extra time and effort to promote your name and your writing online, will make you an agent’s dream come true.