Social Media Surf’s Up!

By Aria Dunham

Avoid social media’s undertow with our 3 Ride the Web Tips for writers. Because on the World-Wide-Web, it’s always summer.

Ride the Wave – #1

Build a strong online presence and use it to launch your publicity campaign.

Got Facebook? Are you tweeting on Twitter? Better be blogging! Pinning pics on PinTerest? Is your Author Web Page launched yet? Believe it or not, there are still authors who don’t even have an email address.

If you are reading this article, chances are you have started to establish your online activity. But to really pack the power into your platform, you need to get social on social media! Don’t have time to be social? Read The Death of Time and the Birth of Social Media article for helpful suggestions. Today’s author cant’ avoid being online any longer. In fact, it’s a big risk that can cost a writer that big book deal, and wipe out any publishing dreams.

With technology’s latest advances, there are lots of ways to integrate social media into daily living so that you can ease your presence into the web without losing all ID-kidboogyboardyour writing time.  Think of this as writer’s body surfing before you take on the big publishing wave. You’re touching water, but not diving in. Remember, both the big wave surfer and the writer with their foot in the water are getting their feet into the internet stream.

Create a list of what things you will do first and organize the list. Once you’ve completed a task, check it off and move on the next one. If you aren’t sure what is important to your social media, visit the website to one of your favorite authors to see what they are doing to build their platform. If you like what you see, then pay a compliment and follow the published leader. Success is always the best indicator of what works well in writing. My personal favorite webpage is James Patterson’s Official Author Page. At the bottom of his website he has a “Community” menu where readers can connect with his activities  on social media. The key to engagement on social media is making life easy for your audience. Be easy to socialize with and you’re social network will grow. The top social media sites that every author who’s serious about their platform is Facebook and Twitter.

Ride the Wave – #2

ID-wet feetOnce you’ve got your feet wet, you’re surf side ready. Hang 10 with the big dogs on the world-wide web with engagement. There are different ways to get your potential audience involved both online and on ground. The key is follow-up and follow through. If you meet someone face-to-face, follow-up with that person online. Remember that social media is about relationships and most people like to promote who they know personally.

On-line, it’s always good to get involved in GoodReads and pitch for online reviews, write blog posts, and share your latest highlights. But what’s socializing without a little give and take action? The law of “Ask and you will receive” works on the flip side, too.  Ask other writers and readers to let you do a GoodReads review on a book they’ve written; offer to write your reactions to blog posts that interest you and help a blogger build their presence into yours by doing so. Share a web page or two  and watch how much fun social media can be.

Off-line, if you’ve already self-published and have books to share and sell, do a book signing at a local coffee shop, or offer to share your personal story of how you came to be a writer with a reading club. Afterwards, follow-up with an email and invitation to subscribe to your blog, Facebook page, and share how the reading club can help you with a GoodReads Review. This is a great way to cross-network with small businesses in your community that will get the word out that you have a message to share.

Ride the Wave – #3

Use social media management tools to help control the amount of time you dedicate towards self-promotion. More important than the time saved is how some help measure the audience engagement. If a writer is online and no one knows, are they really online?

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