5 Ways Authors Can Use Social Media to Their Advantage

While writing itself can be a solitary pursuit, publishing is a business like any other, and writers should be actively involved in the promotion of their own brand. Fortunately, modern authors can make themselves more visible to potential audiences with the aid of a simple and ubiquitous tool: social media. Here are five ways that social media can help you attract more readers. 

Build a Following

Social media platforms are more than just useful tools for staying in touch with distant friends and family members. A strong social media presence can attract hundreds and even thousands of followers who you’ve never met before. It’s also a great, unobtrusive way to show off any connections you might already have—literary agents, fellow authors, or publishing consultants, for example. Just be sure to keep your professional accounts separate from your personal ones—the details of your private life don’t need to be broadcasted to everyone on the Web. 

Direct People to Your Website

If you have an author’s website (highly encouraged!), your social media accounts can help you get more hits. Including a call to action on a Facebook page, for example, is an easy, natural way to direct traffic to your website. This is especially effective if you maintain a blog on your site: Whenever you post an update, provide a link to the blog, inviting readers to continue to the site if they’d like to read more details. If you don’t already have an Instagram account, try to make your username the same as the domain name on your website to help keep the connection flowing. 

Present Your Voice

If you’re a writer, you have your own distinctive style, whether you realize it or not. And if you want more people to read your articles or buy your books, you want to put that voice on display by any means necessary. Obviously, this doesn’t mean posting huge swaths of your latest chapter on your Facebook page—that’s boring at best and could even represent a breach of contract if you’ve already signed with a publishing company. But your posts should be engaging, entertaining, and consistently representative of what you have to offer as an author. 

Weigh In on Hot Topics

Websites like Quora (and, to a lesser degree, Twitter) invite discourse on a variety of hot-button issues. Some of these relate to emotionally charged topics, like politics and religion, but there are many threads devoted to more neutral ground, like current television shows and other pop-culture staples. By sharing your opinions and insight on platforms like these, you’ll invite interested readers to seek out more of what you have to say. 

Engage with Your Audience

When you’re just starting to build your platform, you should reach out to as many fellow authors, editors, and literary agents as possible. This doesn’t mean you have to contact them personally—just following their own social media accounts should suffice. Once you’ve dipped a toe in with a few generic posts and comments, start offering open-ended questions regarding any topics that you feel are worthy of discussion. These can relate to the writer’s life in general, any research you’re currently doing, even weather or current events—whatever you feel is appropriate. Encourage polite and lively discussion, and be sure to check in frequently once you’ve got the ball rolling. Your followers will see that you’re an involved and engaging presence, which will help them feel more connected to your work.

Many burgeoning writers ask if it’s absolutely necessary to have a social media platform. While the pages of history are littered with reclusive writers who nonetheless enjoyed great success (J.D. Salinger springs to mind), the modern audience is faced with more choices and are bound to be more selective. Building a good presence on social media is in the best interests of every author.Do you have a manuscript ready for submission? Get in touch with us today!

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