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Painlessly Use Social Media to Build an Evangelist-Filled Fan Base, Part 2 [Guest Post]

The following is part two of a guest post by Tracy R. Atkins. Be sure to read Part 1 first!

The “Twice Method”

To ensure you get enough exposure to matter, or reach critical mass for growth, follow the simple “Twice Method” as the bare minimum:

  • Tweet something compelling twice per day.
  • Social network something unique twice a day.
  • Add unique content to your hub twice a week.
  • Guest contribute unique content to a major outpost twice a month.
  • Release/publish a new and unique major product twice a year.

After a year, you will have:

  • Tweeted 730 compelling or interesting tweets. (Twitter, duh!)
  • Posted 730 pieces of valuable social commentary. (Facebook, Genre Forum, etc)
  • Built your blog “hub” to include 104 notable articles that are all your own. (Your Author Blog)
  • Shared your expertise 24 times at major outpost locations across the web. (Blogs, Squidoo, etc)
  • Published 2 novels, novellas, guides, etc that can make you money. (Amazon, B&N, Apple, etc)

That’s 1,590 ways that you are exposed to the public, in a positive way, in just one year. Your footprint will be quite large with a minimal effort. At the end of year two, it will be double that!

If you are on top of your game, create and supply even more content that is useful. Doubling down on these areas will yield a much greater impact!

This approach can be a part-time job, but here are some tips to keep it in check:

  • Finding twenty minutes per day to post original social content and tweet is the toughest part. Nevertheless, it is a discipline anyone can achieve. Add a routine where you spend your social time when you have your morning coffee, for example.
  • Keep a base-line that you will write a minimum of 8 or so useful ‘articles’ of 500 words or more per month. Schedule those to post in advance to your blog, twice a week. (IE, Mon and Thurs)
  • Guest post opportunities are something you have to network to get. They are easier to find as you gain exposure. If you have something valuable for an outpost, but no place will accept it, consider a website like Squidoo to “lens” it.
  • Your major work is just that, something that you will spend the majority of your time producing. You are a writer and this is what you should be working on to make your living. These large works, books and novellas, are the only thing you are selling. Moreover, the rest of your work, your reputation, will speak for itself so you do not have to do much to “sell” your major works.
  • Though social media is a “job”, you can easily turn it into a habit and make it part of your routine.
  • Engagement should be automatic and immediate. ALWAYS reply promptly to someone when they write to you, or comment on your post or article. Don’t procrastinate here!

Aim for the “X-Ring”

One important caveat is that you must focus and target your efforts in the correct social media channels.

Simply being out there, though important, is not as fruitful as a concerted effort to reach your intended fan-base. This is where people often run afoul and their efforts bare little fruit.

You must identify and “mingle” with the people who are your end customers. Don’t fire your efforts out all over the board, aim for the center of your audience, the “X-Ring”.

<p >For example, if you are a life-insurance salesman by day, and an author of fine horror novels at night, would you purchase a booth to pitch your book at a life-insurance conference? Sure, there are a few life-insurance salesmen that might love horror, but for the rest of the attendees, you are wasting your time and theirs.

Your online presence is no different. If you want to appeal to fans of the horror genre, then becoming an online rock-star on the life-insurance agent forum won’t return well on your time investment.

Authors also make this mistake by trying to appeal to other authors and publishing industry people as well. Certainly, other authors are readers. However, Horror Author, do you want to impress 5,000 other authors with your witty and charming style, or 5,000 horror fans? Which audience is more likely to buy 5,000 copies of your horror book?

The same should be said of the posts, tweets, and content you create.

Be an expert in your niche or genre and communicate ideas that are relevant. That doesn’t mean that every post has to be a dissertation on the psychology of Mary Shelley.

However, a short post on how you re-read Frankenstein and enjoyed the Victorian era take on the occult and horror IS interesting to others. Heck, you could probably post an insightful series on the subject!

Be smart, be funny, be interesting, but for the love of God, don’t be a spammer! In the end, you may wind up with a whole lot of likeminded new friends as a bonus.

The Best Time to Start

When should an author start their online fan-making effort?

Right freaking now, Bucko!

It does not matter if you have a novel in your head, or 10 published on Amazon. The payoff will take time no matter where you are in your author journey. Today is the first day of the rest of your writing career.

A fan you didn’t make this week is one less you will have for life. That lost fan may have been the one that shared your book with his critic friend, who could have also become a fan, that would have wrote the review that would made your book go viral. (See how that works!)

This concept carries forward into real life. Attend social events that are on-topic for your audience too. Be out there! However, for now, it takes little effort to get online and start contributing to your own success.

So get cracking on social media today!

Tracy R. Atkins has been a career technology aficionado since he was young. He is a passionate writer whose stories intertwine technology with exploration of the human condition. Tracy is also the self-published author of the singularity fiction novel Aeternum Ray.

  • Great post, Tracy. I particularly like your ‘twice’ method. Really helps to break things down into comprehendible chunks.

    Cheers, and good luck in the future!

    • Tracy_R_Atkins

      Thank you Ryan.

  • Travellingbag

    The ‘twice’ method really makes sense when you think about it – like the ripples in a pond.

    • Tracy_R_Atkins

      That is a great analogy. Tweets and social posts are small ripples, though they sometimes cause waves. Your major works are what you want to make the big splash.

  • David Burton

    Great ideas. I get it. But, I’m pretty much social media challenged. I have no idea what unique or compelling content I could put out there monthly, let alone weekly or daily.
    I did have the idea to write a story and put out 2-3 pages a couple times a week, with a little cliffhanger ending. Maybe ask for suggestions and comments as it went along. It’s been done before. Even if nobody read it, I’d have another story, novella, or novel to put out with my others.
    What’s your take on that?

    • Tracy_R_Atkins

      Hello David,

      The challenge with social media can often be finding something to talk about. Often, the best thing to do at first is to “Lurk” around a bunch of websites and really get into your niche. Once you are up to speed on the current topics of the day, you can start to contribute to the conversation. If you are a quick study, it wont take long until you are adding value. Adding value is the key concept.

      Some authors have had great experiences with the episodic format. Now, there are a bunch of ways to do it, but I would write the entire story first, proof it well, edit it well and make sure it is really cohesive. Then you can release the installments. If you are active in social media, your 2-3 page segments will become part of someone else’s morning reading routine. Once that catches on, your readership will grow.

      Since you already have other works put together, people that read your installments will notice your other work and you are set. Just be persistent.

    • David Burton

      Thanks. For once a reply to a question that actually makes sense to me.

  • I’m implementing this immediately. I was on the edge of burnout with it all, but this makes so much sense. Too much emphasis these days on quantity. Thanks for being a voice of reason, Tracy!