BuildABiggerAudience

Social media can seem like a raucous cocktail party where everyone is talking and no one is listening. You’re running around trying to tempt visitors with tasty treats: posting great content, running contests, and engaging in online conversations, hoping to get readers to follow you, join your newsletter, or buy your book. Growth tends to be slow—but how else can you find the readers who love the genre in which you write? How else do you nurture your audience and build fans?

Fortunately, the fans you want to target are closer than you think.

Social Sharing Widens The Circle

Book lovers don’t always read in solitude. They form book clubs, share titles, gush over the latest release from their favorite author, and religiously track book-reading goals. Goodreads, which bills itself as the world’s largest book-recommendation website, has grown so exponentially that after fewer than ten years in existence, it already has 40 million book-loving members. Readers like to share—and the fans who’ve already liked you on social media, signed up for your newsletter, or followed your blog have lots of friends with similar interests. Here’s how to make sure you and your writing are an interest they’ll love to share!

If You Build It, They Will Come

To increase your number of followers, you must make it easy for your current fans to share your content with their friends:

  • Boost Facebook Posts. If you have a Facebook author page, you have the option to boost your chosen posts for a dedicated period of time and at a very low price. As Facebook has decreased organic reach, this advertising option is a low-budget alternative that allows you to specifically target your followers’ friends and draw in more fans.
  • Click-to-tweet. Click-to-tweet is a free service that lets you make an auto tweet link or button for your website, blog, or email so that current subscribers, readers, or fans can automatically post your content onto their own Twitter feed. The best part? You get to craft the message they’re retweeting.
  • Share The Love. You’ve seen those clickable button icons everywhere: the little tweeting bird; the dark-blue box with that recognizable lowercase “f”; Pinterest’s swirling “P”. These buttons save readers the trouble of copy/pasting or drafting a new social media message in order to share relevant content with their friends. You can add these icons to your website, blog, or newsletter so your current fans can choose their preferred social media platform. It’s a little more techie to put together, but there are lots of free social sharing guides that will walk you through the process.  
  • A Social Sharing Sidebar. Rather than placing those clickable button icons just at the top or bottom of your blog, consider creating a fixed sidebar. Authors, writers, and readers are always pressed for time. They may not always make it to the end of your fabulous blog article in one sitting. By fixing a vertical box of social sharing icons on your blog site, you’ll maximize the number of shares. Free sites like Addthis and Sharethis can show you how to do this.

The best part about using a social sharing option is that it’s a “sit back and let it happen” solution. You’ll still be writing those wonderful blog posts, but your own fans will be amplifying your work across a targeted audience.  It’s old-fashioned word of mouth—new-millennium style!

QUESTION: Which is your favorite social media platform? Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, or something else?

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