The thought of starting an online presence kept me up at night when I began my indie writing career in 2013. I knew social media was a brilliant platform for connecting people and discovering books. But where to start? And what if I embarrassed myself by saying something stupid in cyberspace? Plus, who’d want to hear from newbie me anyway?
I see you scratching your head just as I did. You’re wondering how creatives can build professional relationships in cyberspace with someone you’d never bump into at the corner Starbuck’s.
You can do it! (Yes, even you introverts looking skeptical and scared.)
You start by being RARE as you demonstrate–
If you’re an author, blogger, or small business owner, read on to discover 9 tips to help you build your RARE social media presence.
1. Start Slow to Go Fast
Be clear about your social media goals.
Everybody wants to find followers and be discovered. Do you also want support from others in your field. Advice on specialized topics like launching books or running google ads? Connections to niche groups, like how to care for your pet iguana?
Explore and research.
Start with keyword searches to identify groups in your niche, such as most successful romance writers, best websites for writers, or most popular children's books. Most will have social media links you can dig into.
Discover where your readers spend their time on social media by googling stats and demographics for different social media platforms. For instance:
* 150 billion Facebook stories viewed daily
* users by gender: 53% female and 47% male
72% of the 62% of online seniors are between ages of 50 and 64
* 88% of online users aged 18-29 are on Facebook Source
* 85% of Facebook's daily active users come from outside North America
* (source: omnicoreagency.com -2018 September)
My author page on Facebook is my go-to platform because it’s where purchasers of my children’s books spend time.
Facebook has hundreds of genre and sub-genre interest communities. Some are open groups, and others are closed, so commenting stays safe within the group. You must ask to join closed groups, but it shouldn’t be an issue if your interests match theirs. Start by being friendly and commenting. Nuke the self-promotions.
Is your head exploding? Mine was when I started! tbh, there are still days when it feels crazy.
Listen close to your Aunt Cat now....
To keep from being overwhelmed,
begin with a ...
single – one – uno – ein
platform where your customers hang out.
Start with friendly convo and comments of interest to the group.
Leave the marketing behind.
Let people get to know you as a 'person' first.
2. Go Pro
3. Honor Ground Rules
4. "ENGAGE!"–Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Clapping for you here! You researched and zeroed in on people and places. Time to engage.
5. Thou Shalt Not Spam
6. Offer Value, Thanks and Credit
Don’t shake your head wondering, What can I offer? Yes, there are a gazillion people in cyberspace, but no one is YOU.
7. Get Visual
Studies show that posts with visual images receive the most engagement.
8. EWWWWW…..Get Out of My Direct Messages
Repeat after me ...
"I will never
DM or pester my followers with a
or follow-me-on-Insert-*Social*Media *url"
Direct messaging with marketing slams is the cyber-equivalent of being badgered by a plaid-suited snake oil salesperson. Just last week, a newbie author posted to my personal facebook page a 3-paragraph pitch for buying his new book, complete with link to his sell site. When I get messages like this, I delete them in a heartbeat. In this case, I also followed up privately with a firm message to STOP!
Ditto when new friends ask me to like a page or link that is totally out of my niche (can't do R-rated anything to stay true to my children's book community). These actions show they really don't know a jot about me.
9. Slow Progress IS Progress!
Now you’re ready to tackle social media with confidence. People will follow you as they experience the RARE online voice that is Y*O*U as you demonstrate….
All the best for your journey building or strengthening your online new community! Let me know how you’re doing and what’s working for you. Hey, if we’re not connected in cyberspace, let’s make it happen and be RARE together -:D!
Background Photo: Sondra Robbins Rymer
Which of these 9 tips work for you? What other strategies can you add? Please share in the comment section.
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