We’re often told that a sign of a successful author business is a great social media presence. It’s true, getting your work out through your social media channels is a brilliant opportunity for any writer. But how do you grow your social media following?
In this article, we will look at some ways in which you can build your social media platforms organically.
1. Understand Your Goals and Don’t Grow For Growth's Sake
The most important thing you need to think about when trying to grow your social media is why you want to grow a decent following.
Odds are, if you’re a writer, your goal is to sell more books long-term. So, it’s important to keep that in mind when you’re using social media. Don’t just hop on the latest platform because you feel you have to–if it doesn’t help you reach your end-goal of selling more books, then why do it?
Don’t get me wrong, not every post should end with a “buy my book on Amazon” pitch, but you should still look at your end goals when using social media for your business.
2. Choose Your Social Platform Wisely
A lot of indie authors assume they need a strong Facebook following, engaged Twitter feed, rocking Instagram, and a bunch of followers on Pinterest. However, you don’t have to spread yourself so thin on social media — especially if you’re a solopreneur.
A lot of successful published authors may have huge followings on all social platforms, but many of them have a team of people working behind the scenes. As a self-publisher, you need to use your time wisely, and spending hours a day on social media will not get the best bang for your buck.
Instead, find out the best social platform to suit your ideal audience. You can check to see which articles from your author blog get the most social shares, see what your competitors are using as their key platform, or even just ask your email list.
If your readers are on Facebook, there’s no point in trying to spend a week figuring out how to use TikTok and learning dance moves.
3. Post Frequently but Stick to a Schedule You Can Keep
If you want to grow your social media presence, you won’t be able to do it overnight. You’ll need a frequent posting schedule to gain any traction.
It’s important to know that each social platform has its own norms in how often you should post. For example, Twitter isn’t designed for evergreen content, so you’ll want to post more often. However, if you post fifteen times a day to your Facebook page, that’s far too much. This infographic from Louise Myers gives some ballpark figures to look at. These aren’t rules or restrictions, but they can help to inform your thinking.
As we’ll look at later on, there’s a whole lot more to social media than just posting. For example, the above numbers don’t take into account stories (if you’re using Instagram or Facebook) and replying to messages.
Keep in mind though, there are tools out there that you can use to help schedule posts on social media. Buffer is a great all-round tool for Facebook and Instagram posts. If you’re into Pinterest, then definitely look to use Tailwind as a way to schedule posts and access a bunch of other tools to grow your account.
Whatever schedule you create for your social media though, it’s important to make sure that you choose a plan that’s sustainable. For example, if you can’t commit the time into growing a Facebook group, then it’s probably best that you don’t right now. Otherwise, you risk wasting months on a project that gains no traction.
4. Use Video Content
Videos have 59% higher engagement rates compared to other types of posts. The movement of a Facebook video in the feed can grab users’ attention as they’re scrolling.
So, while video-content usually takes more time than images and text, videos are a win-win for you and the social platform. While even a gif can do the job of getting a user to stop scrolling, a 3-5 minute video is best for Facebook feeds. You can also try out using live video too, which has up to 6x as many interactions as regular videos on Facebook.
Also, when you’re creating videos and putting them online, make sure you use subtitles! Over 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, which makes sense as you’re likely to watch a short video when doing other things like waiting in line at the supermarket.
5. Engage with People Who Comment
There’s a lot more to social media than scheduling a bunch of posts once a month and putting your feet up–you’ve got to engage with those users who engage with your content.
That means commenting back to people who comment on your post and keeping the conversation going.
When you’re active on social media and build an excellent relationship with your audience, you’ll not only grow a following, but you’ll grow an engaged readership that will be more likely to buy your books when they’re released.You can grow your social media presence organically. It'll take time to grow your follower-count, so stick to a schedule that helps you grow, but also gives you the needed time to do important things like writing more books! #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
6. Check Your Data
You can’t improve what you don’t track. When you’re trying out fresh things on your social media profiles, it’s highly likely you’ll notice that certain posts perform better than others. And it’s a smart idea to check the data on your posts to find out for sure what posts react well with your audience — and then tailor your future posts around what works.
It isn’t just the content you post you need to test. You’ll also have to see what time your posts perform the best. Odds are, you’ll find that certain posting times get better engagement than others. CoSchedule looked at a range of different data and found the ‘best’ posting times for different industries. That said, I think it’s best to find the times that work for your audience rather than simply posting the same time as every other author.
7. Write Amazing Books!
Okay, let’s start by looking at this list of names. What do you think they all have in common?
- Barack Obama
- Justin Bieber
- Katy Perry
Not only are all these people incredibly famous, but they’re also the most-followed Twitter accounts on the planet.
- Barack Obama – 115 million followers
- Justin Bieber – 111 million followers
- Katy Perry – 109 million followers
- Rihanna – 96 million followers
What’s my point? Not one of these people is popular because of their expert use of Twitter.
If you do all the basics well and spend the rest of your time writing awesome books, then your readership will grow organically. So many authors spend far too much time focused on their social media profiles and not enough time on what’s most important.
Write the best books you can and you’ll be worth following on social media!
Yes, you can grow your social media presence organically. Just remember that it’ll take time to grow your follower-count, so stick to a schedule that helps you grow, but also gives you the needed time to do important things like writing more books!