Find True Fans and Rabid Readers With Social Media

Today we’ll share takeaways from Deborah Carney and Vinny O’Hare’s talk at Author Marketing Live, where they provided tips for finding true fans and rabid readers with social media. Carney is an author and the creator of Book Goodies, a free site where authors and bloggers can promote their books and services and readers can find new books and blogs. O’Hare is an author and the creator of Awesomegang, a site that also connects authors and readers.

Social media platforms are useful tools for building your fan base. Though the time you spend online can seem like a sinkhole, keeping you from your precious writing sessions. Carney and O’Hare recommend particular strategies and tools to make the most of your social media time and to help you get back to work in progress.

1. Use social media to find fans and keep them interested, but remember everything should lead back to your home base. We've said this before, and it bears repeating. Relying solely on social media to communicate with fans and readers is like building your house on shifting ground. Use social media to find the right readers, and then send them to your own website.

2. Go where readers hang out. Avid readers attend book festivals. The Tucson Festival of Books is a big one. Around these parts, we’re quite fond of the Texas Book Festival. You can interact with fans on Twitter by using the hashtags associated with these events: #TFOB and #txbookfest respectively. The hashtag #amreading is another great way to engage with ravenous readers.

3. You don’t always need a link. Quotes and images are great content and are often passed along. Don’t forget to ask questions. Ask what your readers are reading (when they aren’t reading your books). Nonfiction authors can ask about the particular challenges their readers face for ideas for new book or blog topics.

4. Use tools that make your life easier. Here are a few that Carney and O’Hare recommend: ManageFlitter (schedule tweets when your followers are most likely to see them, use analytics to gauge your reach, unfollow people with inactive accounts), Hootsuite (a comprehensive social media dashboard that allows you manage multiple profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn), Shareist (assists in capturing ideas and organizing content to share and publish), and Buzzsumo (find the influencers and top content in your field and set alerts to stay on top of particular topics).

Social media can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re just beginning to dip your toe into the water. Picking one task to experiment with is a great place to start. When you feel confident about that, or find that it isn’t helpful to you after a reasonable trial period, try something else. Above all, connect with other people, like Carney and O’Hare, who successfully navigate social media waters. Using smart strategies and tools to make your social media time more efficient will help you add fans and readers, while you churn out your next great book.

Is there one takeaway here that you can apply now? Do these suggestions inspire other ideas that you want to run with? We invite you to share in the comments below what’s next in your own journey to successful authorpreneurship. We’ll keep sharing more Author Marketing Live takeaways and other resources right here. Be sure to sign up for regular updates from the Captain’s Blog: Publishing so you won’t miss any of these posts!