Having an author platform can help you interact and reach out to readers or potential readers. Learning new ways that people interact online can help you find audiences or build a relationship with your current one. Read on to learn more about how to interact with readers online.
I wouldn’t call a newsletter a “new” manner of interaction because it’s been around for a while. However, if you can get someone enthusiastic enough to give you their name and email address, you have a great way to reach them when you have a new release. To get to that point, you want to offer them content that they like. Many have done that through a website or blog in the past, but these days social media is the game. In addition to having the requisite Facebook and Twitter accounts, also check out Instagram and Reddit for even more interaction.
We all know that Facebook changes its mysterious algorithm on the regular. Just because you post something doesn’t mean your “friends” or “followers” will ever see it. Facebook tends to boost posts with a lot of interaction or views, and a quick way to get those (at least right now) is to go Live. Facebook lets people know when those they follow are Live, so anyone who happens to click on will know you’ve got a fresh video. Although we deal in the written word, talk about books, writing, or whatever subject you think is relevant to your audience. Even if it’s not your medium of choice, it’s a way to connect.
Many people have migrated over to Instagram, so that’s a spot you’ll want to be. If you’ve spent any time on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that “stories” get posted the top of your screen—highlighting the people or account who made them. The more recent the story post, the closer to the top lefthand side of the screen they go, which is where people look first. In other words, the more stories you make, the more you exist to the people who follow you.
Remember, social media is all about being noticed. You can use the tools the social media companies provide (like going Live or Stories) to do that, and of course, the more interesting/relevant/(or, sadly) controversial the content, the better.
If you don’t know, stories are short video clips that disappear in 24 hours. You can add as many as you want in a day, and your followers can watch them in succession or stop when they’re bored. Usually they’re much more casual and less curated than the rest of Instagram, where the look of a (still) image is much more important. Talk about books. Talk about an awesome passage. Share your motivation or inspiration for your WIP. Whatever works!
Again, the social media companies generally boost the visibility of messages that have more interaction. What better way to create interaction than by asking questions? There’s an option to create a poll, which is an easy way to do it. You can ask viewers to chime in on various related questions to get to know them better. It might also help you gauge what type of content connects. And if people enjoy you on social media, direct them to your website, tell them about your books, and hopefully get them signed up so they know when your next one drops.