Many new and aspiring writers express anxiety about starting out in social media. We’ve all heard about the need for writers to have a platform. If you are like me, this may feel overwhelming. I recently heard the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer, of course, is one bite at a time.

Be visible

Set up an author page on Facebook. It’s ok to have a personal profile on Facebook, but an author page, even if you are not published yet, is essential. The same is true for Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or other social media platforms that speak to what you write about. Why do you need separate accounts? While it seems like twice the work, your followers don’t want to hear about your child’s recital and your family doesn’t want to be inundated with writing tips. You don’t have to be everywhere. Pick a couple of places to start and be consistent whether it’s once a day or once a week.

Give something of value

What do your readers want to know? Is it writing advice, party tips, or insight into how you picked the setting for your novel? Choose an angle and be known for it. It’s ok to stray from your primary purpose, but you will find consistent followers if readers know what they are signing up to read. Unless your book is about cats, don’t waste your time posting pictures of adorable animals. You don’t have to create all of the content yourself. Follow 10 (or 20) blogs, websites, or other sources of information and share that information and/or link with your readers.

Be present

If you want to be noticed, go out and introduce yourself. Comment on blog posts, like Facebook posts, follow and retweet interesting people and information on Twitter. Social media is about being there. You are hanging out around the proverbial water cooler. Listen as much as you talk and others will listen to you more when you do.

Be authentic

Don’t be afraid to be yourself. It’s ok that you have faults, misgivings, and unsightly warts. In fact, it’s what will make people trust you more. People want to hear that you struggle and celebrate just like they do.

Learn from the pros

Keep learning. Follow people who give advice that speaks to you. If you are new to social media, you don’t need HTML optimization tips for your self-hosted blog. Find writers, editors, agents, and bloggers that take you to the next level, whatever level that may be. Here are a few interesting places to start:

In children’s writing try these:

What are your main social media hurdles? Where do feel most comfortable? Let me know. I would love to hear from you.

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