By Rondi Bauer Olson
One of the first things I heard as an aspiring writer was that I needed to be active on social media, and if I wanted to attract an editor or agent, I needed lots of followers. The problem was I didn’t have a book out yet, and I couldn’t imagine anyone being interested in following me. After much thought, I came up with an idea to get as many followers as possible, by starting a Facebook page focused on my genre rather than myself. The page took off! I posted inspirational writing memes almost every day, along with writing tips, and my number of followers grew, from tens to hundreds to thousands. I was a success! Surely an agent or editor would take notice.
Then my first book came out, and I started reaching out to my followers. Would they be interested in buying my book? Would they be willing to read it and leave a review?
Sadly, it didn’t take long for me to come to a disheartening conclusion; having lots of followers on a carefully cultivated page didn’t translate into sales, or reviews. I’d made a serious social media misstep, and I soon realized it wasn’t the only one.
If you want to avoid falling into a social media slough, here are three things I’ve learned that may help you:
- Start an author page, even if you don’t have a book out yet, and focus your posts on yourself and your writing. Don’t worry about numbers. Having fifty followers who are truly interested in your writing is better than having thousands who are there for another reason.
- Not all social media platforms are equal for all genres. For example, if you write inspirational romance for women, Facebook is a great way to connect with your readers, but I write YA, and teens are on other platforms, like Instagram. Research were your readers hang out, and invest your time there.
- Pages for your book or series are unnecessary. An author page will outlive your current project, and having fewer pages to maintain will save you valuable time as well as help you keep the content you do post more original.
To be honest with you, I probably heard some of these tips before I spent years building the wrong type of platform. I wish I’d listened. Instead, a year and a half after the debut of my novel, I’m only now starting an author page, and figuring out the best way to get rid of my unnecessary pages without losing the people who really do want to follow me.
What is the worst social media misstep you’ve made? What is your best social media advice?Bigger isn’t always better. My social media missteps as a writer. @rondiolson #ACFWBlogs #amwriting #socialmediatips Click To Tweet
Rondi Bauer Olson is a reader, writer, and animal wrangler from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Her debut novel for young adults, All Things Now Living, was a finalist in the 2012 Genesis Contest and is available at major online retailers. Visit Rondi on her website, Facebook and Instagram.
Hey, this is the first post about social media from an author who has YET to be published. So, so helpful! Thanks!
And, yes, I have an author page (Facebook) and forty followers. And I was told specifically by an agent that I have to have a comma in my # of followers. And I disagree with her and agree with YOU. It’s not the number of followers as WHY they are following. …
My website and Facebook page is crude, but your post encouraged me that I’m doing exactly what I should be doing. Thanks for giving me that confidence. So so needed.
Your post was so encouraging!!! Thanks!
(Thumbs up on getting published!)