Authors are constantly striving to grow their platform. If you’re on social media, you’re working to increase followers. But if you have hundreds or even thousands of followers, what’s the point if they don’t stop to read your posts?
The real goal is active interaction. Are your followers interested in what you have to say?
Lately I’ve noticed a number of social media posts that include a link to blogs. But many of the posts say something like: “check out my blog!” or “author interview…”. One author even posted, “I’m trying to increase my followers and I don’t know if this will work, but here’s my latest post.”
Many of us are not creating posts and tweets that motivate readers to engage with us. Here are several suggestions to cultivate interaction:
- Know where your audience hangs out
Who are you trying to reach? On average, millennials aren’t flocking to Facebook—you’ll find them moving to Instagram. Facebook has become the preference of those 50+ years old. Google+ is about to shut down—their target date is April 2.
- Cater to your audience
Be intentional about providing content your audience will find relevant. If your blog is geared to writers, skip the occasional post on parenting or bargain-hunting unless you can clearly apply it to the writing life. So if you want to write about bargain-hunting, include tips on purchasing writing supplies or reference a writer’s need to budget because most writers can’t live on what they earn from writing!
- End your blog with a question
It’s not enough to provide information. What do you want your readers to do with it? Ask a question to inspire application. Or encourage sharing of a similar experience. If your post includes a list, ask readers if they can add to your list. The point is, encourage interaction!
- Respond to comments and shares
Respond to readers who comment. The goal of social media is social interaction. So when you comment, you’re encouraging a conversation instead of a monologue.
- Post a tweet that says more than just “check out my blog”
For example, one tweet I read actually did say, “check out my blog.” The link was to a post about their experience with a specific type of hearing loss. But how much more interest could have been generated with a tweet that asked, “Do you know how to respond to someone struggling with hearing loss?”
Another person tweeted, “Check out this author interview!” But how much more interest could have been generated by asking, “What questions would you ask your favorite author if you could? Check out this blog for one author’s answers!”
- Incorporate visual content
One upon a time, words were enough to draw readers’ attention to social media posts. Then photos became a requirement for your posts to stand out from the crowd. Now even static photos aren’t enough. Incorporate short (one minute to a minute and a half) videos to draw and keep your audience engaged. For a tutorial in using Lumen5 to create free videos, see last month’s post, “Easy Video Tool for Social Media.”
If we’re going to spend time developing our social media presence, let’s do it in a way that makes our efforts as effective as possible.
Create a tweet or Facebook post for this article that incorporates one of more of the above suggestions. Then share your link in the comments!
What suggestions can you add to this list?