Let’s face it:  Most authors know that they should be growing their audience on social media but they are unsure about how to go about it. There are a number of marketing tactics you can use to generate interest in your work. Many of them free. All of of them easily accessible. Here is what you can do to grow your social media today.

1.     Stick with the Social Media that Suits You (and your readers!)

Unless you are a social media maven and love spending all your time on every platform (not the case for most authors trying to squeeze in more precious writing time) then it is best to stick with what works for you. Not sure what platform is the best choice? Look for the intersection of the social media you enjoy using and where your readers hang out. Consider what type of content you enjoy making – videos, photos or short written content and stick to your strengths. If you are struggling to post regularly then plan out your posts in advance using a calendar. Dedicate some time each week to content creation and scheduling.

2.     Know Your Author Brand  

Know your author brand identity and purpose. Be clear about what your brand stands for. Which tone of voice works best for you? Which colors? What type of imagery? Your brand is a reflection of yourself and your writing. Keep it genuine and consistent. Across all social media profiles adopt the same logo, the same image, and the same tone. Each part of your author platform should consistently communicate what you are about. Don’t confuse your readers.

3.     Provide Value

Why should readers listen to you? Why should your followers follow you? Because you have something valuable to offer. Create content centered around your readers’ interests. Why do they read your books? Is it for entertainment, romance or learning? Create content aimed at giving your readers what they want. A noteworthy example is Phillipa Gregory’s author website where she intersperses book news and event updates with interesting historical snippets.

4.     Post Quality

 In these days of information overload, it’s all about quality over quantity. One good quality post once a week is preferable to four mediocre posts. Aim to post valuable, shareable content on a consistent basis. Social media is dynamic and the best practices for any given platform are always changing. Keep updated on trends and experiment to find what best works for you. Incorporate video and interactive content by using stories on stories on Instagram (polls can be a great way to ask your readers directly what they want) or going live on Facebook (leave time for questions and answers afterward). Switch it up to keep your readers’ interest. Invest time in making fewer posts and making them count. 

5.     Collaborate to Win

The real value of social media lies in building relationships and collaborating with others. The sooner you start to see your fellow authors and those in the writing community as allies rather than competitors the sooner you will see the value in supporting and being supported by others. Reach out to other authors to see how you can work together and consider options such as book blog tours, exchanging guest posts, author interviews, joint competitions, giveaways and book bundle deals. Teaming up with other authors in your genre will open up new opportunities to cross-promote your books and reach new readers. 

If you consistently share entertaining, valuable content and leverage the power of collaboration your social media will continue to grow and become a valuable part of your author platform. Spend time listening to what your readers want, gauge how successful your posts are via analytics and tailor your posting strategy appropriately.