Promoting a new book is hard, but I have found most of the difficulty stems from misinformation available on the internet, especially the use of social media for advertisement and promotion. Authors are being led to believe that the best way to promote themselves and their work is through social media by bombarding people with ads. Worse, we’re encouraged to play the you-follow-me-I’ll-follow-you game to get more followers.
The truth is, people don’t get onto social media because they want to be bombarded with ads. They get on there to meet new people and socialize. So using social media for marketing purposes has to be done with that in mind. The best part it, it can be done effectively.
Building an author platform is all about making yourself visible and getting to know people, so social media is the best way to get this process started. You can use your blog to share helpful information, free short stories, etc. Then you share those on social media to drive traffic to your blog. Once you get people going to your blog consistently because they like what you’re sharing, they’ll likely even sign up to your newsletter (if you have one, and if you don’t I strongly recommend getting one).
In the meantime, you can be connecting with other authors and the readers you attract. Let them get to know who you are as a person and interact with them. The more they get to know you as a person, the more they’ll care about what you write as an author.
Another thing you’ll want to avoid is following people just to get them to follow back. If you think about it, you’re really only hurting yourself by doing this. You want people to read what you share on social media, but they’re not going to care if all they’re doing is trying to get another follower for themselves. I only follow people I’m interested in (or people I know personally), and I only want people following me who really want to read my stuff. Otherwise, what’s the point? Having ten thousands followers won’t mean a thing if none of them even read what you share.
Using social media as it’s intended can really help you as an author. This means meeting new people and letting them get to know you. It means sharing valuable information and entertaining posts. It also means understanding the number of followers you have is less important than having followers who really want to know you as an author.