You can connect with rabid readers on Facebook and Twitter, but it may be a much better investment of your time to use the platforms for another purpose. In the third part of our author networking series, we’d like you to consider the idea of using Facebook and Twitter primarily for connecting with authors and influencers.
Facebook is a pay-to-play platform and Twitter can’t be far behind. When posts reach six percent or less of your followers, why put your hard work into your content when you could be spending time on building advantageous partnerships? In this digital landscape, most introductions happen online, and many of those occur on social media. Use this fact to your advantage by putting yourself in the best possible position to meet the top authors and influencers in your genre.
Here are four best practices for connecting with other authors on Facebook and Twitter:
1. Avoid All Spam
Even though Facebook is planning to take action against promotional posts, spam continues to run rampant. We’ve said time in and time out that “buy my books” posts are a waste of time, but they’re also damaging to potential professional relationships.
It takes an instant to make a bad first impression on social media. Let’s say you’ve made a few spammy mistakes online before trying to connect with an influencer. If this person has seen your spammy content before you learned your lesson, he may remember how shady you came off in the past. He’s likely to ignore your message and try to forget you ever existed.
The alternative is to never spam on social media. Use the platform for likes and comments and your own brand of posting. Provide value, not trash.
2. Connect in Groups Without Pitching
Facebook and Twitter groups are great ways to connect privately with only the people you’re most interested in following. Many of the groups on self-publishing are meant to provide valuable assistance to people with pressing questions. Like the social media platforms in general, they’re not meant for spam, but plenty of people do it anyway.
Let’s clarify what counts as spam in these groups. Any unrequested pitch is spam, and it’s likely to get you banned from non-promotional groups.
Another hypothetical here. Let’s say you make an amazing connection with a like-minded author in a Facebook Group. The two of you end up working together on a course or a podcast that helps you build up a brand and become an influencer yourself. Soon enough, people are trying to get in touch with you for opportunities and your author business is on its way to a major success.
Now picture that the first day you got into this Facebook Group, you pitched your book and got banned for life. You never met this other author and all the opportunities that could’ve been have completely vanished. That’s why you don’t spam a group, because you never know what could result from your networking there.
3. Give, Give, Give
If you follow the lessons of our Killing With Kindness post, then you’ll concentrate your Facebook and Twitter networking efforts on a few key authors or influencers. Set up your notifications so that you receive an alert whenever the author you’d like to befriend makes a post. Here’s where the giving starts.
Like the author’s posts and read the content. Make an educated and insightful response to almost every post or tweet. Share the links with your followers on your other platforms. Once you see what kind of content your author posts, share links and ideas for more of the same with the author to save him time and effort. Give as much attention and help as you can, and the influencer will begin to notice you as one of his or her top fans.
4. Organize Events
This is where the magic happens. Organize an event or a service that allows you to give back to your influencer contacts. The trick here is that you don’t want to add hardly any work to the author’s plate. You’ll be the one shouldering that burden.
There are many things you can do to help the author promote her business: Facebook Events, multi-author promotions, multi-author box sets, editing, research, etc. By combining your offer of assistance with all the attention you’ve shown the author through social media, you’re bound to receive some major appreciation from this person. Maybe you’ll get something out of it, and maybe you won’t. The important thing is that you’ve established the relationship, and the more of these kinds of connections you have, the more likely it is that you’ll succeed.
Connection Starts With Exceptional Effort
The above steps probably seem like a whole lot of effort. Joining multiple self-publishing groups, commenting on post after post, and putting together a time-intensive project certainly represent the actions of a person who’s going above and beyond. That’s the point. If you expect to have results in keeping with a person in the top 10 or 20 percent of the industry, then you need to work harder than 80 to 90 percent of the people out there. Putting in a whole lot of effort is one of the most effective ways to make good connections. It’s time to trade in your ineffective spam habits for honesty, loyalty, and good old-fashioned hard work.