The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

A Digital Authors’ Guide: 4 Tips to Build a Community of Loyal Readers!

Build a community with social media; original image credit: Clarisse Meyer (Unsplash)

Are you looking to expand your publishing career?  Enamored by the wealth of engagement opportunities in the social media community, but not sure of the best way to go about it?  The web provides you with a plethora of platforms and tools to market your book, build and nourish a community, discover and network with interested publishers, sell your books online, and even gain inspiration and ideas for your next work.  The key is knowing what you’re on the web for: determine a few objectives and use the platforms and strategies that are correct for you.

The possibilities of interaction are endless and the digital land is literally your oyster!  As promised, this digital authors’ guide will navigate you through 4 interactive ways in which you can build a community of engaged and enthused readers on social media.

 

Engage Your Readers in 4 Ways!

  1. #HashtagsForWriters
    Hashtagging; Original Photo: Freestocks.org (via Unsplash) Fashioning your own hashtags are not only an exceptional way for organizing your thoughts, but also a good opportunity to start engaging with your loyal readers and fans.  Hold regular Twitter chats with special hashtags such as #Ask[InsertYourName] that you may wish to schedule in advance.  Or even surprise your fans with an impromptu chat session which will pique their interest, get excited about your book, and share that enthusiasm with others!  Ask your audience about their inspirations (and hashtag it to a relevant theme in your writing) or use #FunFacts, #MotivationalMonday, #ThrowbackThursday, or #FollowerFriday to let your audience delve into your world of writing and your inspirations.  It’s also a great way to acknowledge your influencers.  Using hashtags is also a great way to crowdsource a potential title or cover for your next book.
  2. Images
    The power of images is hard to dispute as they are oftentimes more sharable and relatable than only the written tweets or Facebook posts.  You can take your own photos or use stock photos that can be “used, shared, and modified commercially”.  Add some liveliness to the photos by overlaying it with a thought-provoking phrase, word, or quote.  Tease your audience with a photo/illustration or quote from your book.  Overquick, Pronto, and Over are some beautiful apps that you can use to give life to text over photos.
  3. Live Video Streaming
    Producing and streaming videos in real-time is a recent hot trend that has become viral in the past couple of years.  Facebook Live, Periscope (linked to Twitter), and Snapchat (live stories – short videos) are the most popular services that are currently being used.  For an optimal turnout, schedule the video streaming event in advance and inform your followers.  Check the different live video streaming apps services available, test out what works best for you, and start streaming!
  4. Digital Hub (or Blog!)
    A digital hub is an official online real estate for your personal brand as a writer.  You may opt to work with an experienced web design agency to create your branded website.  Or, you can use website content management systems such as WordPress, GoDaddy.com, and even Tumblr.  Be sure to keep the content fresh:

    • Give the website your feel and unique, authentic voice.
    • Share your social media handles.
    • Update the audience on the latest news regarding your work.
    • Don’t forget to let them know when and where they can purchase your books.
    • A FAQ is also a neat touch!     

There are countless platforms, resources, and approaches to develop your brand and engage audiences online.  Just remember that there’s no one-size-fits all.  Spice up your social media strategies by using the platforms and activities that best suit your voice and that would make your audience feel connected to you and your writing.  Now that we’ve fleshed out some strategies and platforms, take a look at a few authors from whom you can draw inspiration from.

 

Hall of Fame – Authors in the Spotlight

  1. J.K. Rowling – author of Harry Potter series and several adult fiction novels under the pseudonym Robert Gailbraith.
  2. Joe Pulizzi – author of several social media books such as Content Inc. and Epic Content Marketing.
  3. John Green – a digital author in the true sense as you’ll see on his SM profiles; author of Looking For Alaska, The Fault in Our Stars, and more (he does vlogging too!)

Which technique do you think is the best and most effective to achieving your goals?  Who are your favorite authors or writers that you enjoy following on social media?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Category: Facebook, Social Media Marketing Integration

3 Responses

  1. Kristi says:

    So well-written and very helpful tips to build a community of loyal readers. I like how you provided the Hall of Fame – Authors in the Spotlight!

  2. ashley.pate says:

    I really enjoyed the Hall of Fame – Authors in the Spotlight. I also liked how you provided 4 ways that I can engage my readers. Sometimes there are so many tips that I can’t keep up with.

  3. sumedha.rao says:

    Thanks Kristi and Ashley! Yes, there are so many tips out there that can really help new authors to start a community on social media. I think the unique part of it is (which is also challenging) just how many avenues there are that one can take to start engaging with their audiences. Each SM platform, whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, has its own set of nuances, which give authors different ways to create and distribute their content.

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