Are you engaging on social media or are you only broadcasting?
But – and this is very important – you must engage with others rather than only broadcasting announcements of your work as if you were utilizing a magazine ad or a TV spot.
In other words, posting on Facebook “buy my book” or tweeting “buy my new recording” is not the best way to engage with potential fans.
Engaging is a two-way street. And it is better when you start the engagement by going the other way – supporting others before expecting support for your own projects.
One of the easiest ways to start engaging is to “like” a comment someone makes on Facebook or “+1” someone’s comment on Google Plus.
While this is easy, there is nothing of “you” in this action. To put “you” into the picture, add a comment to someone else’s comment – and do not just say “good comment.”
Writing one or two sentences that indicate you actually read the conversation and want to add something can help put the “you” in social media. Of course, you can add a URL as long as you do not add words about “buying” at that URL.
For example, sometimes I add my Twitter URL at the end of a comment; sometimes I add my Pinterest URL. Or I might add the URL of one of my websites if appropriate to the conversation. But I do not say anything about this URL. People can click on it – or not.
If you are on LinkedIn (and if you are not, why not?), you can join groups and participate in discussion threads. (To make a link hot on LinkedIn you must include the http://)
These conversations on LinkedIn are often quite informative – and you may find that taking the time to participate provides dividends in more ways than one.
Dana Lynn Smith has just started a new Facebook group that will give you access to free ebooks on Kindle as well as the opportunity to write comments. Dana explains:
Join this group to learn about free ebooks for Kindle, Nook, iPad and other ebook reading devices. Many of these ebooks are free for only a day or two, so be sure to check this page often.
Readers, please share this group with your friends who love to read ebooks! Just point them to http://on.fb.me/FreeEbookGroup where they can click the “Ask to Join Group” button in the upper right.
If you join this group, you can write a comment, as I did, thanking Dana for starting this group. And on Facebook you do not need to include a link because your Facebook profile name, which automatically displays when you leave a comment, is clickable.
Word of caution: Although social media is informal, do check your spelling and grammar in any comment you write. You never know who might read your comments.
And, finally, if you start a discussion in a LinkedIn group or post an update on Facebook and people respond by commenting, do thank them for their comments and say something that indicates you did indeed read those comments.
Remember, everyone likes to feel appreciated. And by engaging on social media you have the opportunity to make others feel appreciated – and you might be surprised what comes back to you.
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter and @ZimblerMiller on Pinterest) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the WBENC certified online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com Her newest ebook HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND PREP FOR COLLEGE has just been released on Kindle – see www.HowToSucceedEbooks.com