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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Clemmer

3 Simple Tricks That Will Improve Your Social Media Performance

A healthy, active following on social media can be one of the most powerful tools an author can ask for. Your following can give you inspiration, social proof, sales, and (of course) treasured interactions with living, breathing people who are interested in what you write and excited about your book.

However, the introverted nature of most writers transforms the act of building a large following into a daunting task or an unwanted chore. You might not have a face built for selfies, and the thought of asking anyone (even confirmed fans) to read something you wrote might feel counterintuitive and awkward.

(Anyone else want to avoid those awkward used car salesman talks in the future? Keep reading!)

Your success on social media depends on your attitude and approach--and you can remedy both of those easily once you decide to give yourself a social media makeover. In the end, winning in the world of online groups, friends, and followers comes down to three basic tricks, and selling isn’t one of them.

Trick #1: Seek to connect. Not to sell.

That’s right, you can put your book marketing hat right back in the box it came in. There’s a reason you cringe when you try to sell your book to strangers in an online platform: that’s not what it’s there for, and you’re not using it right!

The key word here is social. You’re here to hang out with like-minded fellows and chat. And that’s really about it. People don’t log onto Facebook to buy--they log on to see what’s up. When you’re building your following online, don’t overwhelm your profile with calls for people to buy your book. Get to know them better. Connect with similar authors and publishing professionals.

Ideally, your posts online should be about 80% discussion and only about 20% selling your books. Anything beyond that feels like spam. So if you really want to promote and sell, you need to work from the bottom up and start socializing!

Additional note: Socializing on these platforms becomes much easier when you relieve yourself of the obligation to sell. So relax, kick off your shoes, and have fun with the process.

Trick #2: Follow, follow, follow!

The best way to get new followers is to follow more people yourself. The best way to get more friends is to friend them yourself. This is incredibly easy, and if you spend only a few minutes a day dedicating yourself to finding new followers, your engagement rate will soar.

Worried that your feed will get cluttered? It might. On Twitter especially, many authors have a separate “author” account to mass follow people so that their own feeds don’t become too busy. But on the other side, you’re only following the kinds of people who would like what you write… so why wouldn’t you care to hear what they have to say?

Trick #3: Be intentional

Don’t flounder around aimlessly when you’re socializing online. Work with purpose. Commit to connecting with others, contributing value to any discussions you come across, and making yourself available to any others who are open to getting to know you.

This means checking in regularly (at least three or four times a week, possibly several times per day) and actively investing in responding to others’ posts and sharing anything of interest to you. If you’re a regular on social media, work to make your presence more refined and bolder.

Again, you can give yourself the freedom to not sell. An open conversation can be much more rewarding and fun than cramming in a “Please buy my book!” message, and it will make you appear far more human to potential readers.

How do you manage your social media presence? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or try out your social skills in the Pen and Glory Facebook page right here.


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