Online authors: Be selective about the work you put out there. Don’t just give your audience any old crap and hope they’ll be impressed (even if you ARE the greatest writer of all time). A few good stories are better than a hundred drunkenly forged entries.
Don’t be a me-me-ME kind of guy/gal. Most social media is about INTERRACTION. If you’re going out into the big, bad world of Twitter or Facebook or any of the available networks, you are going to have to converse with people. It’s not just about you. You’ll have to demonstrate a hefty level of altruism to get on. That means making REAL friends.
Build your following/fans SLOWLY. Don’t rush to follow or join other people’s networks just for the sake of numbers. Join the right people. Communicate with the right people. Take some time to think about who they are. You’ll have a lot more fun and feel a lot less isolated.
Be nice. Even if someone has a go at you or says something nasty – be nice. It pays in the long run. You are, in effect, on public display. You can always block or ignore bad people. Don’t be too critical of other people’s work in public – try to be supportive and find good things to say. IT PAYS TO BE NICE.
Leave comments (again, good ones) on other people’s sites. Read their stuff properly, don’t just scan it. If you’re not interested in them, how can you expect them to be interested in you? Invite people to do guest blogs on your site, write guest blogs for other sites also. Don’t be afraid to promote their stuff at the expense of your own.
Make your blog as interactive as possible – don’t just talk AT people, get them involved. Raise questions, have competitions, be creative about it. Your comments section (and you should all have one) should be longer than your actual post.
Use something like Google Analytics to check the popularity of your web page. It’s easy to install and lets you monitor how many visitors you have, how long they stay, which pages are popular and where those visitors come from.
Post often and well. If you’re blogging that means at least a couple of entries a week. If you’re tweeting, at least 4 or 5 a day. Keep lists of things to put out there and try not to say anything banal or worthless (e.g., I’m just having a cup of tea or I’m just at the supermarket). Being STATIC will kill your chances of networking effectively.
Be selective on the social networks you use – don’t jump onto every band wagon. Just because it’s out there doesn’t mean you have to use it. It’s useful to settle on two or three areas and develop those, get to know them and build your network before expanding (remember, you only have a limited amount of time in your life to network).
Don’t over-sell. Okay, so you want to get people to buy your book or read your stuff. That doesn’t mean you have to force it down their throats. Subtlety is a virtue (despite what SM experts will tell you). Remember, they can choose to ignore you as well if you start to look like a crazy spammer.
What are your best tips for developing your social network and selling your goods? Let me know in the comments section below.