Social Media Tips for Indie Authors

By:  Leonard Tillerman

Since I began blogging and reviewing books I have become quite involved with Social Media.  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram… the list goes on.  Truth be told, I have often spent more time on various Social Media than I do actually reading and reviewing books!  It is a huge time commitment which I frequently feel obliged to do.  It often leaves me to wonder if all this time I spend on Social Media is actually worth it?  What is the actual objective- and is it really being accomplished?

I often hear the aforementioned question and concern being echoed by many authors.  They need a Social Media presence as part of a sound marketing plan for their books… but the amount of time they spend using it drastically reduces their productivity.  Thus we arrive in the “obligation” zone again.  Nevertheless, when used properly, Social Media offers a wealth of opportunities and “golden nuggets.” It is a wonderful place to get exposure and build relationships with other writers and potential customers alike.  We want to go where the people are, and in this day and age Social Media is definitely where they are hanging out!

All that being said, this year I have consciously decided to make a change in regards to my personal use of Social Media.  In essence, I am choosing to use it with more pinpoint precision rather than en masse.  In hopes of helping other Indie authors I have compiled a list of Social Media tips.  There is probably nothing earth shattering here, but this is what I have discovered the hard way in my journey as a book blogger.

Tillerman ‘s Social Media Tips:

– Treat it like a job:  Some days you are really not going to want to hit Twitter or Facebook. In reality, there are days when all of us do not want to go to work.  It is our commitment and responsibility however.   If you incorporate this as part of your daily work in your job as an author then you will be more inclined to follow through.

-Set your goals:  What do you actually want to accomplish?  Do you want to find author friends?  Sell more books?  Both?  How will you know when you have achieved this goal?

Pick 1 or 2 Platforms and hit them hard:  My greatest mistake when I began all of this was trying to do to much.  I was on every Social Media platform which existed.  The end result was it left me not only exhausted, but actually quite ineffective.  Everything I was doing was just too spread out.  Watered down. You are best to narrow your presence down to 1 or 2 platforms.  I use Twitter the most by far.  I also go on Facebook and Goodreads, but far less than Twitter.    You are best to pick a platform and hit it hard and do it well.

Use Media:  This is a must.  Plain text will get us nowhere.  Wonderful photos, videos or gifs however will attract attention.  Twitter itself has done countless studies on this and the facts cannot be ignored.  Posts with images get far more interaction than those without any type of media.

Be a problem-solver:  People are often on the Internet and Social Media because they are looking for answers to a particular problem they may have.  If you are able to solve problems with real solutions, you may quickly become an industry resource.  People will begin looking for you and not the other way around.

Don’t bombard people with “Buy my Book” posts:  You are on Social Media to build a following and ultimately sell books.  We all know that.  However, try not to forget the “social” part of Social Media.  You will quickly be tuned out otherwise.  Use your posts to build relationships.

Your follower count is irrelevant:  How many of those followers of yours do you think are real?  How many do you interact with on a consistent basis.  Those that you do this with are your engaged followers.  These are the ones that count.  The more engaged followers you have is totally equated to your influence.  While your follower count is irrelevant…your engaged follower count is not.

Be authentic and genuine:  Not much to say about this as the words speak for themselves.  Phonies are quickly exposed on Social Media.  Also, in the days of “fake news” make sure you back up what you say and do with facts.

Moderation:  Moderation in any aspect of life is a good thing.  Same goes with Social Media.  If you spend all your time on it you will be getting nothing else done!  Just make sure the time you do spend on Social Media is quality time.

These are just my own personal tips I have discovered through trial and error.  I am sure there are many more out there and feel free to add any of your own to the comments below.