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Opinion: Why Indie Authors Need to be Bold with Social Media

headshot of Ladey Adey

Life and soul of the social media party Ladey Adey

We’re starting this week with a challenge to indie authors be the life and soul of the social media party, even when your instinct is to be a wallflower. Ladey Adey, British author, publisher, speaker and trainer, offers a clever acrostic to drive your resolve.

What’s your poison? Picture the scene, you arrive at a party and are greeted by a handsome host, looking very much like James Bond wearing his tuxedo and bow tie.  This is the first question he asks you.  You smile and reply: “Actually it’s Facebook.”

Social media is here to stay: use it, abuse it or ignore it, it’s a fact of life and as authors it is time to embrace it, make it work as an effective communication art form.

glass of martini

“What’s your social media poison?” (Photo by Imelenchon via Morguefile.com)

Now, you are already half way there as communication is the author’s art!  Yet many authors tell me they feel overwhelmed about engaging in social media, unsure where to start and view it at best as a necessary evil and at worse as a forced situation.  Does this resonate with you?

Social media is viewed purely as a means of getting more … business, buyers or readers.   Messages, posts and updates are penned in this way.  To be truly successful there needs to be a mind-shift from “what can I get?”, to “what can I do for others with social media as a tool?”

How to Be a Bold User of Social Media Today

  1. Strategise well and select the best social media platform for your book, personality and business. Join and start today.
  1. Offer meaningful contributions to build up rapport and relationships with others. Keep postings short, as people want to scan and decide if they want to know you further.  It’s not called surfing for nothing!
  1. Control – you are in control of social media not the other way around. Make it work for you.  Decide how much time you are willing to give to this engagement.
  1. Imagine your grandmother is reading whatever you put on social media. If you wouldn’t want her to read, see or hear it – then don’t say it.   It is almost impossible to recant postings.
  1. Always give back – ask yourself: is this message honouring the person reading it? Craft the interactive so that you can encourage and enthuse the receiver.
  1. Links are the name of the game. Link back to others, mentioning people by name and use the @ and # signs so your message goes further, and has the potential to meet more people.
  1. Master the art of your favourite social media platform and become an expert in all its etiquette, protocols and usage.
  1. Engage whole-heartedly – minimum 100%. Give undivided attention during the time you are using social media.  Make it a regular habit and not occasional.  Think through what you are saying and who you can connect with to develop more relationships.  You may be surprised!
  1. Deliver value. Make your conversations purposeful:  this way the person reading it knows that you are genuine, authentic and someone they want to know more.
  1. Interactive is a craft to learn and the best way to enhance relationships is to encourage two-way communication. Use questions, pictures and video to arouse curiosity as you interact with contacts, be enthusiastic with first time engagers and regular followers.
  1. Action or no action: You do not always have to respond – it is your choice.  Be wise, some approaches you receive are as welcome as seeing a burglar prowling around your home.  While social media can be great, there are unsavoury people out there who want to thieve your joy and your data.

Your author journey includes being a bold and savvy social media user.

Captivate relationships as you promote your book and communicate your unique message.  Finally, remember to make your media time: enjoyable, manageable and … social.

OVER TO YOU How has your attitude to social media changed over time? Do you use it more or less, and more or less confidently than before? What advice can you add to Ladey Adey’s checklist?

Why #authors need to be bold on #socialmedia - and how to be so - by @PPPpublisher Click To Tweet

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