Welcome back to I C Publishing, here’s our first team post on the power of social media. Our first contributor, Carly, is our blog administrator and social media expert. Lots of great info here, and much more to follow, so enjoy:

Social media allows authors to increase brand visibility, develop an audience, connect further with readers, and of course, sell more books. But cultivating your social media presence takes strategic planning and ongoing efforts. It’s not as simple as signing up to Twitter and pushing out tweets promoting your book.

Are you struggling to get some traction on your social media platforms? Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed with where you should even begin. Here are three steps to help you rock your author platform on social media:

1. Go where your audience is.

Once you’ve gained some popularity, and perhaps achieved bestselling status, flocks of followers will surround your every tweet. But until then, you need to go where your readers are. Go where likeminded writers are. Go where you need to go to connect with the people who are going to enhance your personal brand.

Your social media strategy should be focused on your key target audience. Stop spreading yourself too thin across five different platforms. After all, the time you spend there is taking away from the time you spend writing your next book. Focus your efforts on two or three key social media channels, and make your presence known within these boundaries. You don’t have to be everywhere. You just have to be somewhere, and show up every day. This brings me to my next point…

 2. Be consistent.

Okay, no one is going to slap your wrists if you missed a day or two of tweeting. But don’t make a habit of it. Try to make an effort once a day to log into your key social channels and interact with your community.

If you really want to be efficient with your social media monitoring, stick to a schedule. Set aside a half-hour to an hour at the beginning or end of every week to schedule and load your social posts for the week ahead. Then log in for 15 minutes each morning, and perhaps another 15 minutes later in the day (if you can spare it) to respond to comments, interact with thought leaders and share some personal tidbits about your day.

 3. Let your personality shine.

People aren’t following you just to learn when you are releasing your next book, or where you’ll be appearing for your next reading. They want to know who the person is behind the words. Who kept them awake at night, turning page after page? They’ve had the chance to be enlightened by you in their relationships or career, live vicariously through your characters, now they want to get to know you.

I’m not suggesting you update your audience every time you take the dog for a walk. But give them a glimpse into your writing space one day, or invite them along (virtually of course) to your weekend getaway at the cottage. There are hundreds of thousands of authors on social media – give your audience a reason to choose you (other than a free download of your e-book – although that’s great, too).

Still not sure where to begin? Connect with us to learn more about how we can help you manage your social media platforms so you can focus on what you do best: writing your next book!

co_headshot_v2About Carly:

Charlotte Ottaway (known best as Carly) is blog administrator and social media consultant at I C Publishing. She works with authors to share their stories over social media in meaningful ways. She is also a freelance writer, and has been published in Zoomer, The Globe and Mail and The Huffington Post Canada. She’s currently working on writing the first draft of her first novel through a 100-day writing challenge. Find out more at charlotteottaway.com.

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