How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Audience

Have you been posting regularly on social media, but you’re not getting the growth you want? Maybe you’re not getting as many likes or comments as you wish you were. In order to do make strong connections with your audience, you need to do more than just post good content. If you’re an author, Youtuber, blogger, musician, or own a small business, this article is for you.

If you want to use social media to your advantage, read on.

Create A Strong Profile

The first step in having a successful social media presence is to create a quality profile. Make sure you have a recent photo of yourself for your profile picture, and be sure that your profile is filled out completely.

Your “about” section (or bio section on Twitter) should include links to your website and links to buy your book. For example, Facebook allows business pages a place to expand on their business’ story. Go ahead and flesh out your bio there and give readers as much information as you’d like. On the other hand, Twitter bios are short and sweet. For example, you could write something like, “Romance Author – Check out my newest book at…” and link to your website.

Ideally, you’ll be on multiple platforms. Facebook and Twitter are two of the most popular social media platforms, but consider using Instagram or Snapchat as well if it makes sense for your audience base. At first, stick to two or three platforms that you know you’ll be able to update regularly. It’s better to focus on two platforms that you use really well than to spread yourself thin on four or five platforms.

Hold virtual events

Facebook Live is a great way to connect with your readers. You can hold virtual parties and Q&A sessions. Your readers want to know that you’re a regular person, just like they are. They also want to connect with you in any way they can. Facebook Live – or other streaming services, such as Periscope – are the best way to build hype and create strong readership.

Got a new book coming out soon? Do a Facebook Live event for your book release. You could even do a live reading of the first chapter of your book – a sneak peek for those who follow you on social media.

Allow readers to send in questions that you will answer in a live Q&A session. This allows readers from all across the world to ask you questions and connect with you in a way that feels personal. Your Q&A can last as long as you’d like, but generally, 45 minutes to an hour is enough time to answer several questions thoroughly.

Live streaming is easy because you don’t have to worry about any post-production or editing. Everything happens live. This is great for busy people who don’t have the time to create videos. Fans tend to like live streaming because it feels more authentic than a pre-created video.

Hold Contests

In order to get more engagement on social media, many pages like to hold contests. This could be something as simple as getting a free product to something bigger, like a VIP pass to a meet and greet.

Contests are easy to hold, too. Ask participants to like your page, comment, and share the post. Sometimes, participants will be asked to tag friends. Other times, you might ask participants to answer a question. Then, you can randomly choose a winner either on your own or with the help of an online bot that will randomly select a comment for you. Commentpicker and Woobox are good tools to use to help you choose a winner. These are great to use if you have a lot of contest entries!

Depending on your budget, you can hold contests as often as you’d like. Some businesses hold contests monthly. Others just do it if they have something new to promote.

Host a Reddit AMA

Yes, Reddit is a social medium! Even though most Reddit users are anonymous, it is still a great way to market your books. On Reddit, there is a subreddit where someone can hold an AMA – or an “Ask Me Anything.” Public figures hold AMAs as a way to connect with the public, promote new material, and answer questions their audience may have about their career and their life.

In order to host at AMA, you will have to get verified by the moderators. This is to make sure you are who you say you are, and not a random person just posing as you. You will be able to answer as many questions as you’d like. This is a great platform for people who are still a bit camera shy and aren’t quite ready for Facebook Live.

Ask Opinions

People love to get their opinions heard. Maybe you’re not sure where you want your next story to go. Ask your audience! Twitter is a great platform for these types of questions. You can create a poll or let your audience reply with their own ideas.

Don’t want to give your audience that much power? You can ask them about other things, too. Let them vote on a date for your next Facebook Live event. Or be personal and ask something totally unrelated to your books. Maybe you’re visiting a new city and you want to know the best restaurant in town. Ask your audience! They will appreciate that you thought of them – and they will remember it.

Your social media doesn’t – and shouldn’t – be all about your business. Let your personality shine.

Respond to your Audience

Someone tweets at you? Tweet back! While it’s not always possible to reply back to everyone, get in the habit of replying back to at least some of your followers. This creates a relationship between you and your audience. Think about how you feel if someone you admired tweeted back at you. You’d be ecstatic! Make your readers’ day by interacting with them. Follow back people who follow you. If you’re on Instagram, go ahead and like and comment on other posts! Just because you have a professional page doesn’t mean you can’t be personable.

On the flip side, don’t be afraid to respond to negative comments as well. Don’t take your time replying to trolls, but if someone has a complaint, let them know that you hear them. If it’s something you can resolve (maybe they ordered your book and it came damaged), resolve it. If you can’t resolve it, at least let them know that their voice has been heard and that you will take their thoughts into consideration. A little bit of customer service goes a long way.

Build Excitement

Got a new book, video, or product coming out? Post about it! Hold weekly or monthly Twitter chats – where you’re online to talk to your audience – once your product hits the shelves.

If you show excitement about what you’ve created, your audience will, too. This is a good place to use photos. For example, post a photo of you holding your freshly published book, with a caption that shows how excited you are. Or post a picture of your workstation, and mention how pumped you are about what’s happening in the chapter you’re writing. If you have the time, create a video tour of your workspace. Use social media features to your advantage. For example, you could do a Facebook 360 photo of your office. Your audience will love getting a behind the scenes look at what you do every day.

Cross Promote

There are two components to cross promoting here. First off, cross promote your own stuff. This means that if you’re holding a Reddit AMA, you need to post about it on your other social profiles, as well. Holding a Facebook Live? Make sure your Twitter followers know about it too. You can use apps like Hootsuite to make it easier to post the same content on multiple platforms.

Second, cross promote with others. If someone has a new book that you’re excited about, don’t be afraid to post about it! They might even see it and promote you back. Don’t hesitate to reach out to other creatives on social media and ask them about cross promoting. Creatives want other creatives to succeed.

By following these guidelines, you will see an increase in your social media engagement. If this seems overwhelming, that’s okay! Take it one step at a time. You don’t need to roll out all of these methods at once in order to start seeing success. Start with something that seems reasonable to you. Once you’ve got a strong hold on social media, your audience will be growing in no time.