Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Chime.In, Tumblr, Reddit, Squidoo, LinkedIn…
I network with lots of people online, and the ones that keep me coming back consistently offer something interesting, something helpful, and an overall positive, fun tone. Your own “brand” or reputation as we said in the good old days, is something that must be lovingly built, one post at a time and then carefully maintained. Its value is priceless.
There is a huge selection of social media sites to spend time online. If you want to keep your readers engaged with you, nurture your relationships with them through what you choose to share online, and respond to them. Consider how your actions reflect on your author status in regards to your work. Make valuable contributions and allow yourself to shine by putting your work and your reputation always in the best light.
What doesn’t work?
Talking at people and not with them, and making it all about you. Being repetitive and only shouting about where people can buy your books, your latest review, your book blurbs, etc., over and over again. People will just tune you out if that’s all you offer. Why should they return if you sing the same old tune time after time? Keep it fresh and develop your online personality into something that would keep you coming back if the tables were turned.
Be generous and engage with people
It actually shouldn’t be all about you. I know a lot of authors who see every online post as a golden opportunity to sell a book. However, people like those who help them and who give of themselves freely. We all rely on others to various degrees. Therefore, use your online presence to benefit more than just yourself. Pay it forward. Not only does it feel really good, but it will foster loyalty and warmth. Pass along the word about books you like or want to read, interesting authors, news items or tips that you think will help others, and a variety of other items that add value in different ways.
You will also find others much more willing to help you and get the word out about your work if you are generous and help them, too. Do a good turn for someone else and always acknowledge how others have helped you. Show gratitude, and reciprocate good deeds. Have a generous spirit and people will gravitate towards you.
As an author, you write for yourself, but also to entertain and move other people in some way. Before every post consider, what’s in it for them? Your writing success depends on more than simple sales. Engage and intrigue and people will happily come back.