Friday, May 23, 2014

Using Social Media As Your Author Persona

Lately, I've been hearing more and more people ask why it's important to have an author account and a regular account on their social media. Let me explain just a wee bit.

Let's say that I, Suzie Q. Homemaker, have a Facebook account.* I use it to share pictures of my kids with a select group, I post recipes, I share funny cat memes, and when my husband lost his job, my friends all commiserated with me and helped him find a new one. It's a tight group.

But then I get some amazing news. I'm going to be published! I share that with all my friends, and they're happy for me.

As I go through the publishing process, I post about signing my contact, editing the book, proofing the galleys, getting my cover, how exciting it all is, when my first book signing is, how great it was to see the book for the first time, pictures of my launch, selling my first book, getting my first great book review ... and all of a sudden, all my friends who were following me for my everyday-life stuff feel like all I can do anymore is talk about my book, my book, MY BOOK. They feel like I've changed, like I'm not the same person anymore, and they feel like I'm trying to sell to them all the time.

On the other hand, if I set up an author account and invite my regular friends to follow that page, that gives them the choice as to whether they want to follow each step of my career. On your author page, you *should* talk about editing and proofing and getting your cover. The people there are interested in those things. They want to see how the process works, and they want to cheer you on as you go through it. The fact that they have chosen to follow your author page indicates that those things are interesting to them.

This doesn't mean that I never talk about books on my regular account. I do. But I limit that to super-good news or huge announcements or the like. The lesser announcements go out on my author page for those who are interested in the process. I also remind my Facebook friends about once every quarter that I have an author page, if they'd like to follow it. I do that because I do get friend requests regularly and I don't want the new folks to miss that.

Having two accounts on your social media will help you target your posts to the right audience. It will also help you not annoy people. And trust me, not annoying people is good.

*There has been some debate over the effectiveness of Facebook with their new "we'll only show the posts we wanna show" policy, but I'm using it as my example because I know Facebook better than other forms of social media.


ilima said...

I've reached this point on my personal FB account and my publisher wants me to make an author page asap. Never done one before, but it's time...

Donna K. Weaver said...

What irritates me is that there are limitations to author accounts. I can't tag people with it, for one thing. I had hoped to cut a bunch of people from my personal account and keep it personal, but the author account doesn't cut it.

Tristi Pinkston said...

A page is different from the regular wall, but you can set up another regular wall for author stuff - just use a different e-mail account.

Donna K. Weaver said...

That must be new because they didn't used to let you.

Stephanie Faris said...

That is true--I write for children, though...and I've personally found that Twitter is a more writer-driven environment. There are tons of authors, editors, and agents on there. So Twitter is for my writing, but I'll put some things on Facebook, like announcements of local author events (since many of my FB friends are local), pictures of me at those events, etc. If I'm just posting about my frustrations with my ms., I'd put that on Twitter, since that's where most of my writer friends are. My "fans" would never be on FB or Twitter, since both have a minimum age, so I have an Instagram I use for pictures I think my fans would like. My first online fans followed me there...there's all of two of them so far. Haha!